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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Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Migration under way

Migration is underway, well just. Its very, very slow at the moment. While birds are turning up elsewhere they seem to have missed  Shetland mainland

On Friday we visited Unst but only found a Sparrowhawk and several Swallow

Most of the Arctic Terns have left Shetland heading south on their long journey to the Antarctic. A few linger but after the heavy rain and gales on Thursday I bet they wish they had left early

A few Blackcap, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Willow warbler, Wood Warbler & Lapland bunting have arrived but little else

A good number of House Sparrow can be found in a several of areas in the south mainland

Not seen a Willow warbler with bright legs like this before, even in the shade they were a lot lighter than normal

A lot of waders are around in Sandwick. The other day a mixed flock of Golden Plover (154) , Lapwing (68), Redshank (38), Oystercatcher (77), Curlew (28),  Ruff (6) & Turnstone (45) could be seen in the marshy area.

Ringed Plover numbers have built up in Virkie with over 90 birds feeding on the mud flats

The Common Crane is still around Hillwell it seems to be a regular now. A few Sooty Shearwaters have been seen off Lambaness (Unst) and Sumburgh. but little else