As predicted, today is wet. What to do? Not wishing to stay huddled up in Bessie at the campsite, we decided to go for a drive. You never know what you might see! As it turned out, we were glad we did…
Driving past a little inland lochan we spotted a smallish bird and stopped to take a look. It was some distance away and, with the grey conditions, difficult to get good photographs. Whoever it was was causing a bit of a stir with a Gull and a Greylag.
Our terrorist turned out to be a Redshank – the first we had seen on Barra this year and one of the few waders.
Driving down the east coast I suddenly spotted something with long legs out on a far rocky ridge. We turned Bessie around and went back to the spot. Not one Whimbrel but two!
After a while they flew off but great to know that some of the migrants we had seen last year actually stayed to breed this year.
Buoyed by a bit of success on this unpromising day, we decided to head off for Vatersay – perhaps there could be something surprising there too? The Shelduck ducklings were sensibly sheltering under Mum’s capacious wings but we had a head count before they disappeared – all eight, that’s good.
Leaving after a while, Peter spotted not just one Common Sandpiper but two, so perhaps there is a nest somewhere. This one was singing loudly, as you can see.
We headed back to the campsite but not before we captured this little bird on a wire. Could it be a Chiffchaff? Difficult to tell in this light and so far away.
Soon afterwards in Northbay, another bird on a wire but this time more identifiable – a Greenfinch. Another species we have not seen on the island before.
I was able to get a nice close-up of this Lapwing on a nearby rock…
… and further on, on the same lochan we had photographed the Redshank, small family of Greylag Geese. No wonder Dad was being protective earlier!
We finished our bird watching day with an old favourite of these parts, a female Wheatear, with something delectable in her beak.
Not a brilliant day weather-wise but a good one for bird watching!
It just goes to show, you never know what you might see. What a lovely day of ornithological joy. I wonder if you’re Chiffchaff might be a Willow Warbler, apparently they are more common up there than Chiffchaffs. I guess we’ll never know unless you heard it and can identify the song. Check out the RSPB site for the audio.
Now I know what you were talking about when you mentioned the Whimbrel. 🙂