Sunday, 17 January 2016

Surfin' Kirkwall

The fish cages at Hatston are often interesting and it was dead calm today so on the way to Scapa for another try for the Brunnich's I gave the area a bit of scrutiny. There is a similar species mix to Rerwick area, but a lot closer to home, if a tad more industrialised. There have in the past been huge rafts of Eider and Long-tailed Duck here and today the L-tDs did not disappoint with a conservative 270. Velvet Scoter are a bit of a feature and on the glass-like sea 39 revealed themselves via the 82mm Nikon. The birds were scattered about in small groups and whilst watching one very distant group a bird flapped and did not show white in the wing. Straining the eye I started to make out white on the back of the neck and a large orange bill, bingo! Also present 39 Great Northerns (yes, bit of a coincidence) 6 or so Slav Grebes and a Red-throated Diver amongst commoner fayre.

 Gosh that's a good photo, 4th from left

There were few birds at Scapa when I finally got there, nice tame Rockit though.

At the start of the day I did my local WEBS counts but 90% icing reduced the quackers significantly. The Rooks are eyeing up their home again.

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