Sunday, 24 April 2011


View to the Graemsay Light and Clestrain Sound

A long held ambition has been to add Gannet to the "from the garden" list. It's about 7 miles to the sea that we can see from the garden, we can see the Graemsay light and just to the north is a thin strip of the Clestrain Sound that is visible. Because of the various water bodies that I'm looking across to this piece of sea (three, Loch of Bosquoy, Loch of Harray and Loch of Stenness) there is nearly always shimmer which makes identification of any birds in The Sound pretty much impossible. But today it was clear. Within five minutes of beginning the attempt a Gannet was clearly seen winging its way south through The Sound, result. Last year I did manage Shag, their small flocks are not too hard to identify in the right conditions (no shimmer) but so far this year none have been espied. I think seeing Tystie, which is common in the sound, may just be a step too far... or maybe not, the loan of a Questar may be called for however.


Hebrew Character (also caught Common Quaker)

Such a good start to the day was quickly added to with a Greenshank on The Shunan and a Sparrowhawk hunting the garden Starlings. Then it was off to Swanney and Keith's garden. The luck did not hold. After four hours, a good soaking and no Subalpine Warbler I called it a day, it was seen twice whilst I was there, somehow I was in the wrong place at the right time and dipped.

On to Birsay where there was a Blackcap, a Swallow, good numbers of Sand Martins and Wheatears, a nice bowl of soup, White Wagtails and a Common Sandpiper.


White Wagtail

White Wagtail

Mute Swans

Previous evening from home.


Holodyke trees

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