You may have noticed that a Tengmalm owl turned up in Shetland Tuesday, 19 February 2019 but was not seen today although it could well be present in deep cover
Hundred's of people have turned up from down south and have seen the owl. Some have caused problems with parking and staying until all hours. Some arriving around 5am causing noise and why anyone would stop until after midnight it would be anyone guess.
But the truth was revealed recently when people were found to be using high powered torches to find the bird among the trees during the night, (no need as it was visible most days during daylight hours) not just on one night but at least three. People who told them to stop were then verbally abused
The people who own the garden at Tumblin, Bixter, got frustrated with park outside the house, the noise and torch light and I cannot blame them. I know its only a minority that are causing problems, but I can see Shetland people starting to withhold information if this continues.
I have encountered problems at other sites, both in Shetland and down in England. Some are very aggressive and arrogant making sure they see the bird no matter what the cost to others or the welfare of the bird - rant over.
I finally managed to see the bird on day 8 of its Shetland stay. It had moved a short distance down to Lea Gardens at Tresta roosting in the pines. On the first day at its new location, it caught a Ringed Plover and ate it in a near by tree.
I didn't get the best view as it was mostly hidden, but I returned yesterday and had a lot better view in a different place in the gardens
With only about a dozen birders it was easier to get a viewing place. In the 1.5 hours I was present everyone behaved and kept to the owners wishes of keeping to the path and not venturing onto the borders where plants were just coming up.
It was good to talk to the other birders including a group from Barnsley, who had talked to Russ Haywood a few days before ( left Shetland to return to Rotherham a while ago). Two had driven up from Southampton to Aberdeen then caught the ferry. They had the day in Shetland before returning on the ferry experiencing a rough crossing and then back down to Southampton with a brief stop.
Another Shetland birder who is on a long holiday in Sicily flew back for the day but failed to see the owl
The last Tengmalm owl appeared in Shetland 107 years ago in Unst, the bird was caught and promptly disappeared and may have been stuffed !, so this is very special bird. These Owls normally are found in Russia, Sweden, Finland and Norway.
If you are coming up to see the Owl just be aware that the garden will have no access after the 6 March for an extended period due to scheduled work and no birders will be allowed in
A collection box was put out and local and visiting birders have contributed a good amount for the MRI scanner appeal , so well done to everyone
A Snowy Owl was also present on Ronas Hill the other day
#Tengmalm Owl, #Shetland Rare birds, #Shetland, #rare Owl