Aug 27, 2008

Out at Rango.

A spin around wet sights on the west mainland produced little this afternoon. I was at Finstown Ouze,Bosquoy and Sabiston and hadn’t seen very much. Although it was bright the stiff breeze was very testing. There was certainly nothing to be seen on the lochs and few enough waders around shallower muddy edges. Eventually the mill dam at Rango. This was the place I was looking forward to. It has good mud flats for waders and has been featuring all week over on orkbird. There has been a steady flow of really good sightings for days and seemed promising.

On arriving there was two large balls of birds rolling and settling back down one was starlings and the other were waders. There must have been some threat passing over. Things were settling as I pulled up. A quick scan with the bins showed nothing close on the water but scoping the far side showed waders on the muddy fringes. Exelent! In the distance two birders with scopes are slowly packing up and returning so I wait as they walk back before heading around the loch to where they were standing. This is to see if any birds are put up as they walk and to sus out where the path is as its further around than I have been before. Saying hello to the two lads walking out they tell me I have just missed the three Spotted Redshank a bit of a bummer but never mind. The path reveals two Reed bunting, three mipits, and a small flock of Swallows passing at head height with noisy chatter. Looking from the fence corner that reveals the furthest mud flats there is a fair bit of movement. Binoculars reveal there are birds of different sizes along the loch edge. Scoping them from as low a position as I can get to keep out the wind I start to look through finding Redshank Curlew, Knot and Dunlin and eventually Ruff. I only was sure of three Ruff but I’m sure there were more. Every so often small birds would take the attention,Mippits on the fence or Reed Buntings moving about. The wader flock I had seen earlier rose up from one of the fields behind me and headed for the loch passing at head height above me. With a rush of birds and the whoosh of feathers through the air they circled the loch before eventually landing on the opposite side in a field already occupied by a flock of Greylag geese. They lasted for a while but a Bonxie passing at water level put up every thing within a hundred yards and they gained altitude and disappeared. With all the waders up and swirling I picked out one Ruff by its tail and was all pleased with my self. I soon deflated when I tried to find them again oh well!. The panic had shown me there were twice as many Dunlin as I had thought!

Another good look through showed me nothing new and a check of the geese revealed no collars (if you see a goose with a collar could you please phone it in to the RSPB office cheers) so it was time to go. The wind straight in the face was enough to convince me to head for the kettle rather than hang around for another hour…tempting as it was….

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