Saturday, 22 July 2017

20th and 21st July

An awful day on the 20th with thick fog, low cloud, drizzle and spells of heavier rain pretty much throughout which, needless to say, limited observations and activity out in the field!  A single Red-necked Phalarope remained on Gretchen where 18 Teal represented a little arrival while a Swift was low over Garso and wader counts included 208 Oystercatchers in the central fields and 122 Dunlin at Westness.

Arctic Tern

                Bright and sunny on the 21st although the wind stayed prohibitively brisk; a large chunk of the day was spent visiting the dwindling Arctic Tern colonies to mop up a few late chicks but it seems that only around 10 chicks will manage to fledge this year.   Elsewhere, waders again provided most of the interest with 2 Greenshank seen to come in over one of the Tern colonies the pick along with 2 Red-necked Phalaropes again still, an increase to 29 Purple Sandpipers, 240+ Dunlin, 250+ Oystercatchers, 41 Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel, 42 Ringed Plover, 125+ Redshank, 40 Curlew (plus 17 seen heading out south) and 50 Turnstone while 3 Herons floated around.
Our one Arctic Skua chick is still going!

Many of the waders have fledged already but there are still a few Ringed Plovers to be found

Even when you are full grown, fledged and flying, you're not safe, as this big Shelduckling found out at Westness,   photos Simon Davies

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