June 2012

Harbour porpoises featured on 5 & 20/6 off Shapinsay & Hoxa Head respectively.

Interesting birds early in June included cuckoo (8/6) and siskins (10/6).  Perhaps the bird of the month, however, was a female surf scoter at Echnaloch, present from the 10/6 for a few days, in the company of some common scoters and a female long-tailed duck.

Mid-month interest was provided by a calling quail on 14/6; a turtle dove (14/6); and a great yellow bumblebee at Barth Head.  A visit to Eday on 15/6 enabled a count of the Calf cormorant colony at 300+birds.

April 2009

A group of 4 from the Market Bosworth Natural History Society smashed our bird record for the week commencing 18 April 2009 seeing 100 species in total. Highlights included a female goosander at Graemsehall Loch, 255 scaup on Harray Loch, water rail at The Loons (all 19/4); 4 hen harriers together including a male displaying (20/4); and 3 species of scoter in one telescope on 20/4 – common, velvet & 2 drake surf scoters – what a sight!

The scaup flock on Harray Loch now down to < 100 birds with one common scoter included (27/4).

Raptor highlights included 2 male hen harriers fighting – talon grappling in the air and beak-to-beak combat on the floor (27/4).

The bird of the year turned up on 28/4, a male snowy owl, looking somewhat sheepish in a green field full of sheep on the Orkney Mainland, a stunning bird.