Sunday, 14 September 2014

Flocks and things

Despite light easterly winds not that many migrants turned up. The best was a Common Rosefinch at Grutness but now flocks of birds are starting to gather. Groups of 50-150 starlings are roaming about, especially around seaweed which provides a lot of insects to feed on.

On shorter grass a flock of Meadow Pipit (32) skylark(6), wheatear (8) and White/ Pied Wagtail (8) but no Citrine wagtail which was seen a few days ago near the pool at Grutness. Skeins of Greylag Geese are very vocal as they fly over.

The beach at Grutness held many waders until recently but during visits over the past few days very few have been seen. On the last occasion only Knot (1) Redshank (1) oystercatcher (1) Sanderling (1) Turnstone (1) and a flew over Curlew was present.

Overall it seems quieter with all the main seabird now departed and  the Skuas have followed. Fulmars and Gannets are still around with plenty of young Herring gulls. Ravens and Hoddie Crows are moving further field with a few flying close to our house finding the occasional  meal put out for the smaller birds.

A few bees especially Northern White tailed are visiting road side plants and coming into gardens, especially as the weather is so good. Even the odd Red Admiral and Painted Lady butterflies can be found, a great year for both.

As the migration season is now underway I am looking forward to seeing falls of birds and more unusual warblers. On a different subject was this Sea Kale which is only the 3rd reported plant for Shetland, found by Logan Johnson (thanks for the location) on a beach near Tesco. Its about 1-1/2 feet wide on a shingle beach.
                                                                                                        Sea Kale

Having visited Boddam several times recently its hard not to see Brown Rats running about among the rocks especially on the west side.

                                                                                            Brown Rats

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