Friday, 22 September 2017

A fall of Migrants

After last Saturday things started to pick up with a good few migrants at Quendale. 

On arrival the first birds I came across were 3 Yellow Browed Warbler in the bushes near the bridge. However these were very mobile birds, chasing and calling to each other and with the dense vegetation made viewing them difficult.

Occasionally one would fly off into the bushes beside the mill. Here a Willow warbler and Blackcap joined the numerous Starling and Sparrow.

The Common Crane flew overhead, this has now been around since early spring and provides regular views normally around Hillwell.

It was though the train had finally arrived with these migrants, all of a sudden a Kestrel came over and hovered above the burn, Swallow (14) House Martin (3) Grey Wagtail showed along with Pied Wagtail (4) and two flocks of Twite totaling 25 birds.

                                                                                               Grey Wagtail

Back home and the field was still attracting a good number of birds with over Starling (300), Common Gull (23) , Meadow Pipit (8) , Rock pipit (4), Rock Dove (12), Herring Gull (8) Hoddie (4) & Blackbird (5) .

                                                                                               Willow Warbler

Elsewhere a Golden Oriole , around 30 Yellow Browed but also a trio of Mega birds
a Black Billed Cuckoo, Siberian Warbler and a Yellow Breasted Bunting. Things are really picking up

                                                           Yellow Browed Warbler the first of many i hope

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Local birds

This autumn is turning out to be a very poor one for migrants. With very few birds about we need some easterly winds to bring in migrants.

An Ortolan Bunting at Unst, the crane at Hillwell and a midweek where Arctic Warbler, Barred warbler, Yellow Browed (2) and a Wryneck were the highlights.

As this weekend arrived the wind had picked up blowing from the west. Further south in Scotland a number of American Waders showed but no such luck here.

It was good to see Ruff(14) Golden Plover (145) Redshank (45) Curlew (18) Turnstone (34) at Sandwick.

The birds we get in the garden are completely different to those in Sheffield with a small flock of Meadow Pipit (8) Rock Pipit (2) Wheatear, Rock Dove(2) Hoddie(4) today and the recently cut grass in the field attracted Kittiwake (12), Herring Gull (8) Starling (30) Rock Dove (12)

Down at Sumburgh gardens a flock of Swallow (14) flew over the pools while the odd Skylark flew around.

                                                                                              Very smart Ruff

Grutness was very quiet although in the bay Gannet (8) Black Guillemot (2) Mallard (8) Shag (8) Kittiwake (8) Herring Gull(6) GT BB(6) Gt Skua (2) Rock Dove (6) were seen.

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Sunday, 10 September 2017

Better days

A few good migrants have come in during the past few days.

An Arctic Warbler turned up on Saturday at Quendale, one of two in the isles. It proved difficult to photograph with all the leaves on the bushes.

                                                                              Arctic Warbler

It appeared several times but I couldn't get focused quick enough. Eventually I did managed to get a couple of photos, a new bird for me

                                                                                             Arctic Warbler

It also kept flying off to other bushes near the mill but kept coming back to a smaller area of bushes that was until a car finally disturbed it and again it flew off.

Here a Willow Warbler and Swallow(8) mixed in with resident birds

                                                                                        Willow Warbler

A Lesser and Common Whitethroat were found down at Sumburgh hotel with several small flocks of Twite passing over and six Northern Wheatear in the garden.

                                                                            A tatty Whitethroat

                                                                                Lesser Whitethroat

A Wyrneck was saved from a cat in Sandwick and released while a couple of Yellow Browed, Barred & Icterine Warblers were good finds. A Little Tern, rare up here was also found at Grutness

 These could resident Grey & Pied Wagtails which seem to have had a reasonable breeding season

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