Wednesday, 31 August 2016


Saturday was spent looking for the White Beaked Dolphin which had spent nearly two weeks in Weisdale Voe. We knew the location where it was seen on Friday and started to scan the large area of water for a single fin.

For over an hour we looked carefully but without any joy. The sea wasn't the calmest so any slight waves took our attention. We did however see a few Lion mane jellyfish, Gt Northern Diver (2), Black Guillemot (12) Shag (32) Red Breasted Merganser (4) Redshank, Curlew, Skylark, Meadow and Rock Pipit and a few Grey Seal.

Heading back to the car we met a couple of people who lived in the house overlooking the Voe and they pointed out this was the first day they hadn't seen the dolphin.

                                                                                                Booted Warbler

Recently a pod of Killer whales had been seen close in at Levenwick just as it was going dark and a few Minke Whales have gone through Mousa sound, with one at Bronnies Taing followed by a large pod of Porpoise.

                                                                                               Booted Warbler

After a short spell of rain on Sunday we headed down to Sumburgh. A report of an early morning Booted Warbler and Saturday's Arctic Warbler at Scatness, Geosetter & West mainland with a Wryneck at Hillwell gave an indication that autumn has come early

                                                                                         Booted Warbler

We stopped at Sumburgh gardens and three Willow Warbler showed well, after around 1/2 hour I still could not make out a bird which kept low in the bushes. A couple of people walked round the back of the bushes which saw the willow warblers and a female Pied Flycatcher come out, but the other bird still lingered, eventually showing as a Whitethroat.

                                                                                                Pied Flycatcher

On the way round to Grutness several Greenland Wheatear showed as did Skylark, Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail. On the beach Sanderling (5) and  Knot (24) showed well until a dog came along and most of the waders headed for the pool.

                                                                                                  Pied Wagtail

With the Knot,a lone Ruff was found taking a sleep with its beak tucked in but  a eye on me, a number have a been seen in the south mainland this week.. Fulmar , Gt Skua (3) Gt Bb and Herring gulls flew over.


A walk to the farm produced more Wheatear, all brightly coloured Greenland race birds. Near the garden a brown bird flew up and onto the lawn and for a brief second I could make it out as a Wryneck. Three more Willow warblers and another female Pied Flycatcher all found in the garden.

                                                                                              Willow Warbler
Just I returned to Sumburgh Garden a small warbler which appeared to have a very light coloured body flew up onto the wall near me and quickly disappeared just as Mick Maher joined me. It showed again lower down the field, it was a Booted Warbler possibly the same as the Sumburgh Head bird.

                                                                                               Booted Warbler

It then gave good views for around 20 minutes spending a good amount of time both on the walls and among the vegetation but moved around a lot. Hugh Harrop had joined us by this time and the bird was becoming more elusive. As we left another birder joined in but the bird had disappeared reappearing later in the day

I did see the Booted Warbler at Sumburgh Farm about the same time last year. I gather that the Scatness  Arctic Warbler was as elusive as yesterday but another one had showed up on the west side of Shetland .

On the way back a Sparrowhawk flew over Fleck while a Kestrel was seen in Sandwick

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