Tuesday, 6 October 2009

It's all getting a bit manic ...

Friday afternoon saw me out of a meeting and over to the Langskaill Plantation on East Mainland playing my usual game of dipping. I may have seen vireo leaf movement, or I may not but the first of three serious attempts to see this bird ended in a cold, dank trudge back to the car.

Saturday seawatch produced three lovely Soots winging past Birsay. But then when I got home I found that (SW I presume) had clocked 33, 5 Leach's and a couple of Grey Phals. Well that's one theory blown out of the water. An evening return produced nothing more. A repeat effort the next morning did find me seeing 4 Great Northerns and an Arctic Skua. A nip up the coast soon explained why Whitaloo might be a better bet, that bit of height made the difference.

Sunday afternoon and what to do, dip of course, three attempts and three failures for the vireo, I even failed to see the Yellow-browed there. However, chin up Orkney ticks of Chaffinch and Goldcrest. What to do next? Homage to the juvvy AGP which was showing well then into the quarry garden where there was a rather odd acredula Willow Warbler (bright orange feet and legs) and another Orkney tick Pied Fly. Feeling a bit better I headed for the bushes at Sandside and bingo Yellow-browed, now I felt much better.

At the end of the day on Monday I felt like some fresh air and the text news indicated Birsay was a good destination. EM and I trudged the beach rather dejectedly until he had to leave. Feeling another dip was coming on I redoubled my effort and bingo! Initial distant views turned into a rather excellent half hour close range grilling, albeit virtually in the dark by the end, of a Spotted Sandpiper.

First thing this morning and further American possibilities with the report of a putative Epidonax flycatcher over on Burray but work beckoned ... it had disappeared in any case.

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