No let-up in the gale force westerly winds on the 18th although there may have been a few less showers (although I might be being a bit optimistic in that statement!); not much coverage today but there were still at least 94 Dunlin on The Links where there was also 310 Wigeon, 4 Long-tailed Ducks and a Great-northern Diver with a Goldeneye on Hooking.
Finally, the blazing winds slowly began to ease through the 19th but stayed pretty much in the west but with long periods of sunshine it was a much better day all round, the main event was the annual Orkney Winter Goose Count, during which we ended up with a total of 1,451 Greylag Geese across the whole island but unfortunately no other Geese species!
We had longer out in the field today which produced some good totals with the highlight being an influx of 120 Snow Buntings with several flocks seen heading south along with a Jack Snipe, 6 Robins, a Song Thrush, 25 Redwings (including one which was chased and caught by a Hooded Crow), a Chiffchaff still and 7 Twite. Other little bits included 36 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Grey Plover, 390 Golden Plover, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 13 Pintail, 2 Whooper Swans and 6 Herons while a quiet seawatch just produced 440 Fulmars, 5 Great-northern Divers and 60 Auk sp.
Pictures Simon Davies