25th - 28th May

 May seems to be spluttering out in a series of wet, windy and westerly days, while field birding has been a little quieter than we'd usually like for this time of year, perseverance has paid off and we've seen some rewards. 

The 25th was probably the pick of the days weather wise and had a few migrants to go with the nice weather. Rock Pipits were seen at Trolla and Torness, the first in a few weeks. A rogue Snow Bunting was seen near the School and subsequently seen the following day and on 28th near the stone-crusher on the Links. A Wood Sandpiper was flushed from Garso and the first Hawfinch of the year was seen as it flew West out of the Senness garden. The 26th was very quiet but Holland produced two Chiffchaffs, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Blackcap. 

A wet and windy day on 27th turned up a few surprises, starting with a Spotted Flycatcher at Gretchen, this was followed by the long-staying White-fronted Goose at Scottigar and a Barnacle Goose at Trolla. A male Whinchat was around the obs and East Loch Park in the afternoon while six Sparrowhawk bombed around the island causing mayhem and a Kestrel appeared out of Holland before heading out south. The Crossbill that had been in Ancum re-appeared during a heavy rain shower near Antabreck, our main source of frustration came from a Grey Shrike sp. seen by Peter Donnelly as he drove his tractor back from the pier, it was last seen heading for the observatory but an extensive search turned up nothing and it goes down as one that got away!

A much nicer day followed on 28th. The Barnacle Goose was seen again by Trolla, the Crossbill found its way into a mist net at Holland and a Common Sandpiper was on the rocks near Neven. Neven also played host to the bird of the week, a female-type Surf Scoter was found on the sea, being only the fourth island record and first twitchable one since at pre-2008. Not a bad end to a tricky period of weather, however things seem set to continue in this vein of westerly based winds, but who knows what might show up! 

                                                                           Crossbill - GG 
                                                                        Surf Scoter - GG 


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