Another busy few days of migrants that kept things over without really producing anything too spectacular.
The 22nd started with a Yellow-browed Warbler, Blythi Lesser Whitethroat and Sparrowhawk in Holland while the two Yellow Wagtails and Pale-bellied Brent Goose remained around Bewan. A Pectoral Sandpiper was seen briefly as it landed near Ancum. The Greenish Warbler remained present around Cursitter with viewing becoming slowly more difficult due to grumpy islanders fortifying empty fields, the site now looks like a high security prison as opposed to a vacant cattle field! Madness, its not all like that! Other hangers-on included the Yellow-browed at Ancum, the Little Bunting at Doo Geo and the Barred Warbler at Bewan.
The following day saw the Greenish Warbler joined by a possibly unwelcome Red-backed Shrike, unwelcome if you're the Greenish anyway! It was otherwise a day much the same as the previous with very few new incoming migrants but still plenty of lingering birds about.
The 24th saw new arrivals in the shape of a very smart looking male Red-breasted Flycatcher at Lochend and an almost equally smart Bluethroat on the track leading to Veracott. The Pectoral Sandpiper remained throughout the day and was later trapped and ringed on Ancum. Two Whooper Swans toured the island but remained elusive for long periods often popping up unexpectedly. A late Whimbrel was seen around Brides but otherwise the long wait for an American passerine in Orkney or Shetland continued!
Finally the 25th was a day dominated by a strong and quite balmy southerly wind that produced a few bits and bobs but nothing too outlandish. A Buff-breasted Sandpiper found its way onto the year list after being seen around Dennishead in the morning. An interesting 'calidus-type' Peregrine was also present around Bewan. The now ringed Pectoral Sandpiper was still on Ancum and the Bluethroat and Red-breasted Flycatcher also remained in situ, the latter also being trapped and ringed in the afternoon. Elsewhere on the island the Icterine Warbler that has spent nearly a week between Dennishill and Senness re-emerged and was subsequently seen in the Lochend garden with the Red-breasted Flycatcher.
It seems as though we're set in this westerly air-flow for the foreseeable future but the hope of an American passerine is fuelling us for now, its also worth noting migrants from Scandinavia are still appearing here and on neighbouring islands, it's turning into a very unpredictable Autumn so far, which is good!