Friday 29 January 2010


You may or may not be aware but down in the South Mainland a battle has comenced ? A patch yearlist competition is taking place between Steve Minton (Scatness), Rob Fray (Virkie/Toab), Gary Bell (Sumburgh), Paul Harvey (Quendale) and Russ Haywood (Quarff). Not one to miss a challenge, though not exactly geographically correct i have entered Brough into the mix. If nothing else it will be a good gauge against some of Shetlands premier birding hotspots.
Full Brough list can be found here.

Bird news today, the 2 Whitefronts were once again in front of the house and seem to be of the Greenland race, though closer inspection would help to be sure, and a Mistle Thrush was new associating with the Fieldfares.

Thursday 28 January 2010


A check around patch in the bitterly cold northerly wind and snow was just what i needed to forget about last nights result ! Other than a Robin diving for cover that was it, or so i thought. Approaching home c.20 geese in 2 flocks converged on the flock already feeding in front of the house. Once in the warmth scanned through the 40+ Greylags to find 2 White-fronted Geese, a welcome garden and patch tick. Hopefully they will be around tomorrow so i can assign them to race and try for better pictures.

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Big Day Blues

A big day in the life of any Man City fan today, so thought it best to be out of the house doing something until the game arrives. Decided to join Dougie for a spot of birding off isle with the Black-bellied Dipper at Scalloway high on the list. After walking up the burn to the 'big green barn' and no sign we headed back to the car, thankfully some 3/4 of the way down the Dipper appeared in front bombing down the burn. Frustrated by the briefest of views it decided not to fly back up the burn but settle on the roof of the house down by the car, where it stood for a good couple of minutes.

Next up was the catch for Gulls, nothing out of the ordinary so turned my attention elsewhere.
 A trip over to Clickimin produced a Stonechat but as expected not much else.


Monday 25 January 2010

Keep your distance

A bitterly cold day but thankfully no rain. A good check of patch early on produced nothing other than the resident Song Thrush and Robins. A trip over to Sandwick for a female Scaup was thankfully fruitful and a call from John Laurie was most welcome, he had found 4 European Whitefronts in front of Jon's house up at Skaw. As is usual for geese they were very wary and kept there distance well. Lets hope they get bored and fly a couple of miles south to my patch.

Saturday 23 January 2010


Back home finally to wind and rain, not that i am complaining. The past couple of days haven't exactly been the weather for getting out and about, so it was nice to wake up this morning to no rain and a much eased wind. The local Greylag flock has set up camp in front of the house with a count of 40 today and a Robin still resides in the garden. The Water Rail, last seen at the end of November still remains in my neighbours garden, with another neighbour telling me one has been resident also in their garden this winter. On a return visit to try and photograph the Water Rail, which never happened i unexpectedly turned up a female Hawfinch, quite a nice surprise.

Also around patch there has been an influx of thrushes, with Redwings and Fieldfares absolutely everywhere.

Sunday 17 January 2010

Just like bloody buses

What a great way to spend a Sunday ? News of a probable American Bittern at Marton Mere gave hope of a decent days birding. Problem was i never really counted on the amount of standing about involved, staring at the reeds around the mere constantly checking, telling yourself that dark blob is just mangled reeds. Suffice to say after 9 hours of standing i was bloody frozen, and more importantly American Bittern-less. The only saving grace was a supporting cast made up of 3 Long-eared Owls, Short-eared Owl, Peregrine, Cetti's Warbler and 4 Bitterns. Bloody typical i spend all that time at Moore for 1 and end up with 4, all in the space of 10 minutes. Oh well, working next couple of days and the big match on Tuesday then thankfully i can go home. I hope.

Friday 15 January 2010

If at first you don't succeed ..

Another attempt for the Bittern at Moore NR thankfully paid off today. A brief view it may have been but a view all the same, thankfully no more trudging through the slush in the faint hope. Also at Moore another Adult Med Gull on Birchwood Pool. Also paid a visit to Frodsham for the Water Pipit wintering with its Meadow cousins.

Thursday 14 January 2010

More Moore

Decided on a visit to Moore again today with the hope one of these visits will result in a Bittern, again no such luck. Birchwood Pool was more rewarding though with hundreds of gulls assembled on the ice. Pick of the bunch was 2 adult Med Gulls whilst a juv Iceland Gull was visible on the grass bank towards Arpley landfill. Thousands of gulls were present today on Arpley but the cold under foot prevented me from getting closer and checking them out, maybe another day.

Tuesday 12 January 2010

Back for seconds

Went back over, not so old ground on Sunday with Rostherne Mere the first port of call. A pleasant couple of hours in the relative comfort of the hide, unfortunately the wildfowl numbers seem to have dwindled, either that or just hidden ? So turned my attentions to a holly bush, used it seemed as a waiting area for the bird table.

Then made another attempt for the Bittern at Moore, again no luck with just 20+ Lesser Redpoll of note.

Friday 8 January 2010

Too damn cold

A day out in the company of Malc & Al, with the latter doing a Cheshire year list. First stop a very cold and very frozen Moore NR, with the hope of 1 of the 2 Bitterns that have been seen recently. Not today though. A very good check on Arpley landfill failed to produce any white winged gulls. The feeding stations were more rewarding with a Willow Tit and Tree Sparrows. Next on the list was Rostherne Mere for a redhead Smew. After negotiating our way into the hide we managed to get a distant view of the Smew tight against the mere bank. Last up was Marbury CP for another go at Bittern, no joy here also. But a neck wrenching Tawny Owl more than made up for it. A good day but bloody glad to back indoors and in the warmth.

Saturday 2 January 2010

2010 Brough Yearlist

Local rarity
National rarity

1. Starling
2. House Sparrow
3. Redwing.
4. Fieldfare
5. Herring Gull
6. Curlew
7. Turnstone
8. Kittiwake
9. Great Black-backed Gull
10. Raven
11. Great Northern Diver
12. Robin
13. Redshank
14. Gannet
15. Shag
16. Eider
17. Rock Dove
18. Hooded Crow
19. Fulmar
20. Long-tailed Duck
21. Wigeon
22. Greylag Goose
23. Oystercatcher
24. Snipe
25. Meadow Pipit
26. Mallard
27. Blackbird
28. Rock Pipit
29. Merlin
30. Grey Heron
31. Ringed Plover
32. Cormorant
33. Lapwing
34. Black Guillemot
35. Red-throated Diver
36. Golden Plover
37. Dunlin
38. Wren
39. Twite
40. Black-headed Gull
41. Common Gull
42. Whooper Swan
43. Song Thrush
44. Hawfinch
45. Water Rail
46. White-fronted Goose
47. Mistle Thrush
48. Red-breasted Merganser
49. Purple Sandpiper
50. Knot
51. Black-throated Diver
52. Goldeneye
53. Guillemot
54. Skylark
55. Snow Bunting
56. Common Scoter
57. Collared Dove
58. Jackdaw
59. Rook
60. Little Gull
61. Goldcrest
62. Chiffchaff
63. Chaffinch
64. Dunnock
65. Brambling
66. Lesser Black-backed Gull
67. Pied Wagtail
68. Black Redstart
69. Wheatear
70. Great Skua
71. Teal
72. Tufted Duck
73. Razorbill
74. Swallow
75. Willow Warbler
76. Shelduck
77. Blackcap
78. Linnet
79. Arctic Skua
80. Carrion Crow
81. Whimbrel
82. Wood Pigeon
83. Common Redpoll
84. Arctic Tern
85. Puffin
86. Pied Flycatcher
87. Lesser Whitethroat
88. Long-eared Owl
89. Wood Sandpiper
90. Common Sandpiper
91. Grasshopper Warbler
92. Sanderling
93. Common Tern
94. Garden Warbler
95. Spotted Flycatcher
96. Osprey
97. Bar-tailed Godwit
98. Swift
99. Storm Petrel
100. Redstart
101. Common Rosefinch
102. Yellow-browed warbler
103. Whinchat
104. Sedge Warbler
105. Siskin
106. Sparrowhawk
107. Reed Bunting
108. Red-throated Pipit
109. Richards Pipit
110. Pink-footed Goose
111. Red-breasted Flycatcher
112. Jack Snipe
113. Lesser Redpoll