Papa Westray
Orkney

The Holm of Papay

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Species list: Papa Westray 25th September - 2nd October 2004

Observed by Ian Broadbent, Philip Crockett and Ian Gordon

Purple Sandpipers at Fowl Craig

1) Great Northern Diver Gavia immer - Singles off Mull Head 27/9 and Westray Sound 29/9
2) Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata - Recorded in small numbers around the coast inc. 3 at Moclett 27/9
3) Northern Fulmar Fulmaris glacialis - Recorded in small numbers offshore; a flock of over 100 birds during a seawatch off Mull Head 27/9 was unusual
4) Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus - 5 west past Mull Head 26/9
5) Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus - 1 west past Mull Head 26/9
6) British Storm-petrel Hydrobates pelagicus - 3 west past Mull Head 26/9
7) Leach's Storm-petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa - 1, probably this species due to its strong, direct flight action, west past Mull Head 26/9
8) Northern Gannet Sula bassanus - Regularly observed offshore, usually in small groups
9) Cormorant Phalacracorax carbo - Singles noted at various locations around the coast
10) Shag Phalacracorax aristotelis - Small numbers around the coast, larger groups were noted at Fowl Craig (c. 20) and Moclett (c.30)
11) Grey Heron Ardea cinerea - Up to 3 were seen at various locations around the island inc. Loch St. Tredwell and North Hill.
12) Mute Swan Cygnus olor - Up to 16 birds at Loch St. Tredwell
13) Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus - Up to 5 birds at Loch St. Tredwell
14) Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus - Only one skein of Pinkfeet was definitely identified, over Rose Cottage 27/9
15) Greylag Goose Anser anser - 2-300 usually around Loch St. Tredwell
16) Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope - Up to 200 birds noted at Loch St. Tredwell and Backaskaill
17) Common Teal Anas crecca - Small numbers at various locations
18) Mallard Anas platyrhynchos - Small numbers at various locations
19) Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata - Up to 20 recorded at various locations
20) Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula - 1 Loch St Tredwell 27/9
21) Common Eider Somateria mollissima - Small groups recorded at various locations around the coast
22) Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis - 1 juv Loch St Tredwell 27-28/9; 2 adults Moclett 29/9
23) Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator - Small groups (up to 12 birds) recorded at various coastal locations
24) Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus - Single birds noted at various locations
25) Merlin Falco columbarius - Singles noted daily at various locations (excellent views of a female near Loch St Tredwell 27/9); a freshly dead juvenile was found near Sheepheight 29/9
26) Peregrine Falco peregrinus - Single over Mull Head 28/9
27) Moorhen Gallinula chloropus - Singles in the eastern lagoons recorded most days
28) Coot Fulica atra - 1 Loch St Tredwell 27/9
29) Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus - Small numbers around the coast, especially around the northern and eastern coasts.
30) Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula - Small numbers along the beaches
31) American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica - 1 juvenile/1st-winter at Mad Geo, North Hill RSPB 27/9, later seen in flight several times near Mull Head. The first record of this Nearctic wader for Papa Westray. A full description of this bird will be submitted to the British Birds Rarities Committee in due course.
32) European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria - Groups of up to 500 birds were seen at various locations although the larger flocks tended to favour the area around Loch St. Tredwell. Difficult to say whether the numbers on the island fluctuated or if there was any passage of birds.
33) Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola - Up to 3 were noted along the beaches on most dates
34) Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus - Small groups recorded at various locations.
35) Knot Calidris canutus - Groups of up to 20 birds were noted daily.
36) Sanderling Calidris alba - Small numbers noted daily along the beaches.
37) Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima - Small numbers usually associating with Turnstone and other waders along the coast; a group of 10 at Fowl Craig 28/9
38) Dunlin Calidris alpina - Small numbers around the coast, occasionally in fields with other waders
39) Ruff Philomachus pugnax - One with Golden Plovers 27/9
40) Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago - Very common around the island, flushed from almost anywhere!
41) Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa - A single bird in the eastern lagoons on the evening of 25/9
42) Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica - Recorded daily in groups of up to 20 birds
43) Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata - Common and conspicuous around the island
44) Common Redshank Tringa totanus - Common; recorded daily at various locations
45) Turnstone Arenaria interpres - Common along the beaches
46) Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus - An adult passed west at Mull Head 26/9, and a juvenile went west at the same location on 27/9
47) Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus - Singles recorded at North Hill 26/9 and Mull Head 27/9
48) Great Skua Catharacta skua - Small numbers offshore around Mull Head and North Hill RSPB.
49) Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus - Small numbers around the eastern lagoons and Backaskaill
50) Common Gull Larus canus - Fairly common around the island
51) Herring Gull Larus argentatus - Noted daily
52) Greater Black-backed Gull Larus marinus - Small numbers around the coast
53) Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla - Small numbers offshore esp. around Mull Head
54) Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis - Two birds seen regularly around the eastern beaches
55) Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea - Small numbers offshore
56) Guillemot Uria aalge - A few passed Mull Head during seawatching.
57) Razorbill Alca torda - One in Westray Sound 29/9 and another in Moclett Bay 29/9
58) Black Guillemot Cepphus grille - Small numbers of moulting birds around the island
59) Rock Dove Columba livia - Lots of feral birds were seen including several birds approximating to the ancestral form.
60) Skylark Alauda arvensis - Max. 9 recorded 29/9; small numbers recorded in various locations, esp. a harvested field north of the airstrip (up to 5 birds regularly).
61) Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica - Up to 10 birds seen daily around Holland/football pitch area; a larger group of c.25 birds moved through on 29/9
62) Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis - One in fields between the Post Office and Links called several times and showed well 1/10
63) Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis - Very common around the island, difficult to assess whether numbers fluctuated during the week.
64) Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus - Small numbers around the rocky shores and beaches.
65) Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba - Small numbers of yarrellii birds around the island; single alba "White" wagtails were recorded near Holland on 27/9 and 1/10
66) Wren Troglodytes troglodytes - Common around the island.
67) European Robin Erithacus rubecula - One was regularly seen around Holland throughout the week.
68) Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus - One flitted around the wall of Holland garden as we drove to the airfield on the morning of 2/10.
69) Stonechat Saxicola torquata - Up to 3 seen on most days between Bay View and the eastern lagoons.
70) Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe - Numbers seemed to fluctuate during the week with very few on 29/9 but something of an influx 1/10.
71) Blackbird Turdus merula - The commonest thrush; again numbers seemed to fluctuate; there seemed to be a lot more about on 1/10.
72) Fieldfare Turdus pilaris - One flew over the post office 30/9; 2 on 1/10.
73) Song Thrush Turdus philomelos - Not recorded for the first 5 days, then a single at Backaskaill 30/9, then at least 10 were seen around the island on 1/10 including 7 around the Rose Cottage area.
74) Redwing Turdus iliacus - Again numbers rose during the week; only 1-2 had been seen prior to c.15 birds on 1/10.
75) Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca - 2 were seen around Holland/school area 1/10
76) Garden Warbler Sylvia borin - 2 in Holland Garden 29/9
77) Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla - 1-2 "browncaps" were seen around the school/Holland area 30/9 and 1/10; a male was also seen on 1/10.
78) Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita - 2 were seen on 1/10.
79) Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus - One near the old pier on the evening of 25/9, 2 in Holland Garden 29/9 and one on 1/10.
80) Goldcrest Regulus regulus - One was regularly seen around Holland throughout the week; numbers rose to 2 (!) on 1/10.
81) Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca - One (female/1st -winter) was seen at Holland garden 1/10.
82) Hooded Crow Corvus corvus - Small numbers (2-4) seen at various locations around the island, often near the eastern lagoons.
83) Common Raven Corvus corax - Up to 6 birds were seen around the island, often at North Hill.
84) Starling Sturnus vulgaris - Common around the island; a large flock of c. 500 birds was regular at Backaskaill.
85) House Sparrow Passer domesticus - Common around farms and crofts.
86) Brambling Fringilla montifringilla - Two near youth hostel/school 30/9.
87) Linnet Carduelis cannabina - Small groups noted at various localities daily.
88) Twite Carduelis flavirostris - 50 near Rose Cottage 30/9 was the largest group recorded; small numbers seen daily elsewhere around the island.
89) Mealy Redpoll Carduelis flammea - One rostrata "Greenland Redpoll" near the old pier 26/9; another was photographed at Backaskaill 1/10 with up to 5 present on that date, but only 2 of these were assigned race.
90) Common Rosefinch Carduelis erythrinus - A juvenile/1st winter was seen in scrubby fields between the football pitch and Bay View on the morning of 2/10.
91) Lapland Bunting Calcarius lapponicus - Small groups of up to 5 were seen daily at various localities but particularly around Mull Head; frustratingly they only gave flight views and were never seen on the ground.
92) Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis - Singles and small groups were seen at various locations; a larger group of up to 50 birds was seen around North Hill RSPB.
93) Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus - Small numbers (1-2) recorded at various locations.



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