The second surprise of the day came later on when some of the volunteers took a lighthouse tour and when at the top, the first bird they saw was the adult White-winged Black Tern flying in to Bewan after its jaunt up to Fair Isle but typically it soon disappeared and was not seen again – there are far fewer Arctic Terns present now for it to hang around with than when it was last here.
Other birds of note included the Black-throated Diver still in Nouster, the first Merlin of the autumn up the west coast, 550 Golden Plover, 39 Knot, 7 Black-tailed Godwits, the first fresh juvenile Kittiwake lingering off Torness, 2 Collared Doves and at least 5 Swifts.
The 2nd was (if possible) an even better day with wall to wall sunshine and hardly a breath of wind; the many eyes and calm seas produced the highlights of the day with 2 Orcas seen off Seal Skerry which cruised round the coast to the Beacon then out to sea and included a huge bull and later in the day a pod of 12-15 Risso’s Dolphins frolicked off the west coast.
Birdwise it was a bit quieter in the fine conditions with two small Water Rail chicks showing well next to the Ancum hide perhaps the highlight while other totals included 2 Herons, 580 Golden Plover, 12 Bar-tailed Godwits, 8 Whimbrel, a Greenshank and at least 3 Swifts.
Our Arctic Skua chick is now flying!
The Water Rail chicks at Ancum are not yet!
and this Kittiwake has been for a while!
photos Simon Davies