Monday, 31 August 2009

Another Icterine.

The Barred Warbler was still in the garden in the morning and again late afternoon, it was also seen at Colonial Place with an Icterine Warbler, which finally visited my garden at about 7.30 in the evening (making that 5 Icterines in the garden this year !). Other birds of note at Scatness were - 34 Dunlin, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Knot, a Whimbrel and a flock of 63 Twite.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Barred Warbler Still.

The Barred Warbler still in the garden today, still elusive, showed quite well on at least one occasion from the kitchen window (about a couple of hours after I'd cleaned all the salt off).

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Barred Warbler.

As Saturday comes around again, must be time for another decent migrant in the garden - this time a Barred Warbler, tho' very elusive in the strong winds, did show quite well on one occasion, could only get a few photos through the kitchen window, which after last night's weather is now covered in salt.

Barred Warbler.


Friday, 28 August 2009

Another Icterine.

Another Icterine Warbler in the garden today, along with a Willow Warbler (this is a different bird from the one present 22/8 - 26/8, in having no damage to the feathers at the base of the bill ), also in the garden - Sparrowhawk seen twice, sheltering from the wind and rain under a rose bush, finally flew off north mid afternoon. 6 Sanderling, 16 Dunlin and 4 Purple Sandpiper on Moast Beach, Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel over the House and Whinchat along the Scatness Road.

Icterine Warbler.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Crossbills - Wave Two.

An early start around South Mainland, following south-easterlies and rain last night - 6 Sanderling on West Voe beach, a male Crossbill at the Sumburgh Hotel + 16 Black-tailed Godwits over, 4 Sanderling, 2 Dunlin, 3 Willow Warblers, 2 Whinchat and another Crossbill at Grutness, a Swift, a Willow Warbler and a Tree Pipit at the Farm, a Greenshank on Pool of Virkie, 10 Crossbills and 2 Willow Warblers at Levenwick, and a very elusive Wryneck at Geosetter. The Crossbills at Levenwick were feeding on Rose hips and Thistle heads, pretty much as expected, but the one at the Hotel seemed to be feeding on the Lichen on the roof ! Not sure how much sustenance a Crossbill would get from this, but Reindeer seem to do alright eating Lichens (tho' probably not off hotel roofs !).

Sanderling (demonstrating the phrase 'chasing your own shadow').


Male Crossbill.

Female Crossbill.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

House Tick.

The Icterine remains in the garden (twitched by 5 people today !), 9 Dunlin and a Ruff at the end of Scatness, Grey Heron and Greenshank over the house, and finally a long overdue house tick - a Common Sandpiper off the beach in front of the house (house tick - 170, garden year tick - 115). The Black Tern flew north past the house this evening at about 7.30.

Bathing Arctic Skua (another ringed individual).



Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Icterine Overkill.

As there is still at least one Icterine Warbler in the Garden - here's a few more photos, I wouldn't have bothered posting anymore, but this bird is now showing stupidly well from the living room window, at times, down to a few inches as it picks Craneflies off the windowsill !
The day finished with a Black Tern seen off the end of the runway and again at Grutness - it certainly didn't seem to be hanging around as it flew from Grutness, over the runway, towards West Voe.

The Garden.

As the Autumn 'proper' will soon be upon us, here's a quick summary of what my garden has to offer for the expected migrants. The garden seems to have really matured over the last two summers, and now looks like a true migrant trap. I started to plant the garden up in 2004 with some 500 Roses and a few Willows, since then I've added Sycamore, Alders, Larch, Bush Honeysuckle, Whitebeam and a few Brambles, as well as patches of Nettles and Dock, Mustard gets sown annually in any bare patch of soil. A few trees still die each year - not surprising given the strength of the gales in winter - but these are soon replaced.

The Upper Garden - this used to be the veg patch, but as trees are more low maintenance than Cabbages, it was soon planted up. This is the area favoured by the Icterine Warblers this week.

The Front Garden - This area gets the worst of the weather, but, if there are any birds flitting around in there, they usually show well from the living room window.

The Plantation - Not exactly 'forestry commission', but has held at least 2 Long-eared Owls, several Red-backed Shrikes, Several Barred & Yellow-browed Warblers Woodcock and Long-tailed & Great Tits.

The Feeding Area - Much loved by Bramblings and Siskins in Spring and Autumn, has had Yellowhammer (twice) and Tree Sparrow (once), no Hawfinches yet !

This is pretty much how it looked when I moved in - not a tree in sight.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Icterines Still.

The two Icterine Warblers were back in the garden (only one present yesterday) and showed quite well after the rain had gone through, 1 Greenshank, 19 Dunlin, 1 Knot and 1 Sanderling around Moast Beach, 25+ 'Alba' Wagtails dotted around Scatness and 3 Swallows over the Loch. Still quite a few Painted Ladies on the wing.

Icterine Warblers.
Icterine Warbler mimicry -
Mimicking - Flowerpecker.....

....and Wryneck.

Painted Lady.


Ringed Plover.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Icterine Warblers.

A nice surprise in the garden this morning - an Icterine Warbler, seen briefly at about 8.30 and not again until 11 o'clock, and then for only a few minutes before it disappeared again ! A proper young bird with the yellow, fleshy gape still - it can't be that long ago that it was still in the nest !Whilst out in the garden, searching for this bird, Sparrowhawk flew over, heading towards Toab, 5 Swallows feeding over the fields and a Grey Plover, flying towards Virkie, calling (Garden Year-tick 114).
Captain's Log (supplemental) - 2 Icterines in the garden by early evening, and no other Warblers at all !

Icterine Warbler (first bird).

Close up showing 'baby bird' gape line.

Icterine Warbler (second bird).