It was a pleasant morning today, so, after a lazy start, I asked Rona where would she like to go for a walk and surprisingly she said Skaw - a result !
We had a very pleasant time, walking out around the end of Skaw Bay, missing the showers and just enjoying the time out of doors. As far as birds go, there were a few Shags drying their wings, a young Gannet doing the same and a calling Tree Pipit and that was it.
Heading back up the hill, the phone regained an Orange signal and then it rang. It was Rory, he'd found a couple of Arctic Redpolls down at Norwick and they were showing well and were quite approachable. Arctic Redpolls (of the Hornemann's race) are stunning birds and I would go to see one no matter how many times before I'd had the opportunity. As we approached Norwick, I could see Rory's car, and then Rory rushing across a small area of rough grass/nettles/thistles - he must have seen something good. After half an hour of following the bird around and Rory, Mike and Mickey checking out what it was, it was decided that the bird was a Melodious Warbler. I was fortunate that at this time, several of my girls school friend had just arrived to visit a relation nearby and had asked if Sula and Rona wanted to go and play with them - that was a bit of luck ! Both species (in fact there were two Redpolls) showed well in the end and allowed good views and the chance to get plenty of shots.
Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll
Finally, after an hour or so at Norwick we headed off for lunch, before going out again, this time to the westside. My girls and I had another good walk at Lund, the only birds of note were a Blackcap and a Willow Warbler in the nettles behind the beach. I was very surprised to only find one dead Gannet about the tideline. One of the other disheartening results of rough seas and gales is the amount of rubbish that is thrown up on the beaches. If you are so inclined, its possible to find everything from the smallest piece of plastic or cotton bud right up to huge pieces of fishing nets or tree trunks. This one picture below taken with my camera phone, was on the beach at Lund and is almost entirely made up of the plastic banding used for wrapping packages etc.