The tough conditions continued on the 29th with a blazing NW wind and plenty of sharp showers sweeping through; landbirds were at a premium through the day with a Short-eared Owl seen in Loch Park after dark, 2 Kestrels and 2 Merlins still 10 Rock Pipits, 11 Wheatears, 4 Redwings and 5 Snow Buntings. Other birds included 4 Red-throated Divers, 2 Great-northern Divers, 3 Whooper Swans, 44 Pink-footed Geese, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Grey Plover and a single Black-tailed Godwit.
Slightly calmer conditions on the 30th but it was still a slog out in the field with birds across the island including single Kestrel, Merlin and Peregrine, 31 Skylarks, 18 Rock Pipits, the Black Redstart still, 18 Wheatears, one of the summering Fieldfares still, 3 Redwings, a pale looking north-western Redpoll, 3 Lapland Buntings and 3 Snow Buntings.
Other noteworthy totals included the Slavonian Grebe again, 6 Whooper Swans, 10 Pink-footed Geese, an increase to 188 Teal and 2 Pintail while wader numbers comprised 82 Ringed Plover, 573 Golden Plover, 225 Snipe, 27 Bar-tailed Godwits, 68 Curlew, 100 Redshank and 206 Turnstone.
Merlin Simon Davies