Tuesday, 27 February 2018

26th and 27th February

Breezy and overcast first thing but by lunchtime the sun had come out and the wind had dropped off to literally nothing which produced a glorious afternoon and evening; the calm seas allowed 16 Great-northern Divers and 6 Red-throated Divers to be counted while the single Whooper Swan and Green-winged Teal remained in place.   Merlin and Hen Harrier were seen flushing the 321 Golden Plovers in Loch Park while in the fields 50 Skylark, 64 Fieldfares and 66 Redwings were seen and yet again, the Black Redstart and Kumlien’s Gull were still in place.

                The Beast from the East began to exert its influence on the island on the 27th with several light snow showers and a bitingly cold easterly wind; 216 Auk sp. flew past the seawatch hide in an hour first thing with the Smew on Bewan along with 10 Goldeneye.   A single Barnacle Goose was a new arrival near the airstrip with the second winter Glaucous Gull was again seen at Brides along with the Kumlien’s Gull still while 2 ringtail Hen Harriers were seen along with at least 2 Merlins, including another one seen heading out to sea towards Sanday (just island-hopping birds or different passage birds?).   122 Sanderling and 60 Dunlin were counted on The Links and 37 Snow Buntings were still twinkling around the southern fields.

Green-winged Teal

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