Tuesday, 31 December 2019

31st December

Thankfully the wind and rain seem to have abated a little bit and birding the island today was far more pleasant than the previous couple of days.
There isn't great deal different in what was around but a few notable highlights certainly gave us reason to keep going!
Probably the most exciting but a lone Shelduck on Gretchen was the first of few decent birds, Decemeber Shelducks aren't a regular occurance on North Ronaldsay so this was quite a welcome start to the day.
Bewan was our main source of birding action for the day a Mute Swan that certainly wasn't around yesterday was joined by a bathing adult Glaucous Gull. We don't see many adult white wingers so again a more than welcome sight.
Other day totals include: 1 Pink-footed Goose still at Vincoin, 34 Purple Sandpipers, 4 Grey Heron at Westness, 21 Fieldfare the bulk of which were in the fields surrounding Kirbest, 33 Redwing, 4 Robins, 14 Snow Bunting and 2 Reed Buntings.
See you all in 2020!


Glaucous Gull

Shelduck

Monday, 30 December 2019

29th - 30th December

Some bonus end of the decade coverage for you!
Strong South-Westerlies and intermittent showers made birding slightly ardous, but despite this there's still a smattering of left over migrants from the Autumn.
Lingering pockets of Redwing totalling up to 19 birds were joined by 2 Fieldfare at Southness.
A solitary Pink-footed Goose was still opposite Vincoin with Greylags and up to 3 Robins have been hanging around the observatory and Lurand as have flock of around 40 Twite.
3 Hen Harriers seem to have set up thier winter terrortories on the island and the 29th saw 2 Woodcock flushed from Holland in a very brief look before dark. Finally a flock of around 20 Snow Bunting were feeding around Sandar.
Otherwise things are pretty quite up here as we head into 2020, but you never know what might turn up!

Pink-footed Goose                                                                 George Gay

Sunday, 15 December 2019

15th December

A much better day with lighter, southerly based winds and some good spells of sunshine; a fine selection of wintering birds were found across the island during the day which included 9 Herons, 273 Wigeon, 169 Teal, the Green-winged Teal still, 3 Hen Harriers, single Merlin and Peregrine again, a lone Knot on the rocks off Torness, 161 Purple Sandpipers, a Woodcock in Holland, 12 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Black-headed Gull (scarce in the winter), 8 Skylarks, 17 Rock Pipits, 3 Robins, 3 Fieldfare, 3 Song Thrush, 60 Redwing, 75 Twite remaining in the Obs sacrificial crop and 25 Snow Buntings.

Saturday, 14 December 2019

14th December

A little bit of bonus winter coverage for you!   Breezy with frequent showers but there were some decent spells to get out in the field; the birds seen were generally a continuation of the last blog entry and included 2 Herons, a single Pink-footed Goose with 420 Greylag Geese, 143 Wigeon, 8 Gadwall, 127 Teal, the drake Green-winged Teal still on Gretchen, 88 Mallard, 11 Shoveler, 35 Long-tailed Duck, 3 Goldeneye, 3 Hen Harriers, single Merlin and Peregrine, 95 Redshank, 191 Turnstone, 2 Skylarks, a Meadow Pipit, 3 Fieldfare, a Song Thrush, 65 Redwing and 13 Twite.

Goldeneye