Friday, 21 September 2018

18th - 20th September

Breezy through the day on the 18th but a pleasant day once the morning showers had passed through; a spread of Passerines were still present across the island, many of which were lingering birds but there was the odd thing sneaking in which included 6 Rock Pipits, a Robin, a Black Redstart, a Stonechat, 25 Wheatears, a Garden Warbler, a Blackcap, a Yellow-browed Warbler still at Holland, 3 Willow Warblers, 2 Bramblings and a Lapland Bunting.   Also of note were 20 Pink-footed Geese south, a Kestrel, 2 Ruff and 4 Black-tailed Godwits.

                Bright and breezy first thing on the 19th with Storm Ali hitting us at lunchtime bringing force 8-9 SW winds and driving rain, essentially ending the day halfway through; the days highlight came just as the first raindrops were arriving with a smart adult AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER in fields around the surgery / Waterhouse area although when most of us caught up with it, it was already looking a big bedraggled, hunkered down against the rapidly increasing wind and driving rain.

                A few other birds were found just as the weather was hitting the island and included the first 2 Grey Wagtails of the autumn, a Yellow-browed Warbler at Senness where there was also single Pied Flycatcher and Spotted Flycatcher and a Common Rosefinch at Holland.   Other birds across the land included the Black Redstart, the Obs Barred Warbler and a Lapland Bunting.

                Staring at the sea during the worst of the weather produced 15 Sooty Shearwaters, 3 Arctic Skuas and 18 Bonxies while wildfowl and wader totals included 8 Pink-footed Geese, 204 Wigeon, 114 Teal, 28 Mallard, 68 Ringed Plover, 692 Golden Plover, 60 Dunlin, 51 Sanderling, 193 Snipe, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 88 Redshank and 132 Turnstone while 2 late Arctic Terns were at Bewan.

                Still extremely windy first thing on the 20th but the winds slightly eased and the day brightened up in the afternoon, the American Golden Plover was seen again the in morning but not subsequently while there was a nice spread of landbirds which popped back out as the weather improved which comprised 2 Kestrels, a Merlin, a Short-eared Owl, a Sand Martin, 7 Rock Pipits, the Black Redstart, a Redwing, 2 Barred Warblers (Obs and Holland), a Blackcap, a Siskin, the Common Rosefinch at Holland, the first Snow Bunting of the autumn at Gretchen and a Lapland Bunting.

                Other birds included 4 Whooper Swans, 16 Pink-footed Geese, 2 Jack Snipe, 8 Black-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel and a little influx of 8 Black-headed Gulls.

American Golden Plover                        Simon Davies

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