Sunday 14 February 2016

Hen Harrier

During the week conditions have been reasonably good and over 100 Eider have been in Scalloway bay along with several Red Breasted Merganser, Black Guillemot, Common Guillemot and Shag.

Not really had too much chance to get out due to work commitments but this weekend was the first  opportunity with sunshine all day Saturday and Sunday despite a snow covering and very cold winds

I decided to have a look round Sandwick and Saturday seemed to produce more birds than the past few weeks. A good number of Thrush could be seen feeding in fields with a return of Fieldfare, Redwing and Blackbirds. Even in our garden we had several Blackbird around with our usual Rock Pipit, Starling and House sparrow.

In the fields around the Wart, three flocks Twite of around 10 birds fed in between numerous Golden Plover and Curlew. Greylag fed in a couple of field, perhaps around 70 but never easy to approach. While I was scanning the Geese for unusual visitors a Ring tailed Hen Harrier took off and was quickly harried by three Hoddie crows. It flew down the road and up near a deserted croft, landing briefly before disappearing over the hill.

This is the third time I have found Hen Harriers in this area, always a good bird to find. Another couple of Hen Harrier have been seen in Yell over the past few days. Another raptor, a Rough legged Buzzard is still around Sullom.

Not too much on the sea either at Sandsayre or Sanick, only a dozen mallard, Goldeneye(6) Long Tailed Duck (4) Shag (4) and a few Fulmar, Herring and Common Gull.

Down at Hoswick a pair of Collard Dove was unusual and a dozen or so Blackbird, a couple of wren and House sparrow all seen around feeders.

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