Sunday, 27 December 2009


A few hours birding around Scatness in the sunshine ! 20 Whooper Swans, Mallard x Pintail hybrid, 73 Wigeon and 14 Tufted Ducks on the Loch, 17 Golden Plover, 350+ Greylags and the Pink-footed Goose in the fields, 1 Meadow Pipit still braving the winter around Colonial Place, Merlin and 40+ Snow Buntings around the house and the Robin still in the garden.

Whooper Swans.

Snow Buntings.

Meadow Pipit.

Mallard x Pintail hybrid.
Greylag Goose.

Saturday, 26 December 2009


The only things of note today were the Pink-foot remains in with the Greylags in front of the house, 15 Snow Buntings over and the Robin is still in the garden.

Pink-footed Goose.
Too Good, Too Bad.
Too good - Birmingham City holding Chelsea to a 0-0 draw - every little helps !
Too bad - Someone trying to blow a plane up in the U.S. this now means that anyone travelling by air in the next 6 months will be subjected to 'over the top' security checks at all western airports, prepare for long queues and being treated as though you are Bin Laden's twin brother !

Friday, 25 December 2009

Grey Christmas.

Rain, low clouds and general gloominess for most of the day, so just a bit of birding from the living room window - 1 Pink-footed Goose still with the Greylags, 2 Merlin, 2 Whooper Swans and 40 Snow Buntings over, and that was about it, apart from almost getting Water Rail on the garden list - the bird was viewable from the house but, unfortunately, was being eaten by a Herring Gull !!!
Daytime telly provided the true meaning of Christmas, when we all celebrate the birth, the life and the accomplishments of......... Morecambe & Wise !

Too Good, Too Bad. (a new, occasional and often non-bird related spleen venting spot)
Too Good - The mad woman trying to attack the Pope on Christmas eve - nutters attacking public figures are always good entertainment at any time of year !
Too Bad - Has to go to the Queen's speech - 10 minutes of a woman talking about stuff she clearly knows nothing about ! She should do a speech about something she is expert in, like German Parasites for example, or better still, let Prince Phillip do it one year - now that would be entertaining, as he tries to insult every nation possible in just 10 minutes !!!

Sunday, 20 December 2009


Snow most of the night and all morning - about 5 inches deep all over Scatness and quite a few birds around too. 250 Greylags and a Pink-footed Goose around the Fields ( and flying all over the place), 4 Jack Snipe ( 2 in the wet bit and 2 in the garden - a most welcome garden year tick), a female Common Scoter on the sea, 400 Curlew, 150 Lapwing and 100+ Golden Plover around the Loch, 4 Skylark, 2 Meadow Pipit, 2 Redwing, 30+ Fieldfare and 16 Snow Buntings in front of the house and a Robin and 3 Blackbirds in the garden (feeding on a load of cheap fruit that I managed to acquire).


Greylag Geese (+ 1 Pink-footed Goose).

Saturday, 19 December 2009


While the rest of Shetland was being covered in snow, Scatness remained relatively snow-free, the result being that the fields in front of the house were full of birds. 80+ Golden Plover, 30 Lapwing, 100+ Curlew, 21 Oystercatcher and 8 Dunlin were all feeding in the grass along with 100+ Greylags, about 20 Fieldfare and 10 Redwing came in and started to feed, 12 Snow Buntings were flying around the house for most of the day and a male Pintail settled on the sea briefly. The Robin remains in the garden.



Starlings (making the most of the remains of a chicken carcass).

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Baltic !

Out on the patch again, and it was bloody freezing in the northerly wind - 'proper Baltic'. A few birds of note - a Barnacle Goose in with the Greylags, 2 Whooper Swan, 5 Goldeneye and 6 Tufted Duck on the Loch, a Red-throated Diver in Quendale Bay and 30 + Snipe scattered about the place. The better birds, however, were seen from the living room window in the afternoon - 72 Fieldfare going north and a flock of 59 Snow Buntings over the house. Still a couple of Robins at Scatness along with a few Skylarks and a couple of Meadow Pipits.

Barnacle Goose.



Whooper Swan.

Monday, 23 November 2009


A flock of 35 or so Snow Buntings have been kicking around in front of the house for the last couple of days.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

More White-fronts.

At last, something to look at (well sort of !), 3 White-fronted Geese (ad + 2 juvs) in front of the house mid afternoon. Now that the autumn seems to be over this could be the highlight of the winter ! Only 6 months until spring tho', and several months in between of short days, long nights, rain, gales and S.A.D.

White-fronted Geese.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Back on the Patch.

After being in Lerwick all week, it was good to be out at Scatness again, quite a few birds still kicking around - 6 Jack Snipe still in the 'wet bit', along with 2 Woodcock, a first year Glaucous Gull around Moast Beach and 2 Snow Buntings out on the headland. Other stuff included - 3 Robins, 40+ Redwing, 60+ Fieldfare, around 25 Blackbirds and 3 Song Thrushes.

Song Thrush.

Snow Buntings.

Purple Sandpiper.

Glaucous Gull.


Friday, 6 November 2009


In Lerwick all week, so the only things of note were - 7 Jackdaws over Holmesgarth on Wednesday (plus 2 over there on Thursday) and a Robin in the garden on most mornings.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Y Fronts.

A text from Rob saying that there were 2 White-fronted Geese in the field behind his house and, after a quick walk up the steps in the garden to the garage, these were then added to the garden year-list - now on 124 ! I don't think that Rob realised, at the time, that I can 'scope that field from the garden.

White-fronted Geese.

Thursday, 29 October 2009


Fog all day ! 1 Robin in the garden and a Woodcock flushed from by the garden gate were the only birds of any note (the Woodcock brings the garden year-list up to 123).

Cheers to PK for the very humorous video below.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


Hundreds of Redwing, Blackbird and Fieldfares moving south through Scatness today - a pretty awesome spectacle. Also at Scatness were - 3 Robins, 4 Woodcock, 3 Song Thrush and a Mistle Thrush. A Yellow-browed Warbler was in the garden for a while this morning.

Yellow-browed Warbler.


Tuesday, 27 October 2009


Something of a clear out last night, but still the odd bird around - Dunnock in the garden, Swallow around Sanblister Beach, 2 Jack Snipe in the wet bit and a Snow Bunting on Scord Beach. Spent a good while photographing the tame Purple Sandpipers near to Moast Beach.

Purple Sandpipers.

Great Black-backed Gull (with Plaice sp).

Monday, 26 October 2009


Now that the weather has calmed down (now a light northerly), birds were emerging from where ever they'd been sheltering all week. In Toab there were 9 Robins, a male Black Redstart, a Jack Snipe, a Chiffchaff and 4 Song Thrushes. At Scatness - 6 Robins, a single Snow Bunting and a fantastic count of 8 Jack Snipe (flushed from the tiniest boggy bit of the thistle field).
A Blackcap and 2 Robins were in the garden along with a female Bullfinch (the first record for the garden since the big Bullfinch invasion of 2004, and the 122nd species on the 2009 garden list). Thrushes were everywhere today e.g. 176 Blackbirds at Scatness and 300+ Fieldfares around Toab.
An Otter showed well hunting off the end of the runway.
On a slightly stranger note - how weird is this ? -



Jack Snipe.

The 'wet bit', where 8 Jack Snipe were flushed.