Monday, 7 January 2019

December 27th - January 3rd

A return to the island for Hogmanay meant we had observers on the island for a short period at the back end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019.
On return to the island there wasn't too much to shout about, various groups of Snow Buntings were scattered about totaling 110 birds and a trip to Westness produced a 3rd Winter Glaucous Gull on the 28th. A small group of Pink-footed Geese were present behind Lurand into the new year. A lack of Gulls was a little concerning until a big group was present on the 31st and included 3 Iceland Gulls and 2 Glaucous Gulls, a welcome surprise!
With not a lot else about until 2019 we'll skip forward until then!

New years day brought about a series of sore heads and a whole host year ticks, unsurprising on both fronts really!
A return of the drake Smew on Hooking was a very welcome addition to everyone's year list as were a group of 5 Ruff, highly unseasonal but much appreciated! Other notable additions between the 1st and 3rd included a Kestrel, 2 Hen Harriers, a Grey Plover at Howar and a Shelduck at Westness. Away from birding we put in some effort to try and catch some Snow Buntings at Bewan, it proved a success over the course of 2 days and we managed to catch 21 birds, the island year record is 32 so we're doing alright already!
Kittiwake                                                                         George Gay

Goldeneye                                                                 George Gay