Saturday, 18 December 2010
Friday, 26 November 2010
As far as birding is concerned, this cold snap has had it's good side though, as species that are normally very hard to see, are a bit more obvious as they have fewer places to hide! This helped me get a 'patch' record of 4 Jack Snipe today, along with copious amounts of Common Snipe and Blackbirds. Not sure if these are just local harsh weather movements, or refugees fresh in from Scandinavia? Also seen today; a hunting Merlin and the usual Otter. Not a bad day concidering I never even made it out of Burravoe!
Thursday, 25 November 2010
This Water Rail was quite confiding, but the light was crap, so shutter speeds were down to as low as 1/50th sec, and the iso between 800/1600... not ideal, but still managed some semi-decent results!
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Monday, 22 November 2010
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
I did manage to find this Otter having it's breakfast on the beach this morning. I was photographing it straight into the sun, so the results weren't ever going to be great. The pics are also shown in the order in which I took them, which is surprising as In the second pic he did clearly see me, as I was caught out in the open, but he still didn't seem too fussed and just continued messing about on the waters edge...
Sunday, 14 November 2010
Calls quite reminiscent of Snow Bunt...
Saturday, 6 November 2010
Thursday, 4 November 2010
Yesterday I had 3 Waxwings hiding from the wind in my front garden, but as soon as they seen my ugly mush at the kitchen window, they scarpered! A Grey Wagtail was also the reward for me doing a few of my local WeBS counts.
Today I decided to try my luck with Unst. The bird of the day being a very flighty and elusive Shorelark. These are pretty good birds up here, as we don't get many, and the ones we do get are always on Lamba Ness. So finding one at Haroldswick was 'nice'... I did get a few crappy record shots, but they ain't anywhere near good enough to post here! so you'll have to take my word for it... Also had a flyover Lapland Bunting here too. The Grey Phalarope was still at Westing beach. (Thanks to Robbie B. for the directions, as I was heading to the wrong place!)
Rainbow over Fetlar;
Thursday, 28 October 2010
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
'The Boys are back in town'
It seemed like this was the only place in Britain not to be graced by these wee beauties. The weather is complete crap just now, and the birds very flighty in the strong winds, so no great closeup pics, but I'm just glad I got something (even if it was pretty much a compact camera I used!)
Monday, 25 October 2010
A confiding pale 'Mealy';
Sunday, 24 October 2010
There has been a few goodies found, and many more twitched by myself, and I've listed the better ones below.... Whether or not all these Northerly winds will bring some Arctic wanderers our way soon, we'll just have to see!
Thursday, 21 October 2010
Well my mummy always told me "if I played with it too much, I'd break it", and it looks like she was right. This Autumn has been so exiting so far, that I'd been playing with it on a daily basis, and now it's broken! I'm in the process of trying to get it fixed, which might be a bit painful in more ways than one, but with luck I'll be able to abuse it for many years to come...... I'm talking about my camera lens... What were you thinking!Mind you, I was also told I'd go blind too...... Oh bugger, I do only have one eye! Maybe I should have listened?
Of the recent sightings in Yell; Otters, Knot, Merlin (stunning hunting action!) and a flyover Lap/Snow bunting has been about it in these strong snowy Northerly winds.
Monday, 18 October 2010
Siberian Chiffchaff ('tristis')
The reason for the 'head scratching' was the variety of calls this bird was giving. The typical 'tristis' call is described in 'Collins' as a "piping, straight (or negligibly downslurred) 'hii(e)p'... ". This call was given by this bird, but it also varied the call with some deviations, including a slight upward inflection in the middle of some calls! And quite a few calls with the downslurred ending mentioned in the 'Collins' guide. I know these birds are still a bit of a 'work in progress', and I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing out on any new info. As I believe the 'tristis' bird to be a first winter bird, I've included the calls of a young 'collybita' bird raised in Shetland this year as a comparison. As you can hear they do sound very different, with the local bird, the calls all have a smooth upward inflection as expected...
Common Chiffchaff ('collybita')
Friday, 15 October 2010
Good birds today included; 1 Arctic Redpoll, many (60+) Lapland Buntings, 2+ Sibe Chiffchaff, 10 Snow Buntings, 1 Lesser Redpoll (a good bird up here!), many Mealy Repolls and a few NW Redpolls too. It seemed like everywhere I went I could hear flyover Lap Bunts and Redpolls, and god alone knows how many of each were on Unst today!
Thursday, 14 October 2010
After the soaking I received, my enthusiasm was a wee bit dampend, but I still decided to try working a few areas before heading home. Best I managed was Arctic Redpoll (BT's bird in Baltasound), 3 Sibe Chiffchaffs, 4 Lapland Buntings, 1 Merlin, lots of Mealy Redpolls and a couple of North-western Redpolls and strangest of all.... A Dunnock on Hermaness NR!
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
Monday, 11 October 2010
Today was spent in South Yell. Still loads of common migrants around including hundreds of Redwing, many Goldcrests and Blackcaps etc, and a rather nice juv Peregrine which perched on an over head wire... My third in three days!
Goldcrest... Great wee birds, but just too active for photography!
Saturday, 9 October 2010
As my wife didn't seem too pissed off at this outing. Next up was the Dusky Warbler at Quendale. This bird was a total pain in the arse as it only showed on the deck for a few seconds, but it did call, and it did fly a lot.... a hell of a lot! No pics of the Dusky, as it just wouldn't cooperate, but the Red-breasted Fly at the rifle range did pose...
Goldcrest looking cute!
Dunlin with a very long bill;The one that got away?... On leaving Quendale I had brief views of a Tree Pipit which landed on the path for a couple of seconds before flying off into the bushes. Only a couple of hours later a Olive-backed Pipit was reported at the same place! On 'my' quick views it did just look like a Tree Pipit to me, with not enough colour in the mantle, but a good strong head pattern. Oh well, shit happens....
Two Peregrine were also good to see today. One carrying prey at Sumburgh Airport, and the other at Dales Voe being mobbed by the local 'Hoodies'
Friday, 8 October 2010
The Jack Snipe can be very confiding, but it can take quite a lot to find him in this large area!