With South Easterly winds, rain and fog over the last few days the expectation of good birds was high as we moved through the weekend.
At Spiggie a large number of swan and duck gathered at the north end, inc an impressive Whooper (72) Mute Swan (5). Wigeon (78) Teal (14) Mallard(56)
One thing was evident, common migrants had arrived in good number. Along the road at Brake near Hillwell i counted 56 Blackbirds in about 1/4 mile stretch. Lots of Redwing and Fieldfare as well feeding in the fields.
On Hillwell, 26 Whooper and Spiggie held 72 Whooper with 5 Mute swan. Lots of Geese still about but the Barnacle geese seem to have gone.
Up at Sumburgh Head an elusive Black Redstart appeared and disappeared over the wall several times. A few Brambling and a couple of Chaffinch fed near the lighthouse, and around 60 blackbird could be seen, most very dark looking with dark beaks,
At the Farm, 4 Short Eared Owls provided the entertainment, talking to other people others were seen at Exnaboe(3) with Quendale and Geosetter one each. On Fair Isle 7 Shorties appeared with several on oil rigs to the east.
Down at West Voe at least 50 Long Tailed duck could be seen just off shore but the high waves made them difficult to count.
The Med gull at Boddam had disappeared but there was plenty to see with a female Pintail, Teal(20) Mallard (50) Turnstone (34), Snipe (16) Redshank (8) Purple Sandpiper (3) Starling (300) Rock Pipit (20+) Rock Dove (23) BH Common, Herring Gull and Kittiwake.
Quendale held a Long Eared Owl in dense vegetation, 2-3 Robin, Blackcap, Wood Pigeon (2) Goldcrest, Blackbird (40+) Redwing , Fieldfare, Ravens displaying, Lots of Curlew, Rock Dove and large gulls
Sunday was a bit dull but the wind had dropped. As we had not been to Geosetter for a while we headed south west and in 10 mins we arrived. As with other sites a large number of blackbird showed, 26 in all throughout the stretch. three Robin's sang, always nice to hear but the best waited until the end when a Great Grey Shrike appeared right above the waterfall, it flew further up stream up showed again twice. A small flock of Curlew and Greylag flew over then around 50 Fieldfare and a few Redwing headed south.
On the way back a Merlin flew over the road chasing a small bird and back home a migrant wood pigeon took off from the field in front of our house.