Now I have seen ESP (that would be the bird, not the beer which I haven't supped in a long time) already this year but that was in the hand when I ventured out to one of AL's ringing sessions late at night. We walked up to the cairn at Knowe of Geoso, a favourite trek from Bay of Skaill and I set up the scope with little expectation. It was good to find a trickle of southerly movement even in the "dead hours" of early afternoon. Two Manx went south at first peek and then five Arctic Terns, a Common Tern, a few Kittiwakes and the unmistakable flutter and land on the sea (even though it was about a mile away) of European Storm Petrel. Zooming in I got a pretty good view before it disappeared, vapourised even, as they do. Four Barwits also went south, distantly.
On the way back to base a Greenshank called at Loch of Skaill.
Excellent pic of the harrier...
A late start in the morning had found the female Marsh Harrier on the deck on the banks of The Shunan and four Ruff there. A nip to Bosquoy had me thinking Water Rail, I'll have to go back and check this but it certainly sounded like one. The Coot flock has reached 239 and there was a pile of gulls on the now cut and bailed hay field.
Its looking like a good evening for the Swallow roost so I guess I better get the tea on.... the wild mushrooms we found should come in handy.
I could be wrong but I'm thinking these are Square-spot Rustic
Loch of Bosquoy, late p.m.
There were but three Swallows at The Loons roost, and they flew through. However, two new calls; Teal juvenile contact calls and Water Rail juvenile to adult calls.