This is the time when Annie’s Place has few visitors to stay, but it’s just the time for bird-watchers to come to Orkney…….here are a few of rarities, here on a flying visit, as reported by the local RSPB volunteer, Eric Meek.

Slavonian Grebes, Great Northern Divers, 1000 Golden Plover on nearby Boardhouse Loch; a cattle Egret (first ever in Orkney) was found injured in Westray, while a solitary Glaucous Gull was spotted above Birsay Bay at Marwick Head.

The “very rare” North American Black-billed Cuckoo (another first ever in Orkney) arrived without advanced booking of its holiday noust in North Ronaldsay, as did a Pechora Pipit and a Richard’s Pipit. Another American visitor was the tiny Grey-cheecked thrush (only the 3rd sighting in Orkney).

Ring Ouzels brought their melodious song to South Ronaldsay, while a Firecrest visited our favourite recommended visitor venue, Kirbister Farmhouse Museum, a couple of miles up the road from Annie’s Place.

Lastly, for our friends at our former home in the village of Gartocharn, Loch Lomondside, the news that sixty-six Greenland White Fronted Geese called in to the RSPB The Loons sanctuary near Gavin and Yvette’s at Twatt.  Were they the same geese, we wonder, who spent the summer weeks down by Kilmaronock Millennium Hall ?

Yes, Orkney in Autumn is just a bird-watchers’ hide away.