We crossed the Dornoch bridge into Sutherland, and our next stop was the Embo playing fields at southern end of Coul Links. It was already hot, with a warm west wind, comfortable for everyone, but not the right conditions here for warblers and other migrants. Migration can be pretty good in easterly winds and overnight rain!
Embo was very busy with folk. Some good birds were showing well, including a flock of 30+ Knots on the rocks (with some beautifully marked juveniles), Turnstones, Ringed Plovers and Redshanks. Eiders, Guillemots and Razorbills were joined by Shags, Gannets and Cormorants, and a nice looking 1st-winter Black Guillemot. Flying by were 3 Red-throated Divers, Common Scoters, a Sandwich Tern and Swallows. Not bad for a quiet day, and poor sea watching conditions. Everyone enjoyed the relaxed pace, warm t-shirt conditions and great views of all the seabirds.
We moved to Loch Fleet for lunch and it was already 2pm!
The sandbars were full of Grey Seals, and Greenshanks were accompanied by a big gathering of Sandwich Terns, c200 present. They attracted a pale phase Arctic Skua, and later, a juvenile Pomarine Skua landed on the sandbar giving great views. Flocks of Grey geese, Mergansers and Goosander were present and more Bar-tailed Godwits.
We were all reluctant to make a move from this beautiful spot after enjoying lunch, but time was moving on so round to The Mound, nothing much happening here, but Raven, House Martin, Kestrel, Buzzard and Red Kite were seen. Returning south we called in again at Embo, for much the same cast. Although we missed out on a few birds, like the juvenile Little gull, Ruff,or shearwaters due to calm sunny conditions it was a good day , and I am very grateful for everyone who made the effort to turn up, and pleased that everyone enjoyed the day and company.