Thursday, 30 December 2010

Rough-buggered Lizard.

Still stuck indoors (and getting really fed up of watching repeats of 'top gear' on Dave), lying on the couch and aimlessly staring out of the window - boring as hell, but my foot is looking a lot better. Boring, that is, until this morning when I picked up a soaring bird high over the house, my first thought was 'if I struggle to my feet to have a better look, it'll just be another Greater Black again'. As curiosity eventually got the better of me, managed to get to my Bins on the windowsill, and, standing on one leg, got a face full of a soaring Rough-legged Buzzard ! Then legged it into the garden (not really legging it on crutches !), armed with Camera and Bins - no sign ! Struggled to the front of the house and started scanning, then all the Geese, Ducks and Gulls freaked out at the end of Scatness, so presumably the bird sodded off that way.

Rough-legged Buzzard (sort of) - this bird was photographed in a different place, a different time, a different country, a different year, a different time zone and in a different moult (there, that should stop Mr 'Gallo Combibo' starting any shit stirring !)

'Cracking sunset, Gromit'

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


Still stuck indoors, so the only birds that I'm able to look at is the stuff thats in front of the living room window - so far this week a couple of Merlins, Golden Plover, Red-throated and Great Northern Divers, a few Long-tailed Ducks, Redwing and Fieldfare.




'White-tailed' Starling.

Saturday, 25 December 2010


Not wishing to spoil anybodies day or anything - but Santa is just a made up thing .....just like God and Jesus !

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Garden Tick.

The doom and gloom of not being able to get out onto the patch continues, and my ankle has now turned a rather fetching shade of purple. Being stuck indoors does have some advantages though, as was proved yesterday as a 'ringtail' Hen Harrier flew past the living room window - that's species number 179 for the house list.

Not such a bad view from the window !

Ouch !!!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Touch Me, I'm Sick.

This week's top tune - Mudhoney - Touch Me, I'm Sick.

It's good for a grunge band not to take themselves too seriously !

Saturday, 18 December 2010


The year-list is now definitely over, and next years one is going to start late ! Owing to a bizarre accident involving a coughing fit whilst making my way to the bathroom - the result - torn ligaments in my ankle and excruciating pain and a trip to the hospital - now on crutches for 6-8 weeks, so the only birding that's gonna get done is from the living room window !

This is what my ankle now looks like -

And this is what it feels like ! -

Friday, 17 December 2010

Falling Snow.

Back on the patch for a few hours despite the falling snow - the usual drossy stuff being still about, the only highlights being - 2 Jack Snipe, a Golden Plover and 2 Skylarks (scarce on Shetland in winter).

The right (dis)honourable Sir Sparkington de Dawg - not so expert Rabbit chaser !



Greylag Goose.

Golden Plover.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Dark Days.

Now into the dark days of winter, with little or no enthusiasm for thrashing the patch, the few times that I have been out since the weekend it's just been the usual winter fare, and looks like staying that way until at least March !



Greylag Geese.


Red-breasted Mergansers.

Red-throated Diver.


Sunday, 12 December 2010

Stumbling Man.

This week's top tune - TAD - Stumbling Man.

Along with Soundgarden, TAD were one of the first (and better) bands to come out of the Seattle 'Grunge Scene'.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

A March In The Melting Snow.

A good stomp around the patch today, as all the snow seemed to be melting and the wind had dropped - 250 Greylags and a Pink Foot were in one of the fields, 4 Snow Buntings on the beach in front of the house, 2 Jack Snipe and a Woodcock flushed from the 'wet bit' (+ loads of Snipe), and 8 Golden Plover and 7 Skylarks were in the fields bordering West Voe.

Snow Buntings.


Pink-footed Goose, in with the Greylags.


Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Yoga for Drunks.

The media are forever telling the people of Britain that we are a 'binge drinking' society and that it's very bad for our health - so after a good session at the pub, why not try some yoga ?

Savasana - Position of total relaxation.

Balasana - Position that brings the sensation of peace and calm.

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana - This position calms the brain and heals tired legs.

Marjayasana - Position stimulates the midriff area and the spinal column.

Halasana - Excellent for back pain and insomnia.

Dolphin - Excellent for the shoulder area, thorax, legs, and arms.

Salambhasana - Great exercise to stimulate the lumbar area, legs, and arms.

Ananda Balasana - This position is great for massaging the hip area.

Pigeon - Tones the body, and builds flexibility and helps get rid of 'stress'.
Other than this bit of foolery, the only things seen today were - 9 Snow Buntings, a male Merlin, 7 Whooper Swans and a Golden Plover.

Monday, 6 December 2010


Despite a reasonable thaw setting in over the weekend, today it was back to normal, with more snow coming in. A fairly decent few hours on the patch - the Water Rail was still in the ditch before doing its usual trick and running up a drainage pipe, the Glaucous Gull is still about and showing pretty well (in daylight this time !), 175 Greylags are now in the field in front of the house and 42 Wigeon are on the sea, surprise of the day was a Black-tailed Godwit in with the Lapwings.

Glaucous Gull.

Black-tailed Godwit.

Greylag Geese.

Saturday, 4 December 2010


150 for the patch year ! And all thanks to a ringtail Hen Harrier putting the wind up all the Starlings at about 9:30, I wouldn't normally be out at that time (it's barely light), but scanning the sea from the living room window I picked up a 1st year Glauc close in, so it was only fair that I walked down to the rocks to get a few photos. Whilst doing this the Starling flock got up from near the Loch and went 'bananas', scanned around, expecting a Merlin but got the Hen Harrier instead - most welcome. Around the rest of the patch - 12 Skylarks, 2 Whooper Swan, 3 Golden Plover, 6 Great Northern Divers and 4 Red-throated Divers.

Glaucous Gull.

Hen Harrier.