Saturday 27 October 2018

Birding in the sun

A sunny ,warm, windless day arrived earlier in the week and i was off work so headed down the south mainland.

Stopping off at the beach at Grutness a group of south birders congregated trying to find the White Rumped Sandpiper that had turned up late yesterday. Not seen today and neither was the Pallas's warbler from the garden.


Up at Sumburgh Head a flock of around Brambling (50) Twite (28) House sparrow (34) filled the rose bushes, a Merlin came over and spooked the lot and the flew up together. Lots of Gannet diving into the sea below the cliffs while a flock of Raven (14) came passed calling.


Blackbirds started to appear on the east side and a flock of Skylark (28) headed out to sea going south. A couple of Robin were found around the lighthouse.

Down at the quarry the Redstart was still present and a few Goldcrest but little else , while the Barnacle flock opposite had reduced to 28 birds


Back at Grutness garden another Redstart put in an appearance with Chiffchaff(2) and Robin (3) but no Pallas's Warbler. News came in that a Shorelark was present down at the point, so i headed down with a couple of others

Its been a while since i saw my last Shorelark which gave good views in Norfolk, this bird would be my first for Shetland.


It showed briefly before flying south, calling. Then arrived back in the same place and began feeding. It gave some distant views before i left going over to West Voe for another look at the Booted Warbler. It wasn't present at the spot i saw it yesterday.

Hoddie Crow
Later i found out that it gave excellent view in the park (Field) near the cattle shelter.


On the way back i called in a Clumlie where a Ring Necked duck had been reported yesterday. All the duck including three Scaup and 15 tufted were all over the far side with most of them asleep  the Ringed Necked was still present but too distant to photograph being on the far bank.


A flock over at least Fieldfare (30) and Redwing (20) flew off the moorland and into a grassy area flushing a couple of Snipe.

Teal in early morning light at Boddam

By the end of the week it was  heavy rain all day so i decided to bird from the car and called in first at Clumlie where a female Ringed Necked Duck, Scaup (3) Pochard , Goldeneye (2) and Tufted (16) showed in the distance and a short while later i was watching another female Ringed Necked duck over at Spiggie,with the Pied Billed Grebe showing to the east of the fishermans hut at the north end.

Good numbers of Swan have arrived with Whooper (175) Mute (6) on Spiggie and Whooper(4) at Clumlie. Lots of Redwing and a few hundred Fieldfare, falls of Brambling in the south mainland with 50 coming in off the sea and three Great Grey Shrikes

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