Sunday, 16 April 2017

Spring arrives

Although the weather may have not been much like spring more birds have arrived back in Shetland. We traveled up to Sumburgh head where a pod of 7 Killer Whales had passed by four hours before.

The two Lapland Bunting showed well down to around 12 feet, these were both male birds one of which had a jet black head.

A few Wheatears the first of the year dived bombed the buntings, while several Skylark sang away and Oystercatcher flew passed piping loudly.

Down at Grutness a few more migrants had arrived, in the garden a Redwing appeared, then joined a Song Thrush in the paddock. A Chiffchaff called and was later seen on the beach beside the house. A Robin , Pied Wagtail (2) White Wagtail (2) joined a large flock of Starling feeding near the Shetland ponies.

Back on the pool Herring and Common Gulls scared off a pair of Mallard and then a pair of Gt Skua flew over, returning birds.

In the Bay just a few birds including a pair of Red Throated Divers in breeding plumage, Shag (6) and a couple of Long Tailed Duck.

At West Voe a Gt Northern Diver coming into breeding plumage caught a couple of fish and a flock of 18 Turnstone worked hard to find food along the rocky coastline. Lots more Skylark sang overhead.

Over at Hillwell just one Whooper Swan, Wigeon (86) Tufted (8) Mallard (15), Shelduck (2) Teal (4), Moorhen (9) and among the gulls a nice Iceland and 2 Lesser Black Back gulls.

Just then a Common Crane flew over heading north then quickly descended towards Spiggie. Just wondered whether this is the same bird that spent several months in the area last year.

Common Crane, Iceland Gull, Lapland Bunting (2) Wheatear, Rock Pipit, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Curlew, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Stock Dove, Gt Skua, Gt Northern Diver, Red Throated Diver, Long Tailed Duck, Wigeon, Tufted, Teal, Mallard, Shag, Song Thrush, Redwing, Robin, White/Pied Wagtail, Gannet,Puffin,  Sparrow, Starling, Raven, Fulmar, LBB, Gt BB, Herring & Common Gull, Chiff Chaff, Moorhen, Greylag, Whooper Swan, Common Guillemot, Redshank, Snipe, Shelduck, Wren, Blackbird, Twite, BH Gull

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