Thursday 29 April 2021

Spring arrivals

 At last a few migrants filtering through, its always good to see some small birds

With the sun shinning we headed down to Grutness, resisting the temptation to got up to see the Puffins at sumburgh which arrived back earlier in the week 

We stopped off at a quiet Grutness, Mallard and Common Gull on the pool with displaying Lapwing at the back.

A flock of Meadow Pipit (30) flew up from near the WW2 fuel pipe and headed up to the paddock. Skylarks sang it was so good to hear. Starling decided to compete, i do like these Shetland starlings which are more vocal than the ones down south

A flock of 20 House sparrow flew round the garden which now had daffodills flowering next to snowdrops. 

Two Willow Warblers searched and found food before flying west along with a male Chaffinch.

As i made my way to the seaweed covered beach i spotted a Great Northern Diver still in winter plumage and then further out, a Red Throated Diver. A few Long Tailed duck, Black Guillemot and Shag also fed on the incoming tide.

A flock of 34 Turnstone found a sandy part to stand on, making them easier to see, A flock of others waders joined them, Sanderling, Ringed Plover (2) Redshank (6) and more Turnstone.

Oystercatchers kept flying over the beach from the ploughed field which also held Curlew(6) Rock Dove (36) and a couple of Blackbird which joined the small flock of 12 Twite.

Tuesday 27 April 2021

LIttle Shetland Birds

Startng to get a few migrants into Shetland
Twite is a resident bird and are still in small flocks

Lots of Blackbird on territory and today we had a small fall with 9 Blackbirds in the field in front of our house
Nice to see a Brambling down at Quendale
Wheatears all over the place, so good to see them back

Lets not forget the House Sparrow, still a common bird in Shetland and i for one don't take them for granted
Someelse waiting for a tired migrant or two

Monday 12 April 2021

waders getting colour

Purple Sandpipers are one of my favourite waders, we often seen them searching for food among rocks but in the south mainland they join other  waders along the ebbtide

You can see it wont be long until they gain full breeding plumage

Most leave shetland at the end of the month with just the odd non breeder left and usually tis is on Unst

They are a very smart looking bird
Turnstones are also getting into Summer Plumage and have nice orange colour
I have seen them in Shetland most months and you can often find small flocks during the summer especially on Fetlar, Unst and Whalsay

Its good to get a comparison in size

 Elsewhere large flocks of Meadow Pipit and Skylark have arrived with many starting to sing. The Black Throated Diver remains down at Quendale but far off shore and the American Wigeon has now moved to the NE Corner of Spiggie. I ventured down today but the wigeon flock was very distant making it impossible to find the AM wigeon in the flock of 100.

Saturday 3 April 2021

The 3 Divers (Shetland)

I have been down to Spiggie a few times to see the American wigeon and have seen it at a vast distance so no photos.

Red Throated Diver

A couple of days ago news came in of two Black Throated divers down at Quendale bay, these are scarce visitors to Shetland and the last one i saw was in the same bay two years ago.

Arriving at the Quendale Farm end the sun was causing problems although the sea was flat calm. Paul Harvey came down the single track road and said he saw one of the BT Divers about 2/3rds across the bay close in to the beach

I decided to approach from the east side of the bay so drove down to Toab and parked at the beginning of the track down to the beach

Black Throated Diver

A couple of Skylark and Meadow Pipit began to sing reminding me it was spring as did the numerous Coltsfoot. A few  mins earlier i had been reminded by the radio that on Sunday a cold front would move south bringing Force 5-6 winds, wintery showers including snow and very cold temperatures.

GN Diver

I could see several birds over this side of the bay and through binoculars picked out a  Velvet Scoter and a few Long Tailed Duck.

Black Throated Diver

A bit further along the dunes  as it levelled out I could see a few divers, the first a Red Throated in summer plumage, then 5 Great Northern Divers including a couple that had caught flat fish

GN Diver

Then the Black Throated Diver, still a distant off but showing a grey head, black stripes down side of head and a dark bill, looking smaller against the surfacing GT Northern Diver.

It was in exactly in the same spot as the one two years ago, may be the same bird. It caught a couple of fish but remained distant. A good bird to see with spring migration yet to kick off