Sunday, 22 July 2018

19th-21st July

Sanderling numbers have gradually begun to build up, with 18 on the 19th rising to 24 on the 21st. Other waders on the 19th included a Green Sandpiper at Brides and 15 Bar-tailed Godwits. Arctic Terns have stayed steady at around 820 birds.
The 20th saw the Green Sandpiper return to Bewan and another Ruff on Garso, 4 Black-tailed Godwits were seen feeding in recently silaged fields and a lone Purple Sandpiper made its way back to the island. Otherwise the 20th was quiet with 5 Manx Shearwaters and 2 Sooty Shearwaters from the sea-watch hide.
The 21st bought in some more variable weather and some interesting birds, firstly a Juvenile Cuckoo was found flycatching on the fences around the Old Kirk, there’s a slight amount of intrigue as to where the Cuckoo has come from being a very young bird. A very tired, grotty and unseasonal Redwing was seen at Claypows and duck numbers have begun to increase with 7 Shoveler on Brides, 3 Teal and a lone Gadwall.
The biggest surprise of the day turned out to be an escape Saker Falcon! The bird was initially seen at Westness before heading North and finally settling outside the obs on nearby telegraph poles. Although the bird is an escape it’s an absolute cracker so we’re not complaining!
More moth news! The previously reported Gold Spot has been re-identified as a Lempke’s Gold Spot, a far scarcer moth, so we’re definitely not complaining. The second 1st for North Ronaldsay in a matter of days came in the shape of a Common Carpet. We assume these moths although scarce are regularly occurring on here but a lack of consistent trapping over the years has meant they’ve gone vastly under-recorded.

Fledgling Arctic Tern                                              George Gay

Common Carpet                         Lewis Hooper

Saker Falcon                                                   George Gay 
Saker Falcon                                                             George Gay

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