Another blog post, another Red-necked Phalarope picture!
It was sunny throughout the 3rd but the little breeze kept the temperature down; a pod of 4 ORCAS were seen off the north end of the island in the afternoon and included a big bull with probably the same group later seen moving through the firth between us and Sanday just as we were finishing dinner – luckily, due to the fine weather we had been tempted to eat outside!
The 3 Red-necked Phalaropes were still faithful to Gretchen with the gradual build-up of post-breeding waders the main feature of the day including 275 Golden Plover, 19 Sanderling, 120 Oystercatchers, 62 Curlew and 70 Redshank while 3 Herons were on Ancum. Breeding news was a bit of a mixed bag with new broods of Teal and Gadwall seen on Ancum and some Sand Martin fledglings out and about but unfortunately a couple of the Arctic Tern colonies visited today had low numbers of chicks compared to previous visits or had actually failed completely and several dead Common Gull chicks were found, seemingly dying of starvation.
Orca heading towards Start Point, Sanday
Snipe, photos Simon Davies