A pleasant couple of days, largely warm with the wind switching from the SE to the W; the biggest surprise on the 6th was the appearance of 2 fresh juvenile Stonechats at Holland, we’re as sure as you possibly can be that they were not from here and with the nearest breeding birds on Eday, it seems that that is the most likely source. Another slightly unseasonal mid-summer Sparrowhawk was also seen at Holland along with 5 Collared Doves completed the other landbird highlights.
Two Red-necked Phalaropes remained on Gretchen with the Black-throated Diver still in Nouster with a Great-northern Diver while other wader counts included 278 Golden Plover, 17 Sanderling, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits and 45 Curlew with a few small flocks seen heading south.
Slightly wider coverage across the island on the 7th coupled with some obvious influxes produced some much-improved wader counts including 588 Golden Plover, 217 Oystercatchers, 59 Ringed Plover, 154 Lapwing, 6 Knot, 19 Sanderling, 47 Dunlin, 143 Redshank (including a big flock of 95 at Hooking and some obvious flocks heading south) and 51 Turnstone while a single male Red-necked Phalarope lingered on Gretchen.
Other highlights through the day included a Quail flushed from Sandar and the Black-throated Diver still while other little bits comprised a Heron, 15 Teal, a Pintail, 2 Wigeon, 7 Gadwall and 38 Sand Martins. With many of the Arctic Tern colonies struggling on the island, birds are starting to gather on their traditional rocks near Bewan and with an island count of 1,216 today (including hundreds of 1st summer birds) it’s definitely a place to check daily through July and August for that rare one…
Many of the Ringed Plovers have nested in the Arctic Tern colonies; this tiny chick was at Trinley