Saturday, 14 April 2018

Breeding now starting

Spring has arrived in Shetland during the last few weeks or so, numerous wildflowers are coming up and the birds are in full song. The weather has been warm and sunny as well, life is good

Shetland Name ( English Name)

Shalder (Oystercatcher)

Some birds have just started to nest, others such as Corbie (Raven) are early nesters starting in February.

                                                                      A Sandiloo (Ringed Plover)
Dunter (Eider)
Eiders are still in flocks as we speak but will soon break up into pairs with many pairs nesting on the moors. They are so well camouflaged that the female tends not to leave the nest even though the intruder may only be a few feet away. The males on the other hand, are displaying and calling always a spring treat

Gannets are back on the ledges and only journeyed south for a couple of months. Young stay in the nest along time and adults will be very busy finding food

Starlings having been displaying for a while and a constant source of enjoyment with a variety of song
                                 Breeding and migrant Blackbirds are still around in good number.

Laverek (Skylark)

Skylark are still present in good numbers as a breeding bird

                                                                                     Lintie (Twite)

                                    Twite are one of my favourite birds and are still around in large flocks

                                                                                        Male Twite show a red rump

Shalder (Oystercatcher )on a nest

Redshanks are one of the first birds to call out when anyone is near, it was good to find this pair busy feeding

                                   Flocks of Starlings still gather even though many have spilt up into pairs

Blackbirds now becoming territorial

Next month I will be busy, with different surveys. An on going one is the Beach survey which records any bird fatalities. I also do the Breeding bird survey for Shetland Amenity Trust covering two areas, something I have done since moving to Shetland. A new one this year is the Arctic Tern survey for the RSPB. Numbers are well down in Shetland due to the lack of Sandeels, it is possible that they may down to 1/4 of the population compared with the 1980's.

These are in addition to my own patches in Shetland, one in Sandwick and the other at Grutness in the south Mainland

I have just started a new Shetland Blog :

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