Mar 31, 2013

Orkneys stonechats have received a hammering over the last few hard winters. From once being a common moorland bird their numbers have crashed to become something of a rairity. Last winter was favourable tho and there was breeding in a few isolated sites. This winter has been mild for us as well and hopefully stonechats are starting to re-establish. This male was in a dale of the Harray hills and I found him whilst walking the pup.. I have now seen him a couple of times on visits but have yet to see a female to make a pair. With luck a lassie will happen along as he has taken up some prime real estate. Wrens have made a good recovery from the decimation of the past winters and the hill was ringing with their song along with several skylarks in the distance. I was only there for 40mins but I also managed to see a pair of buzzards ( another of our successful arrivals with numbers going up over the last couple of years) Both of them came down twice in the small trees besides Comleybank before lifting off to soar the ridge. Whilst up there the were harassed by a female kestrel. The first returning meadow pipits were about the heather although I have yet to hear one sing but its early days. Other raptors were a ringtail that came from the Lyde side and a shorteared owl that quartered the low heather and grazing’s below. Apart from these the only other birds were a raven and a couple of hoodies but as I said its early days

1 comment:

  1. Hi - I don't know much about how the intervening winters have gone for stonechats, but I just spent a chunk of this afternoon (1st September '15) watching a male pottering round the the RSPB Brodgar car park and neighbouring wetland.