Sunday, 2 October 2016

Rose Coloured Starling & Hoopoe

The weather  turned this week with gale force winds & torrential rain, then towards the end, drier and sunny weather . Good birds have been found all week with the number of birders in the south mainland staying around 30

I caught up with the Rose Coloured Starling that had been in Scalloway for the past 11 days. On the way up to the garden a Grey Wagtail and a Hawfinch showed briefly in a shower and as i arrived a whole host of Starling, House sparrow and Collard Doves fed on the food provided by Liz and Jim who owned the garden

It was in this garden that the Rufus Turtle Dove turned up at the back end of last year, then Liz and Jim happily shared news on the bird and a cup of tea for the few birders that had turned up on that occasion.

Looking on the hill at the back of the house, a spot that it had been seen a number of times, only a few Redshank, Blackbird and a small group of Shetland Starling. I returned to the garden just as Jim was coming out and he mentioned that he had just seen it behind the big plant pots in vegetation.

It soon showed feeding in the middle of the garden and was quiet aggressive with other birds jumping out of the way. It showed for 1/2 hour before heavy rain set in. I  then moved onto to Quarff where earlier I had just missed out seeing the Hoopoe that had been present since a week last Saturday. Originally it was found at Clumliewick, Sandwick the day before

                                                                                                      All in flight

By the time i had parked up the bird had flown again. I started to search other gardens and as I was talking to a couple of visiting birders the bird flew up and followed a fence for about 50 yards before disappearing in vegetation.

Everyone moved across to a viewing point as the Hoopoe showed at a distance but in the open giving good views. It was too windy for photos and it moved again out of view. I saw it again several hundred of yards away on improved pasture.

Saturday the weather was really good, dry, sunny, warm and still, ideal for photographing so we went in search of the Hoopoe again.

Arriving at Easter Quarff i could easily been back in South Yorkshire with Roy Twigg, Paul Garrity and another couple from Sheffield, Russ Haywood from Rotherham but now living in Quarff and a couple originally from Sheffield just down the valley

This time the Hoopoe showed better but still gave us the run around. On one occasion it landed about 20 feet away but in a dip, then flew away to the far side.

The bird finally showed a distance away but in the open so most of us got a good view before it took flight again, it seemed to be making a regular circuit around the school and down to the bottom road.

More photos at

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