Monday 1 January 2018

1 Jan 18 - Happy New Year 2018

Happy New Year 2018 and I hope you have a good year birding on your patch and further afield.

Where did 2017 go? As you will have seen by all the placeholders in my blog 2017 has ended up like 2016 where my blog didn't get very much attention. This year I am going to try to update the blog as the year progresses and in addition I'm going to go back through my notes and references and backfill the missing info so that there will be a reasonable set of information on the bird activity in Burray since my blog started.

So whereas 2017 ended on a wet and windy note the first day of the new year started calm and dry with a reasonable sunrise. There was a short period of rain during the early afternoon which then cleared revealing the almost first full moon of the year. The full moon actually occurs on the 2nd Jan.

The first bird of the year seen was a Rock Dove in the field surrounding the garden here at the cottage. It was soon joined by other Rock Doves and some feral pigeons.

Next up a group of Starlings appeared on the roof of my old byre and flying over the fields to the East of the cottage was a small group of Ravens.

Having put some food out my resident female Blackbird appeared, along with a Robin and some House Sparrows.

I took the opportunity to set my ground trap and caught and ringed a House Sparrow and three Starlings. My first ringing of 2018 and the first time I have done any ringing on the first day of a new year.

We were out for lunch and one the way to our friends I saw three Hooded Crows, one Common Gull and 31 Greylag Geese between leaving the cottage and driving down the track to the road.

There was just time for a very quick look on Echna Loch as we drove past and I saw two Mute Swans, six Tufted Ducks, three Mallards and a Grey Heron. Then while crossing Churchill Barrier 3, on the Scapa Flow side, there were a couple of Eiders and eight Shags sat on the wreck.

No the longest of lists to start the year but here is plenty of time to get a good look around the island to see what is about.

If you are birding on Burray and you see anything interesting do send me a message via the blog using the form on the right hand side of the blog main page. I look forward to hearing from you.

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