Friday, 23 August 2019

Today was the nicest day of the week, winds were down and evening swinging round to the east, and the sun was out.

It was the last full day for the young birders and so, as it is customary, the bird race was today. Three teams set out to see as many species as possible and try to beat the other teams scores. It turned out to be a good day to do it and lots of new birds were found. Migrants such as Pomarine Skua, Common Gull, Sand Martin and Reed Bunting were seen, birds that haven't been seen much or at all this autumn. At the end of the day the scores were added up and like the quiz it was close! The three teams scored 58, 60 and 60, despite all teams seeing birds that the other teams did not, and so it was a tie!
Hightlights from the day came from all over. The seawatching in the morning was farily producive with Skuas passing at sea and seen flying over the land with seven Arctic and five Great. Terns were moving in the early morning with 30 Sandwhich Terns and 44 Arctic Terns along with four Common Scoter and a single Puffin. Nant and the observatory were far busier than they have been with four Spotted Flycatchers, nine Goldcrests, 30 Willow Warblers, eight Chiffchaffs, a single Garden Warbler, three Robins, a Sand Martin over and a Song Thrush providing some entertainment. Elsewhere there were 144 Linnets, a single Goldfinch, and waders numbered 4 Turnstone, a single Common Sandpiper, five Dunlin, nine Sanderling, eight Knot and four Ringed Plovers.

Two of the three Arctic Skuas seen over the island

Great Skua (Bonxie) at the north end

The BBQ for the young birders last day

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