In recent years the face of bird identification for many species / races has been helped and accentuated by mtDNA analysis of feathers / faecal samples obtained through various methods; this year on North Ronaldsay produced a whole cast of birds caught and ringed where feathers were sent off for kind analysis by Martin Collinson and Thom Shannon at the University of Aberdeen. The majority of results are now in and although most of them confirmed what we thought in the field / hand at the time it was great to get confirmation with a couple of slightly unexpected results at the end.
SAVI'S WARBLER - 11th May 2019
This surprise, cracking first for Orkney was confirmed as Savi's (even though there wasn't really any need to!)
COLLARED FLYCATCHER - 12th May 2019
This female was confirmed as a Collared Flycatcher
EASTERN SUBALPINE WARBLER - 17th May 2019
This cracking male Eastern Subalpine Warbler was confirmed as Eastern after being caught in the bar having flown in through an open door!
WESTERN SUBALPINE WARBLER - 24th August 2019
This one we needed help with! It was caught at Upper Linney in heavy wing and tail moult (presumably not freshly arrived) so the in hand / field ID features were not clear at all, although Western was our best guess!