Saturday 20 November 2010

Ring Ring

An early start this morning (5.30) down at Woolston Eyes NR, helping to put the mist nets up. I have applied to become a trainee ringer so hopefully my enthusiasm will stand me in good stead? Time will tell. A good morning session with myself actively ringing birds for the first time. Highlight of the morning was a Cetti's Warbler, unfortunately not rung by me. Although i did ring Coal, Blue and Great Tit, Brambling, Chaffinch, Bullfinch and Reed Bunting, not a bad first selection. Hopefully next week will be good news and i can apply for my ringing licence.

Friday 12 November 2010

Back For Good ?

After a very smooth crossing on the Northlink it was the long drive south to Cheshire. A fortunate pit stop at Gretna services produced 7 Waxwings in the car park, good start. With not a great deal of light left in the day i decided to head for the Pied-billed Grebe at Hollingworth Lake today, cracking views as it swam in front of the hide, a larger stockier bird than i first anticipated. The light was poor so will return for better photos hopefully, at least you can tell what it is!

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Never Can Say Goodbye

The day that i didn't want to come unfortunately arrived today? For anybody that didn't know, our time in Shetland has come to an end and we are moving back to sunny Cheshire! We have had a wonderful 18 months, experiencing a way of life i never thought i would and making friends for life along the way. Going to miss lots of things from Shetland not least the birding, although it can be very frustrating the majority of the time, best to be left for Spring and Autumn. Fortunately i seem to have a bed all over Shetland which thankfully means i can still bird (my) patch. Going to miss my daily catch ups with the John Laurie and Dr Marshall,or Brian as he wants to be known. Dougie, Brydon, Steve, Rob and all the other guys cheers for all your help and assistance. Well not so much Dougie! In need of more like.

Saturday 6 November 2010

My Perfect Cousin

A very cold day with rain, hail, sleet and snow. A quick check around patch produced  a patch lifer? 2 Lesser Redpoll with the 8 Mealy Redpoll. We are used to getting good numbers of Mealy Redpoll through on passage, with the larger Greenland Redpoll through in the Autumn, but Lesser Redpoll remains a fairly scarce bird in any numbers in Shetland. Managed a couple of photos fortunately in the same pose which show the different plumages off quite nicely. Still no Waxwing though i shan't give up.

Friday 5 November 2010

The Final Countdown

Well after the best part of a month away it was back to what i enjoy best. Joined John Laurie this morning for a scour of the isle hoping for a Waxwing, no joy with just a very flighty Mealy Redpoll at Saltness on offer. After lunch decided to check Brough, slightly better here with 8 Mealy Redpoll, Chiffchaff and a male Brambling. At least i have managed some photos to go with my ramblings, more tomorrow i hope.

Thursday 4 November 2010

Back to Black

Literally! It is seriously dark here. Just arrived back in Shetland after what seems like an eternity sat in airport lounges. Managed a day out in the company of Phil Woolen yesterday, American Bittern twitching. Fairly distant views were had as it mooched in a ditch and a brief flight view was as good as it got for us. Nice bird to see though at least it is now it's on a reserve and not being pestered. Hoping for Waxwings over the coming days, preferably in the garden? We shall see.