Thursday 22 December 2022

Shetland Starling

It was good to have some winter sun after days and days of cloudy weather
One bird that always lifts your spirits are Shetland Starling. They are present all year round and do not migrate like the other European Starlings

They are always chattering and singing away and provide lots of colour

Around the house we have around 100 or so that fly down to the field at the south side to feed 
With Shetland having only just about 5.5 hours of daylight at this time of year we see flocks of Starling going to roost heading past our house and down towards the marsh


Friday 16 December 2022

Common seals in seaweed

 With all the recent storms it has been no surprise that a tremendous amount of seaweed has been thrown up on the beach and beyond

Down at Sandsaye it was around 4 or 5 times normal and thrown high up from the ebbtide.
I was photographing waders when i noticed a mother and pup common seal high up on a pile of seaweed

Neither looked concerned as i approached slowly and at a distance. They turned a few times but stayed put

Common seal pup are born around June and this looked small

Sandsaye is always a good place for both Common and Grey seals

Monday 12 December 2022

Herring Gull and Dead Man's fingers

Just read that Bird flu deaths in Scotland is now estimated at 20,500 seabirds. I think Shetland will have about 6,500 deaths from what i am told

As a seabird Herring Gulls are not particulary liked and are more known for pinching fish and chips

This young Herring Gull had something odd, which has turned out to be dead mans fingers a type of coral which is abundant in the north sea and often get washed up in storms.


Wednesday 7 December 2022

Common Seal - Sandsayre, Shetland

Its always good to see the Common seals down at Sandsayre
These haul out on the jetty in winter, not disturbed by the Mousa boat


Thursday 1 December 2022

Thrush time in Shetland

Large numbers of thrush have arrived in Shetland this last week. Looking out of our living room window we could see 34 Blackbirds in the field in front while another 6-7 at the back

 Goo to see large arrival of Fieldfare and Redwing, especially around Spiggie  where several hundred fed.

another 300-400 up at Sumburgh while people reported large numbers further north.
Fieldfares normally disappear at the sight of a camera lens so i stayed in the car and managed to get a couple of close birds
The Fieldfare chased off several Redwing

It was good to see them in good light which brought out the colours. With very few berries in Shetland its down to catching earth worms, so when we get a frost and harder ground, they will disappear