Down at Grutness the other day and although it was overcast and cold there was quiet a lot of birds around
On the beach Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Turnstone, Sanderling, Redshank Purple Sandpiper and Oystercatcher, with a large flock of mostly Dunlin with a few Ringed Plover coming onto the beach from the east.
Its always nice to see Long Tailed Duck and on this occasion the males displayed, calling and throwing their heads back with females close by.
White winged Gulls certainly arrived in good numbers last Monday with Glaucous Gull (42) & Iceland gull (3) . January and February are always the best months to see these gulls in Shetland, most of Monday's Gull occurred on Unst but the North end of Lerwick is also a good place.
Glaucous Gulls in Scalloway
With northerly winds and snow on Thursday and Friday the white winged gulls moved to the South mainland and Glaucous (4) and Iceland (2) gulls appeared at Sandwick, with others at Grutness, Boddam, Scatness and Quendale.
Iceland gull Sandwick
With ice all over the place on Saturday we stayed local and decided on a walk down to Leebotton. While only one Glaucous was present a flock of Redwing (30) was new in and feeding along the coastal path and in the grounds of Sandlodge.
On the jetty Ringed Plover (36) Turnstone (28) Purple Sandpiper (6) Redshank (6) dodged the waves. Waders in Sandlodge grounds included a further Turnstone (18) Redshank (10) Starling (50) Blackbird (16) Rock Pipit (8) and a couple of wren.
A few Eider, Mallard and Shag could be seen further out in the bay and the odd Gannet and Kittiwake GT BB, Herring and Common Gull passed by.
Elsewhere, the Killdeer is still down in Sandwick, while a flock of 6 Bean geese turned up near Quendale and a pair of Scaup at Scatness
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After Storm Barbara and Conor (gust at 105 mph at Scatness) it was good to finally get out even though it was dull. At this time of year there is very little light for photography in Shetland, perhaps just a couple of hours when its dull
First was a visit to West Voe of Sumburgh where i was expecting a lot of seaweed and debris on the beach but very little could be found. Out in the bay Shag (118) Long Tailed Duck (8) Goldeneye (4) Red Breasted Merganser (4) and a lone Redshank on the beach.
At Grutnesss the pool was at a high level which attracted Mallard (6) Teal (2) Redshank (8) Turnstone (6) and out in the bay Shag (38) Long Tailed Duck (8) Gt Northern Diver, GT BB(2) Herring Gull (12) Fulmar (6) and Sanderling (1) and Turnstone (8) on the beach
Heading down to Spiggie around 250 Greylag fed in rough water filled grassland and one with a orange collar and ring (see photo)
Apparently this was ringed in Shetland and is a 4 year old bird that has been seen around the Spiggie area before
Further north Whooper Swan (4) Wigeon (250) Teal (15) Goldeneye (12) Tufted (22) Moorhen (12) and a large Peregrine falcon made several dives at the duck without success and moved north. Also Lapwing (48) Curlew (46) Turnstone (12) all took flight when the Falcon flew over.
Around 20 Common Gull, 10 Herring and a couple of GBB gulls kept coming and going