Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Late Migrants

I was down in the south mainland recently and was talking to someone who had returned from Fair Isle a bit disappointed. About 5 mins after talking to the birder I had a very brief view of a shrike which skipped over the wall of the garden down at Grutness.  Migration has been very very slow with very few easterly winds so it was a nice surprise.

The day before around 5 Red Backed Shrikes had been found in Unst , but as far as i know none in the south mainland. The Shrike reappeared a few mins later, in the corner hidden by some branches. Again to shot off over the wall but by this time i had identified it as a female Red Backed Shrike.

It was back again but closer and in a more open situation allowing for some decent photo opportunities, after a few mins it moved again into the corner where it posed for more photos out in the open.

Over at Quendale it was windy but some birds showed straight away with a Whitethroat and Siskin on the list. A largest warbler darted between bushes before briefly posing for a few photos and then heading off towards the water wheel. The large warbler, didn't sing but it showed a brownish buff above and faint olive tones below.

It was a Marsh warbler, a few had been seen throughout Shetland a few days before and these are normally late migrants so it seems to fit the bill.

On the way back home we stopped off at Spiggie, just in time to see two young Whooper Swans appear next to their parents. Breeding Whooper Swans seem to be increasing in number, but most are out in the West or up in the northern isles.

Its good to see Terns bringing in Sand eels, although many don't get back home due to being attacked by Skuas and gulls.

Even though spring has been late, cold and wet many birds are now feeding young

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