A rough day on the 10th with a strong SW wind and showers blowing through; the recent spell of easterlies still exerted their influence though as the day’s highlight was a lovely, tiny, streaky LANCEOLATED WARBLER caught by hand in rough grass at Sandar, ringed, admired and released at the Obs where it typically ran away like a mouse and rapidly disappeared – only the fifth for the island! Other birds dug out on the land included the Greenish Warbler still at Dennishill, 2 Common Rosefinches together at Phisligar, 2 Kestrels, 5 Sand Martins, a Rock Pipit, a Black Redstart, a Garden Warbler, 3 Willow Warblers, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and a Pied Flycatcher. Also of note were 8 Red-throated Divers, 6 Herons, 2 Pintail and 2 Ruff.
An even rougher day on the 11th with a blazing strong SW wind and more showers so new arrivals were at a premium but did include a Grasshopper Warbler by the lighthouse – the overdue first of the year, a House Martin in off the sea at the north end – only the second of the autumn and a little arrival of 39 Wheatears. Lingering birds comprised the Buff-breasted Sandpiper still on Brides Loch, the Greenish Warbler still, a Barred Warbler at Brigg, 2 Kestrels, single Ruff and Whimbrel, a Short-eared Owl, 3 Rock Pipits, a Whitethroat and 2 Willow Warblers.
We are now in the time that birds are going to move despite the weather not just because of it as with the strong westerly airflow still in charge on the 12th there were still some new arrivals noted with a Corncrake flushed from docks at Longar – the first of the autumn and second of the year, a juvenile Stonechat at the Obs, 2 Bramblings at Holland and the overdue first Lapland Bunting of the autumn on The Links.
Other birds seen which were most likely lingering individuals included the Greenish Warbler again, 2 Barred Warblers (Obs and Holland House), a Yellow-browed Warbler at the surgery, 2 Kestrels, 2 Ruff, the Black Redstart, 4 Willow Warblers and a Pied Flycatcher while the lochs held 73 Wigeon and 4 Pintail.
Lanceolated Warbler - shame it had lost its tail Simon Davies
Sand Martin hiding from the showers Simon Davies