23rd - 25th October

 The last few days have been simply superb with a wide range of migrants and some superb rarities to cap off whats been an excellent period of Easterlies. 

The 23rd isn't called the magical 23rd for no reason, our 23rd started with large flocks of Thrushes pouring over the obs and it was a Thrush that sent us into early delirium as our second White's Thrush of the Autumn was discovered on the scaffolding of the Beacon! Only the islands fourth record so to have two in an Autumn is simply nuts! The next not so heart racing bird was a Scaup on Brides, new for the year but not quite a White's Thrush! Next up was a 'probable' Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat found in the garden at Bewan, quite a smart little subspecies that even called after a while revealing it's 'Blue Tit esq machine gun rattle'. While we were attempting to catch the CALWH (I'm not typing it out again) a phone call to say there was Eastern Black Redstart around the punds at the Beacon got us furling the net and running across the sodden grass to lock eyes on this rare Eastern subspecies. Quite the day, despite two of the mega's being subspecies it still made for informative and exciting birding, the fact all three megas showed up within 200m of each other is slightly alarming! 

The 24th had a lot to live up too, it didn't quite manage the heights of the previous day but it was still good. Another Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll was at Lochend, our fifth (I think) of the Autumn and another Firecrest was around Cott. The second Glaucous Gull of the Autumn flew South past West Beach, another Great Spotted Woodpecker appeared at the bottom of the School Brae. Both the Eastern Black Redstart and CALWH remained in situ and a Yellowhammer at Nether Linnay was new for the year. In the evening a Short-eared Owl was trapped at Ancum and is only the 4th to ringed on the island. 

The final day of the post saw the staff perhaps relax a bit with the last week being full on birding in all weathers and with the poor weather breaking it was nice to stroll around and enjoy what was lurking. The Firecrest had moved to Brigg, the was a Grey Wagtail on Tor Ness, four Greenfinch around the obs, four Long-eared Owls were trapped in Holland and a Waxwing at Holland was new for the year. 

White's Thrush

Eastern Black Redstart

'probable' Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat

Great-spotted Woodpecker