Visit to North Ronaldsay

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05th September 2018


Next to Fair Isle which I was lucky to visit last autumn, North Ronaldsay is perhaps the next most important migration hotspot in Scotland establishing a reputation for attracting very rare visitors. The bird observatory provides excellent accommodation and manned by seasonal staff and volunteers who systematically search the island daily, there is invariably a good range of species in habitats much more diverse than Fair Isle. I joined a friend for a few days in glorious weather not exactly the best for bird migration, but there were still birds to be found. The highlights included Lesser Whitethroat, Black Redstart, Barred Warbler and perhaps the pick, a Buff-breasted Sandpiper which had been around for a few days. Nothing new for my Scottish list but a few additions to my year list which now stands at 208. At the north of the island is a seawatching hide where we were able to view Sooty Shearwaters and a passing pod of Risso's Dolphins. Over 70 species in three days was not a bad total. We also bumped into a couple from Tasmania who were visiting the Lighthouse at Dennis Head - part of a trip to Scotland visiting its not just bird twitchers!! There are images in the Gallery.