Friday 4 January 2019

Pied Wagtail and Fulmar

Today I had to drive between work's Stromness and Kirkwall offices. First time I have been able to do this run in daylight this year. As I left Stromness and drove up over Howe Brae I encountered a couple of Pied Wagtails running around in the middle of the road.

As I turned onto the main road at the bottom of the brae I was hoping to spot Oystercatchers and Redshank on a small islet on the loch side of the road but it was empty. There was no sign of the otters by the Brig O'Waithe either.

Once clear of Finstown and heading towards Ingashowe on the sea side of the road there are some very low (less than 10ft) cliffs which hold a small breeding population of my favourite sea bird and today I saw four of them flying back and forth along the cliff edge. So that added Fulmar to my Orkney list too. I was expecting to see this species on the higher cliffs on the North side of Echnaloch Bay on New Year's Day but I think the strong winds had forced them of the cliffs and out into Scapa Flow, so I still need them for my patch list.

Weekend tomorrow, forecast isn't looking too bad dry with Force 4-5 Westerly winds on Saturday veering round to the North-West on Sunday and decreasing during Sunday to be Force 1-2 on Sunday afternoon. Then there is a big blow (currently forecast to be Force 10-11) coming in for overnight Monday into Tuesday!!

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