Twin-spot Carpet (I think)
On the crossing I saw my first juv Tysties of the year, a single by Graemsay and five in a flock of adults off Moaness. Off the fish farm the water bubbled a couple of times with shoals of fish which a Bonxie seemed unable to feed from despite its best efforts.
I headed for Hoy Lodge Plantation and spent about an hour and a half searching for Coal Tit which despite hearing possible calls (those thin sounds which might be Coalie or might be Goldcrest, I confirmed neither) I failed to find; however, there was at least one (Common) Crossbill in there. Unfortunately I missed recording its call so a more certain id was not established. The plantation was very quiet in comparison to last year, when it had been full of Willow Warbler song, Chaffinch call and a lively place for birds. I did find evidence of Sparrowhawk activity though.
I then aimed north and headed across the moor to Hoy Forest (Bu Plantation). As I got there the rain began in earnest but the north-west corner was most productive with Coal Tit singing, at least two Coal Tit juvs whizzing around the trees, Robin with young, a pair of Chaffinch and a juv Willow Warbler. I was sure I heard Stonechat too but failed to see it.
I had a quick look at the coast and then retraced my steps, though going around Bu. Back at Hoy Lodge I sheltered under the tress for a while and continued listening for Coal Tit there.
Back at Moaness for the ferry Greenshank was noisy in the bay and there were at least two Red-throated Divers. (By this point actually managing to see anything through the bins was a bit of a challenge as all my cleaning clothes were rather damp and all they did was smear the water across the lenses. I can report that there were lots of rather distant "dots" on the water which I presumed to be a mixture of Eider, Tystie and Shag.) Closer, a Gannet looked rather lonely, surrounded by 14 Bonxies.
Boat slip, Moaness
Very cold and wet when I finally got back to the car, heater on full blast for the short spin home.