Saturday, 7 February 2015

Another quacker (or two) from across the pond

Nice surprise this afternoon. Having delivered youngest daughter to a friend's I went on to Loch of Skaill, always a place for lots of birds. Working through the tufties for about the third time the bill markings of one jumped out at me, nice, Ring-necked Duck. It was quite close and I got good views for about a minute. Looked away to text it out, looked back, disappeared..... Searching through again I picked out the Green-winged Teal that was found there last week, more brightly marked than the Bosquoy bird to my eye, a different one.

Ring-necked Duck, the one on the water

Not found R-nD before, so rather chuffed. Subsequently managed to relocate it at the other end of the loch.

Earlier on the seawatch at Point of Buckquoy produced a Blue Fulmar, a Puffin and right at the death a very smart 2cy Glaucous Gull, think that's the ninth one for the Palace patch this year. Also there Tystie for the year.

This has been present in Palace village all winter so far, not a species that is especially common there

No sign of the rarer teals on the home patch. On Bosquoy a large female Peregrine was terrifying everything towards dusk. With persistence she forced a Curlew down on to the water repeatedly but just couldn't pick it off. In the end I wasn't convinced it was serious about hunting and was perhaps just being playful, not that the Curlew was enjoying the game. Also there a couple of Goosander.

On Thursday finally added Black-headed Gull to the year list for the home patch, hunting over the new partially harvested neep field.

Patchwork running totals for 2015
Old Nisthouse - 61 species (85 points)   FootIt - 53 (66)    Comparitive PWC 2014 - 117 (169 points)

Palace, Birsay - 46 species (58 points) - Comparitive PWC 2013 - 93 (121 points)

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