Sunday, 9 December 2012

Birsay day

I wasn't supposed to be able to do much birding today, other than counting Greylag Geese but Louise had a horse event so I was supposed to look after the girls from 11 or so. Late yesterday the event was cancelled. I'd already been replaced on the goose count so a chance to go to Birsay. It blew hard last night as well and this morning it was round in the north, should be ideal.

Got to Point of  Buckoy around 9 and it was blowing a bit, the causeway was just clear as well but I hadn't checked the tide so wasn't sure which way it was going, eight hours stuck on The Brough in winter is not appealing.

I did an hours seawatch from the car park in which time the tide descended so decided that a walk around the island might be of interest. (the seawatch produced a Blue Fulmar amidst the hoards, and two red-throated Divers.) Getting myself organised and a Glaucous Gull flew by, a 1cy. I slid my way across  the causeway and emerged at the Viking settlement where I put a Merlin up. Then on to the light flushing a Snipe on the way. A couple of Rockits at the light. Back down the island, check the pond, through the gully where I sat and sea watched again, much better views from here, I should have come straight across. Counts confirmed my earlier Fulmar numbers of them going about 1,400 an hour.Ignoring the seabirds then the island had held four birds.

View from The Brough to Westray and Noup Head

Back to the car and check the Palace Beach where there was a Grey Plover, a very infrequent visitor and about 120 Purple Sands.

Grey Plover

On to the Links Beach and a very dark Glaucous Gull flew by. This looked much different to the one seen earlier, but similar to the one seen a month or so back. Not much else to report though, oh, except I flushed something out of the nettle patch but failed to get onto it, a small pipit like passerine mmmm (actually not what I said into the wind at all).

By the time had stopped by for tea and headed for Skaill it was getting dark so the loch was checked with minimal enthusiasm, nice Whoopers, a stack of Goldeneye and that was about it.


Nick Carter said...

What's this "too often rather grumpy" comment on your profile?? As long as I've know you (and thats a good while now mate) I've never known you to be grumpy.

Alastair said...

If you ask Mollie you might get a somewhat different perspective on my moods! We spend quite a bit of time growling at each other.

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