Monday, 28 November 2016


The Killdeer was back in Sandwick on Wednesday but i didn't get chance to get down until it was going dark on the Friday night. I saw the wader briefly before a Merlin flew low over the field spooking the bird and it flew off south.

On the Saturday i arrived at the site to find Paul Bloomer looking at the bird at the east end of the field close to the pools.

I soon as i walked to the viewing point it flew off further away but in the same field. It was still giving good but distant views.

A Lapwing landed close by and chased the Killdeer back towards us. Starling and a Turnstone fed near by and they didn't seem to react to the Killdeer. Then the  Killdeer called a few times as it moved back to the pools.

The name Killdeer comes from its call

This is the third record for Shetland, we did see the previous Killdeer at Virkie back in 2008. The bird seemed to have paired up with a Ringed Plover and stayed eleven months. Like the Sandwick bird this one seem to favour an area with pools.

Adult birds, like this Sandwick one has a bright orange eye ring and rump, it has a white chest with two black ring bands. It has a largest tail, dark brown wings, it has a dark thick bill. Male and female are similar in appearance.

It nests in Alaska and northern Canada, preferring drier sites at this time but moving to wetter coastal areas outside the breeding season

They feed on insects and this one moved similar to Ringed Plover in short steps often stopping to listen. After a bout of feeding it would find a sheltered spot and often become almost invisible as it sat among mud heaps or straw.

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