Friday, 6 February 2015

Ticks, Rings and some Patchwork

This past weekend (the 31st/1st) was mainly spent round my patch of Clickimin/Helendale and Seafield in Lerwick.

I first started out at 11 after coming into Lerwick on the bus and I spent the next hour doing Clickimin.
It was ok for the time of year, but there wasn't much on the Loch and Helendale was a bit deserted but I headed out a second time just shortly after to Seafield but it was a bit deserted.

This very tame Fieldfare has been around Clickimin for the past week

After denner I headed out again and I picked up quite a few bits and pieces, on the beach by Pullar's Loch, three Mute Swans (2 adults and 1 juvenile) were happily feeding along the shore.
Three Long-tailed Ducks were out in Breiwick and 16 Shalders (Oystercatchers) were among the rocks near the cafe.
Heading back over to Helendale I managed quite a few birds, I spent over 30 minutes waiting around, one male Chaffinch was calling, a Fulmar flew over (quite unsual), a Sparrowhawk flew back and forth three times overhead! (my first on the patch) and 2 Blue Tits and a Great Tit were enjoying nuts out of a feeder!
It wasn't a bad way to end the day, the light was going so I decided to end it at that.

The 1st

Today was planned to go out and do some birding out "wast" at Sandness with Dave so beforehand I gave the patch a quick go (also hoping to get some pictures of the Blue Tits).
One of the first birds I had was a family of Whooper Swans, they were pretty close in to the shore so I went and tried to sneak some photos from them, though I noticed one of the parents were colour-ringed!
I'd already missed one colour-ringed bird on the Loch once so I wasn't going to miss this ones numbers!
I got closer and started snapping away at the ring which read "JB4".
I texted Dave the numbers and I was off again after a couple more shots.


I got this info back two days later from Dave, "he" has quite a good history, being from Iceland and being seen in Shetland and Norfolk several times over the past 15 years but his favorite spot seems to be Clickimin.

Clouds over Seafield

I headed into Helendale for the next while, hoping to get some photos of the Blue Tits on the nut feeders.
As I headed up the road this peerie dark crow was sat on the edge of a roof, with my eyes I could see it was light around the beak and I got my bins on a very nice adult Rook! a very fine addition to the patch list and also the same bird that might of been at Sound a few weeks back, Rooks aren't common at all in Lerwick or anywhere other than Kergord/Tingwall.

A good start to the day with a ringed Whooper and a Rook patch tick

He even decided to sit in a tree for me

I walked up the road to where the feeders were and there was a Great and Blue Tit feeding with a few more around in bushes so I headed up for some photos.
30 minutes of waiting and photography produced nothing for Great Tits but the Blues were happy for photos.

This bird on the right was even ringed! though I was told that it was probably a Lerwick ringer.

Soon the feeders were empty and I was needing to head off anyways so I left.

These three Woodpigeons were feeding among the Willows, I've spent weeks trying to find one as I saw one just before the New Year.

It also seems like this Rabbit was also among the Willows, why, I have no idea

At 0930 it started to snow and it didn't stop for the next few hours

Around half an hour later, Dave pulled up and we headed off to Scalloway as going to Sandness in snow wasn't exactly a good idea.
There was a Mute Swan hanging around Scalloway so we decided to go and ring it, I still had half a loaf of bread from yesterday so it came in handy.
The Swan was easily caught and it was one pretty amazing experience to handle and ring one of this size!
But that was our day as the roads were too bad for birding so I went home afterwards.

So to end the weekend on I managed to Patch Ticks, the ringing of a Mute Swan and the sighting of a travelling Whooper Swan!

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