Friday, 14 August 2015


Waders are now returning in good number and local birds are starting to flock together. The last couple of days i have visited Grutness, Virkie and Scatness and all produced a good variety of wader.

A Little stint was the first bird seen at Grutness but flew off before I could get my camera ready. Young Dunlin could be seen beside the freshwater pool along with Redshank and Oystercatcher.

Down on the beach only 6 Sanderling scurried along the beach, now cleared of seaweed.

At Virkie the tide was out leaving a large amount of mud, this tidal bay is excellent but its a pity that the sun always appears in the wrong place. Down at the western side Knot (12) fed frantically along with Dunlin. Closer to the northern shore and along a patch of seaweed a dozen Turnstone fed, very well camouflaged with their superb mottled plumage.

A large flock of Sanderling kept moving along , occasionally flying up when a car went past and these mixed in well with the Ringed Plover. Further out Three Black tailed Godwit fed close to a large flock of Redshank and a few Curlew.

A day later Scatness revealed  six Ruff on the far bank well hidden at first before a Gt Skua flew over which put these and 9 Sanderling into a loose flock flying around the loch before landing in the same place. A Grey Heron was mobbed by gulls and skuas and then was joined by a second bird , at first hidden behind a wall.

Several Swallow showed well, not a common bird here although they have appeared to have bred in a few places this year. One was still collecting mud, which seems very late

Out on the short cropped grassland 89 Oystercatcher, 2 Bar Tailed Godwit and 18 Ringed plover joined forces to form a protective perimeter. Up at the top of the hill 89 Gt Black Back Gulls inc young stood about preening unconcerned by a flock of sheep that wandered very close by.

The odd Gt Skua and Arctic Skua passed over looking for any Terns with sand eels while out in West Voe bay several Gannet and Shag searched for food. Walking along the southern bank produced over 12 Wheatear and a similar number of Rock Pipit

A flock of Rock Doves also fed down beside the loch but gave up feeding when a Gt Black Back landed close. They always seem very nervous birds

Although there has been a lot of talk about the proposed wind farm in the central mainland nobody I have talked to had any knowledge that a turbine was to be erected just to the north of Lerwick  at Luggie's Knowe. They kept this one very quiet, i wonder why ? It is now the largest one in Shetland standing at 145 m to the blade tip

This might be the way they get these up, no one will be able to do anything when they are erected- a very clever ploy.

One migrant I manged to see yesterday, was a female Sparrowhawk coming in off the sea and headed low over the power station heading west.

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