Saturday, 11 February 2017

6th-9th February

6th Feb

Bits and pieces include Great Northern Diver, Green-winged Teal lingering on Gretchen, Peregrine and a modest count of 21 Dunlin.  3 Sanderling were a notable count given the surprise absence of this species so far this year with the exception of a single bird in January.

8th Feb

The 7th was incredibly windy and with plenty of indoor chores taking priority we decided to leave birding until the 8th.  Even by then the wind had only subsided slightly enabling a Glaucous Gull, Great Northern Diver and 11 Twite to be found.

9th Feb

Our best opportunity to head out in the field and achieve some birding for the first time in several days arrived following a long period of strong southerly winds.  As they weakened a seawatch was in order and produced 4 Red-throated Diver, 8 Great Northern Diver, 8 Long-tailed Duck, 9 Red-breasted Merganser, 122 Kittiwake, 9 Tysties.  The standout highlight was the reappearance of the 1st winter White-billed Diver (assumed to be the individual from 2nd Feb) which lingered for two hours in front of the seawatch hide offering remarkably close views at times and great enjoyment to us lucky volunteers.  Perambulations around the island produced the first Song Thrush of the year, drake Smew, ringtail Hen Harrier, Jack Snipe, 10 Fieldfare, 5 Redwing, Chaffinch.  Waterfowl of note included lingering 6 Eurasian White-fronted Geese, 2 Mute Swan, 69 Wigeon, 2 Gadwall, 6 Pintail and 5 Goldeneye.

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