Back to the horrible, energy sapping, strong SW winds on the 4th that have plagued the autumn so far; the main feature of the day was some good wildfowl movement highlighted by 4 Pale-bellied Brent Geese lingering off The Links (new for the year) along with 5 Whooper Swans, 76 Barnacle Geese south, 213 Wigeon, 176 Teal, 17 Shoveler, a Long-tailed Duck, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers and the Slavonian Grebe still. Other watery birds included a Grey Plover, 2 Jack Snipe, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Arctic Skuas lingering in Nouster and 2 Bonxies.
Birds across the land comprised single Hen Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Merlin and Kestrel, 2 Peregrine, 3 Short-eared Owls, 6 Swallows, 236 Meadow Pipits, 16 Rock Pipits, a slight increase to 47 Wheatears, the 2 summering Fieldfares, a Song Thrush, 32 Redwing, a Willow Warbler, 16 Twite, 2 Common Redpoll, a Lapland Bunting and 9 Snow Buntings.
Still windy on the 5th but with plenty of sunshine so it wasn’t too bad out in the field; some increased counts on the land included 96+ Redwing and 197+ Skylarks with some good passage noted along with 2 Kestrels, 2 Merlin, 2 Peregrine, a Short-eared Owl, 7 Swallows, 233 Meadow Pipits, 17 Rock Pipits, 21 Wheatears, a Willow Warbler, 2 Common Redpoll, a Lapland Bunting and 2 Snow Buntings.
Other birds across the island included 12 Red-throated Divers, 8 Great-northern Divers, the Slavonian Grebe, 6 Herons, 27 Barnacle Geese south, the Long-tailed Duck, 5 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Grey Plover, 730 Golden Plover, 2 Jack Snipe, 4 Arctic Skuas offshore and a little, late passage of 21 Black-headed Gulls.
A wondrous, oasis of calm on the 6th with hardly a breath of wind at times and plenty of warm sunshine had everyone chomping at the bit to be out and about with popular phrases like ‘slack weather’, ‘filter down from Shetland’ and ‘today’s the day’ bandied around indiscriminately through the build-up! The birds had other ideas though as it was a bit of a disappointment really with a Common Rosefinch caught at Holland at dusk the highlight of the day; other birds across the land included a Hen Harrier, a Sparrowhawk out south, 3 Kestrels, a Peregrine, a Short-eared Owl, 3 Swallows, 13 Wheatears, a proper, honest-to-goodness migrant Fieldfare, a Song Thrush, 40 Redwings, a Willow Warbler, a Lapland Bunting and 6 Snow Buntings.
Other birds included 400 Gannets, 11 Sooty Shearwaters and a Manx Shearwater offshore, 6 Herons, 10 Whooper Swans on Ancum (including the first four juveniles of the autumn), 8 Barnacle Geese, 7 Red-breasted Mergansers, a Jack Snipe and a late Arctic Tern floating around Nouster.
Wheatear, Redwing and Raven