Local News

Stronsay Recent Bird Sightings – August

Republished here with kind permission from The Stronsay Limpet

There was a very welcome ‘commotion’ of several species during cutting/clearing of grassland in mid-summer. the most obvious ‘returns’ being Gulls, Lapwing and Curlew – all present in numbers close to those present pre the Greylag Goose ‘invasion’ which began in the early nineties. Golden Plover were also present in good numbers.

With a dearth of ‘winds from the east’ there have been just a handful of ‘small’ passerine species in early Autumn – 1 or 2 Wheatears feeding along the roads and one Pied Flycatcher – discovered by Margaret Crowe in the garden at Scoulters mid-month.

Birds of prey have featured regularly – at least two Hen Harriers, two Sparrowhawks and best ‘raptor’ of the year so far – a Red Kite – seen flying over Whitehall Village by David Askew on 11th August – the 5th record for Stronsay. David saw a Peregrine the same day.

Short-eared Owls have been seen on several occasions and as usual outside the breeding season, in the Meikle Water region.

A family party of Sedge warblers was discovered in a patch of ‘dockans’ at Arifea and a juvenile Reed Bunting was in the Castle garden mid-month. There have been far more Pied Wagtails present throughout the summer, indicating a good breeding season here. The birds are often seen feeding along the tarmac roads.

Two Gannets were found’ in mid-month – one near Midgarth, which we returned to the sea off the east pier. This bird appeared to have hit the overhead electricity cable but a few days later one was discovered in open ground at Arifea which may have contracted the ‘avian-flu virus’ and died shortly after. We did not handle this bird – two stranded Gannets is suspicious!

John & Sue Holloway, Thanks for all the calls.

Sightings of a Glossy Ibis towards the south end of the island have been reported on the internet earlier in the month but we have no details of date etc.