Sunday, 10 November 2019
Another lovely day, very calm with sunny spells but pretty chilly as befits the time of year; most species enjoyed a slight increase in numbers due both to slight coverage improvement and some new birds coming though; totals included 2 Merlin, a Grey Plover, 6 Skylark, 2 Waxwings – one at the Obs first thing and another single south down the island at lunchtime, 25 Robins, 23 Fieldfare, 7 Song Thrush, 98 Redwing, a Chiffchaff, 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs still, a Brambling, 3 Siskin, 68 Twite, a good 53 Snow Buntings and 5 Reed Buntings.
Thursday, 7 November 2019
A very different day with a very cold, brisk NNE wind cutting right through you and some nasty little hail / rain showers early in the morning; the Siberian Rubythroat was seen briefly at Antabreck again early in the morning but unfortunately couldn’t be relocated afterwards for a visiting birder on the lunchtime plane and wasn’t seen again. Other birds through the day included 10 Pink-footed Geese, single Merlin and Peregrine, a Grey Plover, a Jack Snipe, 11 Robins, 6 Song Thrush, 50 Redwing, 4 Fieldfare, a single remaining Siberian Chiffchaff, 60 Twite and 2 Snow Buntings.
Twite (and a Sparrow!)
A lovely day, almost flat calm with varying cloud cover, great to be out in the field; the undoubted highlight of the day (and autumn) was a wonderful female SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT found in the garden at Purtabreck by Pete Donnelly as he had a cup-of-tea and gazed out of the window, it had disappeared by the time everyone else rocked up but within the hour it had been re-found next door at Antabreck and showed well to everyone – the [some might say overdue] first for the island! Other birds through the day included the adult Black-throated Diver in Nouster again, the drake Green-winged Teal still, a Hen Harrier, a huge female Peregrine, single Grey Plover and Woodcock, a bit of a late influx of 17+ Meadow Pipits, 18 Robins, 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs – one at Ancum Willows and a new one in Funny Park, 2 Brambling, 74 Twite, a Common Redpoll and 8 Snow Buntings.
Siberian Rubythroat Simon Davies
Wednesday, 6 November 2019
Not a bad day with moderate and decreasing NNE winds, remaining dry; most of yesterday’s Blackbirds and other Thrushes had departed overnight leaving a quieter day in the field but birds seen did include 4 Hen Harriers, 4 Grey Plover, 4 Woodcock, 6 Skylark, 10 Meadow Pipits, 21 Robins, 38 Fieldfare, 13 Song Thrush, 167 Redwing, a Blackcap, 4 Siberian Chiffchaffs still (including a new bird at Howar), 3 Brambling, a Common Redpoll and 26 Snow Buntings.
Monday, 4 November 2019
A slight improvement again with lighter NNE winds, remaining dry and some obvious new arrivals across the island; totals comprised 8 Herons, single Whooper Swan and Pink-footed Goose, the Green-winged Teal still, at least 4 Hen Harriers, 6 Woodcock, 7 Skylark, at least 4 Waxwings around the Obs including one seen heading south out to sea, 10 Robins, 119 Blackbirds (an obvious arrival in the south of the island, mainly comprising adult birds, 54 Fieldfare, 9 Song Thrush, 210 Redwing, 2 Blackcaps, 3 Siberian Chiffchaffs – two at Scotsha and one in Ancum Willows, 3 Brambling, 2 Siskins and a Common Redpoll.
Still moderately breezy with the wind again in the NE but infinitely better than yesterday, remaining dry and birdable; the days birds included 2 Black-throated Divers in Nouster – an adult and a first-year (the first ones since May), a single adult Whooper Swan, the Green-winged Teal still, 4 Hen Harriers, 2 Merlin, a Woodcock, a Black-tailed Godwit, 390+ Herring Gulls, 2 Waxwings south over the airfield, 7 Robins, 80 Blackbird, 40 Fieldfare, 9 Song Thrush, 147 Redwing, 6 Brambling and 2 Snow Buntings.
Sunday, 3 November 2019
A shocker of a day with a blazing easterly wind and almost constant, stinging rain making any forays out into the field a bit of a mission but after the disappointing rugby, a couple of brave souls headed out to count the new arrivals; birds included 2 Whooper Swans, a Hen Harrier, a Woodcock, a huge build-up of storm-driven Gulls including 730+ Herrings and 545+ Great Black-backs, 2 Waxwings around the Obs, 14 Robins, 88 Blackbirds, an increased 285+ Fieldfares (highest count of the autumn), 20 Song Thrush, 215 Redwing, a Blackcap, 4 Brambling and 7 Snow Buntings.
Saturday, 2 November 2019
Moderately breezy throughout wind the wind finally working its way round into the east with the odd spot of rain thrown in, maybe to give us a last few new birds over the coming week; an almost certain Coue’s Arctic Redpoll was briefly near the Obs with three Common Redpolls in the morning before flying off towards Nouster. Other birds included the Green-winged Teal, 3 Hen Harriers, a Merlin, 2 Peregrines, 2 Jack Snipe, 7 Woodcock, 21 Robins, the Ring Ouzel still at Holland, 12 Fieldfare, 22 Song Thrush, 141 Redwing, the Mistle Thrush still around Funny Park, a Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Siberian Chiffchaffs – two at the north end and one in Ancum Willows, a Brambling, 18 Linnets, 5 Siskin, 43 Twite and a Snow Bunting.
Friday, 1 November 2019
Calm again first thing but the southerly wind steadily picked up through the day becoming breezy by the evening and maybe moving into the east a little bit; some increased coverage produced some increased numbers with hints of a few new bits still on the move, perhaps indicating the autumn is not quite over yet! Birds seen through the day included 10 Red-throated Divers, 6 Great-northern Divers, a bit of movement over the sea with a Sooty Shearwater, 4 Common Scoter, a juvenile Pomarine Skua, 5 Little Auks and 3 Puffins, 8 Herons, 312 Wigeon, 8 Pintail, 112 Teal, a massive influx of 104 Tufted Ducks – the second highest island count, probably involving a roaming flock from Sanday rather than actual migrants, 31 Long-tailed Ducks (highest count of the autumn), 3 Hen Harriers, 4 Merlin, 3 Woodcock, 28 Rock Pipits, 14 Robins, the Holland Ring Ouzel still, 8 Song Thrush, 145 Redwing, a Mistle Thrush, 3 Siberian Chiffchaffs (new birds, caught in Holland), 3 Brambling, 66 Siskin and 7 Snow Buntings.
Another nice and calm day, overcast and dry but with few new arrivals; totals comprised 6 Red-throated Divers, 3 Herons, single Whooper Swan and Pink-footed Goose, the Green-winged Teal still, a Hen Harrier, 2 Merlin, a Peregrine, 2 Woodcock, 2 Short-eared Owls, 10 Robins, a Ring Ouzel still at Holland, 5 Song Thrush, 66 Redwing, 2 Blackcap, a Chiffchaff, 3 Siberian Chiffchaffs, 2 Brambling, 2 Greenfinches, 11 Siskin, 65 Twite, a Common Redpoll and a Snow Bunting.
Tuesday, 29 October 2019
A gorgeous day, bright and sunny with a feather-light NNE wind, a joy to be wandering around in the field after struggling so long in the strong winds; after the strong winds there was always going to be a movement over the sea and so it proved as totals included 17 Red-throated Divers, 9 Great-northern Divers, 10 Sooty Shearwaters, 11 Manx Shearwaters, 24 Long-tailed Duck, 2 Goldeneye, 8 Red-breasted Mergansers, a juvenile Pomarine Skua, a good 61 Little Auks and 18 Puffins. There was a nice selection across the land as well without being amazing with birds of note comprising 4 Herons, the Green-winged Teal still, 3 Hen Harriers, 2 Merlin, a Woodcock, a Short-eared Owl, 23 Robins, 9 Fieldfare, 10 Song Thrush, 116 Redwing, a Mistle Thrush, a Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff, a bit of an arrival 6 Siberian Chiffchaffs, a Goldcrest, 3 Brambling, a Siskin, 36 Twite, 9 Common Redpoll and a Snow Bunting.
Lighter winds than yesterday, brighter as well, not bad all-in-all; birds seen through the day included 3 Herons, 4 Whooper Swans, 279 Wigeon, the Green-winged Teal still, 17 Shoveler, 9 Long-tailed Ducks, 12 Red-breasted Mergansers, 3 Hen Harriers, 3 Merlin, a Grey Plover, 72 Purple Sandpipers, a Jack Snipe, 21 Robins, a Ring Ouzel at Holland, 10 Song Thrush, 221 Redwing, a Mistle Thrush, 2 Blackcap, a Chiffchaff, 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs – Obs and Scotsha, the first Rook of the autumn by Scottigar, 11 Brambling, 18 Siskin, 72 Twite, 16 Common Redpolls, the male Hawfinch again round the Obs and 2 Snow Buntings.
Windy again from the north bringing a succession of nasty showers sweeping through; there were some good highlights on offer though with an adult White-billed Diver past the seawatch hide, a 1cy Glaucous Gull also at the top end, a very late Swallow seen belting south ahead of a squall and a Siberian Chiffchaff in Bewan garden. Other bits included a single Whooper Swan, 3 Hen Harriers, single Merlin and Peregrine, 203 Redwings, 2 Common Redpolls and 13 Snow Buntings.
Sunday, 27 October 2019
A nicer day, bright with much lighter winds but after the annual Harvest Home dinner and dance, observations were again limited (excuses, excuses!); a Red-breasted Flycatcher at Lurand was a bit of a surprise, not sure where that came from while other birds included a Merlin, 16 Robins, 10 Song Thrush, 225 Redwing, 20 Brambling, 4 Siskin, 100 Linnets, 40 Twite, 5 Common Redpolls, the male Hawfinch still around the Obs and 3 Snow Buntings.
Largely dry but a blazing, gale force southerly wind was pretty restricting and observations were limited but birds seen did include 4 Whooper Swans, 11 Long-tailed Ducks, 17 Red-breasted Mergansers, single Grey Plover, Knot, Jack Snipe and Black-tailed Godwit, a late Arctic Skua chasing Common Gulls off The Links, 145 Redwing, 3 Siskins, a Common Redpoll and 3 Snow Buntings.