Oct 4, 2010

Im just back from a spin about out west. First stop was the ring of Brodgar for a look at the occupants of the bird crop beside the main gate. This flock was mostly Linnet with a good number of greenfinch and a few Twite. The only unusual bird in amongst it was a male Chaffinch. This all didn’t hold the attention for to long and it was saddle up and onwards. Crossing the Voy road I stopped for two separate cock Wheatears Both were large and well brown which left me thinking Greenland? The bushes at Voy had a obvious smattering of Siskin with flashing yellow birds flitting about. I don’t stop but carry on to Yesnaby. Its errked me that only four of us saw the Buff bellied pipit and my consequent attempts have been fruitless but one more try eh! Well that wasn’t to be, the cliff tops and scrambling track were pipit free zones. There are a small flock of Golden plover which get a scan through for intruders but to no avail. Every thing in the valley below the old mill rises and ball se a peregrine flashes through. The action lasts for less than a minute before the Peregrine moves of whilst being mobbed. From there its off to Stromness via the cauldhame road. There is little to see along the cauldhame road apart from the fine view. Peeling off for a circuit of the loons does little for the day list. A fresh southerly wind is scouring the whole area. I peel of once again and head to Warbeth beach. This is empty of waders and the fields behind only yield up some mippits and a single Sky lark. On the way back out though I see the bird of the day!. In the field besides the pond where the Herons roost a large broad winged raptor rises, its trailing jessies and this is an obvious sign that it’s an escaped falconers bird. Its mobbed before it gains to much altitude and heads in the direction of Brinkies bray. I take pursuit but cant find it once I am on the other side of the hill. I end up going to Ness battery and walking round the fence to gain a view but all to no avail, I had lost it!! After a couple of visits in the town I head to The Brig of Waith and a stop to snap some waders where I find horror of horrors I don’t have a camera in my pocket!! A retrace of my steps finally has me in the middle of a stubble field where to my relief theres my camera lying there waiting for me to pick up…peew!! I might not have seen a lot today but its all well that ends well.

On another tack though its worth noting that over the last few days there has been a substantial passage of Brambling and Siskin with good flocks being reported all over. Siskins are a colourful bird that will happily come to garden peanut feeders, so it might be worth topping up your feeders and keeping a weather eye on it!

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