Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Nearly over

Today it really felt like the autumn was coming to an end, the winds have swung round to the south west and bird numbers had plummeted - 1 Woodcock, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Barnacle Goose, 2 Robin, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Fieldfare, 30 Redwing and 3 Red-breasted Merganser. It looks like the Pied Wheatear has finally moved on.
Red-breasted Mergansers
The neep field where the Hawfinch was on Sunday
A day of sunshine and showers

Monday, 24 October 2016

Still there

Amazingly the Pied Wheatear is still here (11th day) and remaining faithful to Stink Geo. Still a few bits and pieces around the rest of the patch - 5 Robin, 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Barnacle Goose, 60 Redwing, 19 Fieldfare, 85 Twite, 2 Wheatear and a Blackcap.
Pied Wheatear

Sunday, 23 October 2016

At last !!!

A last a Hawfinch on the patch! A long overdue record, I flushed the bird from the edge of the large neep field by West Voe, it the circled the field twice and promptly dropped down right in the middle, despite my trying, it just never came out again. The odd thing about Hawfinches in South Mainland is that north of the runway (Toab/Exnaboe area) they are virtually annual, south of the runway (Scatness/Sumburgh) - 3 records in 14 years, and 2 of those have been this year!
Still not much other movement on the patch - Pied Wheatear (11th day), 2  Northern Wheatear, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Robin, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Grey Wagtail, 30 Fieldfare, 50 Redwing, 80 Twite and 19 Carrion Crow (heading east towards Sumburgh).
Grey Wagtail
Pied Wheatear

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Clear Out

Quite a bit of a clear out at Scatness, migrants decidedly thin on the ground (thin in the air too!). totals for the day - 1 Blackcap, 3 Robins, 2 Goldcrest (one of which was very grey headed), 2 Song Thrush, 1 Barnacle Goose, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Merlin, 1 Northern Wheatear, Pied Wheatear still in Stinky Geo, 1 Chiffchaff, 50 Twite, 40 Fieldfare and 30 Redwing.
'Grey-headed' Goldcrest
Northern Wheatear
Pied Wheatear
Song Thrush

Friday, 21 October 2016

Waxwings and.... one of them things

Out on the patch again and the Pied Wheatear is still present along with 2 Northern Wheatears, Barnacle Goose, Pink-footed Goose and 17 Tufted Ducks on the Loch, 3 Song Thrush, 120 Twite and 3 Siskins out on the headland, 3 Robins and a Blackcap were in the gardens, 80 Fieldfare and 60 Redwings were scattered throughout the patch, 2 Waxwing and a Blackcap were in my garden, another Waxwing and a Water Rail was by the bus stop. And the other thing.... a mad looking Lesser Whitethroat on bunker hill, so brown looking that I initially thought it was an Acro! It also had a lot of white in the tail, noticeably short wings and no contrast between the mask and the crown.
Pied Wheatear
Northern Wheatear
Lesser Whitethroat

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Back to the patch

A quick dash around the patch after I'd had to go to the town, not as many birds as of late - 2 Blackcap, 5 Robin, 6 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 6 Song Thrush, 9 Carrion Crow, 2 Barnacle Geese, 1 Pink-footed Goose and 7 Waxwings.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Four Wheatears

So I thought I'd set myself a bit of a challenge, see and photograph the four species of Wheatear that were available in South Mainland in the fastest time possible. Starting off with the Desert Wheatear at Scousburgh Sands, seen straight away and I watched it on the beach for 10 minutes as it gradually worked it's way closer, before flying to the north end of the beach at 08:20. Nearby the Isabelline Wheatear along the Noss road was showing but at a distance of 100 yards or more and never looked like getting any closer, so I moved on to the Pied Wheatear at Scatness, predictably it was still in Stinky Geo feeding on flies coming off the rotting seaweed. Three down, one to go. Yesterday there was a Northern with the Pied, but it was nowhere to be seen today, I kind of gave up on it and started walking back to the house along the coast, and on Sanblister Beach - a Northern Wheatear - all four! The time was now 09:02, so 4 species of Wheatear in 43 minutes!!! Thinking back, I remembered that I had seen 4 Wheatear species before in 1 day, Variable, Desert, Isabelline and Red-tailed, in the Great Rann of Kutch in Gujarat in 2010.
After all this excitement, it was back to thrashing the patch, totals as follows - a late Bonxie, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 7 Barnacle Geese, 1 Pintail, 12 Carrion Crows (normally a spring bird), 2 Waxwing, 7 Blackcaps, 5 Goldcrest, 2 Song Thrush and 2 Chiffchaff.
The 4 Wheatears
Desert Wheatear
The 4 Wheatears from Gujarat
Pink-footed Goose with Barnacle Goose