Monday, 31 May 2010


The only slightly interesting thing today was 5 Mute Swans on the Loch, this would have been a pretty good patch year-tick (quite scarce at Scatness) had there not already been 3 in West Voe on January 5th.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Something for the weekend.

At last, Scatness has actually produced something over the weekend, with an Osprey drifting south this morning (cheers for the phone call Rob), other than that it was just the usual fare, with a few Swallows, a House Martin, a couple of fly-over Red-throated Divers (on Saturday) and 37 Sanderlings. 2 Golden Plover on the headland were unexpected and the pair of Shelducks now have 8 ducklings (a.k.a. - Bonxie snacks).
Angle Shades trapped on Saturday night.




Golden Plovers.

Red-throated Divers.

Angle Shades.

Friday, 28 May 2010

It's no secret.

Now that the secret is out, here's some shots of the adult Long-tailed Skua that appears to be holding territory at ******. So despite Friday the 28th being crap at Scatness, it wasn't such a bad day after all.


The Scatness wasteland lived up to this spring's expectations by producing next to nothing at all this morning, the 2 House Martins were still there and the Black-tailed Godwits were too (though now down to 3 birds) and that was the lot ! It's bad news that, in a spell of light south-easterlies at the end of May, when Kittiwake pictures start appearing.

Too Good - Late this afternoon the power was cut off at Scatness for a couple of hours, on phoning Scottish-Hydro, their excuses were just too good to be true "Yes, Mr Minton, we can see on our computer that the electricity supply to your area has been broken, this is due to a tree falling onto the power lines in the high winds". 2 problems with this, 1 - it's not been windy today and 2 - there aren't any trees !
Too Bad - A rather long winded series of text messages this morning discussing the 'hot news' of a hybrid duck at Sandwater that's been there over a year ! Seems that nobody can is certain of the birds parentage, though, looking at the photo, I have my suspicions -

The Sandwater Hybrid
Of course, hybrid ducks are not that uncommon, as they seem to mate with anything around and can produce some quite odd looking offspring !

Thursday, 27 May 2010


With light south-easterly winds overnight, I was fairly optimistic for turning something half descent up on the patch - didn't happen ! I think the lesson to be learnt is that south-easterlies in spring 2010 just brings disappointment, not birds ! After nearly 5 hours on the patch (I, rather pointlessly, thrashed it twice !) only managed to get a Spotted Flycatcher, 2 House Martins and 4 Swallows. The 8 Black-tailed Godwits from yesterday were still in the field by the Loch, 102 Sanderling and 29 Dunlin were on the various beaches (hence the photo overkill) and a couple of showy Great Northern Divers and 6 Red-breasted Mergansers were in West Voe.


Black-tailed Godwits.

Spotted Flycatcher.

Great Northern Diver.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Black Tail.

Still sod all about, an attempt at a sea-watch yesterday produced lots of sea ! and a group of 3 very distant Skuas that may or may not have been Poms. A walk around the patch this evening, in the rain and a strong north-westerly wind - the reward - 8 Black-tailed Godwits was as good as it got !

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Gloomy Sunday.

With rain and fog for most of the day it was a proper Gloomy Sunday, but after the rain had stopped at about 5:30, it was out onto the patch again. A Wood Pigeon spent most of the day perched on a fence in front of the house, on the beach in front of the house there were 15 Knot, 37 Sanderling, 3 Whimbrel and 77 Dunlin, a walk down to the Loch and the first patch year-tick of the day - 2 Black-tailed Godwits feeding in a field with a pair of Mallard, 2 Whooper Swans and a Common Sandpiper were on the Loch and 3 Swallows and a Spotted Flycatcher (the 2nd patch year-tick of the day) were around the gardens at the end of the road. The day ended with a rather tame Gannet on the rocks at Scord Beach.
On a slightly serious note, today's song link is also known as 'the Hungarian Suicide Song' and was banned for years because it was too depressing for radio - listen at your peril !


Black-tailed Godwits.

Spotted Flycatcher.

Whooper Swans.

Wood Pigeon.
On a more serious note - a Wildlife tour group were around Scatness at about 5:30/6pm ish, it's good that the patch is on such an itinerary, however I do wish that they had followed the countryside code a bit better, and made sure that the gate was closed properly ! For those who need a little guidance, here are some instructions -

Saturday, 22 May 2010


With only a Swallow and a House Martin being seen today, the highlights all came from the moth trap, with Netted Pug, Lychnis, Garden Carpets and a very dark Shears all trapped last night.

Netted Pug.

Garden Carpet.



Friday, 21 May 2010

Hybrid moments.

Another desperate day, with only the Mallard/Pintail hybrid, 16 Dunlin and 2 Linnets being the best of a pretty useless day.

Mallard/Pintail hybrid.


Thursday, 20 May 2010

Smaller and smaller.

Pride of place goes to a Little Stint on Moast Beach briefly, before sodding off towards West Voe, other than that, the struggle continues. Other stuff at Scatness included - 47 Sanderling, 3 Swallow, a female Blackcap and a Sand Martin. Looks like 2010 is going to be remembered for the spring that never was ! At least the Moth-trap is now perking up a bit with Shears and Marbled Coronet trapped.


Hooded Crow with 'industrial' nesting materail.


Marbled Coronet (complete with image of Satan !).