Sunday, 10 June 2018

Shetland in spring

I went down to see the RB shrike last weekend, it was giving distant views but you could make it out. I just turned round when someone decided to climb the fence and walk round to where it had been feeding and disturbed the bird.

It flew off some distance but I relocated it only to find the same thing happened again. Looking at his car registration it would appear he was from down near London, some people are so ignorant.

Anyway, I did pick out a House Martin, Redstart and a Spotted Flycatcher and unusually 6 Collard Dove at the Quendale

I was kept amused with the House Sparrows and several Starling which had been collecting grubs, it makes you wonder how they could see.

At Virkie is was good to hear and see a Marsh Warbler, one of several in the isles, together with a Red Breasted Flycatcher and a Linnet. A Garden warbler was showy at Sumburgh Hotel, I have seen more in Shetland than I ever did in the Sheffield area.

Two Barnacle geese was a nice surprise down at Grutness and allowed a close approach, these are very late returning to Spitzbergen.

Oystercatcher have young while Ringed Plovers mated, Curlew, Golden Plover, Redshank, Sanderling and Lapwing joined the ranks. Very little in the voe except Red Breasted Merganser(5), Black Guillemot and a couple of Red Throated Diver.

                                                                                   Spotted Flycatcher

Its always great to hear Skylarks and they seem to be everywhere as usual in Shetland while the parachute display of the Meadow Pipit added to the aerial display.

Most of the scarce and rare birds have been turning up mid week when I am at work, these have included a Snowy Owl on Mossy Hill. A very distant bird apparently only seen through a telescope, the last one I saw was back in 1987 on Fetlar, one of the young that bred on the island.

Supporting cast continues with Ortolan Bunting, Icterine Warbler, Rose Coloured Starling, Red Backed Shrikes, Golden Orioles, Crane, while the biggest surprise was a Walrus which turned up on the Skerries one late afternoon, not the easiest place to get to.


A small number of people hired boats to catch a late evening glimpse before it finally disappeared. The Bearded seal however is still showing very well in Lerwick and you never know the Harp seal down in the Hebrides may drop in on its way north to make it a hattrick of Arctic mammal visitors

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