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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