An early sea watch showed all the usual species evident but with some Kittiwakes moving south and a single Manx Shearwater flying north. The wind was a fresh F5 south westerly on the coast, and cold, and its efforts sang in the roadside telephone wires. Sadly no surprises emerged so I moved northwards up the Rinns.
An examination of Loch Indaal showed some Great Northern Divers to be present, but the conditions weren't really conducive to counting. Various areas were visited but nothing out of the ordinary arose. It was nice, finally, to find three locations where Stonechat was present, hopefully representing a better winter survival than first feared. A good flock of Twite, with some Linnet included too, provided a bit of sport with Lapland in mind, but to no avail.
Some large packs of geese in the northern part of the island lent weight to their preparing to move at some point in ensuing days. The "washed out" individual reported at various intervals was present at Sunderland along with many of its more normally plumaged relatives!
Gruinart had its usual assortment of duck but nothing new, so I eventually returned home to find the Wheatear still present outside the kitchen window. Well done, mate, I could quite have savoured an African winter holiday myself, but not achieved through self transportation!!