Sunday, 10 April 2016

Holiday week 2

Monday and I was doing the track....

Tuesday's seawatch and a Common Scoter, uncommon at Birsay was followed by a smart DD morph Blue Fulmar. Also on Tuesday a trip to The Loons found that there were still 15 Greenland Whitefronts and good numbers of Pink-feet.

Wednesday I made a big effort to finish the track and collected three loads from the quarry. Ruff on The Shunan was nice.

There have been up to four hanging around

Thursday I intended to go seawatching again but got to Palace and there was a huge scrum of gulls by the beach feeding on the high tide and the massive rollers that were driving on to the beach. I found an adult Iceland Gull fairly promptly but it as quickly disappeared and then took a further 40 mins or so to relocate it for some record shots. I did eventually go seawatching but it was a session of maybes; a maybe GND, a distant flock of grey geese that maybe were of interest and then a maybe Velvet Scoter, all very distant and nothing tickable for a year tick on the patch. Loch of Boardhouse did produce Slavonian Grebes and Red-throated Divers though.

 Gull scrum

 Adult Iceland Gull

After the seawatch I went for a bit of a wander.

Then in the garden in the afternoon some non-birdy things...

 First Yellow Dung Fly ( Scathophaga stercoraria) of the year, note black antennae

Cepea hortensis

Friday in the sunshine, 81 Great Northern Divers counted from my spot near Hatston, that's a lot of GND. Many of these were a good distance away, there could have been half a dozen Bananabills in with that lot, however, I suspect not. Also there 697 Eider around the fish cages, 4 Velvet Scoter and 6 or so Slavonian Grebes. Conditions were perfect when I got there with perfect visibility but that deteriorated after about 40 minutes. The Eider were around the fish cages and the males at least were easily identifiable, but no sign of a king.

Yesterday was miserable most of the day, but a patch year tick in the shape of a Bonxie that came low through the garden. A session down near the Merkister  a couple of hours later produced Slavonian Grebe, Red-throated Divers and a couple of Fulmar as well as another Bonxie terrorising everything.

 Rooks and a rabbit from the kitchen window

A repeat of that session this afternoon in better conditions got the Slav Grebe count up to four and there was yet another Fulmar, and one over The Shunan too. Star of today though was the 3cy Glaucous Gull I found having delivered older daughter to her social destination.

Glaucous Gull having a drink

Still very pleased with the Kowa bins, they are brighter than the Nikons and seem a tad sharper too. The close focus will be useful when the hover season starts, none yet here.


Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Those rooks are hilariously bedraggled!

Alastair said...

They were very damp...