I didn't finish that orchard management plan yesterday so I knocked the idea of any ringing this morning on the head, plus the forecast was for fog so I guessed that the ringing would be unproductive but it did look good for a few grounded migrants I thought. I decided that I would just give it an hour or so this morning and then get back to work, but things didn't quite go to plan!
I knew I wouldn't have time for a full circuit of the Obs so I headed to the coastal park in the hope there would be a few birds in there. As as I walked in I had a Redwing straight away and I thought "hello, there could be a few birds about". Next up was a calling Chiffchaff that had quite a strident call that threw me for a second, but it was indeed a Chiffie. I had Blackcap in the park and that was it other than some Meadow Pipits going over.
What was interesting about the Mipits was the fact that the Bay was shrouded in mist, yet these birds were still coming across the Bay. I can only think that it was clear on the northern side and perhaps a bit further west and they had set off.
The Mipit theme would continue in the cemetery when I had 102 head south in a short time, with three Grey Wagtails, and then they stopped and the fog had thickened again. There were a few grounded migrants in the cemetery including six Robins, three Chiffchaffs, four Goldcrests and two Spotted Flycatchers.
Ian had joined me in the cemetery and we were just chatting at this particular point putting the birding world to rights and we noticed a Spotted Flycatcher 'flycatching'. As we were both watching the Spotted Fly a large greenish/yellow bird with a yellow rump and undulating flight flew from our left towards some Sycamores to our right. It then flew along the front of the Sycamores and disappeared behind them. As my brain was trying to function properly and give me the identification of the bird, Ian shouted Golden 'f*!*ing' Oriole, just as my brain in the short time we saw the bird was giving me the identification. It's funny how the old grey matter works! So there it was a first record for the Obs in the form of a immature/female 'type' Golden Oriole; excellent!
We put the news out and a few other birders arrived but it wasn't seen again. Unfortunately there are a lot of large mature gardens bordering the cemetery and I've lost count over the years of the number of half-decent birds that have 'melted away' into these gardens.
It is remaining easterly right through in to the middle of next week at least which is good news, but unfortunately I'm going to struggle to get out again before Saturday; damn!
Monday1th December - It has been a bit on the cool side still over here on Islay, with the snow still remaining well down on the Paps of Jura, usually the snow does not last th...
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