Monday 20 December 2021

Shetland beach walk

 The weather has been mostly overcast so it was good to get out on a sunny day. West Voe is a superb beach on the opposite side of the road from the airport. Buried in the sand dunes are remains of WW2 shelters but i have only seen these once after a big storm uncovered them.

With Orkney having recorded around 100 dead Puffins i set out to check a few beaches starting at West Voe. I had only walked bout 20 metres before i came across a dead adult Puffin rapped in seaweed. Another 6 were found most caught up in seaweed and included 2 Pufflings

Puffins should not be seen anywhere near land at this time of year, spending winter far out in the middle of the north sea. A further two dead at Grutness and two more at old Scatness. At Quendale 12 , Sandsayre 1 and Sanick 2. I have asked to be kept up to-date with finds on the beach survey due to take place at the end of December.

Also there was little in the bay apart from Long Tailed Duck (24) Gt Northern Diver (2) and Shag (6). On the beach, Turnstone (6) Purple Sandpiper (4) and Twite (12)


Back at Grutness , both Red Throated and Gt Northern Diver caught fish and 6 Long Tailed Duck flew into the bay at high tide. Shag (6) Gt BB (6) Common Gull (3) while Curlew (6) Flew over. 

On the pond 4 Mallard and a Teal with Meadow Pipit (2) and several Blackbird

While i was photographing the diver , 3 Grey seal came over and seemed to be wanting a photo or two

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