November 20th – Goosander goodie

The blizzard of 32 Snow Buntings still graced Barvas machair today while 10 Goldeneye on Loch Earsay and half a dozen Long tailed Ducks offshore were more sure winter signals.
I headed to Ness and the winter sun was low making checking flocks of Golden Plovers problematic. I eventually located two ‘Yankies’ among 200 Europeans in the rabbit ravaged machair near the playpark. No White billed Divers off Skigersta (always worth a punt) but 8 Red throats, 3 Great Northerns and the (wandering) Port of Ness adult Glaucous were nice, as were 3 Harbour porpoise. On the way back south I found a drake Goosander near Dell with four Goldeneye. Not sure I have seen one n Ness before. Unfortunately I have seen Mink, so it was good to see one of the few remaining splatted on the road. Hurrah!
Gardens at Siadar were unsurprisingly blank but a timid Pale bellied Brent fed behind the shingle bank as the short day closed.

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