Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Getting Better

The recent Green Warbler ID was confirmed recently when the DNA results came back positive, which will please many people.

This weekend the fog closed in so Saturday we didn't go out, this is a common problem in summer in Shetland, unlike the rest of England which tends to have fog in February and November. Spring migration is still slow here, only a few warblers but surprisingly Osprey (3) put in a good show with birds staying around a few days.

                                                                                                 Singing Chiffchaff

It was interesting to find a Sanderling with rings at Grutness this week, this is the same bird I photographed last year on the same beach, it was originally ringed in Spain in 2014. On the beach was a further 8 Sanderling and 4 Turnstone. Coming in close was a superb Gt Northern Diver  which stayed inshore for 5 mins before returning to its normal position, mid bay.

                                                                                          Turnstone looking superb

Several Arctic Terns also fished very close to the shore, catching small fish before returning to the colony a short distance away. Here a dark phase Arctic Skua put up many Common Gull as well as more terns and even a Ringed Plover flew up to see it off.

                                                                                                        Arctic Terns

Sunday was opposite to the day before with wall to wall sun without any wind at all and migrants coming in. First off was a singing Chiffchaff and Whitethroat at Grutness followed by Swallows (3) by the pool.

                                                                                                  Gt Northern Diver

At Sumburgh gardens a Savi's warbler turned up but only gave brief views. Only one person  managed to get any photographs as it moved too fast. The last time I saw one was down at Minsmere in the reed bed, again only giving glimpses. The best views have been down in France at several different  sites.

More Swallows passed over , then a male Kestrel was mobbed by a flock of Starling. As we arrived home, news came in that a Common Crane was showing in Dunrossness . I went down for this Monday afternoon but it was long gone disturbed by a tractor.

Also in Lerwick Monday midday, an Icterine Warbler sang briefly and showed three times but too many twigs and leaves in way for photos. A second visit later in day and no sign of the bird, but I did disturb  a Sparrowhawk from the garden which flew off with a small bird in its talons. Hope it wasn't the warbler. Also present, two singing Chiffchaff and Robin (2) with 9 Collard Dove and Wood pigeon (2). A further two Icterine Warblers have also been found at Tresta and on Whalsay.

A walk along the  Lerwick coast was reasonably productive with Grey Seal (8) one with a nasty gash along its neck. Around 60 Arctic Terns, Turnstone (22) Dunlin (3 pairs) Oystercatcher (2) Ringed Plover (1 pair), Red Breasted Merganser, Mallard, Black Guillemot, Shag, Gannet, Puffin, Common Guillemot, lots of Meadow Pipit, Wheatear and Skylark

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