Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Winter seawatch

Point of Buckquoy is not a bad seawatch place, a bit low and the Brough does force some birds out but sitting in the car means that concentration is better. In a strong wind it can act like a trap, especially for petrels, although the danger is that birds will cut across the fields behind the car park.

Today the wind was not so high and there were Fulmars and Kitts passing at about 2km + and gulls close in and behind me. It was a toss up, look for the close in Ivory Gull or scan with the scope for the Wanderer. I kind of compromised and was lucky to get on to a mid range Sooty which showed well, bit late mate! The Fulmars were shifting at about 2000+ / hour and there were a good few Kitts. The close in gull passage was predominantly of Common Gulls but there were about 100 GB-bGulls in the hour as well as 60 Herring Gulls, loads will have gone behind me as well. Other bonus birds were one Little Auk and two Blue Fulmars. There was also three Red-throated Divers and a few Eider. Other things included a Grey Plover and Snow Buntings were heard.

I had a look at Marwick where there were a few gulls.

Then on to Skaill where was a nice 1cy Glaucous Gull, loads of waders and gulls and a Merlin.

Back at the ranch we had woken to the sound of Whooper Swans. The Tree Sparrow was present, a Grey Heron flew by and a female Hen Harrier was hunting most of the day. Louise found three Shorties between the stables and home. There are still Redwings about and at roost time there were three or four with the Blackbirds (17) and another 15 down at the Shunan. The Greenfinch record was shattered with an epic 47 at the feeders.

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