Saturday, 28 August 2010


A text mid morning from Mr Palin, alerting me to some decent birds, dragged me from my bed and eventually got me out onto the patch (a full evening in the pub the night before followed by nearly a full bottle of vodka with the infamous Mr Robertson didn't help !). A full 'walkabout', and eventually the birds in question performed admirably - 3 Lapland Buntings around the stone walls, plus another one flying about calling around the headland (at least 6 birds present earlier in the day). It seems like we've jumped straight into October - Lapland Buntings in August - I've not even seen a Redstart this year yet !
Couldn't be arsed doing the rest of the patch with the hangover from hell, the only other thing of note was 3 Swallows moving south.

Lapland Buntings.

The old home town.

The old home town has done it again - Challenge Cup winners for the second year running !
Final Score : Warrington 30 - Filthy Leeds 6 !!!

Friday, 27 August 2010

All Gone Dead.

Scatness, it seems, has all gone dead ! So here's some photos from a pretty birdless day....



Monday, 23 August 2010


A good walk around the patch, hoping for some migrants (NE wind overnight). Two Willow Warblers and 3 fly-over Crossbills were a good start but it just never got better, Wheatears still everywhere, with 100+ now in the area, 2 Purple Sands still on the rocks, a Ruff out on the headland (year tick) and a single Knot.
The beaches were pretty much empty, apart from 20 Dunlin and about 25 'alba' Wagtails, this was mainly due to the coastguard helicopter doing 'exercises' for most of the day.

Wheatears, by the fencefull.

Willow Warbler.


Last night's sunset over Fitful Head.

The coastguard during 'wader scaring exercises'.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Life's a Beach.

Out most of the day, checking all six of the Scatness beaches. Combined totals of 34 Knot, 10 Sanderling and 82 Dunlin, a Curlew Sandpiper was on Moast beach (year tick) and 2 Purple Sandpipers were around the 'stinky' Geo, the Greenshank is still kicking around and there are Wheatears everywhere (including 4 in the garden after I'd cut the lawn).
Autumnal Rustic in the moth trap last night.

The Scatness beaches.



Purple Sandpiper.


Rock Pipit.


Autumnal Rustic.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

By the Sea.

A strong SSW gale blowing, so off to the end of Scatness it was time for a seawatch. After four and a half hours - 2 Storm Petrels ! A welcome year tick, but a poor return for the amount of time put in !

Friday, 20 August 2010

Bein' Green.

Still not a lot happening (surprise, surprise !), a Greenshank on the patch was a year tick (heard one three times in the spring, but couldn't get on to it), a Snout in the moth trap this morning was not only dead, but missing most of it's 'snout' and most of the wing markings !


Dead Snout.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Sporting a Woody.

After two days of solid rain, it was time to get back onto the patch again during a brief spell of dryness. A text from Dougie S Preston Esq about 2 Green Sands that he'd just kicked up from
Garth's Ness and were heading towards Scatness, with this in mind started off with the pools (rather than the gardens), no Green Sands, but a rather fine looking Wood Sand ! Year tick ! Elswhere around the patch there was 20 Knot and 4 Sanderling on the beaches, 32 Dunlin scattered about the place, a fly-over Whimbrel, 2 Grey Heron on the Loch and 2 Willow Warblers and a Whitethroat in the garden.

Wood Sandpiper.

Willow Warbler.

Monday, 16 August 2010


Not a great deal on the patch, apart from a 10+ Willow Warblers. On the beaches -13 Knot, 34 Dunlin and 6 Sanderling, plus a Swallow over the house.

Willow Warblers.



Sunday, 15 August 2010

Creatures of the Night

A few creatures of the night from out of the trap in the last 5-6 days.

Northern Spinach (14/8/10).

Platyptilia isodactylus (14/8/10). The second or third record for Shetland.

Unidentified Micro (10/8/10).

Unidentified Micro (12/8/10).

Thursday, 12 August 2010


Got myself marooned on Mousa for the afternoon, not for the massive fall that had occurred (2 Willow Warblers !), but to increase the Mousa moth list. As this currently stands on 5, I was fairly confident of adding a few more, so with the aid of a net managed to add 4 more - Blastobasis lacticocella, Eana osseana, Bactra lancealana and an unidentified tortrix thing (which is currently living in a pot in my fridge). Back at home a Willow Warbler was in the garden chasing moths until about 11pm.

Mousa Broch.


Willow Warblers.
2G, 2B.
Too Good - When I was a little kid, one of the highlights of the day was the TV programme 'Rainbow', I can't remember it being this funny or rude though ! (see here). "If you haven't got any balls, ask a friend can you play with his " - priceless !!!
Too Bad - The Willow Warbler in the garden was taken by a neighbours cat just after 11pm, flew all the way across the north sea, found a bit of sanctuary in my garden only to be killed by the little bastard ! It may be time to invest in an air rifle !