Monday 19 March 2018

Lights, Camera... Action.

Last night the Aurora returned and for the first time in a good while, the skies were clear. Starting at about half seven it carried on until around midnight and even 'Steve' put in an appearance. All photos taken from the garden.

Friday 2 March 2018


Quite a large amount of snow dumped on the patch over the last couple of days, but there has been very little change bird wise - Fieldfares increased from about 30 to 120+, Greylags went up to around 180 and the Ducks have been frozen off the Loch.

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Ticking over

The days are gradually getting longer, but the patch is still pretty static - Pink-footed Goose still with the Greylags, still a Glauc knocking about and the 4 Barnacle Geese from last week reappeared with them flying east over the house at dusk.
Great Northern Diver
Pink-footed Goose

Thursday 15 February 2018

Scooby Snacks

So last year Tesco's were selling off their old stock of dog biscuits really cheap and I had a plan, I bought as much as I could, something in the region of 60kg and, as I don't own a dog, stored them all in the shed for a day like today. This morning there was about 500 Gulls around the patch, they probably came in with the gales yesterday, so I grabbed about 20kg of dog biscuits and went down to Moast Beach and chucked the lot in the sea! Within about 30 minutes the Gull numbers had shot up to near 2000! Amazingly more than half of them were Common Gulls and only 1 Black-headed Gull, plus the usual array of big/small, light/dark Herring Gulls, of the 100 or so Greater Blacks present there was an interesting, very black and white 'checkerboard' 1w that didn't hang around too long. Best of all though were 2 Iceland Gulls (quite scarce on Shetland so far this winter) one of which had a fair bit of 'Hybrid Swarm' Gull (Kumlien's) in it.
Iceland Gull
Kumlien's hybrid swarm Gull

Tuesday 13 February 2018

Still Dire

Still very quiet around the patch - 4 Barnacle Geese on the 7th, 1-2 1st winter Glaucs on most days, a monstrous northern (north-eastern?) Herring Gull on the 10th (approaching Greylag Goose in size!!!!) and a Skylark on the 12th.
Barnacle Geese
Herring Gull

Saturday 3 February 2018

One More

Whooper Swan finally added to the patch year list with 3 on Loch of Gards, also of note was a Merlin on the deck in one of the fields by the house.
Whooper Swan
A rare flat calm mid winter day

Sunday 28 January 2018

Mid Winter Birdless Zone

Still not a great deal on the patch, just a Pink-footed Goose in among the Greylags and a Shelduck and a male Shoveler on the Loch.
Pink-footed Goose

Monday 15 January 2018


A lot of Gulls on the patch today, after yesterdays gales, the best being a monstrous 1st yr Glaucous Gull off Moast Beach.
Glaucous Gull
The average wind speeds for yesterday

Wednesday 3 January 2018

New Year

A few 'padders' around the patch on New Year's Day - 1w Glauc, 3 Skylark, a Meadow Pipit and a Shelduck as well as the usual winter stuff.
Merlin around the Garden on the 2nd and a Kittiwake, Mallard x Pintail hybrid and a Red-breasted Merg on the Loch on the 3rd.
Great Northern Diver
Long-tailed Ducks
Mallard x Pintail Hybrid
Supermoon on the 1st
The view on the 3rd

Saturday 30 December 2017

December Highlights

The only highlights on the patch for December was a Pink-footed Goose seen a couple of times with the Greylags and the Northern Lights showed a couple of times too.
Northern Lights from the garden
Pink-footed Goose

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Gambelli White-fronted Goose

Huge surprise on the patch, the 'Greenland' White-fronted Goose that has been around for the last couple of days, looks like it is of the subspecies 'gambelli' - the bill on it is huge! More on Gambelli here.