Wednesday 30 September 2020

Arctic Warbler lifer 29.09.20


Never bothered or perhaps had the opportunity to twitch Arctic Warbler before and it was the most regular warbler I hadn't seen in Britain. Since coming to Shetland, I assumed it was on the cards at some point so when one turned up on Yell, whilst we travelling to do the island I was thrilled. Obviously was even more thrilled when we stumbled into Dougie Preston just after he had found the fifth Tennessee Warbler for Britain... two lifers in Britain in a day doesn't happen much these days. 

Tuesday 29 September 2020

Something to Yell about, Tennessee Warbler

Today was a bit special. We chose to visit Yell today, as the day was going to be calm and Yell seems an under-watched island. A lazy start saw an Arctic Warbler already reported from the island but we continued regardless. Having done a few suitable areas we continued to Burravoe. A female Blackcap popped out immediately but then I got distracted by Dougie Preston who proceeded to tell us he had found a Tennessee Warbler. 

It didn't take long before the bird flew straight at then over me calling. Thankfully it came back not long after, calling again. Eventually it gave itself up and gave incredible views. There is something special about American passerines and this felt like a truly lucky and special moment- certainly not one I will forget. 

Friday 25 September 2020

Got the Hump

Humpback Whales are iconic giants of our oceans. I first picked up one from probably a mile and a half away and was able to put Pinky on them from the water pouting with the naked eye! We tried to then move round to where we thought they were with no success so moved to a layby over looking the Sound of Mousa. The views were incredible, if a little distant but as you can see from these record shots- they are massive. 

I have only had poor views from a speed boat off Rotnest Island, Perth in Australia with my good pal Dom previously and I have craved more ever since- including the iconic tail views. I have kept an eye on Humpbacks in Shetland in the past, with November seeing the pair (perhaps the same pair we saw today?) return the past few years and Orcas also appearing then; the double act has been very tempting! 

We only arrived on Shetland today so to have these outstanding views of two Humpbacks, two Minke Whales and 10+ Harbour Porpoises (plus distant Dolphin sp- perhaps White-beaked) has been incredible. But like many, these views of Humpbacks, are a massive tick off the bucket list. Once again Shetland has delivered a Cetacean bucket list tick after the Orcas in 2018. What a place! And what a group of marine animals! 

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Another local Otter

On the local facebook groups there have been videos by Jo Public of Otters in the Welland for the last two months or so. I've had a few walks along the Welland attempting to find them but today my father found one, which was followed by a photo by local talented photographer Iain Toombs reporting else where. Turns out there were three and they ranged probably three miles today! 

I caught up with them near the centre of Market Deeping just after 5pm and enjoyed 10 glorious minutes, watching a delightful family of three hunt for fish and crayfish. My addition to Otters continues and I consider myself lucky, that ever six months or so I get an awesome opportunity to photograph these gorgeous creatures. 

Otterly wonderful!


Sunday 20 September 2020

Pied Flycatcher


An obliging individual in a park in Huntstanton yesterday. 

Brown Shrike in Norfolk

This is my second Brown Shrike in the UK. They appear to have become a regular autumn feature in the past five years but nevertheless, a rare bird for Norfolk. Although showing well, it was just out of range for decent photos when we were there, with the harsh light not helping. Great bird though and much closer than my first, which I saw in London.