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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Sanday, Orkney, October 1st-13th 2021 (1 Viewer)

MKinHK

Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
A really enjoyable read - and congratulations on finding the Arctic Redpoll - a first class finish!

Amazing self-control to take notes before taking photos. Real old school birding!

Cheers
Mike
 

Steve Keen

Well-known member
A really enjoyable read - and congratulations on finding the Arctic Redpoll - a first class finish!

Amazing self-control to take notes before taking photos. Real old school birding!

Cheers
Mike
To be honest I still generally only reach for the camera as an afterthought: after 40 years of birding it's a very recent acquisition and the default reaction is to write notes AND, more importantly, to just enjoy the bird. And as it's just a bridge camera, good as they are, I'm not sure it would've taken anything that would've been of great benefit. And then I'd have just been really annoyed that I hadn't looked properly and therefore didn't have adequate notes either.
There have been a number of times with more common stuff that I've thought after "now that would have been a nice pic".

Thanks for the kind words, it's been enjoyable putting it all down for others to enjoy.
 

Steve Keen

Well-known member
And so, in summary, Sanday, what's it all about?
It's a big island, that's for sure, and a car is essential - from the central base in Lady it's 8 miles to either end.
Not somewhere to go if getting a load of good birds off someone else's effort is your thing. More often than not, apart from the county recorder (who is resident on the island) there isn't a someone else. If, however, like me you enjoy finding your own stuff, like having a local patch (even if only a temporary one) and can find value and enjoyment from the birds that are good for that patch, then it's ideal and on that basis I'd thoroughly recommend it.
As has been proven even without a run of perfect easterlies, as with other places on Shetland and Orkney, there will still be stuff. The slightest bit of easterly wind can drop something in, and better still any brief calm interlude.
And there are always birds on Sanday if you just enjoy watching them; whether it's thousands of waders or hundreds of ducks, regular raptors, excellent seawatching or the thrill of a migrant Robin, there is always something to see.

12 days was the perfect length of time, for exactly the reasons I chose it: it's long enough to explore properly and establish favoured locations, and also to be reasonably sure of at least a couple of days of nice weather.

I got very lucky with scarcities. Arctic Redpoll, Radde's Warbler, Balearic Shearwater, Richard's Pipit, Icterine Warbler and Barred Warbler was a haul I was very pleased with, and 3 Yellow-browed Warblers a very pleasant surprise given their scarcity this year. Add in the likes of nearly 100 Sooty Shearwaters, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, Whinchat and Garden Warbler and I reckon I did really well.

Add in a friendly set of locals, good infrastructure and the usual stunning Orkney scenery and fresh air and you've got a good fortnight away. I think it's pretty likely I'll be back
 
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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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