Saturday 31 July 2010

Why ?

Well, thankfully got back home this morning. Unfortunately its back to the summer of gloom as far as Shetland 2010 goes. Bloody typical that for a fortnight there has not been a bird of note in the UK, no sooner am i gone there's a Semi-P in Cumbria, a Lesser Yellowlegs at Inner Marsh Farm and a (possibly dodgy) Purple Gallinule near Chester. Oh well cant be to long until Shetland produces something of worth! A quick check of the Houb late afternoon. 3 Whimbrel including 1 juv, good numbers of Dunlin and Black-headed Gull's and a few Arctic Terns.

Whilst at the Houb took a look at the autumn vegetation. Below is the large tattie rig which produced last years Bluethroat's and Wryneck in 2008.

And the Houb Iris beds which i will have to check more thoroughly this year. Only been through them once so god knows what's gone unnoticed there?

Wednesday 21 July 2010

The Update

Work has dragged me back to Manchester, unfortunately. With regular updates from Dr Marshall at least I know I am not missing out on anything, yet.

Tuesday 13 July 2010


Another glorious day with most of it spent indoors? When i did get out went and checked the Houb. 3 fairly showy Sanderling, a red Knot and most frustrating a possible Curlew Sandpiper that got up and couldn't be relocated .

An Otter showed well and came out right next to me then disappeared into the rocks.

Monday 12 July 2010

Street Legal

A few hours in Lerwick today making our modes of transport legal again! A trip to Tesco was rewarded with 5 vocal Crossbill overhead and a few Terns down at the Catch. Back home the excitement was caused by a Hummingbird Hawk Moth, unfortunately after an hour of being present around a bush it moved off before any of us could twitch it. Something different anyway.

Saturday 10 July 2010

Go West

Our summer is still going, for how long god only knows.  An unplanned day out with the family so we decided to pay Eshaness a visit, very pleasant when in the sunshine compared to getting blown around and wet during an autumn seawatch. No birds to talk of but an Otter at Mavis Grind showed well. I cant remember the last Otter i photographed, seems like an age.

Views from around Eshaness

Dore Holm
The Drongs
 The Neap and the Runk

Patch news. A patch yeartick Bar-tailed Godwit yesterday at the Houb and 71+ Dunlin.

Wednesday 7 July 2010

Where's Your Head At ?

The title of the post will become apparent towards the end! Still feeling like summer, though a little breezy. Decided to join Dougie (last minute) for a photo jaunt on Unst, and well worth it it was. Everything played ball and showed exceptionally well. Our destination of choice doubled up with my first ever visit to Hermaness. Spectacular seabird colonies and jaw dropping scenery. Pride of place typically goes to the Puffins, nonchalantly wondering around the tourists with not a care in the world.

Away from the Puffins on the tops are the vast Gannet colonies on the cliffs. Not ideal for photography as you tend to look down on it all, but an opportunity to get some decent flight shots in interesting light.

Pretty much all over Hermaness are Bonxies, hundreds of them at that. Very vocal birds that allowed very close contact. Quite attractive brutes when there not trying to attack you...... Dougie found out, to my amusement.

A fabulous few hours on Unst was rounded off with a pod of 5 Killer Whales in Yell sound. Seen from the ferry but missed by me, i scanned the sound from Brough, near Toft and watched them for the best part of an hour. Always distant but good scope views. Hopefully some better shots coming this way courtesy of Brydon.

Monday 5 July 2010

In Flight

Managed to lose the whole of yesterday because of the weather, but made the most of this evenings late sun. A check down at the Houb for some hopeful waders? 15+ Dunlin. The local Arctic Terns have failed miserably this year and just seem content in wondering what i am doing. Whilst the local Oystercatchers make my unwelcome presence more than obvious.

Saturday 3 July 2010

Happy Hour

Summer seems to have turned up in Shetland, though i doubt it will last. A quick check around produced a House Martin up around the club house at Skaw, showing well though briefly. Whilst the odd looking Chiffchaff was around the Heligoland evading capture, sporting a rather smart centre parting!