Another fine, sunny day with an increasing SE breeze on the 27th led to all the quality birds being along the more sheltered west coast; the highlight was a Common Nightingale in sheep punds at the north end of Torness – it was a tricky bird in the field as views had suggested a Sprosser but as the Obs staff assembled, a net was erected and the bird easily caught to reveal it was the rarer (on here anyway!) Nightingale, only the 6th record for the island.
Also along the west coast were a female Bluethroat and an extremely late Woodcock while elsewhere a Sparrowhawk, 6 Woodpigeons, 4 Collared Doves, 3 Sand Martins, 2 House Martins, a Chiffchaff and a Pied Flycatcher were the other migrants of note.
Nightingale, photo Simon Davies
A different day on the 28th with overcast skies and a brisk westerly wind; a Hobby which flew south through the northern census area was the first for the year while another wave of waders included and excellent count of 370 Knot with over 300 at Westness alone but it was interesting to note that the high numbers comprised mainly grey plumaged birds with the high numbers of sparkling, bright red birds already passed through. Other wader counts included 221 Sanderling, 103 Dunlin and 317 Turnstone.
A late Barnacle Goose was wandering around Bewan with other migrants including a Sparrowhawk, 3 Woodpigeon, 2 Collared Doves, a Short-eared Owl, a Sand Martin, 3 House Martins, single Garden Warbler, Blackcap and Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Chiffchaffs and the lingering Chaffinch in full song at Holland. It was a good day for other wildlife as well with a Minke Whale seen heading south off The Lurn and a beautiful Hummingbird Hawkmoth seen along the coast at Quoybanks which, when combined with a little influx of Silver Y’s provides a good sign of more southern goodies to come!
Arctic Skuas continue to entertain, photo Simon Davies
while big gangs of young Starlings roamed the countryside, photo Simon Davies