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by Liz Lea - 09:52 on 21 September 2014

Rod Thorne, the Sanday ranger and Evan Williams of the Sanday Tusday Club overcame our little local difficulty of wanting to visit their island on a Wednesday when no minibus is available. If we could come on either Monday 15th or Friday 19th, things could be arranged, they said. When consulted, the bird-watchers divided neatly into two viable groups and Rod & Evan were generous enough to give up their time to take us around on BOTH days.
We had a great time! The weather, though grey, remained dry and over the two days the total number if species seen was 63. On the Monday, Rod's "bird of the day" were 2 red-throated divers off Whitemill point but the group was as excited by the huge numbers of grey plover, some still sporting their handsome summer plumage, at Catasand. On the Friday, due to easterly weather, there were more migrants about and we saw 4 birds of prey: a spectacular view of a short eared owl: and a fine piece of theatre between 2 ravens and a buzzard who were contesting 6 feet of wall space! We had close views of 5 knot all showing different remnants of their brick red summer breasts and our first field fare of the winter was close enough to the bus to get really good views.
Our thanks go to Rod and his wonderful telescope; to Evan for fixing the hire of the bus and taking us here, there and everywhere with such great good humour; to the brand new heritage centre, so warm and informative (do not miss this place if you visit the island!); and to Mrs Rod Thorne for her home-bakes .


Photograph by Judy O'Connor

Photograph by David Appleton

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