Monday, 6 October 2014

6th October 2014 Out Skerries SE9 Rain

The winds turn southeast but they are so strong it's hard to stand up at times! Got the 90 minute early morning walk in before any rain arrived and there were 30 Pinkfeet on the airstrip and a dozen Greylags on the hill and a count of 105 Eider were sheltering from the worst of the wind and 2 Snow Buntings flew past but just a handful of Song Thrushes were seen. It then started raining quite heavily at times and birds began to arrive with good numbers of both Song Thrushes and Redwings suddenly everywhere and the odd Blackbirds being the first that have felt true migrants, a few small flocks of Brambling and with smaller numbers of Goldcrests and Blackcaps. A Common Stonechat found at the pool was the first we've seen and somewhat frustrating as at about the same time a Siberian Stonechat was found at Skaw on Whalsay being the closest land to Out Skerries! A Tufted Duck was then a surprise sheltering in the harbour before quickly relocating to the pool. The third surprise quickly followed as a male Yellowhammer was seen at Rocklea with presumably the same individual later seen at the pool. Met the others late afternoon and they had found a Melodious Warbler in the North Hill geo but it was too late to attempt to get out there. More frustration then came in the form of flushing two Long- or Short-eared Owls that due to the buffeting winds and rain-soaked optics escaped all too quickly before any critical detail could be seen. Storm force 10 southeasterly winds are forecast for tonight...
Pink-footed Goose 30
Greylag Goose 12
Tufted Duck 1
Eider 105
Heron 10
Water Rail h
Ringed Plover 6
Golden Plover 40
Lapwing 2
Dunlin 2
Jack Snipe 3
Snipe 5
Turnstone 12
Black-headed Gull 2
Arctic Tern 2
Long- / Short-eared Owl 2
Goldcrest 5
Skylark 5
Blackcap 6
Blackbird 5
Song Thrush 100
Redwing 100
Robin 2
Stonechat 1
Wheatear 10
Dunnock 1
White Wagtail 1
Meadow Pipit 30
Chaffinch 2
Brambling 25
Siskin 1
Snow Bunting 2
Yellowhammer 1 male
Reed Bunting 4
Pinkfeet inadvertently flushed from the airstrip

but they didn't go far

grounded Greylags on the same hillside

pleased not to be on the early morning ferry

unfortunately nothing Siberian about this Stonechat

Tufted Duck sheltering in the harbour

the afternoon ferry looked no more inviting!

Male Yellowhammer on Out Skerries

Stormy harbour viewed from the bridge