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What birds have we seen?

2 May 2012

You never know what bird is around the corner, that’s one of the many things I enjoy about my job on St Kilda.  A fine looking male tufted duck swum laps of the fire pond for several days giving everyone a chance to get great views.

Eyemazing tufted duckTufted duck swimming on the firepond 

On Saturday, Kenny (QinetiQ supervisor) rushed out to tell me he had seen a small bird with a red flash on its head and chest.  The redpoll was intently feeding in a small stream and wasn’t bothered by all the visitors or even the Land Rover driving by.  A fantastic sighting and another example of how our little community works – I can’t cover all areas of the island and receiving sightings like this is a help and it means our bird reports can be more complete.  

Redpoll feeding in a stream

Some birds use St Kilda as a stopover point for just a few hours or days like these redwing and fieldfare.

Redwing in Old VillageFieldfare in An Lag

Earlier in the month, I was flat on my belly inside a cleit when I heard the unmistakable sound of lots, a hundred or more, geese flying overhead. By the time I had wriggled out it was too late to take a photograph, but on the way back down the hill I saw these two Brent geese feeding in Village Bay.

Brent geese

The glaucous gull is still wandering the fields and meadows of Village Bay, but we know there are several more on the island.

Glaucous gull in Signals Meadow


The bonxie pond (a tarn that the bonxies use to wash in during the breeding season) had a pair of teal swimming on it last week and a shelduck yesterday.  Four Whooper swans remain close by.Teal near the Bonxie pond in Gleann BayShelduck flying awaySwan in flight at Gleann Bay


The Eagle hasn't been seen for the last few days but many of the earlier visitors managed to get a glimpse of this awesome bird.

Enormous eagle

A whimbrel and two species of plover were seen today but in entirely separate locations.

WhimbrelGolden plover in Gleann BayRinged plovers near the shore

We have seen several other species but I haven't been able to get a photograph of them all.  I wonder what birds will appear in May?



(Seabird and Marine Ranger)

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White-tailed (sea) eagle (& update)
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Students help with the 'petrel project'