Saturday 18 May 2024

Shetland Garganey

Always good to see  Garganey. This one kept fluing off with two male gadwall and then returning to the pool but staying over the far side.










 

Sunday 12 May 2024

Gt Northern Divers in Shetland

We can always see Gt Northern Divers in Shetland
we get more in winter but also a few in summer and that means in breeding plumage
There were 4 birds at West Voe, Sumburgh, all different plumages and one bird calling
In the US they are called Loons






 

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Shetland Bluethroat

Lots of migrants about these last several days and having already found a Wyrneck at Grutness I came across this superb Male Red Spotted Bluethroat

It is always good to find a good bird and there is plenty og opportunity in Shetland to do this.

I had only just entered the quarry at Quendale when this Bluethroat appeared over to the left and spent 5 mins working away to get to a manure heap but was then chased off by a wheatear.
It quickly came back and started feeding again. This was a well marked bird, always better in spring


 

Saturday 4 May 2024

Shetland Starling

Shetland Starlings are very noisy at the moment. The Starlings here are sedentary and do not migrate like others that you see further south
Shetland has a good population and they are nesting at the moment. A few always nest in the engine space in cars and a few fires are normal, so check under the bonnet
Flocks of Starlings are often seen on the moors and in fields feeding and this happens all year round



 

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Rare Blue Winged Teal- Shetland

 It was good to hear that a male Blue Winged Teal had turned up at Scatness in the south mainland


after about 1/2 hour it disappeared but turned up again about an hour later. When i arrived there was 10 birders (all locals) and found the bird had moved onto the sea but with the sun direct ahead it was difficult getting a good view
With a few minutes in flew onto the loch and joined six Tufted then it swam to the bank where two Wigeon were feeding.
It quickly moved inland and started feeding, joined by a female teal (common). Although distant it was very distinctive.

This North American bird joins another teal, a Green Winged Teal which has been at Spiggie for several days
One of the other birds said it might be 30 years since the last one

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Female Long Tailed Duck in flight -Shetland

 Photographing birds in flight is always challenging but well worth it. Long Tailed Ducks came close in at Grutness at high tide and because they were in mating mode there was a lot of activity


Seeing them close up is great, round at West Voe there are still well over 100 birds but very distant.
They will soon be heading north to gather at Bluemull sound near Unst and it is a spectacular sight to see several hundred birds before they head to breeding grounds further north