Monday 9 October 2017

Black Guillemot

Long-tailed Skua

According to the local golfers, this juvenile Long-tailed Skua has been hanging about the Golf course at Goswick for ages and was nice compensation for the Scop's Owl having done one a few days before. It was outrageously fearless, allowing golfers to take photos with their phones within a few feet.

Wednesday 4 October 2017

American Buff-bellied Pipit, Shetland

There was quite a surge in records of Buff-bellied Pipits a few years ago, after one was found at Frampton Marsh RSPB. Indeed, this was the first one I saw in 2005. It wasn't an easy individual to catch up and many people dipped. This bird found at Grutness was very obliging for the gathered crowd but didn't hang around for long before it flew off and wasn't relocated by dusk.

More Parrots

Twitched two 'red' Parrot Crossbills in Lerwick today which were reasonably obliging, even coming to puddles by the crowd at one point. Whilst there another one flew over west and we also had another two flying over near Helendale Drive again.

Tuesday 3 October 2017

Blythi Lesser Whitethroat

Looks good for a Blythi. Found at Symbister, Whalsay on the 30th September.

Parrot find

Great to find this beast in Lerwick this morning with Sam Viles and Kev DuRose. Having heard about the small flock at Sand to the north, we decided to hit some suitable sites. The first couple of places drew a blank and with time being short due to having to get Sam back to the airport, we remembered there were quite a few pines in Lerwick. After a considerable drive around Lerwick we eventually found a good stand of pines of all different flavours down Helendale Terrace, some with plenty of cones on.

After a little while a couple of Parrot Crossbill calls started to come from deep within the pines and a little while later Kev spotted a male feeding in the open. Another, this time juvenile, then appeared and Kev and Sam had another over later on. Sadly it seems they didn't hang around (much like the ones at Sand to the north).

There may be more, but with these winds at the moment, I doubt it. But whatever- great to find a rarity that is even rare for Shetland!

Perhaps not just an Oystercatcher?

Last week, when the weather was awful and there wasn't much about there was plenty of talk about this being not just an Oystercatcher and perhaps belonging to the central Asian subspecies longipes. When we first found it today (3rd October), it was alone and the plumage differences were immediately obvious. Later, some other 'normal' Oystercatchers joined it and made the features of brown mantle, longer legs, longer bill and similar appearance even more obvious.



My first lifer of the trip was this smart and obliging Rustic Bunting at Melby on 30th September and had a fine supporting cast of a nearby Olive-backed Pipit which also showed well.

Little Bunting at Skaw on Whalsay

This Little Bunting was one of two found by Kevin DuRose at Skaw on Whalsay on the 30th September. Nice bird which briefly fed with Twite on a driveway. Apparently there were four on the island that day.

Red-breasted Flycatcher at Sumburgh

This Red-breasted Flycatcher was in a quarry at Sumburgh Head, Shetland last week and gave incredible views. At one point I had it down to a couple of metres for a prolonged period- easily the best views of the species I have had. Whilst at the site we also found a second one which was frequently chased off by the original individual when it ventured into it's territory.  

Sunday 25 June 2017

Reed Warbler family

Not an attractive perch but these little guys seemed to gravitate towards it and judging by the state of the post, had done for sometime. Interestingly the female was the only bird feeding these three- the male was constantly chasing the female around, singing, presumably keen to get on with the next brood!

Tuesday 14 February 2017

Bluethroat in Lincs

I haven't seen many Bluethroats in Britain (one at Welney, one on Scilly and found one with Mike Weedon last autumn at Skegness)...In fact I haven't seen that many world wide bar a migrant in Turkey and breeding birds in Norway, so a bird 20 minutes from home was irresistible. A great winter record for this site with growing reputation. Also great to see the old greats- Day, Harriman, Catley and Blake on site plus the new kids on the block!

Sunday 22 January 2017

Yellow-billed Loon

Remarkably this bird appeared at the same stretch of river as Lincolnshire's only other live record of a White-billed Diver which was found by Pinky in 1996. Being only about 40 minutes from my house felt it was rude not to go and have a look, especially since the last one I saw 10 years ago in Cornwall. However, that also showed well.... Despite some reports, I think the reported fishing line in the bill is in fact just river weed.

Tuesday 10 January 2017

Blue Rock Thrush

Went with David Roche to see this beauty at Stow-on-the-Wold. Encouraged to see it mainly sticking to roof tops like wintering Blue Rock Thrushes do in their native land. Quite impressed to see it found a Queen Bee in January as well....