Tuesday 30 April 2019

Migrants arrive in force

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The weekend has been very good, after about 10 days of Force 5 there was no wind over Saturday and Sunday and the sun was shinning too.

Migrants had been flocking in due to easterly winds with Serin the best one, found on Whalsay, a few Wryneck and Osprey with the Black Kite making another appearance.

The best bird for me was a Yellow Wagtail at Sumburgh Hotel, a nice bird feeding with cattle and finding many insects.

Also here was a Chaffinch, Robin and Chiffchaff Lapwing, Oystercatcher and down at the pool Lesser Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler

Grutness held two Gt Northern Diver and one Red throated with a few long Tailed Duck. On the pool several Turnstone, mallard, Common Gull, White and Pied Wagtail and a Lesser Whitethroat. Further along two Fieldfare, Chiffchaff and 3 Robin.

Not much at the quarry except Robin(5) and a Chiffchaff. The farm held little just Robin(3) Chiffchaff and several Twite.

In West Voe the tide was out but in the distance Long Tailed Duck(47) and one Gt Northern Diver.

The following day, we went over to Quendale and more Chiffchaff (5) including two singing , along with two singing Willow Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Robin (4) Blackcap (4) Reed Bunting, Redstart, Twite (6)

Its already been a much better spring for migrants with one local birder claiming the best in the last 15 years.

Good numbers of Robin (17) remain and I saw more Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler in ten minutes than the whole of last spring, just 2 Chiffchaff and no Willow warbler last year.

Seem to have several male Blackbirds just arrive Sunday night. Great to hear Skylark singing from the backdoor and see Rock Pipit feeding on the lawn.

Weekend List
Blackbird, Skylark, Rock Pipit, Twite, Curlew, Snipe, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Turnstone, Meadow pipit, Starling, House Sparrow, Mallard, Long Tailed Duck, Gt Northern Diver, Red Throated Diver, Shag, Cormorant, Black Guillemot, Razorbill, Rock Dove, Collard Dove, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Reed Bunting, Redstart, Blackcap, Robin, Fieldfare, Hoddie, Redshank, Wheatear, Raven, Eider, Fulmar, Wren, Pied/ White Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, LBB, GTBB, Herring Gull, BHG, Common Gull, Kittiwake, Gt Skua, Sedge warbler. Gannet

#Shetland migrants, #Shetland, # Quendale, #West Voe, #Sumburgh Hotel

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Easter Weekend migrants in Shetland

With the winds coming from the east for the last few days things were always looking good for weekend migrants. The wind though has been strong for the past 10 days so has an effect on using a long lens.

We headed down to West Voe first, the tide was in allowing a couple of Gt Northern Divers to come in closer to the shore than normal. Just a bit further out a nice flock of 55 Long Tailed duck and several Shag.

A small flock of Gulls, Herring, Common, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Gt BB and a single Iceland gull in adult plumage kept flying further into the bay. A Couple of new arrived Gt Skua passed over making the gull rise .

From my vantage point, close to a small garden , three Chiffchaff flittered about in the bushes along with a couple of Robin, a wren and several House Sparrow.

Gt Northern Diver which appeared to have a hook in its beak

Nearer the sandy beach, a Wheatear was feeding along with a couple of Rock Pipit. A flock of Turnstone (26) blended in with the seaweed washed up on the shoreline. Just leaving the area when a Sand Martin and a couple of Swallow came in from the sea.

Feeding along with the cattle, a Song Thrush and Redwing, Pied wagtail, Starlings, House Sparrow, several Skylark and Meadow Pipit.

At Sumburgh Hotel gardens which is in the process of being renovated, a couple of Willow warbler and Three Robin, and later in the afternoon a Black Redstart put in a flighty performance.

Lapwings displayed with at least two on nests and Curlew, Snipe, Redshank, Oystercatcher and Mallard found around the pool.

At Grutness, the bay held little except for a couple of LT Duck and Black Guillemot but beside the pool Turnstone(9) Ringed Plover (2) ,Oystercatcher (12) and lots of common Gull rested and bathed.

The garden produce  Robin(3) Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff (2) Wren and further along the road, at the first quarry Chiffchaff(2) Robin and Pied Wagtail

The larger second quarry has little vegetation at the moment as sheep have been allowed in over the winter and some digging has taken place at the backend near the cliff face. Here Robin(3), Blackbird (3) Wren and Twite stayed mainly at the back of the quarry.

Willow warbler

At Quendale it was good to see the Black Throated Diver as it joined 4 Gt Northern Divers. Around the Mill and Dam it was all about Chiffchaffs with 5 birds including 2 singing. A Robin , several Blackbirds and Twite (12) joined in and Swallows flew around the dam. A flock of Oystercatcher (28), Rock Dove (16) Raven (12) and a few Curlew and Redshank found food on a plough field

Elsewhere, a Black Kite appeared in Unst having left Fair Isle the day before along with a Gt Grey Shrike and a White Tailed Eagle was seen again at Tingwall. A few Yellowhammer , Pintail and Garganey and Long Eared Owls further north in the mainland

#Shetland, #Shetland migrants, #Shetland birds, #Black Redstart, #Iceland gull