Friday 31 May 2019

Shetland -Lesser Yellowlegs

On Sunday the Quail was still singing at Brow Marsh , now into its second week. The Lesser Yellowlegs returned for distant views at Scatness.

It was chased away first by two Redshank and then by some children.

This is a north American wader normally found in autumn August - October

Kittiwakes collecting mud

On Thursday a Great Knot turned up at Skaw Unst only the 6th UK record and it is still present today

Tuesday 28 May 2019

Migrants still arriving in Shetland

Migration continues but at a lesser pace with winds swinging around to the west then north. Birding in the south mainland over this last weekend produced a few migrants.

Common migrants turned up at Sumburgh Hotel and Grutness with Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler , Chiffchaff, Swallow and House Martin

This Lesser Whitethroat performed well in windy conditions, a bird that you would normally only hear down in England.

A few Willow Warbler flitting around the garden

Many Starlings with young now and adults busy collecting food

Grub up and a spider as well

#Shetland migrants, #shetland

Sunday 26 May 2019

Rare Shetland birds

Following on from the last blog when I mentioned that we have had a great fall of migrants

This continued throughout the week, always difficult when you are working. Latest estimates are Bluethroat (45) Common Rosefinch (25) Rustic Bunting (4) Golden Oriole (4) Red Backed Shrike (6) and also new in Lesser Yellow Legs, Gt Reed Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Sub Alpine Warbler both east and West (5) Paddyfield Warbler, Thrush Nightingale (3/4), Mandarin (4), Lesser Yellowlegs

These were wide spread but you never know, some might pair up and breed, so watch this space.

Spring is great for seeing birds in breeding plumage and lots of waders are passing through heading north to the arctic to breed. Last year was a bad year with snow still present when birds arrived so many waders didn't breed and returned to Shetland just after a few weeks.

Lots of birds carrying food as well as singing

This male Eider made short work of a crab

A very light coloured Curlew

#shetland, #shetland rare birds

Tuesday 21 May 2019

Shetland a great spring so far

After the last blog new rare birds still continued to drop into Shetland, especially when the fog rolled in.

At Levenwick a female Rustic Bunting was being elusive as ever, these are never easy birds to see during spring and this continued the trend. It favoured a small burn close to the beach but would disappear in one place and come out well up stream.

Although I didn't bet any photos it was good to see it perched for a few seconds in a small bush.

New in, 9 Common Rosefinch with 13 Bluethroats , with at least four on Skerries. Also here was a Collard Flycatcher and 4 Icterine Warbler. Then in the afternoon on Sunday 4 Red Backed Shrikes arrived

One down the road from us in Sandwick and a male at Grutness (Photographed) . The Grutness bird was very elusive and I only saw it twice a few other birds spent over an hour looking with only one person seeing it.

        Lesser Whitethroat

Compared to last Spring which was very poor for migrants this year has been excellent and still a month to go. Common migrants are still coming through as well and along with the Shrike there was a Lesser Whitethroat, Redstart, Chiffchaff , Willow warbler and White Wagtail down at Grutness

In the bay Two Gt Northern Diver and both Eider and GBB with crabs. Starling and Meadow Pipit collecting food for their young and the Grasshopper warbler still singing away in Sandwick, around the 15th day.

The fog was very thick and all flights out of Sumburgh were suspended from 12 noon. It never lifted until about 8pm

On the Monday I was in Lerwick delivering a photography course and after had time to pop into Helendale, a small wooded area. It was good to hear Blackcap(2) Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler singing and seeing a Robin with food and just as I left a male Golden Oriole flew in from the north.

I search for it but the foliage was dense making it difficult to see into the middle, this may have been this Quarff bird and just shows that birds can disappear for days on end before reappearing in a different location.
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