Thursday, 30 August 2018

28th and 29th August

Dry and bright through the 28th with a brisk and increasing southerly breeze; two more stand out birds were seen through the day with a moulting adult Black Tern seen briefly roosting on Bewan Loch before being flushed by an Arctic Skua and then being seen zooming over Brides Loch half an hour later which was followed in the afternoon by a cracking adult Buff-breasted Sandpiper found feeding on the beach at Brides.
                The great raptor spectacular continued with 2-3 Hen Harriers, 2 Merlins, 3-4 Kestrels, a Peregrine and 3 Short-eared Owls all floating around, making counting them a bit tricky, also on the land the first 2 Tree Pipits and Rock Pipit of the autumn were seen along with the Lesser Whitethroat still at the Obs.   Other birds included 46 Sooty Shearwaters, 58 Manx Shearwaters and a Red-throated Diver were offshore, 3 Black-tailed Godwits and 2 Whimbrel.
                Bright and sunny again on the 29th but the now force 6-7 southerly wind made things difficult in the field; there were limited new arrivals with an influx of ducks noteworthy which included 108+ Teal, 77+ Mallard, 4 Shoveler and 3 Wigeon along with a few increased wader counts comprised 71 Ringed Plover, 67 Dunlin, 3 Ruff and 28 Black-tailed Godwits.   Two Hen Harriers, 2-3 Kestrels and a Merlin were still present while at least 300 Meadow Pipits and 30 alba Wagtails came in off the sea at the north end.
                Other birds included a Great-northern Diver, a Black Redstart still at Holland and the Barred Warbler again at Senness.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper                              George Gay

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