Shetland has certainly come up with the goods again this Autumn and its barely started. This week a Hudsonian Curlew , Brown Shrike a recent Baltimore Oriole, Pechora Pipits, Little Bunting, Artic Warbler and Artic Redpoll could be seen. Its not a season we have visited Shetland so we are looking forward to the time we are able to get to see the whole season and see what turns up.
One thing that is always impressive is any large flock of birds. This time Snow Buntings, possibly around 3000 birds at present with 1500 in one flock in Unst. What a sight this must be, the largest one I have seen was 70 and that was impressive.
They look like little snow flakes and the fly past. Having already seen Snow Buntings in breeding plumage , including a group from Siberia on Fetlar, I will be looking forward to a trip- 70 miles + to the coast to try and find some, looks like a good year. This is the only problem being so far away from the sea. Occasionally the odd Snow Bunting turns up on the Derbyshire Moors but these are difficult to find. The coastal birds always seem very confiding.
It was good to hear about the ruling on the Viking wind farm on Wednesday, the campaign group Sustainable Shetland are claiming a major victory against the Scottish Government when a judge quashed the decision to grant consent to Viking Energy to erect 103 wind turbines across central Shetland. Parties will have 21 days to appeal against the decision.
I received the Shetland bird report 2012 this week and as usual it is superb, with some great photos and detailed accounts on the birds recorded its a must to buy. Copies can be obtained from Rob Fray , Sunnydell, Virkie, Shetland ZE3 9JS. I do like the more detailed reports on how the seabirds are doing, most unfortunately are not doing well again