A real blast of cold northerlies on the 12th had us hoping for some proper Arctic based birding but it proved to be pretty quiet (and very cold!) out in the field; a morning seawatch produced a single Sooty Shearwater, 629 Fulmars, 249 Guillemots and 9 Black Guillemots while 2 Red-throated and a Great-northern Diver were also offshore.
Wildfowl included three Whooper Swans, the Green-winged Teal still on Gretchen and 9 Pintail while good winter wader counts comprised 2 Grey Plovers, 138 Sanderling, 62 Dunlin and 139 Redshank. On the land, birds of note included a Woodcock, 6 Robins and 11 Snow Buntings.
A very different day on the 13th with the wind dying off to practically nothing during the morning and despite there not being too many new birds, it’s always a pleasure to be out in the field in calm weather at this time of year (it doesn’t happen that often!). The sea in the morning was more productive than yesterday though with 7 Sooty Shearwaters, a Great Skua, 7 Little Auks, 1,875 Fulmars in an hour including 14 Blue individuals, 58 Kittiwakes, and 615 large Auks sp. with 4 Red-throated and 4 Great-northern Divers on the sea.
Two Whooper Swans, 3 Pink-footed Geese, 10 Pintail and a Goldeneye were the wildfowl highlights while three Water Rails were running around the Obs. On the land single Peregrine and Merlin zoomed around while other birds included 4 Fieldfares, 34 Redwings, a Chiffchaff still in Holland, a Chaffinch lingering round the Obs and 8 Snow Buntings.
Rock Pipit, Simon Davies
Bar-tailed Godwits, Simon Davies