At last - in mid-October - a period of favourable weather for drift migrants from the other side of the North Sea................

 

 

Great Grey Shrike at 'Slap'.... 

 

............and a very late Redstart at Leaquoy:

 

 

 

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The first rare migrant of the Autumn to be photographed -

a Common Rosefinch near Holin Cottage in early September:

 

 

 

..followed by a Barred Warbler eating a large caterpillar right outside the kitchen window at Castle for over 20 minutes on 12th September:

 

 

 

 

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Mid-summer on the Stronsay Pier in Whitehall Village.

 

 

 

 

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Spring 2018.  Late May and a great find in the Castle garden on 27th - a female Red-breasted Flycatcher...........

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And on 31st May..........

a Common Rosefinch in the yard at Coweshouse Farm.

 

 

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A long Winter with few unusual species until Mid-May -   A Red Backed Shrike along the Airy Road and a Hawfinch in the Castle garden on and off for several days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Early May - two Siskins outside the kitchen window.

 

 

 

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Best bird of the year - a Northern Flicker seen briefly at very close range in the Reserve Drive on 2nd December (see sketch below)

 

 

The main features we noted were the black and brown barred mantle;

The shortish (longer than Woodcock)dark rounded tail, and the gleeming white large rump patch - almost like an open furnace door! No head details were noted other than that the bill was not 'long' - ruling out Snipe/Woodcock etc.

Suddenly rising up out of the grass and displaying the features that it did it 'should' have been a 'wader' - but it clearly wasn't!  Woodpeckers hardly come to mind in Orkney - especially in early December!

 

 

 

 

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Plenty of Goldcrest last Autumn:

 

 

 

 

 

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 A great discovery in late July 2017

at the Bu Loch - the island's first record of

Least Sandpiper, a transatlantic vagrant to the UK!

 

 

 

 

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