Wednesday 31 July 2013


First seawatch of the autumn today as the wind was at least in the right quarter for once. Then over to The Brough and watched some more surrounded by breeding Puffins which was nice.

Nipped in to Stromness for nine, went to the wrong, but likely place for the 2bxbills and saw them feeding high in the sycamore as soon as I got out of the car. However, after a brief view and then sending out texts to alert the local grapevine no further sign despite an hour tramping around Stromness. Some excellent pix by TW and MR on Orkbird.

Monday 29 July 2013

More waders

230 Curlew at Loch of Bosquoy and this evening 20 Dunlin, a Knot, three Sanderling and a Whimbrel on the Links Beach at Palace.

Two broods of tufted on Bosquoy today and a brood on Parra Shun, seen fromj the garden, five recently hatched.

Also this evening 1000 or so Swallows in the roost at The Loons.

Saturday 27 July 2013

Wader movements

Waders are starting to move through now with Lapwing building up, more than 250 today, similar numbers of Oystercatchers too. Best though were the 16 Blackwits that dropped in yesterday evening. Five of these remainded this morning and mid morning they were joined by six Whimbrel which flew in high from the north. Annoyingly I missed a small Calidris which defied detection until I looked back from the house yesterday evening by which time both fog and dark were rolling in. Curlew and Oystercatcher still have young and are calling and agitated everytime I take the dog down the track.

Thursday there was a Willow Warbler in the garden, the first warbler in the garden this year. None were located yesterday but one more juv was on the bird feeders this morning, contemplating a change of diet perhaps.

Monday 22 July 2013

Oh, shit!

Yesterday Gary Woodburn got a phone call and whizzed off and connected with Fea's (, same job here except I didn't bother to go and look. Ok I'm slightly further away from the sea, would have taken me at least 20 minutes and probably 30 by the time I'd tramped out to the best spot on The Brough, it was spit clear here and windy, calm and foggy in Northumberland, but maybe I should have given it a go....

Have just got back from hols, will post the Arran story shortly.

Saturday 6 July 2013


Too much house stuff and looking after ponies, let alone work, has meant little time for posting, although I have been going birding, though mostly around home. Work pretty much ceased a week ago, but the decorating then required attention, oh and I watched some telly, well I couldn't actually get to Glastonbury and beeb coverage was pretty good. Have managed to listen to a lot of radio, some excellent beeb drama and the mastertapes series has kept me entertained whilst weilding the paint brush. Haven't bothered to go and look at the Rosey, well there's another problem as the car is currently undergoing some major health care.

Breeding birds are interesting, waders seem to have done pretty well, Black-headed Gulls also, but Common Gulls didn't look to be so good although two juvs appeared on The Shunan today. Quackers have been a bit disappointing, Shelducks have 4 well grown chicks now and the mallard are ok but at least around home Shoveler, Teal and Wigeon don't seem to have done much. In the last few days the first Tufted broods have begun to emerge.

A trip to Evie on Thursday produced a stonking sum plum Gt Northern close insure and the Artctic terns seem to be doing ok on Eyenhallow, with several hundred buzzing around and obvious signs of nesting. Eider don't seem to have done too well though with just 6 broods and plenty of ducklingless females flocked up and loafing.

Will get the pix together sooner or later.....