Sunday 26 April 2015

Tree Sparrow and other sightings

Despite being half way through April the weather is still feeling positively wintry. After some relatively mild calm weather over the last couple of weeks the cold North/North-Westerly wind has returned this weekend and is not doing much to confirm we are in Spring heading for Summer!!

That said Summer migrants are arriving or passing through.

Wheatear numbers are increasing with some seen today down by Barrier 4, Bonxies (Great Skuas) are being seen more regularly with on flying over here earlier this afternoon being chased off by five Oystercatchers and Sand Martins were seen over Echna Loch.

The garden here is fairly quiet with the usual Blackbirds, House Sparrows, Greenfinches, Starlings and Rock Doves. There was also a Raven sat on top of the power pole in my paddock this morning.

A phone call from Barrie early this afternoon got me excited. He rang to say that there was a Tree Sparrow in his garden. I have seen Tree Sparrows down South and I have even ringed a few but I had never seen one in Orkney so a short trip over the hill was required.

As usual on arrival it had disappeared but after a short wait watching the feeders it reappeared and good views were had. I even managed a few record shots.

Tree Sparrow (front right)

Tree Sparrow (left hand side)
Also seen in Barrie's garden were 4 Greenfinches, 1 Blackbird, 9 House sparrows, 1 Dunnock, 1 Wren, 1 Pheasant, 1 Collard Dove and one Rock Dove.

While we were waiting for the Tree Sparrow to appear another bird appeared out in the bay at the end of Barrie's garden. This bird was the wintering White-billed Diver, so I took the opportunity to get a couple of record shots of that too.

White-billed Diver

White-billed Diver
While Barrie had been out and about earlier in the day he had spotted some Mallard ducklings down near The Bu.

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