Saturday, 4 February 2017

Gt Northern Diver

Gt Northern Divers are present in Shetland all year round, with larger numbers in winter. As spring draws near numbers build up, especially in Quendale bay with over 40 birds present most years

In the south mainland Quendale, Grutness, Sandwick are all good places to find these divers

Red Throated diver disappear during the height of the winter months returning in March. These first appear on the sea before dispersing to breeding lochs around Shetland in spring

Only the occasional White Billed and Black Throated diver appear in winter and on one occasion a Pacific Diver showed in Grutness bay one spring.

The Killdeer is still present in Sandwick while a good number of Iceland Gull and a few Glaucous Gulls are still around the islands


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Wednesday, 25 January 2017


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.

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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

White Winged Gulls

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 for more Shetland photos

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Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Ringed Neck Goose anyone !

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

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Have a very happy New Year and thanks for visiting this blog.