Tuesday 30 May 2023

American wigeon- Shetland

An American Wigeon was present from the 22 May until yesterday at Spiggie, then Hillwell and then down at Scatness
I manage to see it a couple of times but it was very windy and difficult to photograph as it was very distant.
It was also joined by a male Garganey which was good to see

Lots of waders about as well, this Turnstone on the grass in front of the loch


Sunday 28 May 2023

Shetland common birds

Always good numbers of Twite in Shetland as well as 100's of noisy Starlings

Seems to be good numbers of Oystercatcher now breeding and they returned  in January, normally not seen in numbers until March

This could be another bad year for bird flu, already about 5,000 Black Headed Gulls have been found dead, as they have migrated through infected areas in Europe. Also two people confirmed with bird flu this week in separate incidents. When we do beach surveys we now spray the birds to inform others that they have already been counted as they could well be infected. 
Black Headed gulls already hard hit with bird flu, which species will be next

In the past few days had distant views of American Wigeon, Garganey and White Tailed Eagle but northerly winds have halted migration

Tuesday 23 May 2023

Shetland -Sumburgh Head

Good to get up to Sumburgh Head although didn't see many Puffins and only 1 Gt Skua

surprised to see an otter below the cliffs


Sunday 21 May 2023

Western sub- Alpine warbler- Shetland

It could only be Shetland. An Eastern and a Western Sub-Alpine warblers within 20 miles of each other

Having seen the Eastern up at Clickimin on Tuesday, this Western was a harder bird to see. I met a couple of birders coming back from an hour looking without it appearing. 
I went up to the dam, where it had been seen very early on Saturday morning. After a look round and not finding it i left one other birder to check out the burn close to the mill at Quendale. About 1/2 way down it suddenly jumped up onto a wire and then quickly flew further down the burn to another couple of birders but then it turned round and landed and 10 m away

I managed a few photos before it flew down deep into vegetation. I was shooting at ISO10,000 as it was an overcast day

It flew back to the dam and appeared on wires a few times before flying across to land on a wall
It came down to feed on the floor before a couple of Twite spooked it and it flew back down towards the mill lost to view

This bird should really have been down either in Southern France, Spain or Northern Italy

The Western arrived 12 May and the Eastern 13 May and both are still present today