Sunday, 10 April 2016

Getting better

Down in the south mainland this weekend, but it was cold and windy with very few migrants around. With a lot of migrants still to arrive it can be considered to be a rather quiet time here in Shetland.

During the week people had sightings of Hawfinch, Wheatear, Chaffinch, Robin, Swallow, Goldcrest in small numbers

While the majority of winter migrants have departed north, a few stay around and may summer, especially juvenile birds

The above Great Northern Diver was coming into breeding plumage, but others are still in winter plumage. Over 40 GT N Divers are still present in Quendale bay, along with a Black throated Diver (Rare here). This Gt Northern Diver was close in shore and gave good photographic opportunities.

The Scoter flock (common (5) Velvet (1) )was still in West Voe but slightly closer (mid bay) than other days. Along with these Long Tailed Duck numbers had dropped to 48, Eider (45) Red Breasted Merganser (8) Mallard (6) with a few Shag, Gannet (1) Razorbill (12) Black Guillemot (5)

A flock of Turnstone , 34 at west Voe and 26 at Grutness added variation. A Swallow over the airfield and Goldcrest at Grutness provided the only small birds new in. Skylark, Meadow pipit both in full song along with many Starling provided the musical entertainment.

On Sunday it was still fairly windy but dry with some sun  so this time we headed down to Quendale. I walked the beach first and found a dead Common Dolphin which looked a few days old. Its always sad to find such a fine creature, much better to see them swimming about.

A few Long Tailed duck and Gt Northern Divers on the sea but no sign of the Black Throated Diver today although viewing conditions was not ideal with high waves.

Lots of Ravens came over displaying and very vocal, this is a great spot for these birds. Working round the normal route I came across ChiffChaff (4) and a Wheatear, its good to see any spring migrants.

About a dozen Blackbird round farm building and lots of Sparrow and flocks of Starling. A flock of 32 Rock Dove with 16 Oystercatcher feed in one field, but soon it was a flock of 38 noisy Greylag that drew my attention

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