Wednesday, 19 September 2018

NORTH RONALDSAY - 19th September

Bright and breezy first thing with a full-on storm arriving around midday with force 8-9 winds and driving rain through the rest of the day!   Walked round the northern census route in the morning when the weather wasn’t too bad but it was pretty quiet with my first Lapland Bunting of the autumn in off the sea at the beacon and a couple of Sooty Shearwaters offshore before a scan of Ancum Loch produced 4 Whooper Swans and 127 Wigeon.

                The days highlight came at lunchtime, just as the weather was hitting us as a cracking adult AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was found in fields around Waterhouse and after giving us the run-around showed well, albeit by that stage looking pretty wet and soggy as it hunkered down against the wind.

American Golden Plover record shots

Black-tailed Godwit


NORTH RONALDSAY - 18th September

Breezy still but not too bad once the morning showers had moved through; spent a long time walking round the middle census route but there wasn’t a great deal new to mention with a Robin at Antabreck, a Willow Warbler at the surgery and 14 Wheatears the only passerines of note while birds on Ancum included 97+ Wigeon, 65 Teal, 4 Black-tailed Godwits and 110+ Snipe.


Another colour ringed Shag

Monday, 17 September 2018

NORTH RONALDSAY - 17th September

A decent morning with lighter winds, a seawatch first thing for an hour and a half produced 22 Sooty Shearwaters, 3 Manx Shearwaters, a Storm Petrel, 2,184 Fulmars, 7 Common Scoters, c4 Risso’s Dolphins and two Bonxies which tried to force a Heron into the sea.   The west coast census route was then quiet as birds included my first flock of 8 Whooper Swans of the autumn low over Gretchen, a Merlin, a Peregrine, a Kestrel, 11 Wheatears and 120 Meadow Pipits.

Whooper Swans


Reed Bunting

NORTH RONALDSAY - 16th September

A very difficult day with a blazing force 8 southerly swinging round into the west by the afternoon but losing none of its strength; it was really tricky out in the field around the Hooking census route with a young female Peregrine hunting low over the loch but none of the ducks would even take off which included 5 Pintail, 3 Gadwall, 3 Shoveler and 22 Teal.   Other birds on the quiet census included a Kestrel, 4 Wheatears, 5 Black-tailed Godwits and not much else.



NORTH RONALDSAY - 15th September

A similar day, bright and breezy; the Barred Warbler was still around the traps along with a Blackcap and a Willow Warbler before birds around the Brides census route included the same Garden Warbler in Kirbest crop, a Willow Warbler, a Merlin, a Ruff, 2 Wheatears and 8 Red-throated Divers off Stennabreck in a strange tight flock.   A Peregrine was over Gretchen late afternoon.


Grey Plover



Friday, 14 September 2018

NORTH RONALDSAY - 14th September

Still blustery conditions with a few showers whipping through but a nicer day overall; managed to open some nets mid-morning and caught 2 Yellow-browed Warblers (a re-trap and a new bird) and 2 Sedge Warblers.   Other birds around the Obs census route included 2 Barred Warblers (Obs and Holland), my first Robin of the autumn at the Obs, a Willow Warbler, a young male Peregrine over the Obs carrying a Kittiwake, a Merlin at Gretchen, 2 Ruff and 2 Wheatears.

Yellow-browed Warblers

NORTH RONALDSAY - 13th September

A very rough day with strong westerly winds bringing heavy, nasty squalls across the island, the main feature of the day was the first movement of Pink-footed Geese across the island with birds moving all day over the island and offshore with a total of 647 through the day.   The rest of the northern census route was hard work in the blustery, wet conditions but birds included a Grasshopper Warbler along Rosefinch Dyke (seen a few days ago), a Merlin in off the sea, 10 Wigeon also in off the sea, a Great-northern Diver, a Kestrel, a Sooty Shearwater, 3 Knot, 11 Bar-tailed Godwit and 60 Curlew.

                An adult and juvenile Common Tern were in Nouster in the afternoon.

Pink-footed Goose - a lone, lost juvenile

Bar-tailed Godwit

Another colour ringed Shag