Tuesday, 4 August 2020

1st-3rd August

With the recommencing of census on the 1st it goes without saying we've been experiencing higher counts of birds the last three days than in previous weeks. Fine weather on all three days allowed for good coverage despite sheep working taking up much of the 2nd for some. 
The 1st provided an early highlight with the first Willow Warbler of the autumn, a rather be-draggled looking bird that has perhaps spent the summer here, but we haven't seen it. A bird that clearly did spend the summer here was a moulting Song Thrush, first trapped on the 25th June. Three Swifts around the obs were amongst other fly-by birds such as a 1cy male Peregrine, a 1cy Kestrel and 2 Whimbrel. Finally the first Ruff of the Autumn was with Redshank near Holm. 
Despite being a very sheep work orientated day the 2nd provided some good highlights, 3 Crossbills left the island to the South mid-morning and Woodpigeon spent the day hanging around the obs, loitering in their usual nervous style. Another couple of Whimbrel were present including a rather showy bird near the lighthouse with a flock of 9 Curlew. Finally another showy bird for the day came in the shape of a Short-eared Owl on Brek that was seen in the evening hunting over the crop strips. 
The 3rd saw complete coverage and therefore provided good counts. a juvenile Goldeneye was seen briefly on Brides and a White Wagtail was seen carrying food to a nest near North Gravity. Our first quadruple figure counts of Golden Plover and Arctic Tern stood at 1116 and 1285 respectively rounding a good period in August. 

Short-eared Owl                                                                                                GG

Whimbrel                                                                                                          GG

Arctic Skua                                                                                                        GG

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