The weather has been very good over the weekend, with Sunday having easterly winds although these appeared to be very light winds.
Having not been to Hillwell and Quendale for a while we made tracks down to the mill area. At first not much about with a few sparrow in the bushes beside the burn. Lots of croaking Ravens flew over joining around 100 Rock dove feeding in a crop.
At the dam a Willow Warbler flew out and perched on the gate, then a Whinchat appeared then disappeared. It was looking better as I made my way back to the mill just in time to see a group of local birders led by Paul Harvey. They said the same, not much about as we headed in opposite directions.
On the far side of the burn a Grey Wagtail fed and when this flew off a Green Sandpiper appeared roughly in the same spot.
A phone call from Paul Bloomer who was part of the bird group informed me that the Common Crane was at Hillwell, so having missed the bird numerous times I finally caught up with it. It seemed quiet content feeding then preening before settling down behind some tall grass, no wonder I had not seen it before, it looked like it had completely disappeared but now I could see its head in deep cover.
On the loch Pintail (4) Wigeon (66) mallard (12) Teal (12) Moorhen (4) Ruff (28) Curlew (12) Snipe(2) Redshank (2) Oystercatcher (1) Mute (2) Tufted (5). Then Paul mentioned a Black Redstart beside the farm building but despite waiting 1/2 hour it didn't show
As we passed Hillwell in the car the Black Redstart was seen on the roof of the farm buiding just before it shot over the other side. With hardly a cloud in the sky is was looking a good night for the Aurora which was predicted at KP4+ (see shetlandsky.blogspot.co.uk)
You can see more photos of Shetland at my website www.amazingshetland.co.uk
www.amazingshetland.co.uk for canvas prints of Shetland