Monday, 22 October 2012


Lovely morning at Birsay, on to the Brough, although no migrants there but a few mepits. A search of the beaches and Palace revealed a flock of at least 17 Lapland Buntings on the Links near the cafe. In the village there was a Goldfinch but little else.

The Laps were rather flighty

Boardhouse Loch held at least 12 Slavonian Grebes, three Whooper Swans, Long-tailed Duck, 2 Goldeneye, Tufted, Pochard and Wigeon.

Back at the ranch I was completing the dog enclosure project (not entirely successfully) when it slowly began to dawn on me that the call I kept hearing was of interest, a look into the nearest Sycamore and there was a Long-tailed Tit. Third new bird for the garden in two days. (I need to look into the races of this species as it seemed a bit streaky on the breast.) Comments welcome, does this look just like a standard UK bird?

A real rarity here, although there's a bit of an invasion at the moment

Enclosure works were continued, badminton played in the garden, half time break so I thought I'd have another crack at pix of the L-tT which I could hear as we played. Movement caught my eye over the house, hirundine, haven't seen one of those for over a week. Oh, it's got a pale rump, and quite long outer tails, penny dropped as I saw the pale throat and the collar. Yabbadabbadoo!! I'd long wanted to find Red-rumped Swallow and here it was, now circling the trees next door, fine views, then it was gone. In all, about 25 seconds of wonder.

Photographer arrived late afternoon to have a go at the rook roost. We wandered into the kitchen to make tea, and there was the Great Spotted Woodpecker on the peanuts again, so it's still around.

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