Passerine migrants have remained rather thin on the ground in recent days, although a few interesting bits have still made their way through. The main event has been the best seawatching weather in a month or so, along with a couple of nice wader highlights to keep us going. 11th saw some early morning rain showers drop a Wryneck at Senness, with presumably the same bird seen later at Westness. One of the Rosefinches from previous days was trapped at the Obs (with the other two still present) and a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was discovered at Bewan. Other sightings included the first Song Thrush of the autumn at Breck, three Blackcaps (also new for the autumn), the lingering Pectoral Sandpiper at Ancum, three Willow Warblers, five Hen Harriers, 171 Knot, 2 Whimbrels, 622 Meadow Pipits, 128 Alba Wagtails, 2 Whinchats and 222 Wheatears, with the Barred Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat remaining at Holland.
Wryneck - TG
Curlew Sandpiper - TG
12th was largely quiet with few migrants around, although a Wryneck landed briefly on the ringing hut roof outside the Obs, a female Common Scoter was seen on the sea off the Links and a Short-eared Owl was at Trolla. 13th saw 11 hours put in at the Seawatch Hide throughout the day which was rewarded well with singles of both Great and Cory's Shearwater within the first few hours. Other totals by the end of the day included a massive 721 Sooty Shearwaters (comfortably the highest count of the year so far), 66 Manx Shearwaters, 4094 Fulmars, 8 Storm Petrels, 377 Gannets, 5 Arctic Skuas, 4 Bonxies, 198 Kittiwakes, 5 Arctic Terns, 110 Auk sp., 19 Puffins, 5 Red-throated Divers and 3 Great Northern Divers. Away from the sea, a Greenshank at Bewan was the only notable new sighting.
Great Shearwater - GG
Morning rain on 14th brought some promise, although the strong southerly/southwesterly wind largely hampered our efforts to turn up any notable numbers of migrants. The day's highlights included a Blackcap, Robin and Crossbill along the west coast, Pied Flycatcher at Holland, Whinchat around the Obs, along with a Little Stint near the Broch. The three Rosefinches also remained around the Obs and the Curlew Sandpiper was still at Bewan. Moving into the second half of September, we are now firmly in the zone where anything is possible and we are now hoping for some favourable weather conditions to materialize!
Little Stint - TG