Sunday, 28 November 2010


Stuck inside all day, due to the snow, 7 Blackbirds, a Chaffinch, 2 Redwing, a Fieldfare, a Snipe and tons of Sparrows and Starlings having a right good feed in the garden.




During one of the few times today that the sky was clear.

Friday, 26 November 2010


New look for 'top tunes' - this weeks - 'Front 242 - Animal' (ignore the 90210 shite at the beginning), what a song ! Fond memories of the Carlton Club in Warrington on a Saturday night, in the early 90's, with a head full of doves and strawberries !

....and after 6 hours of 'mind mashing', back home to play 'Sonic' on the SEGA, and chill out to more middle of the road stuff like this -

Play 'em loud !!!

Thursday, 25 November 2010


Just a quick check around the patch today ('cause it's bloody freezing !), firstly the Redpoll crop was completely empty, not even a House Sparrow in it ! Around the rest of the patch - a Moorhen, 50 Greylags, 25 Lapwing, a Song Thrush, 10 Redwings, 12 Tufted Ducks, 2 Whooper Swans, a Robin and a single Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting.

Whooper Swan.



Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Girls of Porn.

The R.S.P.B. continue their new membership drive, but now instead of targeting nature reserves for new members, they seem to be targeting people at porn shows (they maybe realise that quite a few birders are total wankers !), the latest being 'Erotica 2010' - a list of all the exhibitors can be found here, just look under the heading of 'charities' in the list. I'm not sure what the stand would have looked like, but it should probably have had photos of Great Tits, Shags, Woodcock etc on it. Full story here. Still, it's got to be better than handing out pamphlets at Sumburgh Head in a force 8 Gale !
Meanwhile the Shetland Erotic Show seems to only include one type of erotic dancer -

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Red Stars.

Doing the patch this weekend amounted to going as far as the private crop and no further, as on both yesterday and today, the only birds to see were Redpolls. 8 Birds were present on Saturday, including a Coue's, and today there were 22, including what looks like a different Coue's. A quick scan of West Voe on Saturday and the King Eider was still there.

Coue's Arctic Redpoll number one (Sat), this bird showed no dark streaks at all on the undertail and had a fairly large and unmarked white rump. This bird showed a pale forehead sometimes and other times not, depending on posture.

Coue's Arctic Redpoll number two (Sun), this bird showed unmarked undertail covers, apart from one small greyish streak, that wasn't always visible, unmarked white rump, slightly less extensive than the other bird and a small hint of a very pale pinkish was to the 'cheeks'. This bird showed a pale forehead.

Some of the other Common Redpolls present.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Back in Black.

Sod all, all week, apart from this Black Redstart in the garden today.

Monday, 15 November 2010


Being pushed for time, only had a short while on the patch, so spent most of it searching for yesterday's Black Redstart - no sign ! A quick look in West Voe and the King Eider was still there along with a Common Scoter, plus 8 Red-throated Divers and 2 Great Northerns. 2 Robins were in the garden.


Common Scoter and Long-tailed Ducks.

Great Northern Diver.

Greylag Geese.

Red-throated Diver.

'Now where's that Black Redstart got to ?'.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Return of the King

The plan was to thoroughly do the patch before the Grand Prix started, but this didn't happen, as I started at West Voe, the King Eider was showing pretty damn well about 50 yards offshore, so it seemed prudent to take advantage of this (a Common and 3 Velvet Scoters also in West Voe). So after about 90 minutes of pissing around with the camera headed back home, and on the way finding the surprise bird of the day - a Black Redstart, which was being chased about the place by a Robin, adding to this a Waxwing turned up in the garden as well - a pretty decent day for very little effort ! Especially as the King Eider has been over the other side of the Voe for the last few days (and therefore not on the patch !).


King Eider.

Common Scoter.
Black Redstart.
2G, 2B -
Too Good - Seeing Vettel get the drivers world championship, anyone would have done as long as it wasn't the moaning Spaniard !
Too Bad - A bit of 'heart in mouth' stuff seeing Schumacher almost get decapitated in the first lap, I know the man can be something of a prick at times, but the incident was pretty bloody close to being a blood bath !

Don't lose your head !

Friday, 12 November 2010

The End.

The fat lady is now in full song !

It looks like that's definitely the end of the Autumn, 2 bouts of south-easterlies this week, and nothing ! A walk around the patch today, and 14 Lapland Buntings, 33 Snow Bunting, a Scaup and a fly over Waxwing was about it !
A few Winter Moths have been turning up around the windows of the house the last few nights.

Winter Moth.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Return.

Today on the patch saw the return (or new birds maybe) of Lapland Buntings, with a flock of 14. Also a flock of 10 Snow Buntings were out on the headland, 3 Common Scoter were in West Voe, 2 Goldeneye, 5 Tufted Duck and a Scaup were on the Loch and a Robin and a Song Thrush were also seen.

Snow Bunting.

Rock Pipit.

Scaup (with Tufties).
Too Good - well done to the Horror Channel as they are now doing a full re-run of Twin Peaks weekday nights at 9pm, an amazingly weird series that makes Lost look like a Sunday sermon (which, indeed, it did turn out to be !).

Scenes from Twin Peaks.
Too Bad - The Discovery Channel - find some new subject matter, for Zod's sake. We get the picture - the Nazis were bad, elephants need a lot of water, sharks are threatened, buildings fall down in earthquakes etc etc - most people have 'discovered' these things several times on the telly, time to change the channel name I think, to something like 'The Re-Hash Channel' !

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


A much calmer day, at least I could see the duck flock in West Voe, though all of them were on the Sumburgh side (King Eider still present), a rather showy Lapland Bunting and a Robin were the only other things of note.

Lapland Bunting