A northerly blast

With a strong, just shy of gale force, northerly running for a few days seabirds have been much in evidence if you have cared to perch on a headland or wollow in the Minch on the MV Lewis. 74 storm petrels, 17 Leach’s and 9 Sooty Shearwaters on the westward trip from Ullapool was the highlight y’day, while the outward trip the day before had reaped 5 Sooties, 3 Leach’s and 8 Stormies.
It’s always a quandary were to watch from on Lewis – the two favoured spots being Labost near Bragar or the Butt of Lewis at the northern periphery. When the wind was in the west Labost was the place to be but 120+ Sooties and a Leach’s today showed that the Butt scores when the wind is primarily in the north. Thanks to Tony and Tristan for the updates.
Also in Ness Curlew Sandpiper, 43 Lapland Buntings at the Butt (with the first Snow Bunting of the autumn) and another 6 Laps at Callicvoul Farm.
Elsewhere a Buff breasted Sandpiper was at the Butt of Lewis pool, but elusive for its third day and early afternoon it, or another, was found by two visiting birders at Barvas Cemetry. A juvenile Bar tailed Godwit wandered the salt blasted turf of Ness too, with a juv Black tailed Godwit on Eoropie machair. If you can brave the salt blasting it is certainly worth getting out in the field.

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