Monday, 19 February 2018
A very different day with overcast conditions and persistent rain moving in by mid-morning and a walk round the Obs census route just produced the Green-winged Teal still, 3 Great-northern Divers, 60+ Snow Buntings still around Loch Park, 2 Knot with the Golden Plover, 25 Redwings and 11 Fieldfares.
A lovely calm day with much flatter seas and bright conditions; went up to the north end first thing with a look at the sea producing the highlight of a White-billed Diver just offshore which slowly drifted north along with 7 Great-northern Divers; there wasn’t too much else over the sea with 342 Auk sp. counted in an hour. The drake Smew was still on Bewan along with a good selection of other ducks.
The only other birds of note were the Kumlien’s Gull again loafing on the sea and in the surf at Brides and the Green-winged Teal still on Gretchen.
More pictures of the Kumlien's Gull
Saturday, 17 February 2018
Another nice, bright day but we kept the cold SW wind; walked from the Obs to Brides along the coast where the highlights included better views of the Kumlien’s Gull on the shore at Howar and then on Brides and a ringtail Hen Harrier over the back of Brides. Other totals included 2 Red-throated Divers, 2 Great-northern Divers, 14 Long-tailed Ducks, 5 Pintail, 300 Golden Plover, a Knot, 22 Bar-tailed Godwits, 35 Redwings, 15 Fieldfares and the Green-winged Teal over on Gretchen.
A Linnet which came in off the sea from the south and a little increase in Skylarks hinted at maybe some early passage in the improved weather.
A nice, bright day with a moderate but cold SW wind; chasing sheep again for most of the morning but I did catch up with the juvenile Kumlien’s Gull which flew past The Lurn, the drake Smew on Bewan and 2 Glaucous Gulls at the north end (both juveniles). I walked back from the north end, down The Links and past Hooking where totals included 10 Pintail, 8 Goldeneye, 170 Wigeon, 165 Teal, 365 Golden Plover, 79 Dunlin and 49 Ringed Plover along with an interesting looking, new young male Peregrine at Hooking, a Whooper Swan on Garso, a Hen Harrier, the Black Redstart in Nouster, the drake Green-winged Teal over on Gretchen, 8 Twite at Neven, 9 Meadow Pipits at Holland and the c100 Snow Buntings floating round Loch Park / East Loch Park.
Monday, 12 February 2018
A half decent day with some sunshine in between the sometimes heavy, snow showers; the north end was pretty quiet with the only feature to mention was a big feeding flock of 350+ Kittiwakes and 120+ Auks (mainly Razorbills) just off the seawatch hide but I couldn’t find anything different with them. There were then 10 Twite at Neven (the first of the year with no overwintering birds) and 40+ Fieldfares scattered down the island.
A nice day with some good sunshine and a moderate westerly breeze; I walked round the coast from the Obs to Bridesness where the highlights included a Black Redstart (last years wintering bird) at Howar, a great flock of 102 Snow Buntings in Nouster and a young male Peregrine near Hooking. Other birds round the coast included 7 Great-northern Divers, 5 Pintail, 5 Goldeneye, 8 Shoveler, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 49 Dunlin, a Knot and 107 Sanderling while wintering passerines which popped out comprised 33 Fieldfare, 34 Redwings, a Song Thrush, 2 Robins, 11 Meadow Pipits, 11 Rock Pipits, 8 Skylarks and 6 Reed Buntings.