Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Displaying birds Shetland

Long Tailed Duck look far better in winter plumage, especially the males 

Female LT Ducks

Its time for male dominance and there is a lot of fighting with the raft of females looking on

A couple of Shags having a dispute as well

Purple Sandpipers not just birds of a rocky coast

Oystercatchers are just staring to return to Shetland these two coming in off the sea in the east.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

West voe birding, Shetland

Its good to see some Red throated divers in the south mainland, these will soon be back in good numbers ready to breed on the Shetland lochs

Always wanted to photograph a wading bird swimming and this Purple Sandpiper did it several times

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Shetland - Wildlife in the sun.

After having  light snow over the past few days Saturday was superb. Mild, Still and sunny just the weather for getting out.

We headed down to Grutness and found the car park empty. The small loch was virtually frozen, but Mallard 10 just kept a small patch open. Around the carpark several Rock Pipit, Blackbird(1) Wren and several Starling all searching for food.

I headed for the beach where the light was superb and started to photograph a flock of waders on the tide line. Turnstone (48) Purple Sandpiper (8) Redshank (2) allowed a fairly close approach but the noisy Redshank left quickly putting the whole flock up.

Part of the flock moved along the beach but a good number returned to the same location and started to feed straight away. Turnstone are now in Shetland virtually the whole year and the beaches in the south mainland are good places to search for them

Out to sea, a couple of wintering Red Throated Divers mingled with Long Tailed Duck, a few minutes later three more RT Divers flew in. This is a good number for this time of year as most leave Shetland and head south.

The flock of LT Duck also increased to 36, the males chasing the females around and calling. A flock of Shag (8) joined Cormorant (4) and several Herring Gull and Kittiwake.

Half way along the beach two Snow Bunting came out onto the sands from the dunes, briefly joined by Twite (6)

RT Diver (5) LT Duck (36) Shag (6) Cormorant (4) Eider (2) Mallard (10) Turnstone (48) Purple Sandpiper (8) Redshank (2) Curlew (2) Black Guillemot (4) Kittiwake (2) GBB (4) Herring Gull (6) Hoddie, Snow Bunting (2) Twite (6) Blackbird , Greylag (18) Wren, Rock Pipit(7) Rock Dove (6), Starling (20) , GT Northern diver

Elsewhere a Female Smew turned up at Nesting and close by  a Black Throated Diver joined a flock of Gt North Diver, Bean geese in Unst