Saturday 28 October 2017


The weather finally cleared to produce a clear still day , after a few days of  fog and gales it was good to get out and we decided to head to the south end.

                                                                                                    Song Thrush

On the way down we stopped off at Fleck to see the 4 Barnacle Geese and 13 Pinkfeet feeding with 22 Greylag, winter is coming on fast

Our first real stop was Sumburgh Hotel where a Black Redstart and Yellowhammer had been seen. After a good search we couldn't find either but a large number of Redwing, Fieldfare and Blackbird  had arrived and they were very vocal.

                                                                               Only a few Wheatear left

At West Voe Long Tailed Duck (64) Red Breasted Merganser (6) Gt Northern Diver, Eider (4) Shag (6) . Working our way on foot round to Grutness a few Goldcrest flew up from dense vegetation and in the fields a Song Thrush in addition to the other Thrushes, which were even more numerous here.

On the beach a large mixed flock of waders, around 250 birds was impressive as they flew up from the beach, disturbed by a dog walker. Knot, Sanderling, Redshank, Ringed Plover ,Dunlin, Purple Sandpiper , Oystercatcher and Turnstone

At the garden only Robin(3) and two more Goldcrest, but beside the first quarry a Ring Ousel with around a dozen Blackbird, Robin (4), Meadow Pipit (6) Twite (25) Hoddie (6) Raven and Rock Dove (8). The rain started to fall as we walked to the second quarry.

A few sheep grazed inside the second quarry but it didn't stop a number of birds feeding. No sooner than I opened the gate when Brambling (4) Lesser Redpoll and Common Redpoll(2), Reed Bunting flew up from a bare patch of ground. Here Robin (10) Blackbird (12), some singing was a welcome sight as the rain fell for another 10 mins.

Fulmar (numerous) Hoddie Wren and Twite (30).  and a chaffinch made up the cast. It was good to see Paula and Helen out photographing as well and they were pleased to be shown the Redpoll.

                                                                        Showing signs of a Lesser Redpoll

In addition to the other migrants, several Blue Tit & Gt Grey Shrike have arrived with two Firecrest , a Humes Warbler on Foula, Steppe Shrike on Whalsay, half a dozen Arctic Redpoll on Unst and a White winged Scoter initially on Yell then Unst provided a good end to October

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