Saturday, 24 October 2015


Common Scoter used to breed in Shetland when we first started coming up in the mid 1980's. We saw pairs on Yell at Loch of Littlesetter but they also bred in the West mainland around Walls and down at Loch of Spiggie

The decline of this breeding species started to occur in the 1980's. During the 1970's & 1980's it was consider to be more a spring visitor , returning late March into April

Since then the Common Scoter has become more an autumn and winter visitor, although I did see a male from Spiggie beach last April
These later visitors sometime appear in small flocks, the bird photographed was in West Voe of Sumburgh part of a small flock of 5 birds.

It has been suggested that the Spring birds come from a different population to those that arrive in Autumn / winter

Velvet Scoter is a smart looking bird and is considered a scare migrant in Shetland. Sullom Voe used to hold a wintering population of around 12-19 birds back in the 1970's but the Esso Bernicia oil spill killed around a large number of these visiting birds

Small numbers of spring birds could be seen throughout the 1970's. Autumn birds have now become regular but usually the odd bird. This one was photographed at Grutness where it stayed a few days, with possibly the same bird appearing in Fair Isle a day after it disappeared from Shetland mainland

No comments:

Post a Comment