Sunday, 27 September 2015


Saturday and much of Sunday morning were spent on Papay, and I could have flown on to North Ron (well I did go there but I didn't get out) as there was room on the late afternoon flight back. However, thrashing around the island for the harrier didn't appeal, and I really wanted to have a go at my trees and see if there was a Y-bW at home (there wasn't and there still isn't (Monday).

Photos from Papay later. No surprises though, just two or maybe three Yellow-browed Warblers. Birding was hard work, not that many birds around.

Back at home the kitchen rocket was pulling them in with 10+ Eristalis pertinax, Helophilus pendulus, Syrphus sp a plenty, Eristalis arbustorum (likely) and a wee beastie that is now in a bottle. No time to put the moth trap out - maybe tomorrow.

The following photos are of Eristalis arbustorum on Ragwort at Loch of Bosquoy yesterday, there were two individuals on the plant.

Note, no face stripe, hind metatarsus as thick as tibia, mid tibia dark in distal third at least, and I think I can just about make out plumose arista on the original photos if not on these lower resoulution images.

The barley has finally been harvested and there were  2,000 Common Gulls, 100s of Rooks and Starlings and a few Woodpigeons cashing in. Good numbers of Lapwing and Peregrine, Merlin, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and a smart male Hen Harrier all put in an appearance.

Couple of ID problems from Loch of Bosquoy and from home...

Thanks to Lee Johnson for the id Anthocoris nemorum

 Thanks to several folk who pointed me towards Ruby Tiger, I think that is correct.

Both the above have been sent to the appropriate recorder for checking.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Harray mostly

 Angle Shades from the moth trap on Saturday, also Acleris sparsana and Garden Rose Tortrix which were both new for the year.

 Tricky to ID a male Syrphus sp. Also around over the weekend H. pendulus, E. pertinax and a likely E. abusivus as well as a further gang of Syrphus sp.

 Little Stint at Palace this weekend. But bird of the weekend was the Redstart at the Howaback bushes, too elusive for a pic though. Thousands of Golden Plover at Howaback on Sunday and an influx of Reed Buntings. 

Golden Plover

Common Seals at The Links

Sunday's moth trap held two new species for me.

 It is suggested that this is Square Spot Rustic, can't see it myself (not Brick though I'd agree) comments welcome



Thursday, 17 September 2015

Alba wags roost

Loch of Harray Tuesday evening. There was a huge roost of alba wags by the Merkister hotel. Looking again tonight something between one in four and one in three were alba.alba

Sunday, 13 September 2015

A week of aurora

...often hidden by cloud but some nice moments.

An interesting field full of waders at Palace today yielded just three Ruff in the end but surely it will attract something sooner or later. Otherwise a Goldcrest was a year tick and a Kestrel was just second for the year. Tantalising was a largish warbler that flitted out of the verge and across the road but was not refound.

At home a Phyllosc flitted across the garden and disappeared into next door's.

and a few hovers...

 Syritta pipiens

 Xylota segnis

 Syrphus ribesii

 Home sky

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Birding biker, flying visit

Gary came by during the Orkney leg of his massive tour. With the UK green list in the bag he's now aiming for the European record. He continues to repeat his previous tour of visiting every UK RSPB reserve.

Gary is raising money for a number of good causes, donations can be made here -

 ... and off to Birsay Moors and Rousay

The moth trap brought a wee new beast for the year in double quantity, Acleris rhombana

5 Soots finally gave themselves up at Pt of Buckquoy, and I still haven't seen a Manx...

There was a nice flock of 6 Ruff at Northside on a newly cut field.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Swallow pic

Whoa! A mite pleased with this pic.....