Sunday 23 November 2014

Common Redstart

Having just got back from a business trip yesterday I was catching up on a few jobs out in the garden this morning while there was a break in the weather. It was a cool sunny morning and the wind was starting to freshen again as it veered round to the South West.

Just before lunchtime Barrie appeared while he was going round Burray doing a goose count. We went for a quick stroll up to the trig point so that we could look down onto the West side of the hill where there were a few shallow pools and some open ground. This is an area used as a breeding ground for Greylags in the summer but today it was totally devoid of any geese.

On the stroll up to the trig point there were a couple of Blackbirds and a flock of about 14 Redwings. We both spotted a small bird lift off from the right hand side of the track and fly across the track landing on a fence post. Instictively we both got our bins onto it pretty quickly and were both surprised to see a female Common Redstart. This was quite a late sighting for this species as usually any migrants have passed through by the end of October although North Rondalsay did have one on the 12 Nov 08.

Heading North and downwards away from the trig point we picked up the path that would take us back towards home. As we reach the path junction two Snipe were seen flying North West away from us. Four Fieldfares and a Robin were all we saw on the walk back to the house.

During Barrie's run round doing the goose count he also saw four Black-throated Divers out on the sea near to Burray cemetery.

So thanks to Barrie for turning up, otherwise I would not have gone for a walk and would have missed the Redstart which is a new patch and Burray tick for me.

November so far

On the 1 Nov Barrie found a Lesser Whitethroat in Burray village. There was also a Siberian Chiffchaff in the same area.

Up at Millfield in the space of an hour I had 15 Starlings, 13 House Sparrows, four Greenfinch, four Redwings, two Blackbirds, 1 Rock Dove, one male Chaffinch and the highlight of the morning a Black Redstart. This was a new garden tick, patch tick and Burray tick. A close second in highlight terms was a female Hen Harrier flying over my paddock.

Over a similar time period on the 2 Nov there were 42 Greylag Geese in the field around the cottage, 12 Redwings in the garden with a further 25 in the field accompanied by three Fieldfares and three Blackbirds, nine Greenfinches and 17 House Sparrows also in the garden.

On the 3 Nov Barrie was out and about and saw a Yellow-browed Warbler at Hillfield, a Chiffchaff at Westshore, two Blackcaps, two Chiffchaffs, three Goldcrests in the village and a Whimbrel in its usual location round the back of the Sands Hotel.

There were also two Velvet scoters out in Echna Bay.

A late Swallow was seen in Burray village on the afternoon of the 18 Nov 14.

October round-up

Details coming soon.

September round-up

Details coming soon.