Another pleasant, bright day with light winds on the 2nd with a good selection of migrants (just not passerines!); an influx of duck was perhaps most noteworthy as counts included 68 Wigeon, 82 Teal, 39 Mallard and a Pintail all being harried by a good spread of raptors which comprised the second Common Buzzard of the year around Holland and Trebb, 2 Hen Harriers, 3 Kestrels, a Merlin and a Short-eared Owl. Other little bits included 4 Great-northern Divers, 6 Sooty Shearwaters, 6 Puffins and 5 Risso’s Dolphins offshore, 5 Herons, 44 Knot, 5 Black-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel, 60 Redshank and 4 Willow Warblers – the only landbird migrants of note.
A similar day on the 3rd with a light westerly breeze but a trickle of migrants made it onto the day’s log which included 3 Barred Warblers (two trapped at Holland and another at Veracott), the first Blackcap of the autumn, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warblers, 6 Sedge Warblers, 6 Willow Warblers, a Song Thrush and a Black Redstart. The day’s other highlight was the re-appearance of the Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Brides Loch in the afternoon.
Other birds through the day included a Hen Harrier, 5 Kestrels, a Merlin, a Ruff, 10 Black-tailed Godwits and 2 Sandwich Terns in Nouster (an adult and a juvenile) while 6 Risso’s Dolphins and a Minke Whale were off the top end.
An awesome day on the 4th with bright sunshine and hardly a breath of wind first thing developing into a welcome light easterly; a selection of migrants included the first Common Rosefinch of the autumn at Gravity, an Icterine Warbler at Antabreck, 2 Barred Warblers (Obs and Holland), the first Redstart of the autumn at Westness, 6 Willow Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Herons, the first Sparrowhawk of the autumn, 4 Kestrels and a Hen Harrier.
The Buff-breasted Sandpiper was still at Brides while other waders included a Grey Plover and 13 Black-tailed Godwits.
Buff-breasted Sandpiper Simon Davies
Knot Simon Davies