A nice day on the 25th, warm and sunny with light winds started brilliantly with a seawatch off The Lurn, near the Obs producing a fine drake Surf Scoter flying south, close inshore with two Common Scoter – the first record for the island since 2008! Two Manx Shearwaters were also offshore before the rest of the day was again dominated by wader numbers which continue to remain high (shouldn’t be long before they start to disperse) as counts included 310 Ringed Plover, 80 Knot, 427 Sanderling, 152 Dunlin, 6 Whimbrel, 734 Turnstone and a single Curlew Sandpiper still.
Other new arrivals were slow with a Grey Wagtail at Westness the pick, along with a Kestrel, a Short-eared Owl, 7 Sand Martins, 11 House Martins, 2 Tree Pipits and single Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Spotted Flycatcher.
Teamwork! photos Simon Davies
The stunning 26th also started brilliantly with a pod of 3 ORCAS feeding (just mooching around really!) in Nouster before they drifted off out towards Sanday; the day’s other highlight came late morning with a smart female Honey Buzzard seen drifting up the west coast before seemingly heading away north but it bottled out of the sea crossing ahead of her and drifted back in allowing the rest of the staff to get fantastic views as it perched on rocks near Westness.
It was a similar day to yesterday after this with the exception of the first 2 Little Terns of the year briefly in Nouster; the Curlew Sandpiper was still present with a reduced number of other waders while other birds included a Sparrowhawk, single Woodpigeon and Collared Dove, 9 Sand Martins, 5 House Martins, 2 Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff and a Spotted Flycatcher.
Honey Buzzard, photos Simon Davies
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