Monday, 25 January 2010

Gone Birding - Back Soon.....

Wednesday, 20 January 2010


The only thing of note today was an adult Glaucous Gull, which spent most of the day asleep on one of the offshore islands - hence the ultimate 'record shot' ! Still, it's another year-tick (54), and not to be sniffed at.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Iceland Gull.

Now that everywhere seem to have thawed out, there were new year-ticks to be had on the patch - an Iceland Gull, 3 Tufted Duck and a Moorhen on the Loch, and a couple of Black-headed Gulls on the sea, taking the patch year-list to 53. Also at Scatness were - 2 Golden Plover, 9 Goldeneye, 40 Snow Buntings and 7 Wigeon.

Tufted Ducks.

Hooded Crow.

Black-headed Gull.

Iceland Gull (showing some symptoms of ' Kumlien's' Gull).

Too Good, Too Bad.
Too Good - The Rozzers using riot shields as sledges last week - - nice to see that public money isn't being wasted !!!!!
Too Bad - The Flybe January sale - the only sale in the world where the price actually goes up ! (normal flights from Sumburgh to Aberdeen about £50 ish - sale price £130 !!!!)

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Land of Sunshine.

Shetland the Land of Sunshine all day, but still freezing cold. Spent a good couple of hours on the patch, trying to get more patch year-ticks - managed only one, and that was Teal, a flock of 7 on the sea. With the good light it was quite pleasant to be out checking areas that are normally being blasted by gales at this time of year - Scanning the sea was easy, being as it was flat calm, 10 Great Northern Divers, 50+ Long-tailed Duck, 202 Wigeon, a Goldeneye and the Teal were all in various bits of Quendale Bay, 4 Lapwing, 2 Dunlin and 23 Golden Plover were out on the headland with singles GP's also on some of the rocky beaches, 450 Greylags and 30+ Snow Buntings in front of the house, plus a Grey Heron over. Now 3 Robins in the Scatness area.


Golden Plovers.


Fair Isle sunset from the garden.

Saturday, 9 January 2010


Not a great deal seen - a Twite in with the Sparrows in the garden was a patch year-tick, 200+ Greylags in front of the house, along with 30+ Snow Buntings, and that was about it.

Greylag Geese.
Too Good, Too Bad.
Too Good and Too Bad - After previous captions, such as Kind Eider, Sari's Warbler and Whopper Swan, Friday's edition of The Shetland Times came up with this Whooper Swan captioned as a Turnstone ! Priceless !!!!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Highlights 6-8/1/10.

5 Whooper Swans over the house on the 6th were year-ticks, as was a Wren in the garden on the 7th. Jack Snipe flushed from the garden on the 8th, plus Pink-footed Goose over and 25+ Snow Buntings in front of the house. 2-3 Redwing in the garden on most days.

Whooper Swans.


Snow Buntings.
Too Good, Too Bad.
Too Good - Well too odd anyway -Christopher Lee is to release a rock concept album !!!! See here - Seems a little early for an April fool's joke, so I presume it's gen.
Too Bad - Sodding Rock Doves, OK they may be true wild birds, untainted by Feral Pigeons, but they still eat far too much seed - especially when there's a flock of 14 in the garden (1kg of seed lasts about 30 minutes !).

Tuesday, 5 January 2010


A quick dash out late afternoon for 3 Mute Swans in West Voe, taking the patch year-list to 44. Other than the 2 Redwings and 2 Robins in the garden the only other thing of note was a Jack Snipe flushed from the roadside next to Pool of Virkie.

Mute Swans.

Monday, 4 January 2010

2nd for Shetland !

This Green-veined White was flying around the living room, would be the second record for Shetland, if it hadnt been 'Christmas tree' assisted !!!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Jack Snipe.

Another day on the patch, trying to boost the year-list, new birds were - 1 Jack Snipe in the wet bit with about 40 Snipe, 18 Golden Plover out on the headland, a Red-throated Diver in Quendale Bay and 2 Dunlin in one of the frozen fields. Also present were 120+ Wigeon on the sea, 2 Merlin, and 2 Robin and 2 Redwing in the garden.



'Snowbow' over Fitful.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year List.

A new year and a new year list, not the garden this time but the patch, so up bright and early (in fact it was still dark). Managed to get 23 species from the living room window before doing Scatness, these included - 3 Redwing, 9 Great Northern Divers, 60 Wigeon, 40 Snow Bunting, a Robin and a Turnstone (feeding on apples in the garden with the Starlings and Blackbirds).
Around Scatness the Pink-footed Goose was still in with the Greylags, 10 Goldeneye were in West Voe, the Meadow Pipit was still around Colonial Place and a single Grey Heron was at Moast, Peregrine and Merlin also around, bringing a total of 37 species for the day.





Up a bit too early !

Too Good, Too Bad.
Too Good - Jim Jeffries on Youtube - Adults only, not for those easily offended, children, those of a nervous disposition or the religious - you have been warned !!!
Too Bad - The idiots that are now saying 'twenty ten', the year is two thousand and ten, it was two thousand and nine last year, therefore, two thousand and ten this year ! Twenty ten is ten past eight on a 24 hour clock ! Tossers.

Garden Year-list 2009 Rewiew. (Part 1).

January - The year started with the usual stuff seen from the living room window on New Year's day - Great Northern Divers, Eider, Long-tailed Duck etc, with a few fly-bys past the house - Whooper Swan, Fieldfare and Wigeon. New birds were added almost everyday, until I left the islands on the 16th - Merlin on the 2nd, Gannet and Peregrine on the 4th, Red-throated Diver on the 5th, Both Iceland and 'Kumlien's' Gull on the 12th and Common Scoter on the 31st. the total at the end of the month was 41.

Whooper Swan.

'Kumlien's' Gull.

Iceland Gull.

Common Scoters.
February - Highlights for the month were - Glaucous Gull plus Pink-footed and Barnacle Geese on the 8th, Bar-tailed Godwit on the 9th, Tufted Duck on the 14th and Goldeneye on the 24th. The total at the end of the month was now 53.

Pink-footed Goose.

Barnacle Geese.

Glaucous Gull.
March - Ringed Plover on the 9th was a bit overdue, as was Twite on the 11th. Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipit on the 19th were the first migrants, as were Greenfinch on the 27th and Lesser Black-backed Gull on the 30th. A slow month ringing the total up to just 60.

April - More migrants arriving all the time with Mistle Thrush, Chaffinch and Collared Dove on the 3rd, Chiffchaff and Great Skua on the 5th, Goldcrest and Sandwich Tern on the 6th, Stonechat on the 7th, Swallow on the 9th, Dunnock on the 11th, a Wood Pigeon on the 13th, a pair of Brent Geese on the 14th, Whimbrel on the 16th, the first Wheatear of the year, along with a Brambling on the 18th, and Siskin on the 19th. Proper migrants were turning up by the last week, with Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, House Martin and Common Tern all recorded by the month's end. The total was now 87.

Wood Pigeon.


Collared Dove.
May - Migrants continued to arrive with Arctic Skua and Arctic Tern seen at the start of the month, a pair of Black Ducks on the 11th were the first BB rarities of the year, Goosander on the 14th, Icterine Warbler and Reed Warbler on the 20th, Laughing Gull on the 24th, and White-tailed Eagle and Canada Goose on the 31st. Most common migrants were seen throughout the month. The total now stood at 107.
Black Ducks.

Canada Geese.

Laughing Gull.


Reed Warbler.

Spotted Flycatcher.


White-tailed Eagle.
June - Only 4 new species were added in June - Cuckoo, Puffin, Kestrel and Crossbill, the Crossbills were the start of an invasion that would last most of the summer. Total now on 111.