Tuesday, 28 February 2017

NORTH RONALDSAY - 28th February

A similar day to yesterday - sunny, cold and windy but the west coast was pretty quiet with 2 juvenile Glaucous Gulls the highlights, one off The Lurn and one at Westness; other birds included good numbers of other Gulls feeding in Westness with 200+ Common Gulls and an increase to 12+ Black-headed Gulls along with the usual numbers of waders and Wigeon and 50+ Skylarks in a stubble field by Nether Linney.

Glaucous Gull

Ringed Plover

Great Black-backed Gull


Monday, 27 February 2017

NORTH RONALDSAY - 27th February

A fine day, cold but bright sunshine throughout and I walked around Hooking, up The Links and back down the middle of the island; the highlights included great views of the Northern Harrier as it drifted around Hooking, the 2 Iceland Gulls again in Nouster and a Black-tailed Godwit on Ancum – a very early arrival!

                Other birds included a ringtail Hen Harrier, also at Hooking, the 6 White-fronted Geese near Holland, 10 Long-tailed Ducks, 15 Twite and 20 Skylarks feeding at Neven and a total of 664 Greylag Geese.

                In the fine afternoon at least 15 Skylarks seemed to head north, I finally caught up with the Black-throated Diver which has been drifting in and out of Nouster the last couple of weeks (a pretty scarce bird on here!) and presumably the same ringtail Hen Harrier was cruising around.

Northern Harrier

and two of the White-fronted Geese

Sunday, 26 February 2017

NORTH RONALDSAY - 26th February

Walked up the west coast up to Westness in fairly nice conditions until a persistent band of  rain moved in mid-morning; white-wingers were the highlight with 3 Iceland Gulls – a juvenile and a second year just off The Lurn and another second year at Westness (almost certainly the same bird I saw on 21st Feb) and 3 Glaucous Gulls  - all juveniles, at The Lurn, Lenswick and Westness.

                The bay at Westness was heaving with birds especially Gulls with 80+ Kittiwakes feeding along with big numbers of Great Black-backs and Herrings while at least 200 Purple Sandpipers and 60 Turnstone were feeding on the seaweed.

                A ringtail Hen Harrier was cruising round the Obs in the afternoon.

Juvenile Iceland Gull

Second year Iceland Gull

and both together

The juvenile again

Juvenile Glaucous Gull

Common Gull

Saturday, 25 February 2017

NORTH RONALDSAY - 25th February

A horrible morning with rain sweeping across the island with very few breaks in between but it brightened up later and I managed to get out along the east coast where birds included a group of 6 White-fronted Geese in fields near Hooking where the drake Smew was once again, 43 Sanderling, 330 Golden Plover, 18 Long-tailed Ducks, 2 Whooper Swans, 8 Red-throated Divers and a few flocks of Turnstone and Purple Sandpipers.

                A little walk down to Nouster in the afternoon produced brief and distant views of the Northern Harrier as it flew up the west coast and equally brief and distant views of 2 Iceland Gulls as they flew north across the mouth of the bay (probably a juvenile and a second year).

White-fronted Geese

Whooper Swans


Black Guillemot


Friday, 24 February 2017

NORTH RONALDSAY - 24th February

A glorious, sunny, very calm day but there was little different in the north of the island with the drake Smew back on Bewan the highlight; there were some good counts of waders around the coast including 264 Purple Sandpipers (144 in the north and 120 at Westness), 27 Bar-tailed Godwits and 240 Turnstone while wildfowl counts comprised 4 Pintail, 8 Goldeneye, 62 Teal and 130 Wigeon.

                Otherwise it was quiet albeit great to be out in the fine conditions but the Ravens were bringing in nest material to the traditional nest on the beacon at Bewan.

Purple Sandpipers are always photogenic!

Turnstone turning things over