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U3A Birdie Group - May 2019
by Jack Macinnes - 18:42 on 15 May 2019
A troop of exuberant birders set off from Marwick Bay on a glorious Orkney summer's day and walked toward Marwick Head.
In the bay were eider, shellduck, oyster catchers and turnstones in gaudy summer plumage while inland we had kittywakes gathering mud for nesting. A sedge warbler was clearly heard and larks and lapwings seen and heard. A fly past of great and arctic skuas lead us on to the lower slopes which were a carpet of spring squill decorated with red admiral butterflies.
On the ledges the auks were thankfully abundant and guillemots with bridled examples ( usually about 10 % ) were seen with razorbills and several puffin. On the lower ledges kittywakes were numerous. Out to sea with the rafts of auk were fulmar and gannet. On the cliff were jackdaw and ravens,rock pidgeons and some hoodies.
Refreshment was taken on the sheltered natural viewpoint north of the Head in strong sunshine before we descended on the central path. Pied wagtails, black headed gulls and more dancing lapwing completed the day. In all some 28 species were seen against a natural backdrop that remains unsurpassed and gives great pleasure to us all.
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