Monday, 17 November 2014

Shetland Goose Count 2014

This most recent Sunday I was out helping with the annual Shetland Goose Count, myself and Dave Okill were covering parts of Burra, Tronda, Kergord, Weisdale, Scalloway and Tingwall.

Dave came by Lerwick at 0915 and we headed out on the rounds getting some Greylags by Clickimin and then we went and did Burra and Trondra.

On our way we picked up a Goosander at East Voe and then off to Burra where the goose numbers went up with some Wigeon, 3 Whooper Swans, Teal and Tufted Ducks as well.
We'd gone to Bridge End on West Burra for a look and there was this goose which I though was a Pink-foot up ahead, I raised my bins to it and it had orange legs!! I looked at the bill and shouted Pink-foot but then saw the orange and out went Bean Goose!! Tundra Bean Goose!!

It was a nice find and its a rarity as well so I've found one!

Dave got his eyes on it before it took off with some Greylags, there was another large flock of 80 and they all flew up leaving a lone bird which turned out to be a Greenland White-fronted Goose!!

More Greylags and other birds were tallied up before we were off to Trondra, a good number of Greylags were picked up and in among a smaller flock I picked up a juvenile and adult European White-fronted Goose!! not a bad day at all!

But soon we were off north, doing Scalloway and Tingwall, both of which had more Greylags before going off to do Weisdale and Kergord.

The one problem with Weisdale was there was so many domesticated Geese!! there was really tons of them and it made the counting that bit harder.

Soon though it was time to do Kergord, we got the Greylags and then we went and had a look in the plantations for Sparrowhawk (I'm still needing it on my yearlist, I'm on 176 for Shetland this year!).

At Upper Kergord I pulled up a Woodcock and a Goldcrest but not "Sprawks" so back south we went to the Lower Plantations, I did a run of one of the Plantations and we didn't get any Sparrowhawksm you can't always expect them.
We did manage a Blue Tit in some bushes! some Robins, 2 Goldcrests, a Chaffinch and a Waxwing were heard calling!

Anyways we were driving north and I spotted a hawk and Dave stopped the car, he couldn't see it but I had the bins on it, I thought it was a Merlin but I described it to him, the bird had rounded wings, brown back, fingers on its wings and tended to flap and glide every so often.
From my description Dave said it was a Sparrowhawk!! finally! no.177 for the year! roll on 180!

Not a bad weekend at all though, the days are getting shorter and so is the birding, there is still just enough light to fit in 20 minutes of birding after school but soon that is gonna go and I'll have to leave it till the mornings beforehand.

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