Sunday, 29 January 2017

21st-25th January

It has been somewhat busy again with a nice diversity of birds picking up nearer the end of the month.  Larissa Simulik and Samuel Perfect returned to the observatory on the 24th to join George Gay who has been present for several weeks already.  With a boost in island coverage, some noteworthy highlights have already been unearthed.

There was little coverage on the 21st but the 22nd produced a good total of 10 Red-throated Divers, 7 Great Northern Divers, 4 Pintail, Northern Harrier, Peregrine, a 2nd winter Iceland Gull and 13 Redwing.

Coverage commenced once again on the 24th with highlights including Red-throated Diver, Green-winged Teal, 14 Mallard, 2 Long-tailed Duck, 3 Goldeneye, Peregrine, 250 Golden Plover, 75 Herring Gull and 9 Twite.

The 25th yielded the highest totals for several days for many species, particularly wildfowl thanks to the additional coverage.  General highlights include Northern Harrier, 6 Glaucous Gulls (3 juveniles, 1 2nd winter and 2 adults) joining a flock of 90 Great Black-backed Gulls, the first 2 Black-headed Gulls of the year, Water Rail and Red-throated Diver and 2 Tysties.  The aforementioned wildfowl included 99 Wigeon, 4 Gadwall, 80 Teal, 17 Pintail, 8 Shoveler, 12 Tufted Duck, 41 Eider and 4 Red-breasted Merganser.  Further noteworthy counts include 53 Oystercatcher, 126 Lapwing, 42 Purple Sandpipers, 35 Dunlin, 10 Snipe, 35 Curlew, 38 Redshank.  17 Blackbirds and 2 Fieldfare and a Chaffinch were the passerine highlights.

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