The terrible, soul destroying winds of the last week mercifully began to die down overnight and by mid-morning they had calmed down to leave a very pleasant day with some good birds scattered across the island – it could however have been so much better with a trio of possibles that just couldn’t be confirmed, a flyover Crossbill sp. was potentially a Parrot, a probable Red-throated Pipit at Southness couldn’t be re-found and while we were looking for that a big, white, deep sounding Redpoll sp. flew over which was almost certainly an Arctic of some description….watch this space!
As for the birds that were found, a Short-toed Lark at Sandar was the highlight along with 2 Barred Warblers (the Obs bird and a new one at Haskie) and the Red-breasted Flycatcher still in Holland; other migrant totals comprised a mix of lingering birds and new ones popping out of the woodwork with 2 Peregrines, a Kestrel, 13 Swallows, a Tree Pipit, 31 Rock Pipits, 12 Robins, 2 Redstarts, 2 Whinchats, 29 Wheatears, 17 Song Thrushes, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 18 Blackcaps, a Yellow-browed Warbler, 9 Chiffchaffs, 5 Willow Warblers, 3 Goldcrests, a Spotted Flycatcher, 23 Chaffinches, 17 Brambling, 2 Siskin, 12 Lapland Bunting and 9 Snow Buntings.
The drake Green-winged Teal was again on Gretchen along with 89 Teal, 4 Pintail, the Scaup, 2 Barnacle Geese and the family party of Whooper Swans on Brides, 6 each of Red-throated and Great-northern Divers were offshore and some wader counts included another influx of 60 Black-tailed Godwits, 428 Golden Plover, 109 Lapwings and 33 Purple Sandpipers.
Photos Simon Davies