quiet few days with again a complete mix of weathers, especially on the 28th
with a nice, calm, sunny start reverting into a chilly, foggy, damp middle of
the day before going back to a lovely, sunny evening.Birds of note included a Great-northern
Diver, 2 Herons, the Whooper Swan and 2 Barnacle Geese, a fresh, flying
juvenile Garganey on Hooking – for the second year in
a row, confirming successful breeding, up to 38 Golden Plover and 5
Black-tailed Godwits, the 2 Little Terns still, 2 over-summering Chiffchaffs, a
new Willow Warbler at the Obs and a Lesser Redpoll(with a brood patch) trapped
at Ancum Willows – only the second of the year.Also to mention was the island’s first Poplar Hawkmothtrapped overnight on the 28th – its been a resident
on the Mainland and southern isles for several years now but this is the first
record for the outer isles.
Again, mixed weather but the general airflow was a chilly
NW with the odd shower but also a few sunny spells allowing us to get out and
do some breeding bird monitoring; it was predictably quiet for migrants
although more and more returning waders are starting to appear now and included
an influx of 77 Golden Plover along with increased totals of 105 Lapwing and 60
Redshank in their traditional late-summer fields around Hooking.Other birds included a Red-throated Diver, 2
Great-northern Divers, the two Barnacle Geese still, the first flock of
returning Wigeon with seven drakes at Hooking on the 26th, 5 Black-tailed
Godwits, two Red-necked Phalaropeswhich appeared on Gretchen on the 26th,
further increases in non-breeding Arctic Terns with 175 1st summer
birds counted on the 26th, the Turtle Dovewhich reappeared at Brides
on the 24th and 2 Chiffchaffs, a Robin and a Blackcap in Holland on
weather over these few days but some good extended spells of bright, warm
sunshine allowed us to get out and about into some tern colonies to get some
accurate counts of nests with massive variability in the success of different
sites within the island.The Gretchen
and Sangar colonies seem to be spiralling into failure (the Sangar colony was
the most successful last year) – a spell of bad weather hit right when they
were hatching but the Foghorn, North Links and Gue Park colonies, perhaps
slightly behind, are doing well and maybe attracting some second attempts,
adding to the protection of the colony.
Migrants of note included a Great-northern Diver, a Heron, the Whooper
Swan still, two new Barnacle Geese at the north end, c50 Knot still around
Trolla / Bewan, up to 9 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Whimbrel, non / post-breeding flocks
of Arctic Terns and Kittiwakes starting to build-up on the rocks at Bewan which
included an adult Common Ternon the 22nd –
the first of the year, up to 3 Woodpigeons and 2 Collared Doves at Holland and
a Common Redpoll at the Obs on the 23rd.
That moment when you are admiring the super cute and fluffy baby Bonxie....and it suddenly vomits up a whole Arctic Tern chick - priceless!
Many Tern chicks are doing well though...but this one may have been fed a slightly too large fish!
cloudy, breezy and showery through the day complicating efforts in breeding
bird monitoring; there were actually a few new migrants scattered around the
island highlighted by a tired looking Turtle Dove, sheltering
under a dyke on the coast at Brides – the first one since 2016.Other birds included a Great-northern Diver,
3 Herons (including two new juveniles from somewhere), the Whooper Swan, 3
Common Scoter past the Lighthouse, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 75 Lapwings
(post-breeding flocks starting to build-up), 2 Black-tailed Godwits, a Cuckoo
by Parkhouse – only the second of the year, 3 House Martins and a Spotted
A nice, bright day with plenty
of sunshine and a variable but light breeze dropping off to virtually nothing
by the evening; the day’s bird highlights were 2 Quail,
one flushed from underneath the bar window at the Obs and another which
randomly flew along the beach at Brides as we had just finished tracking down
the Great Black-backed Gull chicks around the loch – we were getting worried
that we wouldn’t get it on our year list!
Other birds included the Whooper Swan still, the
Corncrake still, a Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Whimbrel, a Woodpigeon, 2 Collared
Doves, 2 singing Lesser Whitethroats – at Ancum Willows and Sangar and a Common
Redpoll at Holland.
Eider families are a constant sight round the coast now
The odd little shower in the morning and a brisk
southerly wind but largely it was a pleasant day with some bright sunshine in
the afternoon; bits and pieces through the day included single Great-northern
and Red-throated Divers, the Heron, a Sparrowhawk south over the Obs (scarce in
June!), a singing Corncrake still, 32 Golden Plover (the first little influx of
returning birds), 3 Sandwich Terns milling around Hooking but not showing any
signs of breeding activity, a Little Tern in Nouster still, a Collared Dove and
a House Martin.
showery morning followed by a nice sunny afternoon with a light SW breeze; the
North Ronaldsay Island Conference took up a large part of the day but as always
there was time enough to get out in the field with the recent spell of
south-easterlies resulting in a handful of new migrants.Birds of note included 2 Great-northern
Divers, an influx of 21 Black-tailed Godwits, the 2 Little Terns still in
Nouster, 2 Woodpigeons, 2 Collared Doves, a House Martin and 2 Spotted
Flycatchers (at Holland and Upper Linney).The Butterfly influx continued as well with minimum counts comprising 40
Red Admirals and 75 Painted Ladies.
A day of mixed weather, starting off bright and sunny
with a light easterly breeze, followed by a band of light drizzle before
reverting back to bright and sunny with the wind switching into the SW with yet
another band of rain early evening but settling down into another picture
postcard evening.As befits the time of year our focus is on the
breeding birds but events 49 Km to the NE prove anything is possible....try
as we might though we couldn’t produce many migrants!
of note did include the Heron, a female Garganey on Garso, a returning flock of
13 Black-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel, a Collared Dove and the first 2 Swifts of
the ‘autumn’ (and only our second record of the year).A further influx of 60+ Painted Ladies and
25+ Red Admirals with a steady southbound movement was the best migration
spectacle on offer.
A quiet few days for migrants but not for weather as we
were treated to the full range of conditions but unfortunately for the breeding
birds, a cold easterly bringing long spells of rain dominated the island – many
broods of Swallows have unfortunately failed in the unfavourable conditions and
several dead chicks of other species have been found, seemingly just victims of
the bad weather.
of note did include the Heron, Whooper Swan and Barnacle Goose lingering, a
Manx Shearwater on the 13th, a few odd returning Golden Plovers dotted
around, a Black-tailed Godwit on Ancum and 3 Chiffchaffs and 2 Blackcaps on the
15th.We did though finally
get involved in the Painted Lady influx that has been occurring through the
country with 50+ seen on the 14th along with a few Red Admirals and
buckets of Diamond Back Moths.
These Wrens which nested in the Gretchen hide were sheltered from the worst of the weather
A strong, cold northerly wind dominated the day but it
did remain largely dry throughout; a female Red-backed Shrikewas the days highlight
popping up in a Heligoland trap during the afternoon and was hopefully the
forerunner of some more late migrants over the following week!Other bits included the Whooper Swan, 49
Knot, 20 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Woodpigeon.
but overcast through the day with a brisk and increasing NW moving into the N
wind; bird highlights included a Great-northern Diver, 9 Manx Shearwaters and
406 Puffins past the Lighthouse in an hour first thing, a Heron, a Corncrake which gave a brief snatch of song at Brides
(possibly a new bird) and 18 Knot.Also
of note were our first three Painted Ladies of the year.
This White Ermine was the only moth in the trap this morning and I can't find any previous records for the island!
so so kind of day with a light NW breeze and plenty of cloud but it remained
dry; not much to mention with it feeling more and more like spring is now over
and we’ve moved straight into late summer with nothing in between as gangs of
young Starlings are roving across the island and non / failed breeding Lapwings
and Curlews are starting to form bigger and bigger flocks.Birds of note included the Whooper Swan and
Barnacle Goose, a Heron and a Black-tailed Godwit while the moth trap produced
its first double figure total – 12 Flame Shoulders, 4 Silver Ground Carpets and
an Angle Shades.
A decent day with a moderate W / NW breeze but almost
complete cloud cover; 5 Common Scoter and 28 Manx Shearwaters(the first double figure
count of the year) passed the seawatch hide first thing.Other birds included the Whooper Swan, 2 Little Ternsback in Nouster – last seen on 26th May, a
Woodpigeon and a Lesser Whitethroat.
A dry day but with a chilly, brisk NW breeze and plenty
of cloud, especially in the afternoon; few new arrivals were noted through the
day but birds did include 2 Great-northern Divers, a Heron, the Whooper Swan
and Barnacle Goose together on Garso (not a typical June sight!), the drake
Garganey again, a Black-tailed Godwit, 33 Bar-tailed Godwits, 5 Whimbrel and a
Greenshank around Bewan (maybe returning birds already!), a Woodpigeon, 2
Collared Doves, a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff.
Still decent flocks of non-breeding waders present
After a cloudy start, it soon brightened up into a
wonderful, sunny, warm day and another glorious, picturesque evening; pretty
much all of yesterday’s migrants had unsurprisingly moved on in the fine
conditions but a great highlight came late on, as a Marsh Warblerwas found at the
Lighthouse Punds just before dinner and as photos showed that it was ringed, we
went up and caught it to reveal a Swedish ring!As far as we can tell the first Swedish
Marsh Warbler recovered in the UK!
much else to mention although other birds included a Great-northern Diver, a /
the Barnacle Goose on Hooking, a Greenshank which dropped briefly onto Brides,
2 Purple Sandpipers still, a Short-eared Owl at Ancum, single Blackcap and
Chiffchaff and proof of Water Rail breeding with a nest containing eggs found
An overcast start developed into a persistent spell of
rain lasting from mid-morning through until mid-afternoon (plus a few shorter
spells afterwards as well!) with a light NE breeze; there was a nice arrival of
a few late migrants as the rain eased off in the afternoon comprising 2 Red-backed Shrikes near the Obs – a male and a female, 3
Spotted Flycatchers, a Pied Flycatcher and a Lesser Whitethroat while an adult Common Cranewandering around The Links late afternoon was also very welcome.
few other bits through the day included the Whooper Swan, a Golden Plover (the
first one of the month), a Black-tailed Godwit, more and more 1st
summer Arctic Terns turning up with 34 seen today, a pod of 5 Risso’s Dolphinsseen off the Lighthouse and a couple of Harbour Porpoise off The
Lurn – first ones for several months.
Common Crane Simon Davies
I think this Starling was regretting leaving the nest today!
Damp and overcast through the morning with occasional spells of light rain but it brightened up in the afternoon to produce a decent day despite the northerly breeze; birds of note through the day comprised 2 Manx Shearwaters off the Lighthouse, the Whooper Swan still, a drake Garganey on Garso, a Red-breasted Merganser, a female Common Scoter on the sea off Sandback (only the second record of the year), 15 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Collared Dove and 2 Chiffchaffs.
Breezy through the morning with the strong SW wind easing
off though the day to produce a lovely calm, sunny afternoon and a glorious,
picture postcard evening; the pick of the day’s few migrants was yet another
first year White-tailed Eaglewhich flew high south straight down the island
late morning – amazingly, our fifth record this year with this latest one
becoming the first June record for the island in the Observatory era.
bits included a Heron, a Red-breasted Merganser, the Corncrake still forlornly
advertising himself, 2 Whimbrel, a Collared Dove, single Garden Warbler,
Chiffchaff and Spotted Flycatcher and a super bright male Common Redpoll
briefly at the Obs.
After a bit of rain overnight, it was bright and dry
through the day with an increasing southerly wind; the highlight was a lovely
but very flighty and mobile adult ROSE-COLOURED STARLING which was zooming around
between the Lighthouse and Scottigar, never settling for more than a few
bits through the day comprised a Sparrowhawk, 70+ Knot (presumably a non-breeding
flock, settling in to over-summer as most of them are grey individuals), a Little Stintstill at Westness, an increase to 15+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 2
Sandwich Terns, a Blackcap, a Chiffchaff and 2 Spotted Flycatchers.
The wind went back into the east for a time bringing low
cloud and drizzle (turning into proper rain on occasion) which dominated much
of the day, it cleared in the afternoon with the wind picking up before
dropping off to almost nothing late evening; the all-over-the-place weather
through the day did produce some good new birds though with a Black Ternpresent on Ancum for a matter of minutes the highlight along with a Spotted Crakewhich gave a few snatches of song early evening, 2 Little Stintsat Westness and a Curlew Sandpiperat Bewan.
totals included a late Pink-footed Goose on Ancum, the Corncrake
still croaking away, 3 Whimbrel, a Collared Dove, 4 House Martins, a Robin,
single Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler and 2 Spotted Flycatchers.
A damp and mizzly start to the day but it brightened up
through the morning to leave a bright middle section of the day with a light
westerly breeze before rain moved in again early evening.Not too much to mention Birdwise through the
day as totals included a Manx Shearwater past Nouster, 19 Knot, 182 Sanderling,
2 Whimbrel, 7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 2 Collared Doves, a House Martin, a
Garden Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff and a Tree Sparrow.
These Shelducklings were temporarily separated from their parents but all ended well!
A glorious start to the day, a light easterly and clear
skies, it didn’t last long though as the wind increased, the cloud built-up and
rain moved in by late morning and remained throughout the rest of the day – a shocker
of an afternoon!The birds of note were
all squeezed in before the weather turned with a drake Garganey on Ancum, 2
Red-breasted Mergansers, a late Long-eared Owlin Ancum Willows, 2
Collared Doves, a Robin, a Blackcap, a Chiffchaff and 2 Common Redpolls at
Soon be plenty of these out and about - photo taken in the sun yesterday!