Bird Race summary – new record set!

Tristan, Tony and myself did a ‘bird race’ on Saturday, though we were only racing against ourselves. The target was to break the century, with our island record of 106 likely to be a challenge to say the least.

Highlights were:

· Red-rumped Swallow in Stornoway Castle grounds and apparently a different individual later at Laxdale Carvan Park. Former was pallid and tatty, latter pristine.

· Drake American Wigeon on the Laxdale Estuary (bottom of Cross Street).

· Bonaparte’s Gull still at Melbost Borve.

· 102 Pomarine Skuas passing Mangurstadh in 1.5 hrs at lunchtime. The weather at this point was bright and clear, whereas conditions in the morning and evening were better in theory, with squally showers. How many would we have logged had we stayed there all day?

Other interesting sightings:

· 2 Pinkfeet at Gress

· Long-staying Gadwall, Shoveler and Coot at Loch Stiapabhat

· Female Scaup at Loch Branahuie

· Velvet Scoter in small group of Common Scoter at Melbost

· 2cy Iceland Gull at Loch Branahuie

· 2cy Glaucous Gull at Siadar, looking as if it was about to expire

· 2 Swifts at Loch Stiapabhat

· 2 Sand Martins at Loch Tiumpan

· 5 singing Grasshopper Warblers in the Stornoway area

· 2 singing Whitethroats in Stornoway castle grounds

· Spotted Flycatcher in Stornoway castle grounds (Creed Lodge)

· 4 or 5 Common Redpolls at Bragar

The most signficant omission from our list was Stonechat. They appear to be more or less absent from the island since the cold winter.

Total was 113 species. Thanks to Tristan for teh summary. A blow by blow account, with pics, will follow when sleep has been normal sleep patterns resume!

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