Overcast through the 24th with spells of light drizzle coming and going but the slightly miserable conditions did drop a few waders in through the day, including the first Wood Sandpiper (a juvenile at Cauldhame) and Little Stint (an adult on Gretchen) of the autumn. The rest of the day’s birds (as has been the case through the last month) consisted of wader counts, which today were 326 Oystercatchers, 343 Golden Plover, 11 Black-tailed Godwits (dropped in briefly to Gretchen in the afternoon), 7 Bar-tailed Godwits, 7 Whimbrel, 123 Turnstone and 2 Red-necked Phalaropes again.
Other little bits of note through the day included 2 Red-throated Divers and the Black-throated Diver again in Nouster, 2 Manx Shearwaters and a single Storm Petrel offshore during a little seawatch, the 2 juvenile Garganey again on Gretchen and the 4 Collared Doves around still.
A similar day on the 25th but with lighter winds and fewer drizzly spells and yet again, all the birds to mention were the fluctuating wader counts across the island (there is a daily turnover of birds but it does vary a little bit down to coverage); good observer coverage today produced 323 Oystercatchers, 599 Golden Plover, 180 Lapwing, 81 Knot, 146 Sanderling (numbers are building every day), 5 Purple Sandpipers, 154 Dunlin, 9 Black-tailed Godwits, 24 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Whimbrel (high over to the south), 105 Curlew, 174 Redshank, a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper (the first of the autumn at Westness), 171 Turnstone and the 2 Red-necked Phalarope.
Single Red and Black-throated Diver in the bay, a single Heron on Ancum and a Swift over Hooking completed the day’s sightings while overnight ringing included 60 Storm Petrels, a couple of Arctic Terns and some juvenile Sedge Warblers while attempting a Pied Wagtail roost (the Wagtails failed to show!).
Black-tailed Godwit, photos Simon Davies