Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Shetland Swan Count 2015

8th of November 2015, the annual Swan count across Shetland with people looking across as many islands and lochs as possible.
For this Dave and I were doing the lochs around the Central Mainland (excluding Lerwick).

Beforehand I did some birding round Clickimin and a local of Westerloch pointed out something in a push, it took me ages to spot it but it turned out to be a Waxwing! year tick! I happened to be on the opposite side of the road from the man and another one was walking equal with me at the same time, also seeing it, he was John Laurie Irvine from Whalsay who was in Lerwick while he waited for his boat to offload its fish.
Anyways we both got some shots, mine were decent enough so I was happy just watching it munch away on the berries as I haven't seen one for ages.
Soon though it flew off and I spoke with John before we followed it and found a second! more photos and they both flew off a bit, and this happened for a while before Dave showed up to pick me up, by the end there was at least 2 Waxwings but there could of been more.


First stop was just outside Lerwick where 3 Whooper Swans were on a loch and then to East Voe of Scalloway but there was no Swans and then onto Asta/Tingwall, Dave did his duck counts while we were at it and there was plenty of ducks on Tingwall including Long-tailed Duck and 3 Slavonian Grebes plus 2 Mutes.
Strand had no Mutes and neither did Laxfirth Voe but 3 Whoopers were on the Black Loch, but the breeding pair from Vaster Loch weren't present.
Next we headed into Weisdale/Stromfirth and managed 2 Mutes and 9 Goosander! not bad, now onto Kergord.
Dave and I had a walk through the trees in Kergord and managed a Chiffchaff but nothing else, very quiet, we started to leave and I spotted something by the road, a juvenile Kittiwake!!!! I got Dave to pull over and I got out to have a look, surprisingly the bird was still but hardly, it barely acknowledged I was there and Dave also spotted a large female Sparrowhawk do a flyby.

Heading to Upper Kergord we had an odd record of a perfectly healthy looking adult Whooper in a field, no water nearby, just it deciding to chill in some random field.
Upper Kergord hosted two very nice Siberian Chiffchaffs and then it was up to Brae for the Black-throated Diver that had been knocking around.
Heading up we had one Rook outside of Brae which was presumed to be a migrant as the local birds rarely leave the Tingwall/Weisdale Valley.
We got to Brae and started scanning the voe for this diver, now we didn't see it in the end, only diver we saw was a slightly darker necked Red throated but I did get my first Common Scoters of the year and there was a record count of 45 Red-breasted Mergansers together! so it wasn't bad, we got cold and there was no sign of the bird so we headed off home.

1 comment:

  1. Every winter I hope I will find my first waxwing! Lovely shot of it.