Top things to do in Spring

  1. Look out for displaying ducks of up to eight species, with the chance to see Britain's rarest breeding duck, the pintail
  2. Look out for displaying waders - drumming snipe, bubbling curlew, piping oystercatchers, tumbling lapwings and fluting redshanks, especially early in the day and late evening
  3. Watch black-headed gulls constructing their nests, look closely for their first eggs and the adults feeding chicks

Top things to do in Summer

  1. Test your ID skills by trying to identify ducks in their much drabber 'eclipse' plumage, and see ducklings from later broods with their mothers
  2. Look carefully for little grebes with young, which often appear late in the breeding season
  3. Listen carefully for the bloodcurdling squeals of 'sharming' water rails which may have young, and can often be heard better once the gull colony has dispersed

Top things to do in Autumn

  1. Lower water levels are created to expose large areas of mud for migrating waders to refuel. Check for flocks of black-tailed godwits and the possibility of less common waders
  2. Look out for flocks of geese and ducks returning from their Arctic breeding grounds, the ducks now in their fine breeding plumage
  3. Small flocks of swallows may contain a few sand and house martins, all of which may attract the attentions of birds of prey

Top things to do in Winter

  1. Look out for large flocks of greylag geese which are worth checking for more unusual species, and huge flocks of wigeon, mallard and teal
  2. Whooper swans using the reserve to roost and surrounding farmland to graze
  3. Birds of prey regularly patrol the reserve in winter, especially hen harriers. Their presence will be revealed if you look carefully any time other birds fly up in panic

Your photos

  • Dean Eades
  • Egilsay bee crops come alive
  • Short-eared Owl - 25/05/2013, AJL
  • Short-eared Owl in flight at the Harray Road end 25/05/2013, AJL
  • Still Enjoying Wild Orkney
  • Enjoying Wild Orkney
  • Black Guillemot portrait
  • Tystie Dispute?

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