Saturday 11 June 2016

North winds

Recently the winds have been blowing from the north so not much chance for seeing migrants. The other day the first stop Grutness where Red Throated Diver (6) was a good number in the bay for this time of year. A flock of 30+ Common gull and 12 Razorbill made up the supporting cast.

On the pool a couple of Dunlin and several Arctic terns, some carrying fish to pass onto their mate. I didn't see any with sand eels just small fish which is not a good sign. A couple of Bonnix passed over mobbed by several gulls.

The garden was quiet with only a Willow warbler and a singing Chiffchaff. A flock of noisy Twite passed overhead as I walked onto the beach.. Two Swallow flew low over the beach collecting insects and  a flock of 18 summer plumage Sanderling scurried up and down the beach avoiding the incoming tide.

Approaching Sumburgh Gardens it didn't sound good as the gardeners began clearing the weeds and cutting the grass making the area less attractive to migrants.

At Hillwell Tufted (12) Mallard (6) Shelduck (3) Moorhen (2) around 50 terns flew over the pool, around the edge Oystercatcher (6) Curlew (3) Redshank (6) BH Gull(12) Raven (3) Greylag (6). Down at Quendale just a single Chiffchaff and Swallow.

Spiggie held Gt Skua (138) bathing , Whooper Swan (pair +6 young which is great to see as there is only around 15 pairs breeding in the whole of the UK. They did breed here last year. Tufted (34), Teal(6) Shelduck (2) Mallard (16) Red Throated Diver(4) and a number of gulls made up the rest.

At Scousborough Bay Gt Northern Diver (2), Red Throated Diver (3) Black Guillemot (6) Razorbill (8) Eider (8) Fulmar, Gt BB, LBB, Herring Gulls and many seals on the beach

On the way up to Sumburgh Farm I met a birder just back from Fair Isle that morning and on the way back he had incredible views of the Black Browed Albatross that turned up for around 5 hours. This must be the bird that has recently been seen in Germany as `Albert Ross' - the one seen at Hermaness for many years 1970- 1995 must be at least 50 years old. ( we manage to see it among Gannets in 1993)

Later on Sunday evening, news came in that an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler had been found in a garden at Scatness, just my luck as I had no chance to get down to see it.


Sorry for the late post but no internet for a week

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