Thursday, 31 March 2016


Goldcrest in the garden this morning, though the rest of the patch was pretty dire. A few of the Great Northern Divers in the bays are now in summer plumage.
Great Northern Diver

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Year ticks

2 year ticks on the patch today - Chiffchaff (only my 2nd or 3rd March record for Scatness) and Grey Wagtail (less than annual). Not a lot else though - the Scoter flock is still in West Voe along with about 20 Eider and a Sanderling was on West Voe beach.
'Point per bird' league scores for February

Sunday, 27 March 2016


Confined to the house this morning as winds reached 81mph, but come the afternoon it was down to 15mph so I headed out to see if anything had changed on the patch. So 12 hours of southerly gales and the result? a single Robin around the stone walls and 2 Ravens visiting a neighbours bird table.
Storm Katie hits
February Islands League Scores

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Divers Galore

With the sea flat calm today, I checked out all the bays, coming up with a total of 38 Great Northern Divers and a Black-throated Diver (Quendale Bay), curiously I didn't see a single Red-throated and had on 2 Red-breasted Mergansers.5 Common Scoters are back in West Voe with the Velvet (there has been only 4 Common Scoters for the last few days). Did a bit of a sea watch from the headland where a total of 87 Guillemots in the hour I was there. And to end with there are now 6 Twite coming to the feeders in the garden.
Great Northern Diver
Red-breasted Mergansers
Scord Beack

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Trickling in

A few migrants are now trickling into the patch - a few Fieldfares are kicking about, Oystercatchers are now up to near the 100 mark, a Moorhen was on the Loch yesterday and 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were there today. Otherwise the patch is pretty static with 4 Common Scoter and 1 Velvet Scoter still in West Voe being the only thing of note.

Lesser Black-backed Gulls

Thursday, 17 March 2016

On with the show

Last night's Aurora was pretty spectacular for a while, it reached it's peak between 9mp and 10pm before fizzling out to nearly nothing at around midnight. I think it would have been even brighter if not for such a bright moon last night.
All the following photos were taken from the garden.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Lights Out

Last night's aurora started pretty poorly at about 9pm, I was just going to give up with but, instead stuck it out until 1am, and it did get better and better before just fizzling out.
Fitful by starlight
And a half moon

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Another Stonechat and another Green Flash

Went around the patch again today, nothing new, just 6 Fieldfare today and Skylarks, Blackbirds and Purple Sandpipers have all increased. At the very last beach on my circuit (Sanblister) found another Stonechat late afternoon, and then waited until sunset and was rewarded with another green flash.
Hooded Crow
Purple Sandpipers
Signs of spring - Crocus in the garden
Tonight's sunset
And another green flash

Monday, 14 March 2016


I've not had a year tick since Woodcock on 28/2, finally got one today with a cracking male Stonechat in West Voe dunes, just south of the car park. The Velvet Scoter and the 5 Common Scoters were also still in the Voe there along with 7 Great Northern Divers and a Red-throated Diver. Around the rest of Scatness were 14 Fieldfares, 3 Shelduck and the Mallard/Pintail hybrid has re-appeared (it's been kicking about since 2008).

In addition here are a few photos from around the patch yesterday -
The cliffs at the end of the Scatness headland looking north
And looking south
Sunset from the garden
Fitful 40 minutes after sunset