Sunday, 29 March 2015

Mother's Day - Doon Da Ness

It's Mother's day and it seems spring has come again!
The birds are slowly trickling through with Chffichaff, Goldcrest, Stonechat and Lesser Black-backed Gull all making an appearance, migrants are being found and its soon going to be time for more rarities to be making appearances.

Though just before any of this happened, Dave and I went down to the South Mainland for a look on the 15th.

Our first stop was the Loch of Clumlie, we did 'try' to catch Greylags here last year but without success.
It was virtually desolate, though I did see this odd bird in the middle of the Loch, bins were raised and I was confused at what it was.
To be fair I haven't seen one for many months so it'll take a minute before I can identify one, Dave got his eyes on the same bird and ID'd it as a Red-throated Diver! summer plumage as well!
Not bad at all, another was about 50 metres to the left, which took of and circled the Loch while calling! nice way to start the day.

Boddam was next but that was empty so roll on the Pool of Virkie, now that had something, well ducks, 6 Shelducks were roaming the mudflats, year ticks, but not any 'different' waders, Scatness for a quick look but it was a bit rough, so onto the Hotel and the Head.
We met Rob Fray on the way out of the Hotel and he said there wasn't much around.... well we could still try.

A quick look in on the beach at Grutness produced my first Sanderling and Dunlin of the year, two more year ticks bagged before going up the head.

On the head, the Guillemots were back on the cliffs, it was cold and nothing else was showing so we drove on down, nearly at Grutness I spotted a Robin on the fence, and I got Dave to stop, but no it wasn't a Robin, it was a Stonechat! I was actually amazed, year tick!
I got the camera out and snapped away before it shot off so here's the results.

A nice addition to the year list though my first for Shetland was only seen in October last year!

Having a stare off with the camera

They are quite good looking birds

Like all birds do, this one ended up flying off so we moved on, Hillwell was next, maybe a chance of a grebe or a coot?
Well we did get the latter, a single Coot (year tick) was on the loch along with 8 Moorhen and some ducks, not much but something.
Roger Riddington was also scanning the loch so we went and spoke to him, he'd had a Peregrine at Sumburgh but that would be extremely difficult to locate and also he'd seen our Stonechat as well (just several hours before us), but besides that all was quiet so we carried on.
Everywhere else was quiet so we ended the day going into Lerwick, with a grand total of 5 year ticks added to my list.


  1. Strange that a coot in late March would be a year tick up there, when on the urban lakes here they are utterly ubiquitous.

    1. They don't really tend to stick around or breed up here, the odd one or two may winter and breed as well but they can be hard to see, you must have tons of suitable habitat for them down there!

  2. owesome .. saw some new birds.. n thosse ar so nice.. and those pic i seen firs time . thank you.. for you this blog

  3. Cool and great post to read. The images you included is stunning. I like your blog very much. Thank you for this wonderful blog post. Keep blogging!!