Friday, 30 April 2010
Thursday, 29 April 2010
lately I've also taken to sitting in the middle of moorlands and trying to get recordings of waders. This sounds like quite a nice pass time, but when you consider the weather up here just now (strong winds and rain/drizzle) it's not very enjoyable! but there is method to my madness, and more on this later (if I survive!). Below is a quick recording of the local ssp of Common Snipe (G.g.faeroeensis). In the background is an alarming Fieldfare.
And a Golden Plover with a 'zetlandicus' Wren...
And a Wheatear getting all Territorial and trying to kick a rival's ass...
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Don't know how I've not managed a Linnet on my patch before now, but away from the Sumburgh area, these birds start getting harder to find. Found this bird while trying to sound record the Chiffchaff singing in the rain! Also in Burravoe were 1 Snow Bunting, 6 Fieldfare and 1 Redwing.The raindrops were even bouncing off it's back! Photographed in atrocious conditions...
This Otter (one of 3) was also out and about during my early morning dog walk, and with fieldcraft, [with fieldcraft I mean crawling through sheep shit and mud!] I even managed to get within 7 feet or so. Now smelling of shit and covered in mud you might get close to Otters, but it ain't all that great for getting close to your wife, and even my dog didn't seem too impressed...
Most today's photos have been taken on about iso 800 and that's all due to the heavy fog and drizzle.
Blast from the past; 28 April 2005 seen me ticking off Whites Thrush at Quarf, Shetland. This was one of only four British Spring time sightings of this beautiful thrush, and thanks to living in Shetland I've now seen 3 birds in total, and I'll still go for the next available too! (Still not managed a pic either...maybe this year)
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Now we occasionally get 'Blue' Fulmars up here, but this is the first 'Orange' one I've seen. Anybody got any ideas on this stain?
Saturday, 24 April 2010
Also spotted this Herring Gull on my local patch recently and I noticed this 'bad boy' was sporting a touch of bling... After the success in photographing a Rock Dove ring while it was at my feeders, I decided to try again. I did take a few hundred photos over the space of a few days (stop laughing!), but I finally managed to nail the last of the numbers! What the hell did we do before digital photography?
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
The rest of the day was split between more Birding (with little reward), DIY (necessity) and writing my rarity submission for the Burravoe Bean Geese I found in Feb. I don't know who I feel more sorry for though, me for having to write this crap, or the poor sods who have to read it! At least I've got a few semi-decent pics of them (one below), so at least they can only argue about the ssp, and not whether they were 'Beans' or not!
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
The snow is falling again, with a strong Northerly wind and it feels bloody Baltic, and what a surprise there is no migrant action on the bird front! Today 'could' have been the first day of the local breeding bird survey (BBS), but I reckon I might leave mine a wee while yet!
We hope to return to a normal Shetland Spring sometime soon....
Saturday, 17 April 2010
I spotted the male as he came out of the water and started calling. Then this female with cub appeared and homed in straight to him. One thing led to another, and I started to feel like a 'voyeur', as daddy and mummy Otters got down and dirty... and all in front of the kids as well! (For full size pics, check out the link in the side bar -----> )
Also more Rock Pipits (photos of two diferent birds) inc one with a 'super' and 'Pinkish' tinge...but not much Grey though! (colours not altered, see side bar for more hot 'Pipit' action!)
Thursday, 15 April 2010
The Wheatears are also back on my patch....
Monday, 12 April 2010
My mobile phone was beeping a text message at about midnight last night, and many thanks to whoever sent the anonymous message, letting the local birding grapevine know about the Northern Light display that was happening right now... No time to waste, and I was dressed and out side in a flash. The results from my driveway looked like this....
Then a short drive into the moors North of Burravoe, where there is no light pollution at all...
The 'lights' were better than these pics looked, but as a first attempt, I'm happy with my photos of them!
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Saturday, 10 April 2010
Today I was busy on my roof, replacing the roof in fact, so very little birding. I did hear what sounded like the call of a Redpoll sp flying over, and my first 'alba' Wagtail of the year, but as I didn't have bins up there with me, I'll never know which ones! I'm sure there will be more of each before the Spring is through. Did get a couple of passage Redwings today though...
Friday, 9 April 2010
This last pic shows just how unconcerned at our presence he actually was. If you would like to see more photos (and prob much better too!) then check out Jase's website here; http://at2h.blogspot.com/ The only other things of note today were 8 Bar-tailed Godwits at Hamnavoe, including one in almost full Summer plumage. The rest were all looking very drab by comparison!
Thursday, 8 April 2010
When trying to take photos of the local Rock Doves, I noticed one individual had a ring on it's right leg. So I zoomed in and tried to capture as much of the ring info as I could. This resulted in me noticing the terrible state of the birds feet. Most of the toes were missing or gnarled, but the bird still walked as normal. I believe this can be caused by a mite infestation, and is obviously not caused by the metal ring. An investigation into the origins of this bird is underway, as it's number looks readable in the many photos taken (ES 58139).
I also downloaded some Rock Pipit photos I took yesterday, which included another very Grey looking bird. This bird had an extensive grey colour to most of it's upperparts, and flanks, but lacked the stonking White 'super' of the previous bird. Click the link to see the original bird http://burravoebirding.blogspot.com/2010/03/petrosusor-is-it_30.html). Yet again there is just a hint of Pinkish colour to the lower throat. The colours in the photo below have not been altered.
Wednesday, 7 April 2010
I also seen 4 Bar-tailed Godwits at Hamnavoe on the way home (I think?), and when I finally arrived home, I could hear the Male Chaffinch 'singing' in the museum garden next door. So not only am I hallucinating, but I might also be hearing things too? Who Knows.....
The above photo 'might' contain a Rock Pipit (taken on my early morning dog walk). If you can't see a bird in the above picture then I'm in more trouble than I thought!
Monday, 5 April 2010
Myself, I was watching the Northern Lights. By far the most stunning display I've seen up here in the 5 years or so since I arrived in Shetland. These lasted from about 11pm till about 3am, but unfortunately you'll have to take my word for it, as my incompetence with a camera knows no bounds! (not even a fuzzy pic!) You'll also have to take my word for the 2 Polecats and a Hedgehog also seen...
Sunday, 4 April 2010
Saturday, 3 April 2010
In a bit of last minute action (while boarding the ferry to work!), a quick glimpse of a large dog Otter heading along the breakwater, had me reaching for the camera on the passenger seat. Like 'lightning', my car was stopped (sorry to those following me!), the window was down, and about a dozen shots were fired off at the fast moving 'beast'... Feeling quite smug I boarded the ferry and decided to check the results, feeling sure I had captured the action with my fast 'cat like' reflexes. But when I looked at the images on the LCD screen, all I seen was what looked like a large Brown 'skid mark' streaking across all 12 photos! Great work Dougie! Next time I'll try and remember to reset the settings after taking shots in sunny conditions. (An ISO of 100 in near dusk conditions meant a shutter speed of 1/20 sec...) At least living in Shetland I'm pretty much guaranteed another try at Otters before too long... I hope!
Friday, 2 April 2010
The WeBS counts produced a total of 11 Bar-tailed Godwits, and 2 Knot, along with the more common stuff. The rest of the birds included 1 Robin (still) and 2 Chaffinch (still).