Sept 1st – morning in Ness

Brue didn’t deliver first thing so a morning on Ness was on the cards. There was a definite drifty feel to the weather and I was confident of some migrants.
A Ruff with Golden Plover on the ragwort infested machair remained from Sunday and I then headed for the Butt. Basking Sharks were immediately obvious, four in total, and seabirds were moving despite it being very calm and still. Four Sooty Shearwaters joined a host of Manxies and Gannets while 5 Storm Petrels fluttered north.
The cliffs produced a Whimbrel, loads of Meadow Pipits and a horde of predators – 2 Peregrines, 5 Buzzards, Sparrowhawk and a Merlin. The Meadow Pipits were proving good pickings and were being flushed continually. Not all the passerines were ‘Mipits’ though – there was clearly a number of Lapland Buntings too.
One of the most northerly breeding passerines Lappies are always nice to see – especially when there is about 74 of them. Very flighty for what is usually a confiding species the birds of prey were clearly making them jumpy. This constitutes (perhaps) a record island(s) count but pales into insignificance with other records today. Fair Isle has 190 and birds are smattered from Shetland south to Norfolk and the Isle of Scilly. Thousands of birds seem to be irrupting out of Greenland. Word is the Uists of machair are hosting a few Lappies too.
Barnacle Goose still at Stiapabhat among the 230 Greylags had over summered, but despite my best efforts and the drifty feel I didn’t see a warbler all day!

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One Response to Sept 1st – morning in Ness

  1. YvonneB says:

    Sounds like a good day despite the lack of warblers!

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