Sunday, April 21, 2024

πŸ“– 🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Dunnet Head 21/04/24

🏴󠁧󠁒󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Sunday 21st April 2024 🌀 13C ~ Wind SSW @ 3MPH ~ Today we spent the morning and early afternoon exploring the area from Dunnet Beach to Dunnet Head, the latter being the most northerly point on mainland Britain. 

View from Dunnet Head towards Orkney and the Old Man of Hoy stack.

From Dunnet Head, you get good views of the Orkney Islands, our destination tomorrow. Today's weather was a surprise with plenty of sunshine a light breeze and a temperature of 13C.

Great Northern Diver

We spent an hour at Dunnet Beach, observing many Great Northern Divers in different plumages and a few Red-throated Divers. Several Sandwich Terns were resting on the rocks. Although only a few waders were seen, we did spot Ringed Plover, Curlew, Oystercatcher and Redshank. "A group of six Sand Martins flew by, and a Willow Warbler was heard singing in the vicinity."

Hooded Crow

As we approached Dunnet Head, we stopped several times to watch a pair of Stonechat, three Wheatear, and several Hooded Crows. After parking at the lighthouse, we went for a walk along the high cliffs where Puffins, Razorbills, Guillemot and Fulmar were nesting and on the water below many Kittiwakes. Skylark, Meadow Pipits and Twite were also noted along with Rock Pipit before we headed off for lunch.

Tree Pipit

After lunch, we drove a short distance to Castlehill Heritage Centre where we spent some time around the old harbour. We sat and watched more Great Northern Divers and were pleasantly surprised to see a Tree Pipit followed shortly after by three Whimbrels, constantly calling out before disappearing across the harbour, both year firsts.