Tuesday, 30 June 2009


Finally got Crossbill on the Garden year-list at 7am this morning (now on 111), whilst emptying the moth trap, 4 birds (3 females, 1 male) came in and landed on the fence for about 5 minutes, then they were off. Heard some more go over the house this afternoon, but by then it was foggy, so no idea of how many.


Simmer Dim.

A series of photos taken at around midnight, last night, from the garden.

Whimbrel over Quendale Bay.

Moonset over Lady's Holm.

Quendale Farm.

Monday, 29 June 2009


A gallery of Puffins at Sumburgh Head on 28/6/09.

Sunday, 28 June 2009


A fine evening spent up at Sumburgh Head, where a pod of 5 Orcas were close inshore, cruising around the base of the cliffs - the spectacle was soured somewhat by the disgraceful behaviour of the coastguard - I never thought I would see Orcas being harassed from a helicopter !!!!


Friday, 26 June 2009

Red-throated Ducks.

Spent a few hours up in the Hills, photographing Red-throated Divers, and a few other moorland birds (yes, I do hold a valid Schedule 1 licence, if anyone is concerned).
Shetland seems to be having a bit of a Crossbill invasion at the moment - 45 present at Kergord this afternoon and 10 at Sandwick (should be the next bird on the garden year-list, with any luck). Also, Cuckoo calling at Kergord.

Red-throated Divers.

Golden Plover.

Black-headed Gull.

Great Black-backed Gull.

Thursday, 25 June 2009


Photo of New Moon at Sunset over Fitful Head.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Snowy Owl.... not quite.

Following a report from a non-birding neighbour, who said that she thought she'd seen a Snowy Owl from the bus flying over the main road near Mossy Hill, set off in that direction with a fair bit of hope. Her description didn't sound too bad (big white bird with black barring on the wings) and it wouldn't be so outrageous for a Snowy to turn up after all the ones that have been winter further south last winter. A quick look around Mossy Hill revealed nothing, apart from lots of Snowy Owl shaped rocks, so I moved over the road to Virdi Field, almost immediately sussed out what had been seen, when a partial albino Bonxie got up and flew around - not the best outcome, but these things are always worth checking out. Lot's of other stuff there as well - breeding Dunlin, Arctic Skuas and a sizable Bonxie colony.

Partial Albino Bonxie.

Regular Bonxies.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Midnight Sunset.

Midnight sunset cruise around the north end of Mainland Shetland, starting at Toft and going all the way around Northmavine and Eshaness around to St Magnus Bay. Unfortunately it had clouded over by midnight, so no sunset, but stunning views of the coastline all evening. not so much in the way of birds (past a few Auk colonies on the sea stacks), but this was more about scenery than anything else - Brilliant !
2 Storm Petrels seen after midnight around the Ramna Stacks area.
For details of the next trip of this ilk see - http://www.shetlandnaturefestival.co.uk/whats_on.html
The evening ended with a rather vocal Corncrake at a special secret location at two o'clock in the morning !

Auk Colony on the Ramna Stacks.

Dor Holm.

Eshaness Lighthouse.

Lang Ayre Beach.

Sea Stacks.

The Back of Ronas Hill.



Large White in the Garden.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Art For Arts Sake.

Due to the distinct lack of Birds, low moth counts and weather too wet to survey in, spent quite a bit of time arsing about with Photoshop, turning photos into paintings etc - not too sure whether this is time well spent or not !




Iceland Gull.

Arctic Skua.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Lesser Grey Shrike.

Turns out that spring has got at least one last surprise - a Lesser Grey Shrike, found on Bressay this afternoon - perfect timing for the 6 o'clock ferry after work. A fairly straight forward piece of island twitching - Go to Lerwick, catch the ferry, go to the site, look up at the overhead wires and there's the bird !

Lesser Grey Shrike.