Monday, 15 October 2007

Orkney, September 07

My fourth autumn visit to the island of Sanday to look for migrants and to get away from the human race. As usual it was often very windy, very wet and very frustrating. The gardens were devoid of migrants and after ten days i hadn't seen a single warbler. Things picked up slightly once the wind turned north-east but high pressure calmed everything down and i ended up with calm, sunny days and moonlit nights - not the best migrant finding conditions. But that said, it is a stunning place and one of the few places that isn't being ruined.
Click on photos for a bigger image.

Reverse waterfalls, Scrabster.

The combination of heavy rain and a northerly gale produces this bizarre sight. The temporary waterfalls fall about 5ft before being blown back up the cliff. There were about 12 in a row, viewed from the ferry as i crossed a very rough Pentland Firth towards the Orkney's.

First nine days.....

The first nine days were often wet with sunny periods. Winds were usually strong west, sw or s. Then i had a 36hr northerly gale reaching force 10 before eventually the wind went ne - east. Unfortuantely high pressure then settled in and it became warm and sunny, useless for migration.

Scuthvie Bay

Following a 36hr Northerly gale, Scuthvie Bay became a hive of activity. Alot of new food had obviously been washed ashore and the many 100's of Starlings, Waders and Gulls took full advantage of it. It was often a mind boggling sight.

Sunday, 14 October 2007


This Merlin was extremely confiding on Start Point. It was present most days and would often allow me to approach to within 20m.

Arctic Tern

Lovely bird.


Tried most days to get some decent shots of Ravens but they were always one step ahead of me. Very clever birds indeed.

Hooded Crow

Carrion x Hooded Crow hybrid

House Sparrows

One of my favourite birds.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper

If you look through the many flocks of Golden Plovers everyday you should eventually find something decent. Unfortunately the Buff-breast was impossible to approach because of the ever wary Plovers.

North Ronaldsay on the horizon

Bar-tails and Golden Plovers

White Wagtail



Rock Doves

Newly arrived Blackbirds



Newly arrived on Start Point.

Yellow-browed Warbler

Commoner than Blackcaps this year.

Scuthvie Bay