Friday, 30 June 2017


Sunny in the morning but with a brisk northerly wind but there wasn’t too much around with the 3 Red-necked Phalaropes showing brilliantly on Gretchen along with 7 Dunlin and 5 Knot; we also caught another 2 Great Black-backed Gulls in the crow trap – it’s been very productive this summer as we’ve now caught 22 Great Black-backs, 2 Herring Gulls and a Bonxie in there.   Not too much else through the day which turned wet by mid-afternoon, we ringed a couple more Oystercatcher and Lapwing chicks around the place.

Red-necked Phalaropes

Wednesday, 28 June 2017


Nice and sunny through the day again but with a chilly NE breeze; in the morning we went out and caught four of the six Shelducklings on Gretchen (an overdue ringing tick!) with now 3 Red-necked Phalaropes on the loch and more excitingly, a very recently fledged Dunlin flushed from Loch Park, confirming breeding for only the second time on the island!

                I then walked round the northern census route in the afternoon where birds included some good wader numbers including 92 Knot, 151 Turnstone, 9 Golden Plover, 20 Dunlin and 30 Bar-tailed Godwits while other things of note comprised a Heron, 8 Teal and a 1st summer Arctic Skua over Scottigar.   The day’s highlight came mid-afternoon though when I cycled back to get good views of smart adult PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER feeding with c80 Golden Plover in Loch Park.

Record shots of the Pacific Golden Plover - the top one was with my camera and the bottom one was with my phone through a scope

Fledgling Dunlin



Another beautiful day, calm and sunny but the nets were empty at Holland first thing before a look at Gretchen produced now 2 Red-necked Phalaropes feeding away frantically.   I then had a cruise around at high tide to a few sites which produced 75 Knot, 65 Turnstone, 20 Sanderling and a Red-breasted Merganser.


Black Guillemot

Drake Eiders are now in moult

Ringed Plover

Monday, 26 June 2017


A glorious day with light winds and plenty of warm sunshine; a Swallow was the only bird caught at Holland first thing before a walk round Ancum and Westness produced a few Greylags and Black-headed Gulls plus a young Mallard.   Birds up the west coast census route in the afternoon then included another stunning female Red-necked Phalarope on Gretchen (this one showed amazingly well on the near shore!), a Whimbrel in Kirki Park West and 60 Turnstone while I ringed five Oystercatcher chicks.

Red-necked Phalarope

Bonxie on the attack




Still windy first thing but it gradually eased off through the day, birds on the Hooking census route included 3 summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwits, 96 Turnstone and 10 Golden Plover involving some new returning birds as were probably the 14 Wigeon and 10 Gadwall on the loch.   Other birds of note comprised a Great-northern Diver, a Woodpigeon, 14 Sand Martins and an impressive 157+ Black-headed Gull fledglings around the loch. 

Fledgling Meadow Pipit

Fledgling Linnet

Black-headed Gull

Saturday, 24 June 2017


A really rough day with an increasing westerly wind reaching force 7-8 by the afternoon with the occasional shower making things difficult in the field; a Great-northern Diver was in Nouster before a half-hearted look around Brides produced 17 Knot and a few Turnstone and Sanderling but not much else!

Oystercatchers were busy collecting food for their chicks

but got a hard time from everyone!

from Arctic Skuas

Common Gulls

and Black-headed Gulls