Hoist the ‘Maple Leaf’ over south Harris – the Canadain Arctic youngsters are here.

It has turned out to be the best year for North American shorebirds in Britain and Ireland ever. With gangs of Buff breasted Sandpipers on the wander in Ireland (23 being the peak flock) and talk of 36 Semi palmated Sandpipers on the Emerald Isles, Lewis and Harris had to up its game.

Tony Marr has banged in a bucket load of Pectoral Sandpipers (12 minimum) plus a solitary Buff breasted Sandpiper. Y’day however a visitor to Harris hit the jackpot with the islands first Semi-palmated Sandpiper and a ‘Pec’. Temptation was too much and an afternoon jaunt south found the Semi P out on Scarista Sands but moving into the saltmarsh nearby as the tide flowed in. At Northton the newly fenced salting held the ‘Pec’. Dave Pullan later found an adult White rumped Sandpiper in the area too. Not bad. You could almost smell the Mayple Syrup.

With Yellow browed Warbler at Drinishahder the best the Tarbet gardens could host was a sad looking Blackcap. This autumn is about grinding them out. Grind, grind, grind.

Elsewhere a Short eared Owl came into care from Ness, and spent much of the weekend living in an old sock! That’s how to keep a damaged wing in place till vetenairy care can be sought. Fingers crossed.

Lapland Buntings at Brue and Labost over the weekend, as well as some more Snow Buntings, and the first sprinkling of Brents arriving. One y’day at Bragar and Arnol and 17 today at Horgabost.

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