Monday 25 July 2022

Puffins-New bedding please

It seems odd that Puffins are still bringing in nest material but it has been warm and it could be the mites may have taken over in the nest area so a change of bedding may help

Also the latrine area may need changing, either way its just the adults looking after the young Pufflings

They will be leaving early next month but for now there are lots of Puffins on the cliff tops

While there has been one or two bird corpses on the beaches this may be down to predation rather than  Bird Flu

It looks like a successful breeding season again with many birds bringing in lots of fish which seem abundant this year.

Puffins along with other auks need a break, this looks like the third year on the trot that they seem to have been successful.

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Arctic Terns doing well

 Good to see the Arctic Terns doing well and so far not too affected by bird flu. The flu has affected both Skuas and very few have been seen around the colony at Grutness so this will have helped 

Lots of terns bringing in Sandeels and sillocks to the hungry young

Some times the fish were just too big for the young and the adult carried it away and ate the fish

Monday 11 July 2022

Broad - Billed Sandpiper- Shetland

 This Sandpiper had originally been found by Hugh Harrop on the 8 June at Grutness and then it disappeared for a while. It was relocated at the same spot and then down at Virkie a week or so ago.

The bird was relocated on the morning of our visit and when i arrived I found no one else about. Having seen a flock of Dunlin at the west side the day before I set off to check whether the Sandpiper was with them as the bird does associate with dunlin flocks.

I located the bird at the far end of the Dunlin flock which was feeding along the tide line. Although the tide was coming in slowly the Broad -Billed Sandpiper then tucked its beak in and went to sleep. The whole flock took off as a helicopter passed low overhead but the flock flew around and landed to the south, in better light.

I started a slow approach and the Dunlin seemed happy to keep feeding. The Sandpiper then moved closer and wasn't concerned.

It was good to catch up with this bird,  a new one for me. Normally they would be found nesting in Arctic taiga or Siberia so well off course and seems to like the cooler weather of Shetland.

This is the fifth record for Shetland and the first since 1999. I saw this on Saturday and it's not been seen since.
When i left it three Japanese birders had arrived and although the flock had moved further east they seem to had relocated it.