Saturday, 27 March 2010

At Last.

Some migrants have finally found Scatness - a Robin, 2 Chaffinch and 2 Greenfinch in the garden, 6 Rooks in front of the house (4 flew on to Toab), Pied Wagtail near the Loch, a Carrion Crow and a Wheatear on Scord Beach. With northerly winds and snow forecast for the next 4 days, that could well be it for now.
Collared Dove in the garden yesterday.




Thursday, 25 March 2010

Migrants Everywhere......

..... Apart from at Scatness that is !!! Crests, Warblers, Buntings and Finches seen by the other pair today at Sumburgh and Virkie, at Scatness however - just a male Chaffinch ! 2 Snow Bunts on West Voe beach was about as good as it got.


Snow Bunting.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


Three days of southerly and south-easterly winds, and a nice bright day today, so 3 hours thrashing around Scatness brought.... ZERO !! Well not quite zero, but pretty close - 22 Ringed Plover, 2 Shelduck and 40 Purple Sands.

Purple Sandpipers.

Saturday, 20 March 2010


One of the first signs of spring today with 3 Siskins and a Robin in the garden, it'll be a good few weeks yet until there are proper migrants, such as Wheatear, Swallow etc, but with south-easterlies forecast for next week, Shetland may well be in line to get something like a Chaffinch or a Pied Wagtail !!! It's been too long a winter, roll on May.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010


I presume this Starling in the garden this afternoon is another one of the colour ringed birds from Fair Isle, this is the third CRSG that's been in the garden since 2004 (all winter records - which must mean that at least some Fair Isle Starlings migrate north in the autumm).

Monday, 15 March 2010


Stuck in Lerwick all morning, so took some shots of some Goldeneye on Loch of Clickimin to kill some time. Didn't bother looking for the Egyptian Goose again at Sound, as it turns out, it ended up at Virkie in the afternoon anyway and was viewable from the garden (it's looking more like a genuine Cat C vagrant the closer to my patch it gets !). 2 Common Scoters in Quendale Bay and a Shelduck at Scatness boosted the patch year-list a little bit more.

Heading for the box....

....he shoots....

....he scores !!!!

Job's a gud 'un.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

That Goose.

Finally went to Lerwick for that damned Goose, as it may one day be accepted as a Cat C vagrant (when all the planets are in alignment, the beasts start to speak in tongues and the Iron and Lamp lie down together). When I first got the news of this bird, about 10 days ago, I was enjoying several pints in the 'Night Heron' bar on Diu Island in India - a far better place to be than Lerwick in March !

Egyptian Goose.

Saturday, 6 March 2010


A three year-tick day - a Black-throated Diver in Quendale Bay, viewable from the living room window, along with 3 Guillemots and a Woodcock, flushed from the house at the end of the Scatness road. Other than that - 3 Fieldfares, a Redwing and 11 Goldeneye was all that was on the patch.


Friday, 5 March 2010


A quick walk around Scatness, and not much has changed in the last 6 weeks, still cold and snowy, but now only 10 weeks until spring up here. Quite a few Skylarks kicking around now and 4 Brent Geese around Little Holm and a Carrion Crow near Scord Beach, other than that the usual winter stuff - 7 Goldeneye, 4 Whooper Swans and a Merlin.

Brent Geese.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Gujarat Trip Report Contents.

Introduction and accommodation
Ahmedabad -
Thol Area
Nal Sarovar Area
Ahmedabad 2G,2B
Little Rann -
Little Rann of Kutch 1
Little Rann of Kutch 2
Little Rann of Kutch 3
Little Rann of Kutch 4
Little Rann of Kutch 5
Little Rann 2G,2B
Kachchh Area -
Fulay & Charri Dhandd 1
Fulay & Charri Dhandd 2
Kachchh Thorn Forest
Naliya Grasslands
Bhuj 2G,2B
Jamnagar Area -
Khijadiya Sanctuary
Jamnagar 2G,2B
Sasan Area -
Sasan Gir 1
Sasan Gir 2
Gir Birding Lodge 1
Gir Birding Lodge 2
Diu Island -
Diu Intro
Diu Forest
Fudam Reserve
Diu Town Area
Diu 2G,2B
Extras -
Full Species List
Misc -
Non-birding Images 1
Non-birding Images 2

Accommodation and Sites Visited in Gujarat and Diu.

From 27/1/10 to 1/3/10 myself and 'er indoors had 5 weeks birding in the Indian State of Gujarat. The following posts are an account of the trip.

Dates and places visited and accommodation -

28/1 - 29/1 Ahmedabad
Stayed at the Hotel Safar Inn in the old city -
Visited Thol Sanctuary and Nal Sarovar.

30/1 - 3/2 Dasada
Stayed at Desert Coursers at Zainabad-
Visited Little Rann of Kutch (several times) and Patdi.

4/2 - 11/2 Bhuj
Stayed at Gangaram Hotel and C.E.D.O. -
Visited Fulay, Chhari Dhand, Sharanath, Banni Grasslands, the Thorn Forest, Mandvi, Dahinsara and Naliya.

12/2 - 15/2 Jamnagar
Stayed at Hotel President -
Visited Valsura, Lakhota Tank and Khijadiya Sanctuary.

16/2 - 18/2 Sassan Gir
Stayed at Gir Birding Lodge.
Visited Gir National Park several times.

19/2 - 1/3 Diu Island
Stayed at Hotel Samrat -
Visited Diu saltpans and Diu Reserve Forest and, being as the rest of Gujarat is a dry state, drank lots of Kingfisher.

28th January 2010 Thol Area.

After getting a car and a driver sorted out, eventually headed of towards Thol Sanctuary. On the way stopped at Ognaj village, where the large village tank offers some close views of water birds - 300+ Ruff, 150+ Little Stints, 4 Avocets, 8 Black-tailed Godwits and 20 Greater Flamingo were all within 100 yards of the road.
Got to Thol at about 10:30 and spent most of the rest of the day there - Thol is massive, even with a 'scope, it's massive, so after a while gave up on trying to scan through the huge rafts of Ducks in the distance, and just spent the day birding. 30+ River Terns, 40+ Black Ibis, 20+ Glossy Ibis, 120+ Painted Stork and 10 Whiskered Tern were all seen relatively close to the banks. 100+ Greater Flamingo, 70+ Common Crane and 5 Sarus Crane on distant islands, 2 Red-breasted Flycatcher and a Sykes Warbler in the Acacia Woodland (Thol was the only place we saw Sykes Warbler), and 4 Painted Francolin were seen around the car park. A distant Eastern Imperial Eagle was 'scoped from the car park.
Went on to an area of dried up fields just to the east of Thol village, this area had plenty of Desert Wheatears, Short-toed Larks and about 150 Blackbucks.
Between Thol and Ahmedabad picked up a soaring group of raptors, these turned out to be mainly Black Kites with 3 Steppe Eagles, 1 Griffon Vulture, 1 White-rumped Vulture and a Common Buzzard.


Black-tailed Godwit.

Greater Flamingo.

Ashy Prinia.

Common Langur.
Common Cranes.

Indian Darter.

Glossy Ibis.


Painted Stork.

Pied Kingfisher.

River Terns.

Indian Silverbills.


Comb Duck.

Steppe Eagles.