wet and windy morning, easing off by lunchtime but the showers not really
stopping until mid-afternoon when the southerly wind also died away; some good
totals were posted through the day, especially after the rain stopped but there
was nothing really different in amongst the high counts.Numbers included a Red-throated Diver, 12
Sooty Shearwaters, 4 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Herons, single Hen Harrier and
Peregrine, 665 Golden Plover, 128 Lapwing, 46 Knot, 115 Sanderling, a
Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel, 112 Redshank, 2 Green Sandpipers, 247
Turnstone, a good 14 Swifts (a good count
for this late in the year), 240 Meadow Pipits, a Whinchat, 260+ Wheatears,
4 Willow Warblers and the Holland House Linnet roost up to 340.
decent day with moderate southerly winds and plenty of sunshine until some
nasty showers moved in late afternoon; a quiet day really with some dedicated
seawatching producing 35 Sooty Shearwaters and 38 Manx Shearwaters whilst
elsewhere on the island, totals comprised 9 Pintail, 58 Teal, single Hen
Harrier and Peregrine, 2 Ruff, a Whinchat, a Song Thrush, a Garden Warbler, 6
Willow Warblers and a Goldcrest.
the thick fog and outbreaks of rain had cleared by mid-morning, it was a pleasant
day with a moderate SSW wind and spells of sunshine; there was a light
sprinkling of birds across the island with long-staying individuals providing
the highlights as totals comprised 9 Herons, single Hen Harrier and Peregrine,
349 Golden Plover, 66 Knot, a Ruff, a Whimbrel, 97 Curlew, a Green Sandpiper, 3
Common Terns past Trinley, the Shorelark which
reappeared on Torness, 129 Swallows, 254+ Meadow Pipits, 4 Whinchat, 119+
Wheatears, a Garden Warbler, the Greenish Warblerstill
at Senness, 3 Willow Warblers and 2 Pied Flycatchers.
day, very calm, bright, warm sunshine, a light easterly breeze and amazingly…no
fog!Perhaps unsurprisingly, there were
fewer grounded migrants than yesterday in the fine conditions but still a
decent spread across the island as highlights included the Greenish Warblerstill at Senness, the Wood Warblerstill in Holland, a Corncrake flushed from Senness (presumably a migrant, not
one of the breeding birds) and more excitingly, a little covey of 5 Quailflushed
together from near Kirbest Farm – surely a family party and the first confirmed
successful breeding on the island (a male was singing in this area in the
spring).Other birds comprised 2 Sooty
Shearwaters off the Lighthouse, the Hen Harrier, single Merlin and Peregrine, 3
Ruff, a Short-eared Owl, 2 Swifts, 170+ Swallows, 2 Whinchats, 124+ Wheatears,
a Lesser Whitethroat (first of the autumn), a Whitethroat, 6 Willow Warblers, a
Goldcrest and a Pied Flycatcher.
real mixed bag of weather with the light easterly breeze the only constant – it
started off damp, drizzly and autumnal before thick fog moved in until
mid-afternoon when the sun broke through to produce a couple of hours of very
warm, sunny loveliness with the fog returning in the evening.It was perhaps the first day of the autumn
when birds were popping up throughout with a fine spread of migrants across the
island; highlights included a GREENISH WARBLERat
Senness, the Melodious
Warblerstill in the crop field near
the Obs, yesterday’s Barred Warblerre-trapped at Holland and
a Wood Warblercaught at Holland in the evening.Other birds included a Red-throated Diver, the Hen Harrier, a Kestrel
(first of the autumn), a Merlin, the ringed Little Stint still, 2 Whimbrel, 3
Swifts, 90+ alba Wagtails, 3
Whinchats, 175+ Wheatear, a Song Thrush, single Blackcap and Garden Warbler, 5
Willow Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher (first of the autumn) and the juvenile
Common Crossbill still.
super, stunning flat calm start to the day with the easterly breeze slowly
picking up and bringing in a spell of fog for a few hours from lunchtime but it
cleared by late afternoon to leave a lovely evening with a light SE wind; the
day started well with a Barred Warblertrapped at Holland House
first thing – our overdue first of the year before picking up late morning when
WARBLER was found around the Heligoland traps at the Obs, it gave us
the run about for a while before eventually making its way into a trap to
confirm its ID (only the seventh record for the island and the first since
2003).A good supporting cast included an
influx of duck with 70 Mallard, 4 Pintail and 9 Wigeon on Hooking, the young
female Peregrine still, the first Hen Harrier of the autumn, single Black-tailed
Godwit and Whimbrel, 4 Ruff, a Short-eared Owl at Hooking, a Swift, the Grey-headed Wagtailagain, an early Fieldfare, a Willow Warbler and a juvenile
Common Crossbill at the Obs.
nice day with a moderate SSE breeze and plenty of sunshine but a few light
showers creeping in during the evening; the unremarkable day was saved when a SUBALPINE WARBLERwas glimpsed in the thick garden at Upper Linney, the
bird was super skulking so a net was put up and the bird was easily
caught.It was still not clear which
subspecies was involved, even in the hand as it was in heavy wing and tail
moult but the best guess would be a Western – the very fact that it was in such
heavy moult strongly suggested that it had been present for a good long time as
it would not have even attempted a sea crossing in such a state! Other birds included 6 Sooty Shearwaters, 17
Manx Shearwaters and 2 Storm Petrels off the Lighthouse, the young female
Peregrine still, 60 Knot, a Sandwich Tern and a Willow Warbler.
drizzly rain through much of the day, only clearing up by mid-afternoon with
the moderate SSE wind dropping off as well; we hoped at least a few birds would
pop up after the rain stopped but in keeping with the autumn so far, this was
not to be, it was more a case of old birds reappearing with the Shorelark again at Westness (last seen on the 17th),
the Grey-headed Wagtailnear Hooking (last seen on the 13th) and a Song Thrush re-trapped in Holland (originally ringed but not seen since,
on the 1st).Other bits
included 3 Sooty Shearwaters, 5 Manx Shearwaters and 5 Storm Petrels off the
Lighthouse in the afternoon, a Greenshank, still little flocks of juvenile Knot
scattered around in funny places, 11 Ruff and last night’s ringed Little Stintat Westness.
Sanderlings, as well as Knot seem to have had a good breeding season with many spangly juveniles in the flocks
decent day, weather-wise with moderate winds and some bright sunshine until mid-afternoon
when a nasty little weather front moved in, bringing strong winds and some
driving rain; it was quiet birdwise but somewhat enlivened by the impromptu
first dazzling session of the autumn, inspired by the rough weather when I
managed to catch a cracking juvenile Little Stinton Gretchen along with
single Ruff, Knot and Dunlin.Other
birds seen during the pleasant morning included 14 Whimbrel (a 3 and an 11) heading
south, 2 Swifts and 2 Willow Warblers.
steady few days, dominated by brisk SSE winds, long spells of sunshine
interspersed by showers sweeping through; waders continued to pass through as
high counts through this period included 102 Knot, 242 Sanderling, 16
Black-tailed Godwit, 14 Ruff, a Green Sandpiper and 192 Turnstone.Other birds comprised a decent seawatch on
the 21st with 26 Sooty Shearwaters and 39 Manx Shearwaters past the
Lighthouse in the morning while a Swift also came in off, up to 3 Peregrines, a
Merlin, 2 Stonechats still, a Collared Dove and a Garden Warbler on the 20th.
a few showers in the morning it was a decent day with moderate SSE winds which
died off in the evening; it was a good day in the field with a few new arrivals
hinting that proper autumn might just be on the way.Birds seen included a Sooty Shearwater off
the Lighthouse, a Heron, a Merlin, 107 Oystercatchers, 495 Golden Plover, a
good 179 Knot (still mostly juveniles), 23 Ruff (again, mostly juveniles), an
excellent arrival of 62+ Black-tailed Godwits,
2 Green Sandpipers, a Wood Sandpipernorth over Hooking, a
Greenshank, 3 Sandwich Terns – first ones for ages and finally a few passerines
with 30 Wheatears, 2 Reed Warblers (Scotsha and Holland), a Whitethroat at the
Obs and a Willow Warbler.
showery morning improving into a bright, sunny afternoon; a few new bits were
found through the day including 2 Herons, a Merlin, the first Grey Plover of
the autumn, 79 Knot, 9 Ruff, the Shorelark again at
Westness and the first Goldcrest of the autumn around the Obs - certainly a
dispersing youngster from Orkney rather than a Scandinavian migrant!
wet and windy through most of the day with limited coverage; 94 Knot were at
Bewan, continuing the excellent passage over the last couple of weeks and a
single Manx Shearwater passed the Lighthouse.
different day with strong NW winds but plenty of sunshine, the wind added a new
dimension into the Fulmar ringing, dramatically increasing their spitting range
if you approached from the wrong side; birds of note seen through the day
included a Sooty Shearwater, a Wigeon, the first Merlin of
the autumn at the Obs, 78 Knot, a Ruff, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Whimbrel, a
Greenshank, 2 Green Sandpipers, 223 Turnstone, 2 Willow Warblers and the first Tree Sparrowof the autumn.
again with light but increasing winds with the forecast rain not arriving until
dusk; a similar array of birds across the island to previous days but a good
mix and notable increases in many wader species - counts included 982 Golden Plover,
193 Lapwing, 151 Knot, 23 Ruff, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 86 Curlew, 136
Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 2 Green Sandpipers and 228 Turnstone.Other birds of note comprised 3 Sooty
Shearwaters, 6 Manx Shearwaters and 3 Storm Petrels off the Lighthouse, 2
Peregrines (the big juvenile female and new adult male), 2 Woodpigeons, the Shorelark again, a Black Redstart at Brides, a juvenile
Stonechat at the Obs, 36 Wheatears and a Willow Warbler.
fine, lovely day with plenty of warm sunshine and light NW winds; birdwise we’re
still just ticking along with no passerine migrants coming through yet but a
steady turnover of waders with Ruff and Knot most prominent.Totals today included a Sooty Shearwater and
3 Manx Shearwaters off the top end, a Heron, the juvenile female Peregrine
again, 160 Knot, 6 Ruff, 16 Black-tailed Godwits, a Greenshank, the first
juvenile Bonxie of the year on The Links (not one of ours), the Shorelark and Grey-headed Wagtailstill, 3 juvenile
Stonechats – the first of the autumn, presumably from not too far away elsewhere
on Orkney and 3 Willow Warblers.
We've ringed 170+ Fulmar chicks so far and with many more to go there is a constant oily smell amongst the staff!
bright and sunny with a light NW wind; a decent spread of birds were across the
island but little in the way of new things as totals included 2 Manx
Shearwaters off the top end, 3 Herons, a juvenile female Peregrine, 670 Golden
Plover, 132 Knot, 8 Ruff, 5 Black-tailed Godwits, single Greenshank and Green
Sandpiper, the Grey-headed Wagtailwhich reappeared on the beach at Westness and a
single Willow Warbler.Also of note was
the confirmation of breeding Woodpigeons in Holland House – the first breeding
record for the island and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth
along the coast at Stennabreck.
rough, windy day with a strong, cold NNW wind raking the island; it was tough
going in the field but birds seen did include 87 Knot (the majority being
juveniles), 4 Ruff, 12 Black-tailed Godwit, a Greenshank, 2 Green Sandpipers, a
juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull (the first one for a while), a Woodpigeon and
the Shorelark which reappeared again at Westness.
bit of a mixed day with generally light N / NE winds and fog which kept
drifting in and out throughout but in between foggy spells it was really warm
and sunny; coverage was limited the day after the final dance of the sheep
festival with a few sore heads but birds did include a female Grey-headed Wagtail at Ancum (another unseasonal bird after
the male last month), a new Reed Warbler trapped in Ancum Willows, 5 Ruff, 12
Knot, 3 Green Sandpipers, 2 Greenshank and 3 Willow Warblers.
conditions for the majority of the day until a heavy band of rain finally
reached us in the early evening to produce a wild, wet and windy night; the
main interest was offshore where 3 Sooty Shearwaters, 16 Manx Shearwaters, 450+
Puffins, at least 18 Arctic Skuas, 11 Bonxies and a pod of 4+ Risso’s Dolphinswere off the Lighthouse in
the afternoon.Other birds included a
Greenshank and 4 Ruff while a new Willow Warbler was the token migrant passerine.
A noticeable increase in Arctic Skuas have included a few lovely stripy first year birds
again but a brisk NE through most of the day made its presence felt but this
eased off in the evening leaving a lovely, sunny, picture postcard end to the
day; the bird highlight was a fine, bright adult ROSE-COLOURED STARLINGfound mid-morning near the School but it soon
disappeared, not showing up again until the evening when it was with the main
Starling flock in the pre-roost at Holland House.A few birds through the day almost made it
feel like autumn including a little influx of 18 Shoveler and 18 Teal, 25 Knot,
6 Ruff, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, a Green Sandpiper at Cauldhame, 2 Woodpigeons, the
first Short-eared Owlof the autumn in front of the Surgery and a
decent, dry day with an increasing NE wind; the first 2 Sooty Shearwatersof the year passed the
Lighthouse and the first Peregrine of the autumn – a juvenile male, was over
Phisligar.Other little bits included a
Heron, presumably the same two Garganey back on Gretchen, 18 Knot with an
influx of juveniles, 7 Ruff, a Whimbrel, 2 Greenshank and the largest build-up
so far of 205+ Kittiwakes on the rocks off The Lurn.
mixed couple of days with generally light winds from the east allowing us to
get out and about as long as we avoided the occasional shower and the
inevitable fog which was always lingering there or thereabouts, causing many
flights to be cancelled; its still fairly quiet birdwise though, as bits
included 4 Herons, up to 490 Golden Plover, 4 Ruff, the first returning
juvenile Knot and Black-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel, 160 Redshank, 2 Greenshank
over the Obs on the 6th, an adult Common Tern
at Bewan on the 6th, the first Willow Warblerof the autumn trapped at
Holland (a particularly young bird which had hardly started its post juvenile
body moult – obviously hadn’t come far!) and a general build-up of Swallows and
Sand Martins with dispersing Sedge Warblers appearing in odd places.
busy few days, not really on the bird front but with the annual Sheep Festival
in full swing there was hardly a spare moment, with dances, football matches,
dyke building and feeding up to 40 people taking centre stage; once the fog
cleared it was a lovely couple of days weather wise with light winds and plenty
of warm sunshine.This few days kicked
off with 110 Storm Petrels caught overnight on the 2nd, while a Leach’s Petrelwas heard calling back to the tape and even better a stunning Bedstraw Hawkmothwas bashing around the moth trap just as we finished at silly
o’clock in the morning.The rest of the
news consisted 2 Red-throated Diver, 365 Golden Plover, 5 Ruff, 2 Whimbrel, the
first juvenile Arctic Skua and Kittiwake noted off The Lurn on the 4th, the Shorelark which reappeared at Bewan on the 3rd and a very slow trickle of returning warblers with a Reed Warblerat Ancum on the 3rd (only the second of the year), a Blackcap at Holland also on the 3rd and the Garden Warbler still around the Obs.
the light wind now coming in from the west the fog finally had dissipated by
the morning leaving a decent day with extensive cloud cover only once in the
morning turning to drizzle; the days highlight came early doors with a lovely,
fresh juvenile Icterine Warblertrapped at Holland.Other birds included 2 Manx Shearwaters
offshore, 8 Herons, 4 Wigeon, 9 Shoveler, 7 Ruff, 1,280+ Arctic Terns, a Song
Thrush also caught in Holland and the Garden Warbler again.
again the thick thick fog blanketed the island with no breaks all day, kept in
place by the virtually non-existent easterly breeze; it was tough in the field
with visibility down to a few metres at times but birds of note did include 2
Herons, 285 Golden Plover, 10 Knot, 4 Ruff, a Green Sandpiper on Ancum, a
Common Sandpiper at The Lurn and the Garden Warbler still around the Obs.
The last few Tysties are still being fed (photo taken in sunnier times!)