Tuesday, 30 September 2008

30th September

The 3rd first for North Ronaldsay in less than two weeks appeared today in the form of a first winter SPOTTED SANDPIPER in Kirbest Mire. Presumably present since the 28th, as an Actitis sandpiper thought likely to have been this species was briefly seen on Gretchen Loch. Elsewhere the few remaining passerines were a blackcap at the Surgery, willow warbler at Breck, 2 Robin, a goldcrest and a chiffchaff were in Holland and 3 snow bunting and a lapland bunting were seen. 2 grey plover were at Bridesness, 74 knot were at Nether Linnay and an arctic tern was seen form the North end.

Monday, 29 September 2008

29th September

Without doubt the quietest day of September, with regular heavy showers contributing to a poor day's birding. 5 red-throated diver were in Haskie Bay, 4 grey heron were still in Garso Wick and just 17 pink-footed geese were seen flying south. At the North end 2 little stint remain on Bewan and seawatching provided 290 fulmar and 17 sooty shearwater. A yellow-browed warbler was at Hooking, 5 chaffinch and 2 goldcrest in Holland and 2 chiffchaff were noted. Raptors present included 3 merlin and a hen harrier.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

28th September

The bluethroat is still at Westness and a new yellow-browed warbler is at Scottigar. A chiffchaff was by Gretchen hide, 2 blackcap and a goldcrest were in the gardens at Holland and a robin was at Purtabreck. A count of 39 blackbirds is the highest of the month and other thrushes included just singles of song thrush and redwing. A whooper swan and 76 pink-footed geese flew through and seawatching produced 22 sooty shearwater, 572 fulmar and 2 commic terns.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

27th September

2 pectoral sandpipers spent the day on Gretchen Loch, with a scaup dropping in there breifly late afternoon. 5 ruff were amongst the golden plover in Mid Park, the 2 little stints were still on Bewan Loch and a minimum of 2 hen harrier were seen. Strong winds made veiwing in Holland gardens difficult but the red-flanked bluetail appears to have moved on, as have most migrant passerines. Those that were seen included 17 wheatear, lesser whitethroat, 2 goldcrest, blackcap, song thrush , 2 common scoter flew past the seawatch hide and 511 pink-footed geese flew through.

Friday, 26 September 2008

26th September

Still quiet in terms of numbers but the RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL was still in the Sycamores at Holland, the bluethroat remained at Westness and 5 yellow-browed warblers were dotted around the island. Leftovers included the turtle dove and flava wagtail in the North and the curlew sandpiper was on Bewan Loch with 3 little stint. Also seen were 2 robin, 11 redwing, 5 song thrush, 2 blackcap, 2 goldcrest, 2 chiffchaff and singles of lesser whitethroat, tree pipit and garden warbler. The only new migrants today were a black redstart and 544 pink-footed geese flew south.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

25th September

Today's highlight was undoubtedly a 1st winter male RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL seen in Holland gardens early afternoon and trapped shortly afterwards, this represents the 1st record for Orkney. A pectoral sandpiper reported on Gretchen Loch yesterday was confirmed there today in the company of a curlew sandpiper, and other notable waders included a grey plover, a common sandpiper and 2 little stints. The bluethroat and flava wagtail were still at Westness, just 3 yellow-browed warblers remain but a common rosefinch at Nether Linnay was new. Other migrants were still in low numbers with 28 redwing, 5 song thrush, 19 wheatear, 4 blackcap, 3 goldcrest, 2 robin and singles of garden warbler, spotted flycatcher and pied flycatcher. Both the collared dove and turtle dove were seen again and 3 crossbill were at Holland late afternoon. Numbers of wildfowl on the island include 44 pink-footed geese, 59 greylag geese, 62 mallard, 156 teal, 2 tufted duck and 4 pintail.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

24th September

Yellow-browed warbler was todays commonest warbler with 15, others including 6 blackcap, 3 willow warbler, 2 chiffchaff, a lesser whitethroat, a reed warbler and the barred warbler was re-trapped at Holland. A bluethroat was at Westness and redwing are starting to appear in increasing numbers with 41 today. 2 pied flycatcher were trapped at Holland were 2 goldcrest, a robin and a song thrush were also seen and a turtle dove was at nearby Kirbest. In the North a flava wagtail was by Longar, a short-eared owl at Rue and a collared dove at Midhouse. Single great-northern and red-throated divers were in Nouster Bay, waders of interest included 16 black-tailed godwit and 2 grey plover and 3 peregrines were seen.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

23rd September

A disappointingly quiet day with a yellow-browed warbler and a passage of 297 pink-footed geese the most noteworthy sightings. Holland held the majority of migrants with 4 robin, a lesser whitethroat, 2 goldcrest and single chiffchaff and willow warbler. A reed warbler was seen at Bridesness as were 2 grey plover and 2 red-breasted merganser. A tree pipit was at Westness, singles of siskin, sand martin and snow bunting flew over and just 6 wheatear were logged.

22nd September

Despite continued searches through the day the cretzschmar's bunting appears to have moved on, as did the majority of common migrants. What was left over were 3 whinchat, 27 wheatear, 5 blackcap, 2 lesser whitethroat, 3 goldcrest, 2 white wagtail, a song thrush, a spotted flycatcher and a snow bunting. The hen harrier was seen again in the South, a yellow-browed warbler remained at Holland and 5 red-breasted merganser were seen in the North. A whimbrel was by the airstrip, just 4 little stints are present on Bewan Loch and other wader counts today were 28 bar-tailed godwit, 20 dunlin, 5 purple sandpiper, 92 knot and 410 golden plover.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

21st September

The male CRETZSCHMAR'S BUNTING was still at Sangar first thing feeding on grain along the track, later flying West and worryingly lost by North Manse late morning. Thankfully the bird was re-found in the afternoon nearer Ancum, before heading back to Sangar and again enjoyed by all. With the Observatory staff's efforts concentrating on the cretzschmar's bunting, island coverage was understandably limited. The 5 little stints are still on Bewan Loch, , at least 3 kestrel and the turtle dove remain on the island and other bits and pieces included 2 tree pipit, 5 redstart, 5 whinchat, 5 blackcap, 1 garden warbler, 1 spotted flycatcher, 4 willow warbler, 2 chiffchaff, 7 song thrush, a lesser whitethroat and a reed warbler. New arrivals today were singles of brambling and snow bunting, 5 redwing, a green sandpiper, sand martin, hen harrier, 4 goldcrest but most noteworthy was the appearance of 4 yellow-browed warblers arriving from mid afternoon.

20th September

The CRETZSCHMAR'S BUNTING was still at Sangar at first light, remaining in the general area throughout the day and eventually 'ticked' by all arriving by plane or boat. With most of the day spent sorting transport and tracking the bunting, there was very little coverage elsewhere on the island. The few birds that were noted included a juvenile red-backed shrike by the Observatory, 1 swift, 1 redstart, 3 song thrush, 2 spotted flycatcher and 1 pied flycatcher and 85 chaffinch. The first whooper swans of the Autumn flew south along the East coast followed by 34 pink-footed geese, a jack snipe was seen at Ancum Loch, 280 sanderling were roosting on the Links and 2 arctic terns are still hanging on in Nouster Bay.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

19th September

An adult CRETZSCHMAR'S BUNTING is at Sangar.

For Loganair flights from Kirkwall to North Ronaldsay phone 01856 873457, or for ferry services contact Orkney Ferries on 01856 872044 For North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory accomodation contact Alison on 01857 633200.

Other notable migrants today included the pectoral sandpiper on Bewan Loch, the turtle dove at Holland, common sandpiper at Twingness and an assortment of meally and Greenland redpolls

18th september

A male hawfinch was trapped at Holland in the morning and yesterdays juvenile pectoral sandpiper had settled on Bewan Loch with 7 little stints. An osprey spent the morning in the North and other birds of prey were a sparrowhawk, a merlin and a minimum of 4 kestrel. A common rosefinch at Holland was later by the Mill and an icterine warbler was nearby at the School. A new barred warbler appeared in the irises at Westness were a short-eared owl and a swift were also seen. The turtle dove was seen again in the North whilst a common sandpiper remained in the South. Common migrants still present included 34 willow warbler, 14 garden warbler, 13 blackcap, 3 whitethroat, 2 lesser whitethroat, 20 whinchat, 22 redstart, 2 tree pipit, 26 song thrush, 10 pied flycatcher, 6 spotted flycatcher, 19 robin and 4 goldcrest. 51 chaffinch were feeding in the stubble field at Nether Linnay and other finches were singles of crossbill, meally redpoll and siskin.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

17th Setember

At mid day a pectoral sandpiper was seen at Hooking, flying over to Bridesness but disappeared shortly afterwards. The barred warbler remained at the airfield and redstarts rose again to 41, with whinchat numbers also increasing slightly to 16. Wheatears were in abundance with a good count of 113, a flava wagtail was again in the North, a short-eared owl was flushed from Gretchen and a wood warbler was by the Mill. Elsewhere day totals were 28 song thrush, 16 robin, 50 willow warbler, 24 pied flycatcher, 12 spotted flycatcher, 13 garden warbler, 10 blackcap, 2 whitethroat, 2 lesser whitethroat, 5 goldcrest and singles of chiffchaff, reed warbler and sedge warbler.

16th September

A wryneck and an icterine warbler remained at Westness, with another of the latter at Gravity. A single flava wagtail was seen in the north, a grasshopper warbler by the lighthouse and a short-eared owl was seen coming in off the sea at Garso. Most migrant numbers showed little change with 31 redstart, 14 whinchat, 9 tree pipit, 14 spotted flycatcher and 12 pied flycatcher. A barred warbler on the airfield was new, and a chance to open the mist nets at Holland boosted warbler numbers somewhat with totals of 43 willow warbler, 31 blackcap, 14 garden warbler, 4 lesser whitethroat, 3 whitethroat, 5 reed warbler and single of chiffchaff and sedge warbler. The first 3 yellow-browed warblers of the autumn appeared in the afternoon with birds at Twinyas, Gretchen and Gravity. The common rosefinch was still at the Observatory, a house martin and a swift were seen over and other counts included 21 robin, 29 song thrush, 4 goldcrest and 2 siskin. The 2 little stints at the North end were joined by a 3rd, a greenshank was seen and a jack snipe was flushed from Brides Loch.

Monday, 15 September 2008

15th September

The icterine warbler remained at Westness and both common rosefinches were still present at Burray and the Observatory. Chaffinch numbers had risen to 115, mostly in the Nether Linnay area, but little change elsewhere and seemingly little in the way of new arrivals. 3 flava wagtails were still at the North of the island, the turtle dove was seen again at Westness and a lapland bunting was with house sparrows at Holland. Warblers today included 4 whitethroat, 6 lesser whitethroat, 3 reed warbler, 24 blackcap, 22 garden warbler and 37 willow warbler. 5 kestrel was definitely a conservative count, redstart remained in good numbers with 38, and other migrants tallied up at 16 robin, 28 whinchat, 28 song thrush, 13 spotted flycatcher and 18 pied flycatcher. 912 golden plover is the highest count this month, a fieldfare was at Kirbest and 2 common sandpiper were seen.

14th September

Slight decrease in numbers today but still excellent birding. Scarcities left over from yesterday were a wryneck at Nether Linnay, icterine warbler at Westness and common rosefinch by Burray, with a new common rosefinch by the caravan at the Observatory and a barred warbler at Nether Linnay was new. Redstart remained as the commonest notable migrant with 58, at least 2 flava wagtails were still present and a wood warbler was at Ancum. Other counts included 23 robin, 23 whinchat, 34 song thrush, 51 willow warbler, 21 pied flycatcher, 16 spotted flycatcher, 24 garden warbler, 8 blackcap, 9 tree pipit, 5 goldcrest, 4 lesser whitethroat, 2 whitethroat and 2 sedge warbler. The grasshopper warbler was still present at the Lighthouse, an extra reed warbler on yesterday took the total to 5 birds and a redwing was at Sandar. Finches are on the increase with 49 chaffinch and 16 siskin at Nether Linnay, a woodpigeon was seen in the south along with a sparrowhawk and minimum of 4 kestrel were seen. Just 1 little stint could be found at the North end and a common sandpiper was on the shore at Twingness.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

13th September

An outstanding day for common passerines today, but with only 4 observers covering just three fifths of the island the true totals must have been much greater. Finally a scattering of scarce birds appeared amongst the common with single wrynecks at Tor Ness and Westness, common rosefinch at Burray, an icterine warbler at Westness and wood warblers at Nether Linnay and Verracot. The most notable high count of the day was redstart with 69, but 17 tree pipit and 31 whinchat were both excellent counts by recent years standards. Other increased counts on recent days were 47 song thrush, 68 willow warbler, 37 garden warbler, 33 blackcap, 27 robin, 21 spotted flycatcher, 22 pied flycatcher and 4 goldcrest. 4 reed warbler was an excellent count of a usually uncommon migrant, and of similar island status 2 flava wagtails are well worth a mention, with one bird at least appearing to belong to the race thunbergi. Bulking up the day list are 4 lesser whitethroat, 5 whitethroat, 2 chiffchaff, and 2 shouts of locustella were both typically grasshopper warblers. The 2 juvenile little stints had moved to the North end, a sparrowhawk was seen over Westness and finches included 5 chaffinch and the first 4 siskin of the Autumn.

Friday, 12 September 2008

12th September

A fresh arrival of migrants today and the buff-breasted sandpiper was still on Tor Ness, with 2 juvenile little stint and a grey plover also there. A grasshopper warbler was unfortunately found injured along the roadside near Holland in the morning, and wheatear and whinchat numbers were evidently up on recent days with the final day total at 42 and 18 respectively. Single reed warblers were at Burray and Holland, the turtle dove was again seen by Brigg and a single whitethroat was by the Mill. Other common migrants were well represented with 33 willow warbler, 18 robin, 14 redstart, 17 garden warbler, 13 blackcap, 3 tree pipit, 16 spotted flycatcher and 5 pied flycatcher. A goldcrest was in Holland, a chaffinch was on the Banks and overhead were a single swift and a sand martin. 2 juvenile spotted redshank are now on Gretchen Loch, at least 8 ruff remain and in Linklet Bay were 2 sandwich terns and a second grey plover.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

11th September

A scattering of migrants were probably left-overs of yesterdays arrival but the highlight of the day was a juvenile buff-breasted sandpiper on Tor Ness for a short while in the afternoon before being spooked. A whimbrel and 2 common sandpiper at Twingness were new, as was the first redwing of the Autumn at Westness. Still hanging on were singles of pied flycatcher, goldcrest and blackcap, 11 willow warbler, 7 whinchat, 5 redstart, 3 spotted flycatcher and a song thrush. The only species to show an increase was garden warbler with a total of 6.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

10th September

A presumed citrine wagtail heard and seen flying towards the Links was unfortunately not relocated, but a good selection of migrants made for an enjoyable day. A new wryneck was at Sennes, the ringed common rosefinch was again at Holland and a turtle dove along the West side was only the second of the year. Notable passerine totals included 19 redstart, 14 pied flycatcher, 10 whinchat, 6 spotted flycatcher and 8 tree pipit. 18 robin were mostly in the North, single reed warblers were seen by the airstrip and at Ancum, whilst other counts were of 21 willow warbler, 2 goldcrest, 3 blackcap, 5 garden warbler and a song thrush was on the Lurn. Singles of hen harrier and peregrine were spotted and new waders comprised of a spotted redshank flying past Gretchen, a greenshank at Westness and a grey plover on the Links.

9th September

Just a handful of migrants today but still the odd scarcity present including a wryneck near Holland and a common rosefinch by the Kirk. Others were a redstart and a house martin at Lurand late afternoon, 2 pied flycatcher, 2 garden warbler, 2 goldcrest, 2 blackcap and 6 willow warbler. A fieldfare was seen near Kirbest and 2 each of grey heron and merlin toured the island. Seawatching proved slower than recent days with just a single sooty shearwater and 14 manx shearwater in just over an hours watch.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

8th September

Seawatching provided the bulk of interest today with a fair movement of birds including 1899 fulmar, 117 sooty shearwater and 75 manx shearwater past in 3 hours. Migrant passerines were surprisingly thin on the ground given the conditions, but did include a wryneck at Trebb, a barred warbler by Kaven and a common rosefinch trapped at Holland. Other bits were a blackcap at Holland and only 4 willow warbler. Elsewhere on the Island a peregrine was seen and pintail on Ancum Loch had increased to 25.

7th September

A small arrival of migrants today with totals of 23 willow warbler, 2 blackcap, 3 goldcrest, a garden warbler and a increased count of 343 meadow pipits. The wood warbler at the Observatory was still present and a 2nd bird was at Hooking. A single lapland bunting was seen just North of Holland and the barred warbler trapped on 3rd September was re-trapped at Holland. The PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER was by the Observatory in the afternoon, 4 ruff remained on Gretchen Loch and wildfowl on Ancum Loch included 350 wigeon and 10 pintail.
Notable counts from the sea included 1064 fulmar, 26 sooty shearwater and 9 manx shearwater.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

6th September

A few hours seawatching produced at least 1 sabines gull, 3 blue fulmar, 29 sooty shearwater and 5 manx shearwater. A rather dissapointing morning with just 3 willow warbler, a fieldfare and a garden warbler, but a spell of excitement late afternoon with a wood warbler, the first blackcap of the autumn at the Observatory and a common rosefinch in Gravity thistle patch. 3 more willow warbler and a garden warbler were also seen in the afternoon.

Friday, 5 September 2008

5th September

An hour seawatching produced 11 sooty shearwater, a storm petrel and 166 fulmar. A slight increase in wildfowl on Ancum with 29 pintail and 139 wigeon. A spotted flycatcher was at Kirbest and other migrant passerines included 2 garden warbler, 9 willow warbler and 2 goldcrest. 17 white wagtail were spread around the island and singles of kestrel and merlin were noted.

4th Septemebr

The PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER is still present in Cottie Park, and at Bridesness 2 water rail were flushed form the loch. Wader numbers on Gretchen Loch have been slowly decreasing with just 6 black-tailed godwit and a ruff present today. The rest of the island was equally quiet with singles of lesser whitethroat, goldcrest and willow warbler. 2 swift and a sand martin were seen overhead, 9 white wagtails were at Lindswick and raptors included a merlin, peregrine and kestrel. 7 manx shearwater and 40 sooty shearwater were seen at sea.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

3rd September

2 barred warbler were new in, with one trapped at Holland and another at Seness, and the marsh warbler was still in the iris bed at Westness. A pied flycatcher was at Westness and a lapland bunting flew over the airfield. Other common migrants included 2 tree pipit, 3 goldcrest, 5 willow warbler and 3 garden warbler. The PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER was still amongst golden plover and 15 purple sandpiper were by the pier. 94 dunlin were spread about the island, 3 red-throated diver were in Nouster Bay and on Gretchen Loch was a greenshank and 5 ruff

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

2nd September

Gretchen Loch still hosted 17 black-tailed godwit and 8 ruff, with greenshank and spotted redshank new in. The PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER is still present with 393 golden plover, the grey plover was still on Nouster Bay and increased wader counts included 145 ringed plover and 220 sanderling. There appeared to be little change in migrant passerines with 2 pied flycatcher, 3 whinchat, a robin and 9 swift still. 3 goldcrest and 3 lapland buntings were seen in the North and mist netting at Holland produced singles of reed warbler and lesser whitethroat, 7 garden warbler and 5 willow warbler, with 5 of the latter elsewhere on the island. Raptors were represented by a female hen harrier, 2 merlin and 2 kestrel, one of which was seemingly exhausted near the Observatory and happily took a dead meadow pipit that was thrown its way.

Monday, 1 September 2008

1st September

A small arrival of migrants today including 2 marsh warblers and an icterine warbler. 40 skylark near Kirbest were new and the first goldcrest of the autumn was in Holland. The rostrata redpoll was still around and common migrants were represented by 21 willow warbler, 8 garden warbler, 4 pied flycatcher and singles of robin, whinchat and chiffchaff. 7 whimbrel flew over and the grey plover was still in Nouster Bay, in Linklet Bay were 3 each of great northern diver and red-throated diver. A much busier day on the sea with over 2000 fulmars passing through, 13 sooty shearwater, 3 manx shearwater and 55 storm petrel.
A minke whale and a ocean sunfish were seen in the North and a basking shark was in Linklet

31st August

A clear increase of meadow pipits today with a count 316, and wheatear numbers were still reasonable with 61 logged. 7 grey herons were still in the North, 17 bar-tailed godwit were on Gretchen Loch and the PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER was still present in the South. Other migrants included 8 white wagtail, 2 garden warbler, 2 willow warbler and the first robin of the autumn.