Our transport awaits
Once we'd got ourselves sorted, out in the field by 10 and the action commenced. A tristis Chiff in the school garden was a great start. Flocks of Redwings were coming south and with them things of interest, two Lapland Buntings were amongst one of the early flocks. A Blue Tit in the Fuschia of a garden, a Hawfinch with another flock (landed on the dyke but I missed getting pics).
There were very tame Goldcrests at Holland.
In the Quarry Garden, the same or another Hawfinch and there were Blackcaps dotted about.
AL and I headed up the north end where the Redwings and Song Thrushes were streaming in. Ring Ouzels, Jack Snipe, Snow Bunting were added.
I searched the east side and the palette garden as AL sorted the north.
Also a couple of Blackcaps, an elusive and confusing (for me) Willow Warbler, a very elusive bunting sp.
Time for a boat.
and some washing...
The Holm of Papay
Not much movement on Sunday, a few species were added, but we carelessly lost a crew member as AL flew back.
This colour marked Sanderling has an interesting history, ringed on Sanday in 2011, controlled on North Ron in 2012 and sighted twice in Iceland, back in Sanday and found now on Papay in 2014.
Monday started for me with a seawatch, a Great Northern Diver, an Iceland Gull and troublsome skuas were the highlight. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I'd made a mess of the ID of a pale phase skua that past reasonably close, quite possibly a Pom, but that a dark phase more distant and right at the end of the watch was indeed a Pom (dark phase Poms are uncommon about 8% of the population). I'm out of practice with skuas these days which shows how infrequent they are here other than during the summer, I mostly see them flying around The Shunan.
Time for a last bird, rare on Orkney.
All too soon it was time to go, via the shortest, timetabled flight in the UK, around a minute to Westray.