Monday, 1 February 2016

Rough weather

The wettest month on record for Orkney I believe is what marks January 2016. Certainly getting out in the field has at times been challenging, indeed on Saturday morning I was nearly blown down a (admittedly small) cliff, but staying on my feet was a challenge, let alone seeing any birds.

Equally there have been some lovely days, brilliant for seeing water birds. My list for the Old Nisthouse patch has my lowest January total for this month, just 51 species. Patch tick of a very surprising addition, Little Auk, was some compensation. Strange things were afoot though, the earliest ever Oystercatcher, and three records of the species during the month, species like Meadow Pipit were quite common, Stonechat quickly ticked off.

On the Palace patch Little Auk was also added (yesterday), and early birds for the year were represented by a Bonxie, extraordinarily early.

Bonxie at Palace yesterday

The seawatch from Point of Buckquoy yesterday was interesting with Fulmar going 3,000 an hour, a few Guillemot and Razorbill, a very early Puffin and the afore mentioned Little Auks.

There were seven Brown Hares in the Palace fields.

A roost of 111 Purple Sandpipers at the Whale Bone were a good sight.

Tonight it is blowing again and around midnight it should reach a peak with gusts of over 70mph.

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