18 October 2013

NRBO Autumn Visit - Day 4 (16 Oct)

Today was the last day of our visit and as per the past two days started with an early morning session up at Holland House.

The wind started off light but soon picked up and there was a noticeable chill in the air. There was also the occasional short burst of light rain. This was reflected in a smaller number of birds about than the previous day. The walk up to Holland House had been much quieter with no Redwings being heard, only the occasional Lapwing and Golden Plover.

Up until breakfast time the main species being caught was Redwing, with a single Robin, a Blackbird and a retrapped Blackcap.

As is often the case something good turns up at the Obs just as you are about to start walking back there for breakfast. Today was one of those days and thankfully Mark let me borrow one of the Obs bikes so I didn't have to run. Just as I started to pedal off I heard him saying something about no brakes!!

I arrived back at the Obs in record time to get my first close up look at a bird that you would usually see only very briefly as it skulks through a gap in the reeds on the edge of a loch. The bird I'm referring to is a Water Rail.

Water Rail
 After breakfast Claire and I walked from the Obs around the coast to the hide at Gretchen Loch. On the way we saw a number of Goldcrests working their way through the stone dykes. Down on the shore there were a couple of Redshank, eight Oystercatchers, four Turnstones and 26 Shag and out on the sea were at least 20 Eider ducks.

From the hide we could see Teal and Wigeon on the wildfowl front and waders in the form of two Redshank, 15 Snipe roosting in amongst the rocks on the water's edge closest to the hide and around 200 Golden Plover over on the water's edge furthest from the hide.

It was back to the Obs for lunch followed by a short walk around the Obs before the rain arrived. The Blyth's Reed Warbler was still lurking around the small area of reed bed where it had been caught the previous day.

The end of our stay had arrived and it was time to depart for the airfield and the short flight back to Kirkwall.

A big thank you to all the Obs staff for making us welcome once again and for allowing me to join them on the ringing sessions.

One of the birds I would like to have seen was the Bluethroat which had been around the previous week but hadn't been seen by anybody during our stay. It was no surprise to hear the following day that it had been seen again in the same area as it was in last week!!

For those that have been following my posts during the week I have now added photos to the posts for Day 1 to 3 and updated the text.

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