The day began with more Pinkfeet coming across north Lewis. By noon 16 groups totalling nearly 500 birds had passed my view, and several others had also gone over Ness. Add to this was a range of wildfowl. 32 Tufties on Loch Barvas were joined by two Common Scoter, 2 Pintail , 19 Wigeon and 7 Teal. 3 Mutes and 4 Whoopers at Ordais were out done by a Gadwall there.
The Scoter were interesting. I always given them a once over for ‘American Black’ Scoter and these stood out being on the fresh water loch as much as anything else. Drake Black Scoter are reasonably straight forward, and a few have turned up in the UK, but females and immature are at least a challenge, if not impossible! Cited features such as squarer head, shorter bill and squarer nape pattern have been muted. Interestingly this duo failed on the first two but, to my eye, passed on the third. Maybe next time.
The other highlights of the day were more Lapland Buntings. Any other year and these would have been a major event. A big flock of nearly 100 near Barvas Cemetery was new, and other birds were noted at Barvas machair (15), Brue (8), Bragar (2) and Arnol (5). Note to self – don’t dish the Lappies!