Sunday 29 November 2020

Winter has arrived in Shetland

 With gale force winds, torrential rain and snow last week i think winter has arrived. But for some it doesn't seem so, we have a garden full of daisies who seem to ignore the bad weather and a late Hedgehog crossing the road this morning

We had an arrival of thrushes yesterday with Fieldfare (62) Redwing (12) Blackbird (10) fielding in the field in front of our house also here Curlew(3) Starling (40) and Rock Dove (6)

The Golden Plover flock seems to have moved from Sandwick marshes with only a few around but good numbers of Redshank (40), Turnstone (100), Ringed Plover (28), Lapwing (25), Snipe(4)

A few Black redstart have arrived, normally a good time of year for this species A Bullfinch on Yell and the Gt White Egret seems to have gone at last.

Today 93 swans on Spiggie including 15 Mute swans with the rest Whooper and always Goldeneye feeding close by. Around the shore 150 wigeon, Mallard 22, Tufted 12, Moorhen 4, Greylag 100, Starling 200, Curlew (12) Redshank (30) Snipe(2) Lapwing (10) and about 50 gulls.

Sunday 15 November 2020

Shetland wader numbers build up

The weather has not been too bad this weekend and we even had a bit of sun

With migration over, except for a few bit its now down to the locals to keep us entertained

Rock Pipit

The Robins will be around until Spring and i found 3 down at Quendale

Wrens are very vocal as usual and although i only got glimpses of this Perrie bird it was its song that attracted me to it 
Gt Northern Divers are now regulars in the south mainland with over 30 in Quendale bay with a dozen Long Tailed Duck
Flocks of Starling have moved into the dunes and this one held more than  100 birds, they could be migrant rather than the sedentary Shetland starling

Wader numbers have built up, in Sandwick a flock of 800 Golden Plover was impressive these were joined by 250 Turnstone, 50 Lapwing, 200 Curlew and 20 Redshank on farmland while an Iceland gull briefly visited Sandsayre

Purple Sandpiper numbers at West Voe, Sumburgh was 78, while Sandsayre held 18 and Grutness 12

The tide was just receding as this Purple Sandpiper flock came into West Voe , joined by Turnstone 23, Dunlin 6, Redshank 12 and lots of gulls

The high tides at Sumburgh allowed several Grey Seals to make a close approach to the beach

Monday 9 November 2020

Great White Egret meets the arctic

The long stay Great White egret has now moved to the north west end of Spiggie making it a lot easier to see from the road.

It seems settled and is catching a lot of fish. It doesn't seem to mind the Whooper Swans that rest up close by. 

It does seem odd seeing both of these species together with the GWE from the warm southern Europe and the whoopers the colder Greenland/ Iceland area.

Once it stops to preen it looks around to check on any intruders.

There is a maximum of 88 swans still around this north end, most are Whooper families, together with Lapwing, Snipe, Redshank and Curlew with Coot and Moorhen with a Water Rail on one occasion.

Lots of duck with Wigeon, Goldeneye, Mallard, Teal mixing in and feeding round the swans. Skeins of Greylag passed over and 100's of gulls washed on the loch before moving onto the hill to roost

Raven, Hoddie, Redwing, Fieldfare , Blackbird, Meadow Pipit a few Skylark, Starling and Sparrow roamed around the edge. 

Back home we have had Two Blackcap and a Goldcrest these last few days and a few Twite. In the field  today 14 Blackbirds fed with about 100 starlings

Wood Pigeon and Collard doves have become regular this year and are expanding their range in Shetland