7th-11th October

 It's been a very mixed bag over the past few days of not only weather but birds too, the weather has mostly consisted of raging Westerly based winds and squalled driving showers, but there have been nicer moments in the forecast.

The 7th was a bit of a Phalarope-fest, singles of Grey and Red-necked spent the day on Gretchen, while a further nine Grey Phalaropes passed the sea-watch hide. The Turtle Dove or Doves were still present between Westness and Garso while another was seen later in the day around Holland. Three Hornemann's spent the day together near Waterhouse. Good wildfowl movements saw frequent passage of Whooper Swans, Pink-footed Geese and Barnacle Geese throughout the day while other lingering migrants included Willow Warbler, Robin, four Brambling, two Goldcrest and a Yellow-browed Warbler. The undoubtable highlight, despite the frustration at it vanishing, was a Buff-bellied Pipit heard around Waterhouse before it vanished off in the direction of Ancum with Meadow Pipits. This is our first record of this Trans-Atlantic Pipit since 2020.

The 8th saw very much a copy of the previous day with the addition of two or three Collared Doves around the island, three Jackdaw and the first Twite of the Autumn.

The Phalaropes on Gretchen both re-appeared on 9th, a Leach's Petrel and a Goosander was the highlight from a three hour sea-watch and a long-expired Common Dolphin at Iris Taing made for another very quiet and very windy day!

It seemed the 10th would also fizzle away into a quiet one with the Grey Phalarope being replaced on Gretchen by a very unseasonal Arctic Tern to keep the Red-necked Phalarope company. News in the mid-afternoon of a 'large Snipe' at the Shooting Gallery pricked up ears. Once the bird flew it was very apparent this was our second Great Snipe of the year and a far more obliging one at that! 

The 11th saw a near all day sea-watch produce Juvenile Little and Glaucous Gulls, four Orca, 210 Sooty Shearwater, 26 Manx Shearwater, 16 Pomarine Skua, a Long-tailed Skua, 26 Great Northern Diver and two Grey Phalaropes. The previous days Great Snipe was still present although now far more mobile. 

                                    Great Snipe - both Ashley Saunders/Oriole Birding