Wednesday, 22 October 2008

22nd October

The grey phalarope flock at Bridesness had increased to 10 birds today, with the grey wagtail and little gull also in that area. Greylag goose numbers had been boosted somewhat with a count 1010, with 11 barnacle geese and 3 pink-footed geese amongst them. 22 whooper swan remain, 5 great-northern divers and 2 long-tailed ducks were in Linklet Bay where a juvenile glaucous gull flew through. 2 hen harrier passed through the island in the morning and thrushes consisted of 1 song thrush and 155 redwing. Flocks of 23 twite and 64 snow bunting were in the North.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

21st October

Todays highlight was of a good count of 10 grey phalaropes, including a group of 8 at Bridesness. Full update to come

20th October

Highlights from a seawatch were 4 common scoter, 3 sooty shearwater and 2 grey phalaropes, with another on Bewan Loch. 371 greylag geese were accompanied by 40 barnacle geese and a white-fronted goose, 200 sanderling on the Links is the highest count of the month and a grey plover was at Haskie. Redwings had increased slightly to 18, the robin, brambling and chiffchaff are still present and a grey wagtail was seen.

19th October

The robin and chiffchaff remain in Holland Gardens, with the only other notable passerines being 2 song thrush, 4 redwing and a brambling. 13 common scoter were seen on a seawatch, a little gull was on Bewan Loch, 16 whooper swan were on Brides Loch and 7 barnacle geese by the School.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

18th October

A morning seawatch produced just 4 sooty shearwater plus 169 fulmar, 113 gannet and 56 kittiwake. The goosander had moved to Bewan Loch, 38 whooper swan were on Brides Loch and 34 purple sandpiper at Westness is the largest count this Autumn. A spotted flycatcher was also at Westness, the chiffchaff was still at Holland and just 4 redwing were seen. A single twite was at Gravity and a grey phalarope was very obliging at Bridesness in the afternoon.

Friday, 17 October 2008

17th October

The wind dropped a little today making for a reasonable seawatch, with notable birds being a pomarine skua and 22 sooty shearwaters. Other birds passing included 91 fulmar with a single blue, 101 gannet and 159 kittiwake. The greylag flock in the south had with them 12 barnacle geese and 4 pink-footed geese, whilst other wildfowl consisted of 21 pintail, 24 shoveler, and 8 long-tailed duck, plus 5 red-breasted merganser and the first goosander of the year. A reasonable 91 fieldfare came in through the day along with 73 redwing, though the surprise highlight of the day came late afternoon with a short-toed lark in the stubble field at Nether Linnay.

16th October

The wet weather and relentless Westerly winds continue, clearly reflected in today's showing of migrants with just 27 redwing, a song thrush, and both the chiffchaff and goldcrest still at Holland. The whinchat was again seen by Trebb, 3 robins were still present and a lapland bunting and 28 snow bunting were seen. Slightly more noteworthy was a scaup in Linklet Bay during the afternoon.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

15th October

A decent arrival of redwing today with 1702, and amongst them were just 33 blackbird, 7 song thrush and 9 fieldfare. The only other new arrivals were a yellow-browed warbler at Rue and 2 sparrowhawk. 6 red-throated diver, 1 great-northern diver and 4 red-breasted merganser were in Linklet Bay, with a grey phalarope there in the afternoon. A chiffchaff and 2 brambling are still at Holland.

14th October

16 twite in the North are the first of the autumn, just 1 brambling remains near Kirbest and 2 lapland bunting were at Nether Linnay. Thrushes included just 19 redwing and 7 song thrush, 2 chiffchaff remain at Holland and 3 each of blackcap and robin were seen. 4 whooper swan flew through in the morning, single red-breasted mergansers were in Nouster and Garso Wick and 2 jack snipe were at Westness. Notable counts of common migrants included 140 ringed plover and 199 snipe.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

13th October

After a week's absence the BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT reappeared sheltering along the stone dyke again by Neven. The few notable new arrivals today were a reed warbler at Westness, spotted flycatcher at Shooting Gallery, chiffchaff at Burray, common sandpiper and swallow at Bridesness and a blackcap in Holland along with the 2 chiffchaff, 2 robin and 2 goldcrest. Thrushes consisted of 4 song thrush, 79 redwing and 46 blackbird, and finches of 1 siskin and 25 brambling. The whinchat was still near Hooking with a lapland bunting there also, and the day's snow bunting tally was 67. 23 whooper swan were on Ancum and greylag geese were again on the move with 715 passing through, whilst barnacle geese had dwindled to just 4. A minimum of 5 merlin were noted with 3 coming in off the sea, the 2 grey plover were at Haskie and 1059 golden plover is the highest count so far this month, as was snipe with 178.

Monday, 13 October 2008

12th October

Geese were heading south in the morning with 105 barnacle geese, 54 pink-footed geese and 146 greylag geese, whilst other wildfowl today included 20 whooper swan on Ancum Loch and a long-tailed duck in Linklet Bay. Also in Linklet Bay were 2 red-throated diver and 2 great-northern diver, with another 2 of the latter in Nouster Bay. Remaining from yesterday were 10 brambling, a siskin and a chiffchaff, though a few new migrants had appeared with a whinchat near Hooking and a ring ouzel at Westness. Thrushes were coming in off the sea in the afternoon with a final count of 160 redwing and 3 song thrush, whilst robins had increased to 4 and snow bunting to 162. Also seen today were a jack snipe by the Observatory, 2 grey plover at Bridesness, 5 wheatear and a hen harrier.

11th October

52 barnacle geese were still at Nether Linnay and 2 grey plover were on the Links. 2 swallows flying through were of note, snow buntings reached a total of 80 today and still in Holland gardens were the chiffchaff and robin, and singles of redwing and song thrush. 14 brambling were in the stubble field at Kirbest, 2 Greenland redpoll at Howar and 2 siskin were seen at Westness.

Friday, 10 October 2008

10th October

Still quiet with unfavourable birding conditions, however there were a couple of island scarcities today which included a velvet scoter passing on a seawatch hide, 4 pale-bellied brent geese toured the island and to a lesser degree a grasshopper warbler was amongst the irises at Viggay. A blackcap and a chiffchaff were at the Surgery, with another of the latter still at Holland where 2 robin remain. Still at Nether Linnay are 54 barnacle geese and 106 greylag geese. A Greenland redpoll is at Greenwall, a grey plover is at Stennabreck and thrushes seen today were just 1 redwing and 5 song thrush. 2 red-throated diver were in Nouster Bay, a total of 58 snow bunting were seen and purple sandpiper are still in strangely low numbers with just 7.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

9th October

Remaining migrants are still in similar numbers with 4 robin, 3 goldcrest, a chiffchaff, and 9 each of redwing and song thrush, though a whinchat at Bridesness was new. A total of 5 brambling, 67 snow bunting and a single redpoll were also seen. 128 eider is the highest count since early spring and other wildfowl counts included 90 wigeon, 17 gadwall, 101 teal, 34 mallard, 7 shoveler, 3 tufted duck and single goldeneye and pintail, whilst 72 barnacle geese are at Nether Linnay.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

8th October

A handful of new arrivals included 2 blackcap, 2 robin, a spotted flycatcher and a Greenland redpoll at Holland. Also there were the chiffchaff and 2 goldcrest, with another of the latter at Scots Ha. A grey wagtail was on the airfield and thrushes today were 46 redwing, 18 song thrush and 13 blackbird. A grey phalarope was again seen from the seawatch hide and a long-tailed duck was also seen. 7 whooper swan are on Ancum Loch, 61 barnacle geese still at Nether Linnay with 96 knot and a single swallow was by the pier. Other bits included 3 wheatears, 2 great-northern divers, a hen harrier and a grey plover.

7th October

A small arrival of thrushes was evident today consisting mostly of redwing with 85, plus 2 song thrush and a fieldfare. Also new were 2 brambling, whilst remaining were the chiffchaff and 2 goldcrest at Holland. A grey phalarope was seen on a seawatch and a flock of 60 barnacle geese and a brent goose were at Nether Linnay. The family of 4 whooper swan were still on Ancum Loch with 11 gadwall and a hen harrier also there.

Monday, 6 October 2008

6th October

Counts from just over two hours seawatching consisted of 3670 fulmar - including 14 blue, 20 sooty shearwater, 11 manx shearwater, 269 gannet, 186 kittiwakes and a grey phalarope. 6 whooper swan were on Ancum Loch and 73 barnacle geese flew thorugh, whilst a less than annual slavonian grebe was in Nouster Bay. The few other migrants seen today were a blackcap at Bridesness, 3 redwing, a song thrush, a goldcrest and 16 snow bunting.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

5th October

Despite reportedly looking rather bedraggled in yesterday's wet weather, the BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT was still present for its third day around Nevan. A yellow-browed warbler was seen at Sandback, single redwing at Hooking and Quoy Banks and in Holland were a chiffchaff and a goldcrest. 4 ruff were by the Mill, a grey plover was on the Links and the hen harrier was around Loch Park in the morning. A minimum of 31 snow bunting were seen and a flock of 14 barnacle geese flew through.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

4th October

The BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT was still on the golf course by Nevan through the morning, with a lapland bunting also there. In Holland were 2 goldcrest and a willow warbler, with 2 lesser whitethroat and a redwing seen elsewhere on the island. 3 snow bunting were on the Lurn and 2 barnacle geese flew through with 89 greylag geese.

Friday, 3 October 2008

3rd October

What looked set to be another quiet day was soon livened up with the discovery of a BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT at Neven early afternoon - first for Orkney. The few other migrants recorded were a goldcrest and chiffchaff at Holland, 22 snow buntings and 2 song thrushes. Wildfowl counts for today were a family of 4 whooper swan, 57 greylag geese, 42 wigeon, 7 gadwall, 102 teal, 75 mallard, 2 shoveler and 7 pintail.

2nd October

The first white winged gulls appeared today with an adult glaucous gull at Lindswick and a juvenile iceland gull over Nether Linnay, whilst snow buntings had increased to 27. A hen harrier was in the North were 127 knot were at Lindswick and 2 jack snipe at Westness. Common passerines included 2 goldcrest, 2 robin, 8 redwing and singles of willow warbler, chiffchaff and garden warbler at Holland and a blackcap was near Bewan, and a pectoral sandpiper was on the loch there. The only notable sea passage was of 7 sooty shearwater.

1st October

Very little today but seawatching did produce 2 little auk and a juvenile sabines gull as well as 6 sooty shearwater. 15 pink-footed geese flew south, wheatears have dropped off to just 4 whilst thrushes included 11 redwing and a song thrush. 4 snow buntings were on the Lurn.