Thursday, 25 September 2014


On Sunday although the light was poor we headed down to Hillwell/ Quendale. The wigeon population had increased to 234 birds with the larger part of the flock feed on grassland close to the loch. A few Tufted, Teal and Mallard could also be seen but numbers were down from last week.

The stubble fields continued to attracted a lot of birds with large flocks of waders, mostly Golden Plover, Curlew and a few snipe and Lapwing.  Flocks of starling and sparrows which are always nice to see moved to and fro from the fields to the farm buildings while Wheatears used the Hay bails as a look out post. The continued presence of a Sparrowhawk made life difficult for all the birds as the constantly flew up creating a spectacular sight.

While only a Robin showed around the farm buildings, Ravens continued to provide some great entertainment as they chased each other and were very vocal.

I decided to head up the road past the farm to look over Quendale bay and i quickly located four Porpoise just out from the beach. Gannets passed over looking for shoals of fish and the ever present Fulmars skimmed the sea. Flocks of Shag also gathered in the bay while some gulls, mainly Herring congregated where a stream entered the sea, also a few Oystercatcher fed here.

On the way home we passed Spiggie where Whooper swans had increased to nine and Mute to eight, small numbers of Tufted and Teal were also present. Gt Skuas (35) could been seen out in the middle of the loch bathing. Around the edge of the loch, white wagtails ,Wheatear, Meadow Pipit and skylarks flocked together to feed on grassland

Monday started still, bright and still mild - news coming in that two Sub-alpine warblers had been found in Unst showed that even though the wind had turned to a westerly direction good birds could still be found.

We headed down to Sumburgh area for the day on Monday but it was quiet. At Sumburgh Head i was the only person present and after two hours only a Barred Warbler, Redstart a willow warbler showed and three Wrens moved round the cliffs on the south side. It was a beautiful day though and down at Grutness, two willow warbler and a female Blackcap moved through some bushes while down at the pool six white wagtails flitted about.

Nothing down at Sumburgh gardens so I made my way to the farm where a Red Breasted Flycatcher perched on a fence before moving into the garden. Starlings were very vocal and a flock of around 50 or so flew up from a stubble field which also held 28 Skylark and some snipe.

At Boddam I was just in time to see 4 grey Heron taking off from the shoreline attacked by a couple of GT Black Backed Gulls. A Small flock of Turnstone , a few Curlew and Ringed Plover joined a couple of Dunlin in the channel.

Yesterday we called in at Wester Quarry which was very quiet although a large flock of Raven and Rock Dove fed beside the road. Only a Chaffinch and Wood Pigeon (migrant) could be found in the gardens. In Lerwick at least 20 Black Guillemot fed in the harbour giving close views, now in their smart grey and black plumage. A few Grey seals came close as well.

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