Monday, 29 July 2013


Juv Two-barred Crossbill at Sumburgh Head this morning.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Mega Day

Out on the patch, for what seems like the first time in ages, mainly to look for any Two-barred Crossbills that might have dropped into Scatness - no luck there, but the day didn't pan out so bad. It started well enough with a female Otter and cub around the east side of the headland, I ended up watching them for nearly an hour before they noticed me ! After this checked all the thrift patches on the cliffs - waste of time, as there is hardly any thrift growing this year for some reason. A walk down to the loch to check to see if I could find any Ruff, and indeed there were four of them at the back of the loch, at this point I thought I was having a pretty good day on the patch for July, so I tried to get a bit closer to them for some photos. I'd only walked about ten paces when a Sandwich Tern flew in, well it was a Sandwich Tern until I got my bins on it, Christ on a bike - Gull-billed Tern !!!! The bird then hawked over the marsh at the back of the loch for about 15 minutes before disappearing out to sea into the fog - bugger ! It then returned after about 10 stressful minutes and continued to hawk insects again before disappearing into the fog again, it continued to follow this pattern for the rest of the day allowing most to catch up with it.
Gull-billed Tern

Friday, 26 July 2013

Vagrant, migrant and Scarce Moths

With the South-easterly winds over the last week mothing is starting to look good with around 100 moths trapped on most nights. The highlights so far - 27 Diamond-backs, 2 Flame Shoulders, a Mother of Pearl, a cracking Garden Tiger (second record for the garden) and a Bordered Sallow. The Bordered Sallow is the third record for Shetland, amazingly, I also caught the second record of this species on 2nd July last year !
Bordered Sallow
Flame Shoulder
Garden Tiger

Wednesday, 10 July 2013


Had a walk along the banks of the river Wisla up to Katy and back - 2 Golden Orioles, a Green Woodpecker, 4 Great Reed Warblers, a Common Rosefinch, 20 Caspian Gulls, 3 Common Sandpipers, 5 Black Redstarts and a Buzzard - stinkin' hot all day until a massive thunder storm early evening cooled things down a bit.
Black Redstart
Caspian Gulls
Common Sandpiper

Tuesday, 9 July 2013


Spent two days around Wolski Forest looking mainly for woodpeckers, a difficult but not impossible task in July, I hadn't banked on the evil Polish mozzies though ! So after two days I had to give up before I ran out of blood ! I did manage to get several of Grey-headed, Middle Spotted and Great Spotted, and heard a few Greens and one Black. As well as the Woodpeckers there were lots of Spotted Flycatchers, Nuthatches and Treecreepers, 4 Hawfinch, 2 Wood Warblers and a Red-backed Shrike.
Grey-headed Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Middle Spotted Woodpeckers
Red-backed Shrike

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Hotel Birding

Having been travelling since Friday evening, totally knackered arriving in Krakow, managed a few hours along the river Wisla. Tree Sparrows everywhere, checked out a small willow area near to the hotel, amazingly it held 2 Serins, 10 Goldfinches, 3 Stonechats, 6 Icterine Warblers, umpteen Marsh Warblers and a Sparrowhawk. Also from the hotel - 2 flyover Black Storks and a few Caspian Gulls and Common Terns.
Tree Sparrow

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Little Terns

A few Little Tern pics from the Ythan today, and yes, it really was that sunny in Aberdeenshire !