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January to October 2003 Bird Sightings and Photos

Send  in your news - these records will be used in the compilation of the Shetland Bird Report

Full details of Fair Isle sightings are on the FIBO website. Photographs are copyright of the named photographer and may not be used for any other purpose without their permission. Click on a picture for a larger image and use 'back' on your browser to return to this page.


Friday 31st October 2003

A Pine Bunting was seen at Haroldswick briefly in mid-afternoon, but not since.

The male Ring-necked Duck is still on Papil Water, Fetlar.

A Great Grey Shrike is at Ireland, Bigton and a Bar-headed Goose is at Sandwick.


Thursday 30th October 2003

A male Ring-necked Duck is on Papil Water, Fetlar, along with an adult Glaucous Gull and the Little Grebe.

The Long-eared Owl is still at Norwick, along with a Waxwing.

On Foula, the Arctic Redpoll and 2 Common Redpolls are still present as well as the Little Grebe, 8 Whooper Swans, 2  Barnacle Geese, 5 Purple Sandpipers, 3 Bramblings, 3 Greenfinches and 12 Snow Buntings.


Wednesday 29th October 2003

There are 15 Bramblings, 7 Greenfinches , 4 Common Redpolls, a Waxwing and a Siberian Chiffchaff at Baltasound. A Richard's Pipit is at Northdale and 2 Tree Sparrows at Norwick.

A Yellow-browed Warbler and a Reed Bunting are at Gardie House, Bressay, and 25 Whooper Swans are on the isle.

A Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Grey Wagtails, a Siberian Chiffchaff and 3 Blackcaps are at Helendale.Three Waxwings are in Burgh Road, Lerwick.

On Foula, birds of note included 12 Whooper Swans, 44 Teals, a Merlin, a Water Rail, 60+ Golden Plovers, the Arctic Redpoll, 8 Common Redpolls and a flock of 35 Twites.


Tuesday 28th October 2003

An Arctic Redpoll with 25 Common Redpolls at Halligarth is presumably one of the birds from Skaw and Norwick. There are also 6 Blackcaps, a Waxwing and a Siberian Chiffchaff at Halligarth. A Water Rail and a female Bullfinch are at Haroldswick.

The Spoonbill is at the Vadills of Garth, South Nesting. A Gadwall is on Loch of Benston and a Bar-headed Goose is nearby at the mouth of the Burn of Quoys, Catfirth. A Velvet Scoter is on Loch of Asta. The Wood Warbler is still at Veensgarth (and is now the latest ever by one day). A Yellowhammer is at Sand Lodge, Sandwick. The 2nd winter Glaucous Gull is still at Shetland Catch, Lerwick.

On Foula, there was little new though there seemed to be more Redwings (c100) and 5 Greenfinches at Freyers were all ringed. Geoff Atherton reports the large ringed Arctic Redpoll at the Haa again in the early morning.

There are 80 Snow Buntings at Brough, Bressay.

Bar-headed Goose at Catfirth - Paul Sclater


Monday 27th October 2003

A flock of 30 Waxwings flew over the Toll Clock Shopping Centre, Lerwick, and another 6 are in Pitt Lane. There are 2 Yellow-browed Warblers at Dales Lees.

A Little Grebe, a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Greenfinch and a male Bullfinch are on Fetlar.

On Foula, birds of note included a Slavonian Grebe in the Voe, 5 Whooper Swans, a Jack Snipe and 4 Common Redpolls at Ristie, while Geoff Atherton reports a large (and already ringed) Arctic Redpoll at the Haa - presumably the bird ringed on 12th.


Sunday 26th October 2003

The pipit is still on Out Skerries, although there is a suspicion that it is thought to be either Richard's or  Blyth's. Also there were 2 Waxwings, a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Yellowhammer, plus a Jack Snipe, 12 Snow Buntings and 6 Bramblings.

The Spoonbill has moved to the head of Weisdale Voe.

At Sletts Park, Lerwick, there are  8 Waxwings, a Greenfinch, a Chiffchaff and a Robin. There are also 12 Waxwings at North Road, Lerwick, and 7 at Helendale, and one at Gremista, Lerwick. A pair of Bullfinches and a Siberian Chiffchaff are at Helendale. A female Bullfinch and 8 Blackcaps are at Kergord. There are 2 Kestrels at Scousburgh.

On Foula, birds of note included 2 Slavonian Grebes, 5 Whooper Swans, 7 Greylag Geese, 11 Wigeons, a Water Rail, a Jack Snipe, a Woodcock, 250 Great Black-backed Gulls, a Long-eared Owl, a Waxwing, the female Bluethroat, 40 Blackbirds, 20 Fieldfares, 30 Redwings, a Blackcap, 4 Goldcrests, a Chaffinch, 4 Bramblings, 2 Greenfinches, a Common Redpoll, 4 Snow Buntings and a Yellowhammer.

A Pintail is at Easter Loch, Uyeasound.

A Peregrine is on Whalsay.

A male Bullfinch and a male Merlin are on Fetlar.

There are 12 Slavonian Grebes at Cat Firth and 2 at Lunna.

Waxwing on Foula - Tony Mainwood


Saturday 25th October 2003

A pipit on Out Skerries is thought to be a Tawny, while the Dusky Warbler is still there along with 4 Yellow-browed Warblers and a Waxwing.

A male King Eider is in Cat Firth. The Spoonbill is still at Grunnavoe. There is a Yellow-browed Warbler at Tresta, a Bullfinch at Kergord, a Wood Warbler at Veensgarth, 4 Jackdaws at Strand, and a Bullfinch and a Hen Harrier at Quendale. The Kestrel is still at Scousburgh.

On Unst, the Yellow-browed Warbler is still at Norwick along with 2 Waxwings and a Siberian Chiffchaff, and a Woodcock and 3 Waxwings are at Baltasound. After being virtually absent until a few days ago, there are now 52 Tufted Ducks, 25 Goldeneyes and a female Scaup on Easter Loch, although still no more than 15 Whooper Swans.

On Foula there are now 2 Slavonian Grebes as well as a Merlin, a Common Redpoll and a Jack Snipe.

The Little Egret is back at Symbister, Whalsay, and there is an adult Glaucous Gull on the island.


Friday 24th October 2003

The Spoonbill is still at Grunnavoe, usually on the Houb, but it has been seen flying over Walls.

An Arctic Redpoll is at Veensgarth.

The Hoopoe is still at Quendale.

A Dusky Warbler, a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Waxwing are on Out Skerries along with 2 Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, 8 Robins, 3 Reed Buntings, 5 Bramblings, 24 Snow Buntings, 5 Goldcrests,  30+ Redwings, 12+ Song Thrushes, 10 Fieldfares, a Wood Pigeon and 3 Woodcocks.

On Unst, a Yellow-browed Warbler and the Long-eared Owl are at Norwick and Waxwings are at Baltasound and Skaw.

On Foula, the Dusky Warbler was seen briefly again today and among other things there were 2 Water Rails, a Slavonian Grebe, the Little Grebe, 5 Whooper Swans, the 2 Barnacle Geese, a Jack Snipe, a Grey Wagtail, a  new Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Common Redpolls, 2 Snow Buntings and the Yellowhammer.

A Hen Harrier, a Long-eared Owl and a Yellow-browed Warbler are on Fetlar.


Thursday 23rd October 2003

A juvenile Spoonbill is in the area east of Walls; it has been moving around the lochs around Grunnavoe and has been seen between the Houb of Grunnavoe and Mara Ness, the headland separated Gruting Voe and Voe of Browland, where it is best viewed from Gruting. It is only the fifth record for Shetland (eighth individual). A Little Egret is at Moo Water, South Nesting - presumably the bird last seen on Whalsay and not the bird seen briefly at Scatness.

On Unst, a Richard's Pipit is at Northdale, there are 5 Waxwings, 13 Greenfinches, 13 Common Redpolls, a Tree Sparrow, a Woodcock and a Long-eared Owl at Norwick, 8 Greenfinches, 3 Siberian Chiffchaffs, 2 Waxwings and a Woodcock at Baltasound, 2 Bullfinches at Haroldswick, another Woodcock at Skaw and further Siberian Chiffchaffs at Haroldswick and Uyeasound.

On Foula, a Waxwing, 2 Barnacle Geese, a Peregrine, 3 Woodcocks and 3 Jack Snipes were all arrivals and there were also the Little Grebe, 19 Greylag Geese, 6 Long-tailed Ducks, a Long-eared Owl, 6 Robins, the Bluethroat, 20 Blackbirds, 30 Fieldfares, 15 Song Thrushes, 40 Redwings, 8 Blackcaps, 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, 4 Goldcrests, a Chaffinch, 10 Bramblings, 10 Greenfinches, 27 Twites, a Lapland Bunting, a Snow Bunting, a Yellowhammer and a Reed Bunting.

The Hoopoe is still at Quendale, with a  female Bullfinch and a Barred Warbler also there. A Waxwing and a Great Spotted Woodpecker are at Toab. A Waxwing is at Kergord.

The Buff-breasted Sandpiper is still at Skaw on Whalsay and there are also 10 Waxwings and 2 Woodcocks on the island.


Wednesday 22nd October 2003

A Hoopoe is at the Eel Burn, Quendale. A male Green-winged Teal is at Loch of Gards, Scatness. A Waxwing is at Maywick.

A male Bullfinch is at Helendale, along with the Grey Wagtail that has been there for a while, while the 2nd winter Glaucous Gull is still at Lerwick Catch. At least 5 Waxwings have been feeding in the trees at Sandgarth, north of Voe, along with flocks of Bramblings, Greenfinches and Goldcrests.

The Little Egret is still at Symbister, Whalsay.

On Foula, the find of the day was a Dusky Warbler near Burns. The Little Grebe was still present, the Surf Scoter was still in the harbour and the ringed Arctic Redpoll and 2 Common Redpolls (last seen on 18th) were seen again at the airstrip. Other birds recorded included 5 Whooper Swans, 40 Greylag Geese, 3 Goldeneyes, the Hen Harrier, 4 Moorhens, a Dunnock, 5 Robins, 20 Blackbirds, 30 Fieldfares, 5 Song Thrushes, 40 Redwings, a Blackcap, 2 Goldcrests, a Yellowhammer and a Reed Bunting.

Dusky Warbler on Foula - Tony Mainwood


Tuesday 21st October 2003

A Grey Wagtail flew over the Lerwick lanes and a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull is at Lerwick Catch. At Sandgarth, Dales Lees, north of Voe, there is a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Goldcrest, a Siberian Chiffchaff and 30 Bramblings. A Waxwing is in Voe.

There are 2 Bar-tailed Godwits at Pool of Virkie, 278 Greylag Geese and 6 Goldeneyes at Loch of Spiggie, and 5 Great Northern Divers and 6 Long-tailed Ducks at St Ninian's Isle, while the Kestrel is still at Scousburgh.

A male Stonechat and a Dunnock are at Upper Urafirth, Northmavine.

One of the Arctic Redpolls is still on Unst, this time at Norwick. and there are 6 Waxwings at Haroldswick and singles at Norwick and Baltasound.

On Foula, the Surf Scoter was still present as well as a female Bluethroat (which was probably the one first seen on 14th) and the Yellow-browed Warbler.  There were also 5 Whooper Swans, 12 Greylag Geese, 7 Wigeons, 16 Teals, 25 Mallards, a Tufted Duck, 2 Long-tailed Ducks, the Goldeneye, the Red-breasted Merganser, a Little Grebe, a Jack Snipe, a Garden Warbler, 2 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, 2 Yellowhammers and a Reed Bunting.

Arctic Redpoll and Waxwing on Unst - Micky Maher;


Monday 20th October 2003

A Rose-coloured Starling is at Weisdale, where there are also at least 3 Waxwings. A Grey Wagtail is at Kergord.

A Gyrfalcon was seen in the afternoon at the south end of the Loch of Spiggie.

A Yellow-browed Warbler is at Haroldswick.

A Waxwing is on Whalsay.

On Foula there were 10 species of duck (5 Wigeons, 12 Teals, 22 Mallards, 2 Shovelers, a Tufted Duck, 430 Eiders, 4 Long-tailed Ducks, the Surf Scoter, a Goldeneye and a Red-breasted Merganser). New in were 9 Whooper Swans, a Peregrine and 17 Snow Buntings and there were also 7 Greylag Geese, the Hen Harrier and a Long-eared Owl but numbers of thrushes etc were generally down.


Sunday 19th October 2003

An Arctic Redpoll is at Skaw (probably the newest bird), a Black Redstart is at Norwick and a Water Rail is at Baltasound.

A Richard's Pipit is at Scord. There are singles Little Grebes on Lochs of Hillwell and Spiggie, 3 Slavonian Grebes on Spiggie, 2 Pochards on Loch of Brow and 5 Gadwalls on Spiggie, 2 on Hillwell and 2 at Scatness. The Kestrel is still at Scousburgh.

There are 2 Waxwings at Trondra. A Little Grebe is in Loch of Asta, 5 Slavonian Grebes in Tresta Voe and 2 Moorhens at Strand. A Siberian Chiffchaff is at Vidlin and a Yellow-browed Warbler is at Voe, where a dead Little Auk was found in a field. A Yellow-browed Warbler and a Grey Wagtail are at Kergord. There are 2 Waxwings and a Yellow-browed Warbler at Urafirth. Another 2 Waxwings are on Whalsay.

New on Foula today were a Waxwing at Harrier, seen by Penny Gear, and 2 Shovelers on Mill Loch seen by Geoff and Donna Atherton. The Surf Scoter and one of the Pallas’s Wablers were still present and there were also a Hen Harrier, a Water Rail, 3 Jack Snipes, 2 Wood Pigeons, a Dunnock, 5 Robins, the Ring Ouzel, 30 Blackbirds, 40 Fieldfares, 10 Song Thrushes, 40 Redwings, 7 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, 12 Goldcrests, 8 Bramblings, 12 Greenfinches, a Lapland Bunting, 2 Yellowhammers and a Reed Bunting.

 


Saturday 18th October 2003

The Olive-backed Pipit is still at Norwick and Yellow-browed Warblers are at Norwick and Baltasound.

On Foula, a ring tail Hen Harrier was new and the Surf Scoter and Black-throated Thrush are still present, as well as the Arctic Redpoll from yesterday. Other birds seen included a Great Northern Diver, a Merlin, a Woodcock, a Wood Pigeon, 7+ Robins, the Common Redstart, the Ring Ouzel, c 30 Blackbirds, c 80 Fieldfares, 5+ Song Thrushes, 100+ Redwings, 8 Blackcaps, a Yellow-browed Warbler, 12 Goldcrests, 2 Chaffinches, 10 Bramblings, 17 Greenfinches, 2 Common Redpolls and a Yellowhammer.

The Red-backed Shrike is still at Busta, near Brae, along with a Great Spotted Woodpecker. A Yellow-browed Warbler is at Kergord.


Friday 17th October 2003

Fair Isle's fightback continues, with a Siberian Rubythroat (the second for the island, third for Shetland and fourth for Britain), joining the Savannah Sparrow.

The Pechora Pipit is still at Helendale.

There are 2 Olive-backed Pipits on Fetlar, along with 3 Yellow-browed Warblers.

An Olive-backed Pipit and a Pallas's Warbler are on Out Skerries.

A Pallas's Warbler and a Yellow-browed Warbler are on Whalsay and a Hoopoe was reported flying over Symbister.

A Dusky Warbler is at Collafirth, Northmavine. The Great Grey Shrike is still at Channerwick and a Yellow-browed Warbler is also there. The Red Grouse is still calling at Collafirth, Delting. A Hoopoe is at Kergord.

On Unst, there are 2 unringed Arctic Redpolls of the nominate race (so at least one is new), a Pallas's Warbler and a Yellow-browed Warbler at Norwick, the Bluethroat and a Richard's Pipit at Northdale, a Peregrine on Hermaness and a Yellow-browed Warbler at Baltasound, while a Rough-legged Buzzard flew over Haroldswick in the morning.

On Foula, the Pallas’s Warbler is still present at Wurr Wick and another was found along the Soberlie Dyke. Also still present are the Surf Scoter, the Black-throated Thrush, one of the Arctic Redpolls, one of the Bluethroats, a Yellow-browed Warbler and the Red-breasted Flycatcher together with a Long-eared Owl, a Common Redstart, a Wheatear, 6 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, 12 Goldcrests, a Common Redpoll, a Lapland Bunting and a Yellowhammer.

 

Pallas's Warbler on Foula - Tony Mainwood; Arctic Redpoll at Skaw and Bluethroat at Northdale - Micky Maher; Red Grouse at Collafirth - Tony Gerrard


Thursday 16th October 2003

Photographs of the Taiga Flycatcher taken in the field have been added for 15th October.

A Pechora Pipit is at Helendale - presumably the bird first seen there on 14th. A Great Spotted Woodpecker is also there.

A female Black-throated Thrush was at Busta near Brae in the morning, but could not be found later, although a Red-backed Shrike and 2 Yellow-browed Warblers were seen.

There is a Pallas's Warbler and a Yellow-browed Warbler at Wester Quarff,  a Pallas's Warbler and a Yellow-browed Warbler at Dales Lees, a Yellow-browed Warbler at Maywick, 3 Yellow-browed Warblers at Geosetter and 2 Yellow-browed Warblers at  Sullom along with a Stock Dove. A Red Grouse was watched displaying at Collafirth, Delting.

The Buff-breasted Sandpiper has reappeared at Skaw, Whalsay, the Little Egret is still at Symbister, and there is a Pallas's Warbler and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers on the island.

A Little Egret at Scatness must, therefore, be a new bird.

On Foula, a Pallas’s Warbler was found at Wurr Wick by Mark Wilkinson, Tim Drew and Jonathan Drew. Also new were 2 Short-eared Owls, a Long-eared Owl, 2 Woodcocks and a Ring Ouzel. Other birds included a Great Northern Diver, 36 Teals, 15 Mallards, a Merlin, a Water Rail, 15+ Robins, a Common Redstart, a Wheatear, 30+ Blackbirds, 150 Fieldfares, c 20 Song Thrushes, c 100 Redwings, c1 0 Blackcaps, 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Willow Warbler, c 20 Goldcrests, the Red-breasted Flycatcher, the Great Grey Shrike, c 15 Greenfinches (including another Norwegian ringed bird trapped), a Siskin, 2 Common Redpolls, the Arctic Redpoll originally trapped on 12th, a Lapland Bunting, a Yellowhammer and 2 Reed Buntings.

 Pallas's Warbler and Surf Scoter - Tony Mainwood

The 2 Arctic Redpolls are back at Skaw on Unst, along with an unringed Lesser Redpoll and at least 14 Common Redpolls of one of the north-western races. One of these was very pale and closely resembled an exilipes Arctic Redpoll in the field. Also on Unst, there is a Great Spotted Woodpecker at Baltasound, along with a Sparrowhawk and a Yellow-browed Warbler, and a Grey Wagtail is at Quoys.

Grey Wagtail and Iceland Redpoll - Micky Maher


Wednesday 15th October 2003

A Swainson's Thrush is at Burrafirth on Unst. It is definitely not the same as the bird that was on the island a few weeks back, as it lacks obvious pale tips to the inner greater coverts (among other differences). Also on Unst, the Olive-backed Pipit is still at Norwick, along with at least 250 Bramblings and a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Great Spotted Woodpecker is at Skaw, a Bluethroat is at Northdale, and a Lapland Bunting and 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs are at Burrafirth.

 

 Swainson's Thrush - (three photos) Micky Maher (videograb) Mike Pennington

The Taiga Flycatcher is still at Dales Lees along with 2 Pallas's Warblers and a Yellow-browed Warbler. Another Pallas's Warbler is at Voe.

Taiga Flycatcher at Dales Lees - Tony Gerrard

On Foula, the bird of the day was a male Surf Scoter in the Voe - just the ninth Shetland record. Other arrivals included a Great Northern Diver, a Great Grey Shrike, a Water Rail, a Stock Dove, 3 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Barred Warbler and 2 Yellowhammers. A Corncrake was found freshly dead at Ristie. Both the Pechora Pipit and the Black-throated Thrush were seen again.

Surf Scoter and Red-breasted Flycatcher - Tony Mainwood

Other birds on Foula included 4 Jack Snipes, a Merlin, a Pied Wagtail, 10 Robins, the Bluethroat, 20 Blackbirds, 180 Fieldfares, 15 Song Thrushes, 100 Redwings, 7 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler, 6 Goldcrests, the Red-breasted Flycatcher, 15 Bramblings, 11 Greenfinches, 2 Siskins, 8 Twites, a Common Redpoll, a Snow Bunting and a Reed Bunting.

The Olive-backed Pipit is still on Fetlar, at Houbie.

A Great Grey Shrike is at Channerwick.


Tuesday 14th October 2003

The Taiga Flycatcher is still at Dales Lees, north of Voe, along with 2 Pallas's Warblers.

A Pallas's Warbler is at Eswick. A possible Pechora Pipit was at Helendale in the morning but could not be relocated.

A Dusky Warbler is on Fetlar, as well as an Olive-backed Pipit and 2 Yellow-browed Warblers.

The Olive-backed Pipit is still at Norwick on Unst, along with about 200 Bramblings. There is a Pallas's Warbler, a Siberian Chiffchaff and a Jack Snipe at Burrafirth, a Great Grey Shrike at Skaw, 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs and 120 Bramblings at Baltasound and a Yellow-browed Warbler at Uyeasound.

The wandering Little Egret is at Symbister on Whalsay with a Great Grey Shrike at Skaw (the Whalsay Skaw this time).

A Yellow-browed Warbler and an adult Glaucous Gull are at Uphouse, Bressay.

The Pechora Pipit is still on Foula, where there were a few more Continental birds in today with 100 Fieldfares, 50 Redwings, 15 Song Thrushes, 15 Blackbirds, 10 Robins, a Common Redstart, a Grey Wagtail, 11 Blackcaps, a Garden Warbler, 2 Chiffchaffs (including one Siberian Chiffchaff), 5 Goldcrests, a Red-breasted Flycatcher, 60+ Bramblings, 2 Chaffinches, and 6 Greenfinches (including a Norwegian ringed bird), Also present were a Grey Heron, 4 Jack Snipes, a Short-eared Owl,  2 Pied Wagtails, a Wheatear, the Bluethroat, the Grasshopper Warbler, a Snow Bunting and a Reed Bunting.

Meanwhile, Fair Isle is fighting back with a Savannah Sparrow which is (if you ignore a record of the distinct form known as Ipswich Sparrow) the second for Fair Isle, Shetland, Britain and Europe.


Monday 13th October 2003

The flycatcher at Dales Lees, north of Voe, was confirmed as Britain's second Taiga Flycatcher, also known as Red-throated Flycatcher, and currently regarded as a subspecies of Red-breasted Flycatcher (although probably not for much longer). It was identified in the field, although it was trapped to be absolutely sure, as it is the first autumn record and only the second for Britain.

Taiga Flycatcher - Paul Sclater

Also at Dales Lees, there was a Pallas's Warbler and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Pallas's Warbler - (left) Paul Sclater

On Unst, an Olive-backed Pipit was at Norwick, along with a Red-breasted Flycatcher, and a Grey Wagtail and a 1st winter Glaucous Gull were at Skaw.

About 100 Goldcrests were on Whalsay.

New on Foula today were 6 Greylag Geese, 2 Woodpigeons, a Pied Wagtail, 2 Robins, c. 40 Fieldfares, 6 Song Thrushes, a Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Blackcaps, a Yellow-browed Warbler, 4 Goldcrests and c. 40 Bramblings. Also present were 3 Pink-footed Geese, a Merlin, c. 90 Golden Plover, 2 Jack Snipes, the Bluethroat, a Siskin, a Common Redpoll and Redwing were up to c 30 and they looked more like Continental rather than Icelandic (unlike the last few days).


Sunday 12th October 2003

A Paddyfield Warbler has been trapped at Kergord, in the small plantation by the farm. It is ringed and is the bird previously trapped on Foula and last seen on 8th October. A Yellow-browed Warbler is also at Kergord.

An Olive-backed Pipit is at Sumburgh Farm, a Little Bunting is at Quendale and a Barred Warbler is at Sumburgh. A Kestrel is still at Scousburgh. Yellow-browed Warblers are at Grutness and Quendale.

On Foula, a second Arctic Redpoll was trapped at Braidfit along with 2 Common Redpolls and there was another Common Redpoll at Gravins. The Black-throated Thrush was still present and while trying to trap a probable Blyth’s Reed Warbler at Northerhouse the Pechora Pipit reappeared in a net!! Other birds noted included 3 Jack Snipes, a Short-eared Owl, the Bluethroat, 4 Fieldfares, 2 Song Thrushes, c. 20 Redwings, a Blackcap, a Willow Warbler, a Chaffinch and 4 Bramblings.

Arctic Redpoll (first photo with Common Redpoll left) and Pechora Pipit - Tony Mainwood

On Unst, the 2 Arctic Redpolls are at Skaw along with at least 10 Common Redpolls and at least 45 Snow Buntings, a Yellow-browed Warbler is at Haroldswick and a new Red-breasted Flycatcher is at Baltasound.

On Out Skerries, the best birds were 3 Jack Snipes and a Common Redpoll.

A Red-breasted Flycatcher at Dales Lees, Delting, looks interesting and will be investigated further tomorrow.

Two Commic Terns are at the Sletts, Lerwick, and have been present for most of the last week.


Saturday 11th October 2003

On Foula the Citrine Wagtail, the Black-throated Thrush and at least one Arctic Redpoll were still present. A Merlin, a Goldeneye and a Chaffinch were new. Other birds included 2 Grey Herons, 3 Pink-footed Geese, 7 Greylag Geese, 14 Teals, 9 Mallards, 2 Long-tailed Ducks, 5 Ringed Plovers, c. 90 Golden Plovers, a Dunlin, a 2nd winter Iceland Gull, the Bluethroat, a Wheatear, 2 Fieldfares, 2 Song Thrushes, c. 50 Redwings, 2 Goldcrests, 8 Bramblings, a Siskin, a Common Rosefinch and 7 Snow Buntings.

Arctic Redpoll and Black-throated Thrush - Tony Mainwood

An Arctic Redpoll has been reported from Bigton.

On Unst, the 2 Arctic Redpolls are at Norwick, along with at least 5 Common Redpolls and a Siberian Chiffchaff is at Halligarth.

A Short-toed Lark is at Virkie. A Mistle Thrush,  2 Wheatears, a Blackcap, 11 Whooper Swans and 151 Barnacle Geese are at Scatness. There are 5 Greenland White-fronted Geese and 2 Pink-footed Geese at Ringasta. A Kestrel is at Scousburgh.

A Barred Warbler and a Yellow-browed Warbler are at Sullom, another Yellow-browed Warbler is at Swining and a Red-breasted Flycatcher is at Voxter.  

An unidentified sandy warbler in the canopy at Kergord was identified as a Paddyfield Warbler on 12th.


Friday 10th October 2003

On Unst, a first-winter White-rumped Sandpiper was found in late afternoon, feeding along the road at Norwick. It was apparently newly arrived, as it was not there 15 minutes earlier and did not want to leave the road - which led to its demise as it was hit by a car and died. It may well have failed to survive the night anyway, as it weighed a mere 24g (BWP gives an average weight of 40-45g).

 

The Unst White-rumped Sandpiper - videograbs and scan Mike Pennington

Also on Unst, the two Arctic Redpolls were at Skaw in the morning, but only the Lesser Redpoll and 2 Common Redpolls were there in the afternoon, Red-breasted Flycatchers are at Halligarth and Norwick, a Yellow-browed Warbler is at Halligarth and the Bar-headed Goose is still at Haroldswick. There was no sign of the Sykes's Warbler.

The 1st winter male Black-throated Thrush, the Arctic Redpoll and the Citrine Wagtail are still on Foula. A female Peregrine was new. Also seen were 2 Grey Herons, 3 Pink-footed Geese, 8 Barnacle Geese, 2 Long-tailed Ducks, 3 Ringed Plover, a Dunlin, a Jack Snipe, an Iceland Gull, a Wood Pigeon, 3 Fieldfares, a Song Thrush, c. 100 Redwings, 2 Goldcrests, 4 Bramblings, a Siskin, 11 Snow Buntings and a Reed Bunting.

Black-throated Thrush - Tony Mainwood

The Arctic Warbler is still at Everland on Fetlar and there are 2 Yellow-browed Warblers on the island.

A Yellow-browed Warbler is at Sandwick, Whalsay.


Thursday 9th October 2003

On Foula, the bird of the day was a 1st winter male Black-throated Thrush at the Grups. The Pechora Pipit was seen again and both the Citrine Wagtail and the first of the Arctic Redpolls were found again. Other birds included c. 60 Pink-footed Geese, 21 Greylag Geese, 2 Long-tailed Ducks, a Jack Snipe, 2 Wood Pigeons, a Short-eared Owl, the Bluethroat, a Wheatear, a Fieldfare, 2 Song Thrushes, c. 60 Redwings, 4 Goldcrests, 9 Bramblings, 2 Common Redpolls, 9 Snow Buntings and a Reed Bunting.

On Unst, the Sykes's Warbler is still at Halligarth in Baltasound. The Bar-headed Goose is still at Haroldswick and the Common Rosefinch is still at Skaw along with one Arctic Redpoll.

Bar-headed Goose - Micky Maher

A Yellow-browed Warbler is at Tresta, west Mainland.


Wednesday 8th October 2003

On Unst, the Blyth's Reed Warbler is still at Skaw, along with the redpoll flock which has returned there, including the 2 Arctic Redpolls. A Yellow-browed Warbler is at Haroldswick. The Bar-headed Goose is now at Haroldswick.

Another Arctic Redpoll of the nominate race was seen at Gutcher on Yell but later found dead at the same spot.

On Foula the find of the day, in spite of the strong winds, was a Pechora Pipit, found by Mark Wilkinson and Tim Drew. The Blyth’s Reed Warbler was seen again as well as a Paddyfield Warbler, which was presumably the same one but had relocated to the south end of the island. Also seen were 4 Grey Herons, a Robin, a Whinchat, a Wheatear, 2 Fieldfares, 2 Song Thrushes, c. 100 Redwings, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Goldcrest, 4 Bramblings, a Siskin, a Common Rosefinch and a Snow Bunting.

A Long-eared Owl and a Merlin roosted at the Brig of Bakkasetter ('Brow marsh'). About 120 Barnacle Geese are still at Scatness, with another 11 at Fleck along with 4 Pink-footed Geese. There are 2 Long-tailed Ducks and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits at the Pool of Virkie.


Tuesday 7th October 2003

On Unst, the Sykes's Warbler, is still at Halligarth, along with 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Red-breasted Flycatcher and 30 Redwings. The Blyth's Reed Warbler is still at Skaw, along with a Common Rosefinch. The flock of 6-7 redpolls from Skaw is now at Norwick and there appear to be 2 Arctic Redpolls in the flock. A Yellow-browed Warbler is at Haroldswick. Also on Unst, there was a Bar-headed Goose with Greylag Geese at Baltasound at mid-day, and 4 Common Redpolls (prob. north-western birds) at Baltasound. The first Whooper Swans, a family of 4, are on Easter Loch.

The Buff-breasted Sandpiper is still at Skaw, Whalsay.

A Richard's Pipit is on Out Skerries.

The Red-breasted Flycatcher is still at Tresta.

On Foula, birds of note included 8 'blue' Fulmars, a Grey Heron, 8 Whooper Swans (2 ads and 6 juvs), a Wigeon, a Long-tailed Duck, 2 Jack Snipes, an adult Iceland Gull, 2 Little Auks, a Common Redstart, a Whinchat, a Song Thrush, c. 30 Redwings, 2 Chiffchaffs, 5 Goldcrests, 6 Bramblings, a Common Redpoll, one of the Arctic Redpolls and 6 Snow Buntings.

There are 198 Barnacle Geese and 98 Greylag Geese at Scatness and 150 Greylag Geese and 42 Barnacle Geese at Fleck.


Monday 6th October 2003

An Arctic Warbler at Everland on Fetlar is presumably the bird seen nearby a few days ago. A Yellow-browed Warbler and a Peregrine are also on Fetlar.

The Buff-breasted Sandpiper has been relocated at Skaw, Whalsay.

A Bluethroat is on Out Skerries.

Barnacle Geese are passing through with flocks of 11 flying over Melby and 15 over Bousta, Sandness, and 144 in stubble at Scatness. The later flock was accompanied by 47 Greylag Geese and 4 Pink-footed Geese (one with a neck collar). There are also 4 Barnacle Geese with 125 Greylag Geese at Fleck and 3 Pink-footed Geese at St Ninian's Isle. A Bar-tailed Godwit is at Pool of Virkie.

On Foula, adult and an immature Iceland Gulls were new as well as a Garden Warbler, a Blackcap, a White Wagtail, 2 Bramblings and 5 Snow Buntings. Otherwise the Paddyfield Warbler, 2 Arctic Redpolls and the Bluethroat were still present together with 7 Ringed Plovers, 3 Dunlins, a Whinchat, a Song Thrush, c. 30 Redwings, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Siskin and 3 Common Redpolls.

Photos of the Skerries Lancey and OBP have been added for 1st October.


Sunday 5th October 2003

On Unst, the Sykes's Warbler at Halligarth was trapped at mid-day and its identity confirmed. At Skaw, a Blyth's Reed Warbler was trapped and the Arctic Redpoll is still present, accompanied by 3 'north-western' Redpolls (either from Iceland or Greenland) and a Lesser Redpoll. Flocks of  32 and 6 Barnacle Geese flew over Skaw and a 1st winter Glaucous Gull was there.

Sykes's Warbler - Micky Maher

Redpoll gallery -  Arctic of the race hornemanni, rostrata from Greenland and Lesser - Micky Maher

Blyth's Reed Warbler at Skaw - Micky Maher; Sykes's Warbler, Blyth's Reed Warbler and Arctic Redpoll on Unst - videograbs by Mike Pennington and Brydon Thomason

The Little Egret flew over Symbister in the morning, heading towards Bonidale on Mainland.

On Foula, 2 Arctic Redpolls tracked down and, although not trapped the characters, look good on both. Eight Whooper Swans, 4 Long-tailed Ducks and a Water Rail were the first of the autumn. The Paddyfield Warbler was still present and the Citrine Wagtail was seen briefly. Also present were 13 Greylag Geese, a Wigeon, 16 Teals, a Moorhen, 5 Jack Snipe, a Robin, the Bluethroat, a Whinchat, c. 30 Redwings, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrests, a Siskin, 2 Common Redpolls and a Snow Bunting.

A Bluethroat and a Common Rosefinch are on Out Skerries.

A flock of 60 Barnacle Geese flew over Stenness, Eshaness and about 45 Snow Buntings are at Eshaness lighthouse.

A Red-breasted Flycatcher is at Tresta, west Mainland.


Saturday 4th October 2003

A Hippolais warbler at Halligarth on Unst was tentatively identified as Sykes's Warbler, although it did not call, and was not trapped or photographed.

On Foula, a Citrine Wagtail was found by Tim Drew and Mark Wilkinson. Also still present are the Paddyfield Warbler the Blyth’s Reed Warbler, a Yellow-browed Warbler and the Bluethroat. There are also 11 Barnacle Geese, 8 Pink-footed Geese, 16 Teals, a Moorhen, 3 Ringed Plovers, a Purple Sandpiper, 3 Dunlins, a Jack Snipe, a Robin, 4 Wheatears, c. 20 Redwings, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a Garden Warbler, 3 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrests, a Siskin, a Common Rosefinch, a Lapland Bunting and 5 Snow Buntings.

The Foula Citrine Wagtail - Tony Mainwood

The Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler is still at Skaw, Whalsay.

The Olive-backed Pipit is still on Out Skerries

A Little Gull is in Lerwick and 2 'Commic' terns were fishing at the Sletts, Lerwick in the afternoon.


Friday 3rd October 2003

Old birds today, including the Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler at Skaw, Whalsay, the Lanceolated Warbler on Out Skerries and the Arctic Redpoll at Skaw, Unst.

On Foula, a Short-eared Owl was new and Redwings had increased to c. 30. The Paddyfield Warbler, the Red-breasted Flycatcher and the Bluethroat were also still present and there was a Jack Snipe, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warblers, a Blackcap and a Robin.

A Pochard, 2 Scaups and 47 Tufted Ducks are on Loch of Tingwall.

An Iceland Gull is at Ulsta on Yell.

On another note, the Woodchat Shrike that was at Maywick last month showed advanced moult and an extensive primary patch which are characteristic of the eastern subspecies L. s. niloticus, which breeds from Cyrus through Asia Minor to Iran. If accepted as such by BOURC, it would the first record of this form in Britain. To remind yourself what it looked like, look at the photos on the 2003 Bird Photos page.


Thursday 2nd October 2003

An Olive-backed Pipit is at Kergord.

The Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler is still at Skaw on Whalsay and a Buff-breasted Sandpiper and an Olive-backed Pipit are also there.

The Lanceolated Warbler is still on Out Skerries.

The 1st winter Mediterranean Gull is at Hillwell and there are Richard's Pipits at Quendale and Scatness.

The Little Bunting is still at Seafield, Lerwick.

On Foula, the Blyth’s Reed Warbler is still present as well as the probable Arctic Redpoll, the Red-backed Shrike, a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Common Rosefinch, the Bluethroat, the Barred Warbler, a Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrests, a Siskin and c. 10 Redwings.


Wednesday 1st October 2003

A first-winter Isabelline Shrike was picked up dead on Out Skerries where the Lanceolated Warbler  and the Olive-backed Pipit are still present. A Common Rosefinch and a Bluethroat are also present.

The Skerries Lancy and OBP - Michael McKee

An Arctic Warbler is at Toft on Fetlar.

A Little Bunting is at Seafield, Lerwick.

The Blyth's Reed Warbler is still on Foula, and it was trapped today, while the Paddyfield Warbler is also still present, although there was no sign of the Grey-cheeked Thrush. New in were a Barred Warbler and a Red-backed Shrike while Blackcaps increased to 7 and Bramblings to 15. There were also 4 Yellow-browed Warblers, the Bluethroat, the Red-breasted Flycatcher, the Swallow, a Whinchat, a Robin, a Song Thrush, 6 Redwings, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Garden Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 4 Goldcrests, a Siskin and a Mealy Redpoll.

Paddyfield and Blyth's Reed Warblers - Tony Mainwood  

A Yellow-browed Warbler, a Wood Warbler and a Common Rosefinch are at Quendale and there are 8 Whooper Swans at Loch of Spiggie along with with 2 Scaups and a Long-tailed Duck.

A Yellow-browed Warbler and 4 Blackcaps are at Kergord.


Tuesday 30th September 2003

A Lanceolated Warbler is on Out Skerries, and the Olive-backed Pipit is still there.

The Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler is still at Skaw on Whalsay.

The Swainson's Thrush is still on Unst at Easting beach, Sandwick. The Arctic Redpoll is still at Skaw, Unst, along with a Reed Warbler while a Yellow-browed Warbler is still at Baltasound.

There are Arctic Redpolls at Toft and Toab on Mainland. A Common Rosefinch and a Red-breasted Flycatcher are at Sumburgh, another Red-breasted Flycatcher at Quendale, a Barred Warbler is at Scatness and Yellow-browed Warblers at Sumburgh, Hoswick and Lunna. There are 2 Scaups on Loch of Spiggie.

A 1st winter Mediterranean Gull was at Quendale in the afternoon before flying towards Hillwell.

The Quendale Med Gull - Paul Sclater

A Subalpine Warbler is at Gorie on Bressay.

A Saker was seen circling over Fleck in the morning and drifting towards Fitful Head. There are 3 Yellow-browed Warblers and the Red-backed Shrike at Quendale.

On Foula, the Grey-cheeked Thrush, the Paddyfield Warbler, the Red-breasted Flycatcher and probably the Blyth’s Reed Warbler were still present and the Arctic Redpoll went into the 'almost certain category'.

New in today on Foula were a Richard’s Pipit (possibly 2), a Bluethroat, a Mealy Redpoll, a Reed Bunting and a Dunnock. In addition, there were also 3 Yellow-browed Warblers, the Swallow, the Grey Wagtail, 2 Whinchats, 4 Fieldfares, a Song Thrush, 6 Redwings, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a Common Whitethroat, a Garden Warbler, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, a Goldcrest, a Brambling, a Siskin and a Lapland Bunting.

There are 2 Yellow-browed Warblers each at Swining, Voe (one singing!) and Vidlin and a Robin at Voe.

The Foula R-b Fly - Tony Mainwood  

All this, and a Savi's Warbler on Fair Isle.


Monday 29th September 2003

A Paddyfield Warbler was trapped and ringed on Foula at mid-day. The Grey-cheeked Thrush was still there at Braidfit and the Blyth's Reed Warbler was skulking in and near the Hametoun Burn.

The Foula Paddyfield - Tony Mainwood

Also present on Foula was a possible Arctic Redpoll, a Hen Harrier, a Merlin, a Jack Snipe, the Swallow, the Grey Wagtail, a Robin, a Whinchat, 6 Fieldfares, a Song Thrush, 12 Redwings, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a Common Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warblers, 5 Blackcaps, 4 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warblers, a Red-breasted Flycatcher, 3 Bramblings, a Siskin and a Common Rosefinch.

The Swainson's Thrush is still at Easting beach, Sandwick, on Unst, and an Arctic Redpoll of the nominate race is at Skaw (although it was probably seen yesterday). Also on Unst, one of the Yellow-browed Warblers and the Marsh Warbler are still at Norwick and a 1st winter male Peregrine is at Skaw.

The Skaw Arctic Redpoll - Micky Maher

The Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler is still at Skaw, Whalsay.

An Olive-backed Pipit is on Out Skerries along with a Bluethroat, a Barred Warbler, a Red-breasted Flycatcher, 2 Yellow-browed Warblers and 2 Common Rosefinches.

Olive-backed Pipit on Out Skerries - Michael McKee

The Red-backed Shrike is still at Quendale along with a Corncrake, 5 Yellow-browed Warblers and a Richard's Pipit.

There are still 3 Yellow-browed Warblers at Voe along with a Pied Flycatcher, a Chiffchaff and a Mealy Redpoll. There is another Yellow-browed Warbler at Kergord.


Sunday 28th September 2003

An extraordinary day; indeed, probably unprecedented.

The Grey-cheeked Thrush is still on Foula, along with a Blyth's Reed Warbler.

The Swainson's Thrush is still at Easting beach, Sandwick, on Unst, and a Subalpine Warbler is at Norwick.

A Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler has been trapped at Skaw, Whalsay.

A Red-flanked Bluetail is at Funzie, Fetlar.

A White's Thrush is at Old Scatness, next to Sumburgh Airport, but it flew into a window and was taken to Sumburgh Hotel for release.

A probable Pechora Pipit was seen at Vidlin, only in flight, but heard calling.

 

The Unst Swainson's - Micky Maher

The Sumburgh White's Thrush and the Foula Grey-cheeked Thrush - Steve Minton

The Grey-cheeked Thrush twitch - Tony Mainwood

Other birds on Unst include a Richard's Pipit and 4 Lapland Buntings at Skaw, 2 Yellow-browed Warblers and the Marsh Warbler at Norwick, a Richard's Pipit and a Barred Warbler at Northdale and Yellow-browed Warblers at Haroldswick, Baltasound, Baliasta and Uyeasound.

The supporting cast on Foula included 10 Yellow-browed Warblers (7 trapped), a Grey Wagtail, 2 Common Rosefinches, the Marsh Warbler, a Song Thrush, at least 15 Fieldfares and 20 Redwings, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Common Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Willow Warblers, a Goldcrest, 2 Chaffinches, 4 Bramblings, a Lapland Bunting, a Swallow and 2 Whinchats.

A Bluethroat is on Out Skerries.

A Common Rosefinch is at Urafirth. A juvenile Peregrine is at Upper Kergord along with 3 Goldcrests.

At Vidlin there are 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, 10 Goldcrests, 24 Bramblings and a Redwing. and there are 3 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher and a Mealy Redpoll at Voe.


Saturday 27th September 2003

A Swainson's Thrush is at the north end of the Easting beach at Sandwick on Unst, frequenting a small patch of nettles and thistles.

A Grey-cheeked Thrush is on Foula, where it was trapped this evening.

Both are the fourth records for Shetland; the Swainson's is the earliest for Britain and the Grey-cheeked is the second earliest.

The Foula Grey-cheeked Thrush - Tony Mainwood

Swainson's Thrush videograbs - Mike Pennington

At Vidlin, a wing-barred Phylloscopus warbler was seen which has subsequently been identified as Two-barred Greenish Warbler, a race of Greenish Warbler which has only occurred in Britain on a couple of previous occasions.

Also at Vidlin, there is a Barred Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Willow Warbler, 6 Goldcrests and 12 Bramblings.

Other birds on Unst include an unringed Yellow-browed Warbler and a Mealy Redpoll at Norwick and a Barred Warbler at Northdale.

Also of note on Foula was a Marsh Warbler trapped at Ham and there were also 2 Whinchats, a Swallow, a White Wagtail, a Song Thrush, a Redwing, a Common Whitethroat, a Yellow-browed Warbler, 3 Chiffchaffs, 4 Goldcrests, 6 Bramblings, a Common Rosefinch, a Snow Bunting and a Merlin.

A Richard's Pipit flew over Old Scatness and 2 Yellow-browed Warblers are at Quendale.

A Red-breasted Flycatcher and a Yellow-browed Warbler are at Urafirth.

A 1st winter Iceland Gull is still on Out Skerries.

Iceland Gull on Out Skerries - Michael McKee


Friday 26th September 2003

A Yellow-breasted Bunting is at Sumburgh Head, feeding on seed out out for Twite. A Yellow-browed Warbler is also at Sumburgh. The Red-backed Shrike is still at Quendale.

Yellow-breasted Bunting at Sumburgh -  Paul Sclater

A Marsh Warbler and a Yellow-browed Warbler are at Norwick, along with a Lesser Whitethroat, 8 Bramblings and the summering Chiffchaff. A Barred Warbler is at Haroldswick. The 14 Pink-footed Geese are still at Baltasound.

Marsh Warbler and Yellow-browed Warbler at Norwick - Micky Maher

The Little Egret is now on a pool near Grunna Water, Nesting.

Two Pomarine Skuas were in Bluemull Sound.

A Bluethroat is at Hamister on Whalsay.

A Common Rosefinch is still on Out Skerries along with 2 Lapland Buntings, a Brambling and 2 1st winter Iceland Gulls.

A Mealy Redpoll is at Voxter and a Great Spotted Woodpecker is at Kergord.

On Foula, a Woodcock was new and there were also a Swallow, a Whinchat, a Goldcrest, 3 Bramblings and a Lapland Bunting were seen along with a Lesser Whitethroat, a Chiffchaff, a Common Rosefinch and the Rustic Bunting.


Thursday 25th September 2003

The juvenile/first-winter Mediterranean Gull is still at Garderhouse. It is very similar in appearance to the Haroldswick bird from earlier in the autumn, and so could be the same bird.

The Barred Warbler is still at Norwick, along with a Chaffinch and a Goldcrest.

The Common Rosefinch is still on Out Skerries. Another Common Rosefinch is at Scatness.

On Foula, there were few observations but at least 100 Pink-footed Geese were seen.


Wednesday 24th September 2003

A Red-breasted Flycatcher is at Seafield and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a Grey Wagtail are at Helendale.

On Foula, a Reed Bunting was new and there were 14 Pink-footed Geese, a Swallow, a Whinchat and 2 Goldcrests.

The Red-breasted Flycatcher is still at Symbister on Whalsay. A 1st winter Iceland Gull is at Gutcher.


Tuesday 23rd September 2003

A Rustic Bunting is on Foula, in the Hametoun Burn. Otherwise very little of note though there were 2 Kestrels, 2 Whinchats, a Garden Warbler, a Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler, 3 Goldcrests and a Chaffinch.

There are Red-breasted Flycatchers at Baltasound on Unst, Symbister on Whalsay and Tresta on Mainland. There are Barred Warblers at Norwick and on Bressay. A Slavonian Grebe is on Loch of Cliff at Burrafirth. A Common Buzzard is at Baltasound.

A Pomarine Skua was seen in Bluemull Sound.


Monday 22nd September 2003

A dead Arctic Redpoll of the nominate Greenland race hornemanni was found beneath a window in Lerwick.

A Common Rosefinch is on Out Skerries.

Common Rosefinch on Out Skerries - Michael McKee

A Yellow-browed Warbler is at Kergord and a Barred Warbler is at Whiteness. There are 2 Lapland Buntings and a Barred Warbler still at Scatness. The Red-backed Shrike is still at Quendale, the Red-breasted Flycatcher is still at Boddam and the American Golden Plover is still at Sandwick.

On Unst, an Icterine Warbler is at Belmont, a Common Rosefinch is at Baltasound and a Barred Warbler is at Norwick.

A Red-breasted Flycatcher is at Otterswick on Yell.

On Foula, a Yellow-browed Warbler was new, Bramblings increased to 4 and there are 2 Chaffinches.


Sunday 21st September 2003

A Barred Warbler and a Red-breasted Flycatcher are at Boddam and the Red-backed Shrike is still at Quendale. The American Golden Plover is still at Sandwick.

A Barred Warbler is at Haroldswick and the 14 Pink-footed Geese are still at Baltasound.

The first Chaffinch of the autumn was on Foula.


Saturday 20th September 2003

A Great Snipe is on Skerries as well as a Little Bunting and a Bluethroat.

A Booted Warbler is at Norwick. There are 2 Yellow-browed Warblers at Northdale and one at Haroldswick and 2 Redwings at Baltasound along with the 14 Pink-footed Geese. There are 6 Lapland Buntings at Uyeasound.

On Fetlar, there are 4 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Grasshopper Warbler, a Barred Warbler and a Long-eared Owl.

At Scatness, there was a Pectoral Sandpiper on the shore of Loch of Gards twice during the day, while a Barred Warbler and a Lapland Bunting , a Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Jack Snipes and 60 Skylarks are also there. There are also 3 Yellow-browed Warblers at Quendale and one at Sumburgh Head. A Bluethroat is at Sumburgh Hotel and the Red-backed Shrike is still at  Quendale. The Citrine Wagtail is still at at the north end of Loch of Spiggie and the American Golden Plover is still at Sandwick.

Bluethroat at Sumburgh Hotel - Rob Fray

On Foula there was a 'flava' Wagtail, a Kestrel, a Swallow, a Tree Pipit, 2 Whinchats, 3 Garden Warblers, a Blackcap, a Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Willow Warblers, 4 Goldcrests, 2 Brambling, a Common Rosefinch and 2 Lapland Buntings.

With 8 Yellow-browed Warblers that makes at least 21 in Shetland today.


Friday 19th September 2003

A new Booted Warbler is at Sumburgh Head although the other Booted Warbler is still at Quendale. The Citrine Wagtail is still at Spiggie and there is a Lapland Bunting at Scatness.

Citrine Wagtail at Spiggie and Lapland Bunting at Scatness - Rob Fray

A first-winter Mediterranean Gull is at  Seli Voe, Garderhouse and a Little Egret is at Skeld (conceivably the bird from Sullom Voe, although it was seen yesterday).

On Foula, a Slavonian Grebe was new, groups of 44 and 7 Pink-footed Geese were seen and the Bluethroat is still present. Other birds included a Kestrel, a Tree Pipit, a Robin, 4 Whinchats, a Blackcap, a Chiffchaff and at least 2 Snow Buntings.

The Wood Warbler is still at Norwick and 14 Pink-footed Geese are at Baltasound.


Thursday 18th September 2003

A Citrine Wagtail is at the north end of the Loch of Spiggie, along with the Short-toed Lark. The Booted Warbler is still at Quendale. A Yellow-browed Warbler is at Scalloway. The Little Egret has reappeared at Sullom Voe.

On Foula, the Arctic Warbler, the Bluethroat, 2 Common Rosefinches and the Black-tailed Godwit are still present and there are also 2 Tree Pipits, a Robin, 4 Whinchats, a Barred Warbler, 4 Garden Warblers, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers and 5 Goldcrests. There were also a lot of Meadow Pipits.

A Yellow-browed Warbler is at Ocraquoy and a ringtail harrier sp. flew over there.

The Wood Warbler and Sand Martin are still at Norwick.


Wednesday 17th September 2003

New birds in south Mainland are an Arctic Warbler in the Grutness garden and a Short-toed Lark is at the north end of the Loch of Spiggie. The Booted Warbler is still at Quendale, along with the Red-backed Shrike, the Woodchat Shrike is still at Maywick and the American Golden Plover is still at Sandwick. Three flocks of 50, 45 and 38 Pink-footed Geese flew south over Dunrossness during the day. A Pied Flycatcher is at Geosetter, 2 Ruffs and 7 Pink-footed Geese are at Scatness, 2 Pied Flycatchers and Spotted Flycatcher are at Quendale and 96 Wigeons are at Loch of Hillwell.

South Mainland rarity montage by Rob Fray - Short-toed Lark, Booted Warbler, Woodchat Shrike, Red-backed Shrike, Arctic Warbler (x2) and American Golden Plover (x2) (No large versions available).

The Booted Warbler at Quendale - Paul Sclater

On Foula, an Arctic Warbler found and tentatively identified yesterday by Geoff and Donna Atherton  was relocated and trapped in the Hametoun Burn. In the field it showed only a faint wing bar which was not always visible. (the bird of a week ago had two very distinct wing bars by comparison). Otherwise the only bird obviously new was the first Robin of the autumn but there were also 19 Pink-footed Geese, a Kestrel, the Black-tailed Godwit, a Swallow, at least 1 Tree Pipit, the Bluethroat, 4 Whinchats, a Reed Warbler (retrapped from 11th), a Barred Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Common Whitethroat, a Garden Warbler, 2 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, 5 Willow Warblers, 3+ Goldcrests, a Pied Flycatcher, a Red-backed Shrike, 3 Siskins and 2 Common Rosefinches.

The Foula Arctic Warbler - Tony Mainwood

On Unst, the juvenile Pallid Harrier was seen at Baltasound at mid-day and there is a Wood Warbler at Norwick along with a Sand Martin, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, a Common Whitethroat, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Chaffinches, a Pied Flycatcher, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Tree Pipit. There are 4 Tree Pipits, 6 Siskins, 3 Sanderlings, a Pied Flycatcher and a Spotted Flycatcher at Skaw and a Tree Pipit and a Mealy Redpoll at Northdale.

Spot Fly at Skaw - Micky Maher


Tuesday 16th September 2003

A Blyth's Reed Warbler was trapped at Quendale early this morning. The Booted Warbler is still there as well as a Red-backed Shrike, a Common Rosefinch, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, a Dunnock and a Willow Warbler.

A Pectoral Sandpiper was on the south side of Loch of Spiggie at mid-day, but it flew off towards Brow and it could not be relocated.

The Woodchat Shrike is still at Vatsetter, Maywick. The amount of white in the wing and the advanced moult have led to some discussion over its possible origins.

Woodchat Shrike at Vatsetter - 3 photos Micky Maher; fourth photo Steve Minton

The American Golden Plover is still at Sandwick.

A Yellow-browed Warbler is on Fetlar.

There are 32 Wood Pigeons at Halligarth on Unst. A Short-eared Owl and a Common Rosefinch are at Uyeasound.

New on Foula today were a Bluethroat and a Black-tailed Godwit as well as a Swallow, 2 House Martins and a Song Thrush. Chiffchaffs had increased to 4 and there were also 51 Pink-footed Geese, 2 Kestrels, 3 Tree Pipits, 3 Whinchats, 30 Wheatears, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Common Whitethroats, 3 Garden Warblers, 3 Willow Warblers, 6 Goldcrests, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Pied Flycatcher, 2 Red-backed Shrikes, 4 Common Rosefinches, a Lapland Bunting and a Snow Bunting.

Bluethroat on Foula - Russell Wynn


Monday 15th September 2003

A juvenile Woodchat Shrike is at Maywick.

The American Golden Plover is still at Sandwick. A Corncrake is at Quendale.

The American Golden Plover at Sandwick - Paul Sclater

A Yellow-browed Warbler is at Brettabister, North Nesting.

On Unst, there are Kestrels at Hermaness and Baltasound, 2 Whinchats and 2 Tree Pipits at Skaw, a Ruff at  Haroldswick, 4 Tree Pipits, 2 Reed Warblers, 2 Pied Flycatchers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a Common Whitethroat, a Garden Warbler, 2 Chaffinches and 12 Siskins at Norwick, and a Green Sandpiper and a female Shoveler at Baltasound.

On Foula, there at least 15 Pink-footed Geese, at least 9 Lapland Buntings and 2 Snow Buntings. Also present are 2 Kestrels, 2 Knots, a Green Sandpiper, a Tree Pipit, 3 Whinchats, c. 40 Wheatears, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Common Whitethroats, 2 Garden Warblers, a Blackcap, a Chiffchaff, 5 Willow Warblers, 6 Goldcrests, a Pied Flycatcher, 2 Red-backed Shrikes, 10 Siskins and 3 Common Rosefinches.

On Fetlar, there are 2 Kestrels, a Barred Warbler, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Common Whitethroat.


Sunday 14th September 2003

A Booted Warbler is at Quendale along with a Red-backed Shrike.

The American Golden Plover is still at Sandwick.

A Red-breasted Flycatcher is at Ollaberry.

On Foula, there is a new Yellow-browed Warbler, the first Snow Bunting of the year, a Common Whitethroat and 3 Common Rosefinches, Siskins had increased to 9 and Whinchats were up to 4. There were also a Kestrel, 170 Golden Plovers, a Jack Snipe, a Tree Pipit, a Fieldfare, 2 Barred Warblers, a Garden Warbler, a Blackcap, 3 Willow Warblers, 3 Goldcrests, 2 Pied Flycatchers, 2 Red-backed Shrikes, 2 Carrion Crows, 90+ Twites and a Lapland Bunting.

The Pallid Harrier is still on Unst, at Baltasound. The Green Sandpiper is still at Baltasound and there are at least 7 Tree Pipits are in north Unst and 16 Siskins at Skaw.

A female Pintail is at Gutcher. A Sooty Shearwater flew past Eshaness.


Saturday 13th September 2003

The Icterine Warbler is still on Out Skerries and 5 Sooty Shearwaters, 2 Manx Shearwaters and a Storm Petrel were seen from the ferry.

The Pallid Harrier is still on Unst, at Haroldswick.

On Foula, apart from a second Carrion Crow, there was nothing that was definitely new. Reduced observations produced a Kestrel, a Turtle Dove, a Tree Pipit, 2 Whinchats, a Barred Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warblers, a Blackcap, 3 Willow Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher, a Brambling, 4 Siskins and a Common Rosefinch. There are still single Red-throated Diver juveniles on Liumisheddon and Rossie's Loch.


Friday 12th September 2003

On Out Skerries there is an Icterine Warbler, a Barred Warbler, a Yellow-browed Warblers, 3 Common Rosefinches, 2 Pied Flycatchers, a Common Redstart, 4 Whinchats, a male Brambling, a Kestrel, 2 Garden Warblers, 3 Tree Pipits, a Common Whitethroat, 4 Goldcrests and 18 Siskins. There were also 3 Manx Shearwaters seen from the ferry.

A Yellow-browed Warbler was at Burrafirth this morning along with a Tree Pipit, a Common Redstart, 12 Siskins and a Lesser Whitethroat. There are Tree Pipits at Skaw and Baltasound.

Tree Pipit at Skaw - Micky Maher

A Wryneck is at West Manse, Fetlar, with a juvenile Little Gull at Loch of Funzie and 8 Willow Warblers, 3 Pied Flycatchers, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, a Goldcrest and a Common Whitethroat on the island.

On Foula there is a Kestrel, 2 new Common Redstarts, 2 Whinchats, a Fieldfare, a new Barred Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warblers, 2 Blackcaps, a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Wood Warbler, 6 Willow Warblers, 2 Goldcrests, a Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Pied Flycatchers, a Red-backed Shrike, a Brambling, 4 Siskins,  2 Common Rosefinches and at least one Lapland Bunting (possibly 3).

There are 2 Kestrels at Sumburgh Farm.


Thursday 11th September 2003

A Little Egret was at Voxter in the morning and Houb of Scatsta in the afternoon. It is the 10th Shetland record but the first in autumn. It is presumably the egret first reported at Houb of Scatsta on 8th and it was also reported at Voxter yesterday evening.

Little Egret at Houb of Scatsta - Steve Minton

On Foula, yesterday's Nightingale was confirmed as a Common Nightingale. New in were a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Wood Warbler, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Kestrel while Siskins increased to 6. Also present were a Knot, a Green Sandpiper, a Tree Pipit, 2 Whinchats, a Reed Warbler, a Barred Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Garden Warblers, 2 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, 7 Willow Warblers, 2 Red-backed Shrikes, 2 Bramblings and 2 Common Rosefinches.

 

Common Nightingale, Yellow-browed warbler, Wood Warbler and Brambling on Foula - Russell Wynn

A Yellow-browed Warbler is on Out Skerries.

There are 2 Spotted Flycatchers and 2 Pied Flycatchers at Quendale, and 2 Pied Flycatchers, 3 Goldcrests and a Barred Warbler at Geosetter. A Pied Flycatcher and a Fieldfare are at Voxter.

The Pallid Harrier is still at Haroldswick. At Baltasound there are 3 Tree Pipits, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Green Sandpiper and the Shoveler. A Common Rosefinch is at Burrafirth along with 2 Tree Pipits and a juvenile Arctic Skua, a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Kestrel are on Hermaness and a Turtle Dove is at Skaw.

Siskin and Chaffinch at Skaw, Unst - photos by Micky Maher


Wednesday 10th September 2003

The American Golden Plover is still at Sandwick.

On Unst, the Pallid Harrier was at Baltasound in late evening, there is a Bar-headed Goose and 2 Barnacle Geese are at Muness, Common Rosefinches are at Burrafirth, Northdale, Haroldswick and Uyeasound, Barred Warblers are at Skaw and Uyeasound (the latter in song!), a Shoveler is still at Baltasound and 5 Ruffs are on Hermaness. Two late Arctic Skuas and an adult and a juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull are at Haroldswick.

On Foula an unidentified Nightingale at the Grups caused much frustration during the afternoon. Other birds seen during the day included 4 Grey Herons, a Sanderling, a Turtle Dove, 3 Tree Pipits, a Common Redstart, 2 Whinchats, a Fieldfare, a Barred Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Garden Warblers, a Blackcap, 6+ Willow Warblers, 2 Pied Flycatchers, a Red-backed Shrike, 2 Bramblings, 4 Siskins and 2 Common Rosefinches (one ringed and one unringed).

A juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker was caught in the kirk at Ollaberry. A Common Redstart is at Voe.

A male Stonechat is at Gutcher.


Tuesday 9th September 2003

An Arctic Warbler is on Foula at Wurr Wick. Other birds there include 2 Tree Pipits, 2 Common Redstarts, 80 Wheatears, a Sedge Warbler, 2 Barred Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Garden Warblers, 2 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, 9 Willow Warblers, 5 Goldcrests, 2 Pied Flycatchers, 2 Red-backed Shrikes, 4 Siskins, a Common Rosefinch and a Lapland Bunting.

Red-backed Shrike on Foula - photo Russell Wynn

The Pallid Harrier is back in north Unst, at Quoys and at Skaw. There are Barred Warblers at Skaw and Northdale and Common Rosefinches at Norwick, Northdale, Haroldswick and Uyeasound. Also on Unst there are Common Redstarts at Burrafirth and Norwick, Whinchat, Garden Warbler, Reed Warbler and Pied Flycatcher at Northdale, a Ruff, a Lesser Whitethroat and 45 Twites at Skaw and 4 Siskins and a Goldcrest at Norwick.

A Slavonian Grebe, a Pied Flycatcher and a Goldcrest are at West Sandwick, Yell.

A Barred Warbler is on Out Skerries.

A Blackcap and a Reed Warbler are at Whiteness.

A juvenile Little Gull is at Gutcher.


Monday 8th September 2003

A Little Bunting is on Out Skerries

The adult American Golden Plover is still at Sandwick.

The Sandwick American Golden Plover - photos Dave and Nat Hall

The juvenile Pallid Harrier is now at Baltasound.

A Red-breasted Flycatcher is at Gorie, Bressay, along with 2 Redwings. Another Red-breasted Flycatcher is on Fetlar. A Barred Warbler and a Wood Warbler are at Fladdabister.

On Foula, there are 3 Grey Herons, a Sanderling, 2 Knots, a Tree Pipit, a Reed Warbler, 2 Barred Warblers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Garden Warblers, 2 Blackcaps, 3 Willow Warblers, 3 Goldcrests, a Pied Flycatcher, a Red-backed Shrike, a Carrion Crow and a Common Rosefinch.

Pied Flycatcher and Common Rosefinch on Foula - photos Russell Wynn


Sunday 7th September 2003

The Citrine Wagtail is still on Out Skerries and there are still 2 Citrine Wagtails at Quendale and the American Golden Plover in Sandwick. There were at least 400 Meadow Pipits at Sumburgh and a Spotted Flycatcher at Quendale. A flock of 12 Siskins is at Whiteness. A pair of Scaups is on Loch of Grunivoe, Walls.

A Barred Warbler is at Haroldswick and the juvenile Spotted Crake is still on Unst.

On Foula, there are 5 Garden Warblers, 5 Willow Warblers, a Barred Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Pied Flycatcher, 4 Goldcrests and a late Arctic Skua.


Saturday 6th September 2003

The adult American Golden Plover is still at Sandwick as it was relocated in the evening.

There are 2 Citrine Wagtails at Quendale, presumably including the bird from two days ago. A Common Rosefinch is at Sumburgh.

Another Citrine Wagtail is on Out Skerries.

The Baird's Sandpiper has been relocated on Foula. There are also 3 Reed Warblers, 3 Barred Warblers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 7 Garden Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs, 5 Willow Warblers, 3 Goldcrests, 4 Pied Flycatchers, a Lapland Bunting, c. 100 Wheatears, 80+ Twite, a Sooty Shearwater and a Carrion Crow.

A Red-backed Shrike is on Noss.

There is even a scarce bird on Yell, a Common Rosefinch at Windhouse, Mid Yell.

Common migrants at the moment include Meadow Pipits, Snipes and Wheatears - all birds that could be coming from Iceland or Faroe.


Friday 5th September 2003

The juvenile Pallid Harrier is still at Haroldswick.

A Common Rosefinch and a Barred Warbler are on Out Skerries and 2 Sooty Shearwaters were seen from the ferry.

On Foula, there are 2 new Garden Warblers, a new Goldcrest, a Knot, a Carrion Crow and 2 Swallows.

An adult American Golden Plover is at Sandwick but could not be found later.


Thursday 4th September 2003

The third Pectoral Sandpiper in the last 3 days has been found by Greg Fitchett at Huesbreck, south Mainland. A Green Sandpiper and a Goldcrest are at Quendale, but there is no sign of the Citrine Wagtail there, while the summering Chiffchaff at Grutness has been joined by another bird and a Goldcrest.

The juvenile Pallid Harrier is still at Haroldswick. Also on Unst, a Reed Warbler is at Norwick along with a summering Chiffchaff, a Shoveler is at Baltasound and a Knot is at Uyeasound.

A Barred Warbler is at Scatness.

On Foula, the Pectoral Sandpiper was still present early morning. New in were 4 Goldcrests, 2 Garden Warblers and a Chiffchaff. Also present were a Barred Warbler, a Willow Warbler, another Garden Warbler, a Red-backed Shrike, 2 Common Rosefinches, a Green Sandpiper, 3 Wigeons and 5 Teals.

Pec Sand and Barred Warbler on Foula - photos Russell Wynn


Wednesday 3rd September 2003

A Citrine Wagtail is at Quendale.

On Foula, a Pectoral Sandpiper was found by Geoff and Donna Atherton in the early evening. Also seen today were 2 Sooty Shearwaters, the Red-backed Shrike, 2 Willow Warblers and a Garden Warbler.

The juvenile Pallid Harrier is at Haroldswick although it did not appear until early evening. Also on Unst, there are 3 Carrion Crows and 3 Willow Warblers at Baltasound.

The Arctic Warbler is still at Wester Quarff.


Tuesday 2nd September 2003

A juvenile Pallid Harrier is at Haroldswick and a Pectoral Sandpiper was there for a few hours at mid-day.

An Arctic Warbler is at Wester Quarff.

On Foula, the first Jack Snipe of the autumn was seen while a seawatch by Russell Wynn produced 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 26 Kittiwakes and 2 Puffins. There were also 4 Teals, 13 White Wagtails, 90 Golden Plovers, 50+ Turnstones, 2 Green Sandpipers, a Barred Warbler, a Willow Warbler and a Garden Warbler (which has been here since 24th August and has increased in weight from 15.4gm to 19.4gm).

A Puffin was seen on Foula still carrying fish into a burrow.


Monday 1st September 2003

A juvenile Baird's Sandpiper was on Foula, at South Ness in the morning. Also on the island there is a new adult Common Rosefinch, a Red-backed Shrike, a Sooty Shearwater, a Great Northern Diver, at least 15 White Wagtails, 2 Garden Warblers and a Willow Warbler.

The Foula Baird's - photo by Russell Wynn

A Common Rosefinch is at Northdale, Unst.

A Spotted Flycatcher is on Fetlar.


Sunday 31st August 2003

A Spotted Crake is still on Unst.


Saturday 30th August 2003

On Unst, the Mediterranean Gull is still at Haroldswick, there are Barred Warblers at Norwick and Northdale, a Common Rosefinch at Norwick and a juvenile Spotted Crake is still on the island.

On Foula there are 2 Common Rosefinches as well as 55 Golden Plovers,16 Purple Sandpipers, a Green Sandpiper, 4 Teals, a Wigeon, c. 50 Twites, 5 Swallows and 2 Willow Warblers.


Friday 29th August 2003

On Foula, a new first-year Common Rosefinch, a Chiffchaff, a Teal, a Wigeon and a Whimbrel are all new. There are also 2 Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler, a Green Sandpiper and 4 Swallows.

A Barred Warbler is at Scatness. There are 8 Grey Herons at Dale Lees, Delting. There are 3 Greenshanks at Loch of Tingwall.


Thursday 28th August 2003

A juvenile Hobby was just north of Hillwell at 18:30 and a Common Rosefinch is at Quendale.

A Common Rosefinch is at Haroldswick.

On Foula there is a Knot, a Ruff, a Willow Warbler and a Garden Warbler.

Young Rob McDiarmid saw a Collared Dove at Maywick.


Wednesday 27th August 2003

On Foula there are 2 Knots, a Green Sandpiper and a Garden Warbler.

There are 31 Ruffs at Virkie.


Tuesday 26th August 2003

On Foula, a Wood Warbler was new as was a Ruff and there were also a Willow Warbler, a Garden Warbler and 4 Grey Herons.

A juvenile Common Rosefinch is at Halligarth.


Monday 25th August 2003

A juvenile Black-tailed Godwit is at Skaw on Unst, along with 97 Turnstones, there are 4 Ruffs and 5 House Martins at Haroldswick and a Barred Warbler at Norwick, along with 2 Fieldfares which have been there for some time.

New today on Foula were 2 Common Rosefinches (a first-winter and an adult) and there were also 4 Willow Warblers, a Reed Warbler, a Garden Warbler, c. 40 White Wagtails and a Red-backed Shrike (probably the same one from 23rd).

A Common Rosefinch is at Skaw on Whalsay.

A Common Nightingale and a Grasshopper Warbler are on Fair Isle.


Sunday 24th August 2003

A Carrion Crow and 9 Ruffs are at Haroldswick.

A pair of Linnets with 4 juveniles are on Whalsay, confirming the suspicion that a pair had summered there. It is the first breeding record for the island.

There are 5 Bar-tailed Godwits and 44 Knots at Pool of Virkie and a Swift flew over Compass Head. The escaped Saker Falcon was reported at Sumburgh Airport today.

On Foula, there are 5 Garden Warblers, 3 Reed Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Barred Warbler and a Pied Flycatcher.

 Other updates today - a bat on Unst (see Latest Other) and an unusual photograph for 21st August!


Saturday 23rd August 2003

A Great Spotted Woodpecker is at Haroldswick along with an adult Spotted Crake still there, while a Greenshank is at Burrafirth.

The juvenile Little Gull is still at Symbister, Whalsay.

A Common Redstart, a Pied Flycatcher and a Common Sandpiper are at Quendale, an albino Common Gull is at Hillwell, 2 Whinchats and a Fieldfare are at Sumburgh and 11 Ruffs, 9 Black-tailed Godwits and 280 Greylag Geese are at Fleck.

On Foula, there is a Red-backed Shrike as well as a Lesser Whitethroat, a Barred Warbler, 2 Garden Warblers, 3 Willow Warblers and probably over 20 White Wagtails.

A Water Rail was heard calling in the Mires of Funzie, Fetlar.


Friday 22nd August 2003

A juvenile Black Tern was in the Wick of North Garth, just north of Gutcher on Yell, this morning, before flying off north.

A Red-breasted Flycatcher was reported at Skaw, Whalsay.

A juvenile Little Gull was at Baltasound in the morning and there are 7 Ruffs at Belmont, 4 Knots at Uyeasound and 16 Sanderlings at Lund.

At Hoswick there is a Grey Wagtail, a Willow Warbler and a Pied Flycatcher  and there are 2 juvenile Little Gulls at Pool of Virkie.

A Pied Flycatcher is at Voe.

On Foula there are 2 Garden Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Willow Warbler.


Thursday 21st August 2003

The juvenile Mediterranean Gull is still at Haroldswick.

The Greenish Warbler is still at Funzie on Fetlar.

The juvenile Little Gull is still at Symbister, Whalsay.

The escaped Saker Falcon is still at Sullom Voe Terminal - it was captured on one of the security cameras!!

Saker Falcon at Sullom - courtesy SVT security

 

On Foula there are 2 Garden Warblers, 6 Willow Warblers and 17 White Wagtails.

A possible Greenish Warbler was at Sumburgh Hotel.


Wednesday 20th August 2003

A Greenish Warbler is in the willows at the Funzie hide on Fetlar.

On Unst, a Barred Warbler, 2 Willow Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher and a Greenshank are at Burrafirth, a Wood Warbler and a Pied Flycatcher are at Baltasound and the juvenile Mediterranean Gull is back at Haroldswick, where there are also 6 Ruffs and a Garden Warbler.

A Manx Shearwater was off Skaw Taing on Whalsay and a juvenile Little Gull is at Symbister.

A Willow Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Fieldfare are all at Sandgarth, Voe. At Scatness there are 11 Ruffs, 10 Knots and 24 Sanderlings.

Ruff at Scatness - Steve Minton

On Foula, there are 2 White Wagtails, a Whinchat, a Reed Warbler, a Barred Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warblers and 8 Willow Warblers.


Tuesday 19th August 2003

On Foula, there are 5 Garden Warblers, 3 Willow Warblers, a Barred Warbler and 35 Golden Plovers.

A Barred Warbler is at Brough Lodge, Fetlar, and 4 Willow Warblers and 4 Sanderlings are on Whalsay.

There are 3 Willow Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher and 2 Ruffs at Burrafirth, while a flock of 62 Redshanks were at Sothers, Hermaness.


Monday 18th August 2003

New in today on Foula are 3 Reed Warblers, 3 Garden Warblers, 3 Willow Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Pied Flycatcher and 3 Ruffs while still present are a Barred Warbler, 2 Knots and a Black-tailed Godwit.

A Whinchat and 2 Green Sandpipers are at Baltasound, a Swift flew over Hermaness, a Greenshank, a Willow Warbler and a Garden Warbler are at Burrafirth, a Willow Warbler and a Whinchat are at Skaw, 2 Fieldfares are at Norwick. There are 4 Ruffs at Haroldswick, 2 at Uyeasound and 6 at Belmont.

A Barred Warbler is on Lambhoga, Fetlar.

At Fleck, there are 130 Greylag Geese, 10 Ruffs and a Whinchat, while a Greenshank and a Pied Flycatcher are at Scatness, there are Willow Warblers at Virkie and Quendale and 10 Sanderlings are at Scord. There are 2 Garden Warblers and 2 Pied Flycatchers are at Sandwick.


Sunday 17th August 2003

A Greenshank and 3 Sanderlings are at Skaw on Unst, a Sanderling is at Norwick and a Ruff is at Haroldswick.

On Foula, there is a Garden Warbler, a Willow Warbler, a Green Sandpiper, a Swift and a total of 12 Swallows.


Saturday 16th August 2003

The escaped Saker Falcon which was on Unst earlier in the month, bearing a yellow flag and a bell, is now at Sullom Voe Terminal, where it is feeding on rabbits.

A Common Rosefinch is still at Norwick and there are single Ruffs at Burrafirth and Haroldswick. The House Martins are still looking out of the nest at Haroldswick. A female Chaffinch is at Baltasound.

Juvenile House Martin - photo Micky Maher

On Foula, there is a Swift and offshore there were 5 Storm Petrels at the Shaalds in the evening as well as a “blue” Fulmar.

There are 14 Ruffs at Boddam.


Friday 15th August 2003

The Mediterranean Gull is in the bay at Haroldswick and the Common Rosefinch is still at Norwick. At least 3 pairs of Swallows have bred at Haroldswick.

On Foula, the 2 Knot are still present and there are 2 Willow Warblers.


Thursday 14th August 2003

On Foula, a Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Knot and a Cormorant are new and there are also 2 Willow Warblers, 3 “alba” Wagtails, the Red-backed Shrike, a Green Sandpiper, 40+ Turnstones and 25+ Purple Sandpipers.

Juvenile and adult Knots on Foula - Tony Mainwood

There are 7 Ruffs at Uyeasound and 2 at Haroldswick.


Wednesday 13th August 2003

A Barred Warbler is at Skaw, a first-winter Common Rosefinch is at Norwick, along with 2 Fieldfares and at least 2 Chiffchaffs, the Mediterranean Gull is still at Haroldswick along with a Ruff and a Willow Warbler and a Chiffchaff are at Burrafirth.

The Med Gull at Haroldswick - videograbs Mike Pennington

On Foula, a Ruff  was new and there was also a Willow Warbler and 2 'alba' Wagtails.

A Semipalmated Sandpiper is on Fair Isle.


Tuesday 12th August 2003

The juvenile Mediterranean Gull is still occasionally turning up at silage fields at Haroldswick, although it does disappear for long periods. There are also 3 Ruffs, a Greenshank and a Carrion Crow there.

New on Foula is a first-winter Red-backed Shrike and there are also 2 Green Sandpipers, a Reed Warbler, a Barred Warbler and 2 Willow Warblers. In addition there were at least 50 Twites and 30 Rock Doves.


Monday 11th August 2003

The juvenile Mediterranean Gull is still at Haroldswick and a Sand Martin flew over the Keen of Hamar. A Carrion Crow, albeit one with a few Hooded Crow genes, is at Baltasound.

Two Swifts are at Sumburgh Head. A Peregrine Falcon was seen at Sullom Voe in the evening.

On Foula, there are 75 Lapwings, c. 30 Redshanks in a flock, 2 Whimbrels, a Sanderling and 2 Green Sandpipers as well as 4 Garden Warblers, 4 Willow Warblers, a Barred Warbler, a different Reed Warbler from yesterday and a Common Crossbill. There are also still a few Kittiwakes on the cliffs including 12 chicks still in nests.


Sunday 10th August 2003

The juvenile Mediterranean Gull is still at Haroldswick.

The Med Gull at Haroldswick - photos Micky Maher

A Ruff is still at Baltasound. There are 2 Common Crossbills on Hermaness, 5 Sanderlings at Skaw and 2 Sand Martins at Haroldswick while there at least 2 juvenile House Martins about to fledge from the nest at the RAF camp at Haroldswick.

On Foula there are 5 Garden Warblers, a Reed Warbler, a Sedge Warbler, a Barred Warbler, a Willow Warbler and a House Martin.


Saturday 9th August 2003

A juvenile Mediterranean Gull is at Haroldswick. It is the sixth Shetland record but, amazingly, the third this year. A Ruff is still at Baltasound.

On Foula, there were 2 Green Sandpipers, a House Martin and 2 Grey Herons. There are also several Grey Herons elsewhere.


Friday 8th August 2003

At least one Spotted Crake is still at Haroldswick, where there is also a Knot. A Ruff is at Baltasound and a Willow Warbler is at Northdale.

On Foula, there is a Willow Warbler and a Green Sandpiper. Five House Martins and a Sparrowhawk are at Sandwick.

A Garden Warbler is at Voe and there are some Common Crossbills at Lower Voe. A pair of Linnets are still on Whalsay.


Thursday 7th August 2003

On Unst the 2 Spotted Crakes are still at Haroldswick. There is also a Reed Warbler there.

Spotted Crake at Haroldswick - photos Micky Maher

A Sparrowhawk is at Brae. A pair of Linnets are on Whalsay.


Wednesday 6th August 2003

On Unst there are 2 Spotted Crakes at Haroldswick pool, single Swifts at Haroldswick and Hermaness and a Greenshank and Kestrel at Burrafirth.

On Foula there were 2 new Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler and a House Martin.


Tuesday 5th August 2003

On Foula, there were at least 50 Turnstones and 35 Purple Sandpipers at Strem Ness while Green Sandpipers were seen at Mill Loch and Rossies Loch. There were three new Garden Warblers and a new Willow Warbler (in addition to one from yesterday).

 


Monday 4th August 2003

On Foula, there were 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Garden Warblers and a juvenile Moorhen.

A Garden Warbler is at Whiteness.


Sunday 3rd August 2003

On Foula, there was a Willow Warbler, a Sand Martin, a Crossbill and an “alba” Wagtail (probably a White) in the evening. 5 juvenile Swallows have fledged from one nest, there are still 4 chicks in another nest and there is possibly a third pair. 23 Black-headed Gulls is quite a high count for Foula.

At the Loch of No Ness there were 2 Sanderling, and 2 Knot were on Sandwick beach.


Saturday 2nd August 2003

A Swift and 7 Swallows are at Sandwick.


Friday 1st August 2003

A Saker Falcon wearing what appeared to be a yellow leg flag was at Hermaness, Unst this afternoon.

A Moorhen and Grey Heron are on Foula.


Thursday 31st July 2003

A Greenshank was at Burrafirth, Unst this afternoon.

On Foula, a Manx Shearwater flew S off South Ness and 2 Storm Petrels were seen on the crossing. There were also 4 Crossbills on the island.

 

At Sandwick, south Mainland, Geoff & Verity Blackman reported 18 Grey Lag Geese, 2 Swifts and 35+ Golden Plover. A juvenile Cuckoo is on Whalsay.

 


Wednesday 30th July 2003

A Scops Owl is at the plantation on Fair Isle - the second record in Shetland this year!!!

At Hermaness there are 2 Green Sandpipers and a Swift.

On Foula, there are 2 Golden Plover, a Grey heron and a Swift.


Monday 28th July 2003

Two Swifts are at Hermaness and a Crossbill is at Haroldswick. A Storm Petrel was seen on the Foula crossing.


Sunday 27th July 2003

A Sedge Warbler is on Skerries.


Saturday 26th July 2003

Wendy Dickson reported a Quail calling very occasionally on Burrafirth links this afternoon and evening. Two Swifts were feeding over Scord this morning and 38 Sanderling are at the West Voe of Sumburgh & Grutness beaches.


Thursday 24th July 2003

A Crossbill is at Halligarth, 4 Knot are the Houb, Baltasound and a Sanderling is at Haroldswick.


Monday 21st July 2003

3 Crossbills and a Swift are at Hermaness. On Foula, Geoff Atherton reported a juvenile Moorhen feeding a small chick - apparently typical when a second brood are reared.

A juvenile Cuckoo is at Clousta, west Mainland.


Friday 18th July 2003

The 10+ Crossbills are still at Kergord, along with a Blackcap and 2 Grey Herons.


Thursday 17th July 2003

On Foula, Geoff & Donna Atherton reported a Red breasted merganser, 1 Crossbill, Tufted duck (still present), 4 Swallows, 18 Twite and a Song Thrush. 10+ Crossbills are at Kergord.


Wednesday 16th July 2003

On Foula, Geoff & Donna Atherton reported 1 Collared dove, 1 Black headed gull, 2 Crossbills and the Tufted Duck.


Tuesday 15th July 2003

On Foula, Geoff & Donna Atherton reported 1 Blackcap (male) at Ham yard, 1 Song Thrush at Ham Yard, 1 Tufted Duck still present at Ham Voe, 3 Common Swifts, 1 Crossbill and a House Martin.


Friday 11th July 2003

Three Sandwich Terns were at Scord and Virkie this evening


Thursday 10th July 2003

Two Crossbills were at south Hermaness and a Long-eared Owl was at Valyie. On Foula the Wigeon has been joined by a Tufted Duck. A second Swallow nest has been located.


Wednesday 9th July 2003

A Spotted Crake was singing at Quoys during the evening and a Storm Petrel was seen off Lambaness.


Monday 7th July 2003

On Foula there are now 7 Purple Sandpipers, the Wigeon is still present and the Crossbill was seen again. There have been four Swallows in the Ham area for a while and a nest with 5 eggs was found today.Yesterday a juvenile Twite was seen and it is thought that there are probably between five and ten pairs breeding.


Wednesday 2nd July 2003

An Arctic Warbler is at Skaw, Unst. A Spotted Crake is still calling on Unst. Black Redstarts are at Vidlin and Ocraquoy. On Foula, a male Wigeon was new and the Red-breasted Merganser and Cuckoo are still present. 

The Skaw Arctic Warbler - dodgy videograb by Mike Pennington


Tuesday 1st July 2003

On Foula, Geoff and Donna Atherton found a Rose-coloured Starling with Starlings at the north end of the island, a female Red-breasted Merganser was new while the Marsh Warbler was relocated and there was also a Chiffchaff and a Common Crossbill.

There are 5 Common Crossbill at Baltasound.


Monday 30th June 2003

There are 3 Common Crossbills and a Chiffchaff at Baltasound and a male Wigeon is in Haroldswick. A Quail was on Fetlar. On Foula there was a House Martin, a Chiffchaff and a Common Crossbill as well as the Cuckoo.


Sunday 29th June 2003

On Foula, there were 2 adult male Common Crossbills, a Chiffchaff, a Cuckoo and a House Martin. A Sanderling was at Sandwick, Unst and there were 10 Common Crossbills at Baltasound. A Long-tailed Duck was off Gorie, Bressay. There were 2 Mute Swans at Eswick.


Saturday 28th June 2003

A Whinchat is still at Skaw, Unst. On Foula there was a Quail, the Cuckoo and a Grey Heron. There were 10 Common Crossbills at Eswick.


Friday 27th June 2003

A Marsh Warbler was found sheltering under the boardwalks on Hermaness. Also on Unst, a Peregrine, a Whinchat and a Greenshank were at Skaw and a singing Chiffchaff and a Grey Heron were at Baltasound.

On Foula, there was another Marsh Warbler as well as a Grey Heron, a Chiffchaff and a Common Crossbill. Golden Plovers were alarming calling and so have almost certainly bred; there are only a handful of previous breeding records from the island.


Thursday 26th June 2003

Mick Mellor saw 2 Little Terns at Sandwick.

A brown Common Rosefinch was at Burrafirth and 2 Common Crossbills were at Baltasound. The Cuckoo is still on Foula.


Wednesday 25th June 2003

A pair of House Martins are nest-building at Haroldswick. Single 1st summer Mute Swans were at Burrafirth and off Tonga, Hermaness; the same 2 presumably flew over Baltasound 5 minutes apart in the evening. Also on Unst, a Spotted Flycatcher is at Northdale and a Chiffchaff and 2 Common Sandpipers are at Burrafirth.

On Foula, a Quail was heard at Gossameadow and is presumably different to yesterday's bird, and there was also a Cuckoo and a Common Crossbill.


Tuesday 24th June 2003

There 18 Common Crossbills at Swining, near Vidlin and 2 at Baltasound.  A Spotted Crake is still calling on Unst. A Cuckoo and a Quail are on Foula.


Monday 23rd June 2003

There are 3 Whooper Swans still on Loch of Cliff and a juvenile Stonechat is at Skaw, along with a male Whinchat and a Chiffchaff.


Sunday 22nd June 2003

A Turtle Dove is at Sandwick and has been there for about a week.


Saturday 21st June 2003

A Quail is still singing on Foula and another was heard at Cunningsburgh.


Friday 20th June 2003

A Long-tailed Rosefinch has been on Fair Isle since 15th June - unfortunately it has only one leg and a yellow plastic ring.


Thursday 19th June 2003

A Turtle Dove is still at Baltasound.

On Foula, there were 50 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Spotted Flycatcher.


Wednesday 18th June 2003

A Quail was seen walking along the road in Haroldswick.


Tuesday 17th June 2003

On Foula, there was a Quail calling again and a Chiffchaff.

A Turtle Dove is still at Baltasound.

Of interest, the Foula Melodious Warbler had been ringed on Sanday, Orkney, at 08:30 on 11th June and was seen and heard on Foula by 08:00 on 12th.

Eiders at Skaw, Unst - Mike Pennington


Monday 16th June 2003

On Foula, a Common Rosefinch was new and there were 3 Quails again as well as 5 Greylag Geese and 2 Chiffchaffs.

A flock of 45 Common Crossbills are at Kergord.

A Common Crossbill flew south over Hermaness and a Linnet was at Burrafirth while a flock of  58 Greylag Geese flew over Hermaness


Sunday 15th June 2003

On Foula, there were 3 Quails and other birds included 2 Greylag Geese, a Swift, the Melodious Warbler, a Garden Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Willow Warbler.

There are 3 breeding pairs of Whooper Swans this year, with a pair at a new site with a brood of 4 and broods of 6 and 3 at two other sites but the original site is no longer occupied. Mute Swans have broods of 4 at Vementry and 3 at Aith while the pair at Strand are still incubating and the regular pair in South Nesting appear to have failed.

An adult Moorhen was at Loch of Tingwall and a male Wigeon and a female Goldeneye were on Loch of Benston. There were 4 House Martins at Loch of Hillwell.


Saturday 14th June 2003

On Foula, the Melodious Warbler is still present along with 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a Garden Warbler and a third Common Crossbill which has joined the other 2.

A male Garganey and a 1st summer male Marsh Harrier were at Loch of Hillwell, an adult Little Gull was at Loch of Spiggie, a Swift was at Sumburgh Head and a Bar-tailed Godwit was on Pool of Virkie. A summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe was off Hoswick.

A juvenile Stonechat is at Hoswick, not far from last year's breeding site at Channerwick.

On Unst, there were 3 Common Crossbills, a Chiffchaff, a Blackcap and a Chaffinch at Norwick.


Friday 13th June 2003

On Foula, the Melodious Warbler was still present and  there were also a Sedge Warbler, a Blackcap, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, a House Martin and 6 Collared Doves.

On Unst, a Short-eared Owl was at Haroldswick, Turtle Doves are at Baltasound and Haroldswick, the male Scaup is still at Haroldswick, a Knot is at Baltasound and a Blackcap is at Norwick. A single Spotted Crake and a Quail are both still calling at Haroldswick.

A Spotted Flycatcher is at Ocraquoy.


Thursday 12th June 2003

Foula is the place at the moment, with the bird of the day being a Melodious Warbler there, singing at Burns. The amazing thing about it was that it was already ringed! It was trapped in the evening.

The Foula Melodious Warbler (which had been ringed in Orkney the previous day) and a Common Crossbill- Tony Mainwood

Other birds on Foula included the Rose-coloured Starling again, 2 Common Redpolls, 2 Swifts, a House Martin, a Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Common Crossbills still and a Grey Heron.

The Common Crane was at Burrafirth this morning, along with 3 Whooper Swans.

A Hobby was at Brough Lodge, Fetlar, before flying off towards Yell.

A pair of Common Sandpipers with chicks is at the north end of the Loch of Clousta.


Wednesday 11th June 2003

A Rose-coloured Starling is on Foula as well as as 2 Common Crossbills, a Blackcap and 2 House Martins.

The Common Crane was at Norwick in the evening, before flying towards Skaw. A Quail is calling at Haroldswick, where there is also a Sand Martin and 5 Tufted Ducks.

A Sedge Warbler is singing at Hoswick and a Spotted Flycatcher is at Scousburgh.

One of the pairs of Whooper Swans on Mainland has six cygnets.


Tuesday 10th June 2003

The adult Common Crane is still on Unst. It was at Northdale in the morning and was between Haroldswick and Burrafirth, by the Quoys turn-off, in the afternoon.

A pair of Garganeys are at Scatness. A Common Whitethroat is at Voe.

On Foula, there are 2 Common Crossbills, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Blackcap and a Sedge Warbler as well as the Hobby.


Monday 9th June 2003

An adult Common Crane was at Northdale, Unst in the afternoon, but it had moved on by the early evening. It is presumably the bird that was at Vidlin on Saturday. A Spotted Flycatcher is at Haroldswick.

On Foula, a Common Crossbill (a different to one yesterday) and a Redwing were new in. Also present were the Hobby, a Woodpigeon, 2 Turtle Doves, 2 Collared Doves, a Sedge Warbler, 2 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and a Common Rosefinch. First Eider chicks of the year were seen, while 5 Tufted Ducks are unusual there.

Common Crossbill and Hobby on Foula - Steve Votier

(photos of Bluethroat and Red-rumped Swallow have been added for 27th May and 3rd June or see 2003 photos page)


Sunday 8th June 2003

A Sparrowhawk is at Baltasound.

On Foula, the Hobby is still present, a new Marsh Warbler is present, there was and one, possibly two, Common Rosefinches and there were singles of  BlackcapSedge Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and House Martin and 6 Collared Doves.

A Corncrake was reported calling on Mainland.


Saturday 7th June 2003

A male Subalpine Warbler is on Fetlar.

An adult Common Crane is at Vidlin, along with 3 Common Crossbills.

On Foula, the main bird of the day was a Golden Oriole but also new was a female Siskin. The Hobby was seen again briefly and also present were 2 Woodpigeons, 3 Collared  Doves, 3 House Martins, a Robin, a Sedge Warbler, at least one Chiffchaff, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and a Common Crossbill.

On Unst, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Grey Wagtail are at Skaw, the 3 Whooper Swans are at Quoys and a Blackcap is at Norwick.


Friday 6th June 2003

On Foula, the Hobby was seen again today, 8 House Martins was an increase and Collared Doves were up to 4. Also seen were a Swift, a Blackcap, 2 Willow Warblers and a Common Rosefinch.

There were 3 Whooper Swans on Hermaness this morning, later seen flying north out of Burra Firth, and a Blue Fulmar on the cliffs at Sothers Geo.


Thursday 5th June 2003

The Red-rumped Swallow has continued its tour of Shetland and was reported at Scatness at mid-day today. There are 2 Common Rosefinches at Virkie.

A sub-adult male Marsh Harrier was at Haroldswick in the afternoon.

On Foula, there are now 5 Moorhen chicks on the loose. Other birds included a Swift, a House Martin, a Robin, a Sedge Warbler, a Reed Warbler, a Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 5 Spotted Flycatchers, a Pied Flycatcher, a Siskin and a Common Rosefinch.

Photographs of the Fetlar Nightjar have been added for 3rd June, along with photos of Fetlar phalaropes.


Wednesday 4th June 2003

The Red-rumped Swallow has moved to Gott, near the SSPCA centre.

A female Subalpine Warbler has been reported from Scatness, although it could not be found later in the day. The Bar-headed Goose is still present there and has paired up with the Barnacle Goose. A female Crossbill and a Spotted Flycatcher were also present.

A Golden Oriole is at Scalloway.

New in Foula today are a Hobby and a Hawfinch and there is also a Common Rosefinch, 2 Turtle Doves, a Chiffchaff and a Spotted Flycatcher.

On Unst, there are now 2 calling Spotted Crakes at Haroldswick, where the male Greater Scaup is still present, and a Sedge Warbler is still on territory. A female Red-backed Shrike is at Norwick, a Reed Warbler is at Baltasound and a Spotted Flycatcher and a Chiffchaff are at Burrafirth.


Tuesday 3rd June 2003

A Red-rumped Swallow is on Bressay, just near the shop.

The Bressay Red-rumped Swallow - Darren Robson

On Foula, a Greenish Warbler was found by Geoff Atherton in the clearing mist in the morning and was later trapped during the standard evening ringing session. Other birds present included a Common Sandpiper, 2 Woodpigeons, 2 Turtle Doves, a Tree Pipit, a Robin, a Reed Warbler and 3 Tree Sparrows.

 

The Foula Greenish Warbler - Tony Mainwood

A Nightjar is at the Manse on Fetlar. It was also present yesterday evening. There is also a male Bluethroat and a Red-backed Shrike on Fetlar.

On Unst, the Icterine Warbler is still at Skaw, the Turtle Dove is still at Baltasound, a Sparrowhawk is at Norwick and a Barnacle Goose is at Burrafirth.

A summer plumage male Ruff is at Spiggie and 135 Lesser Black-backed Gulls are at Loch of Hillwell.

A dead female Pheasant was found on Trondra.


Monday 2nd June 2003

Another new Icterine Warbler is at Skaw, Unst, the Turtle Dove is still at Baltasound and the male Greater Scaup is still at Haroldswick.

The Haroldswick Scaup - Wendy Dickson (photos of the Burrafirth White-billed Diver have been added for 4th May).

On Foula, a Reed Warbler and a Sedge Warbler were new and there were also a Common Sandpiper, a Woodpigeon, a Sand Martin and a Common Rosefinch. A Chiffchaffs ringed on 5th May was retrapped.

Three Storm Petrels were seen from the Fair Isle ferry, MV Good Shepherd, with one just 200m east of Compass Head.


Sunday 1st June 2003

New on Foula today were a Marsh Warbler, trapped in the Hametoun Burn, 2 Common Rosefinches, a Robin and a Black-tailed Godwit. The Thrush Nightingale was still present and there were also a Collared Dove, a Turtle Dove, a Sand Martin, at least 3 House Martins and 3 Tree Sparrows.

The Foula Marsh Warbler - Tony Mainwood

A male Ortolan Bunting is at Scatness, along with 5 House Martins, a Barnacle Goose, a Knot, a Wood Sandpiper, a pair of  Shovelers and a pair of Pintails. A a Golden Oriole is at Garth, South Nesting. A Bar-headed Goose flew south over Scord in south Mainland at 6am. It is now at Grutness.

A Turtle Dove is at Baltasound.


Saturday 31st May 2003

A Red-breasted Flycatcher is at Vidlin. There are 2 Wood Sandpipers at Loch of Gards, Scatness. A flock of 14 House Martins flew over Swinister, Sandwick.

On Foula, the Thrush Nightingale was seen briefly again and there is a new Common Rosefinch, 4 Spotted Flycatchers and a Common Crossbill and there are now 3 Pink-footed Geese (one of which has attached itself to the domestic geese). Also present are 2 Turtle Doves, a Tree Pipit and 3 Tree Sparrows.

There are 2 pairs of Shovelers at Baltasound and the singing Sedge Warbler is still at Haroldswick. The Spotted Crake is still at Haroldswick.

A Red-throated Diver with 2 newly fledged young was on a loch near Gutcher, Yell. It's been said before - but its a very advanced spring.


Friday 30th May 2003

The Thrush Nightingale on Foula was trapped today, and its identity confirmed.

The Foula Thrush Nightingale - 3 photos Tony Mainwood; last photo Steve Votier

A White-billed Diver, in almost full summer plumage, is off Brough Lodge, Fetlar. It was found when watching a pod of Killer Whales!

An adult Bar-headed Goose is at Loch of Benston, Nesting - presumably another escape form the local collection.

Other birds seen on Foula include a Pink-footed Goose, 2 Turtle Doves, a Pied Flycatcher, 3 Tree Sparrows and a Yellowhammer.

There is a single juvenile House Sparrow at Baltasound - another early record.


Thursday 29th May 2003

The main bird of the day was a Thrush Nightingale on Foula, found by Geoff Atherton in late evening at the lower end of the Hametoun Burn. There are also 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Woodpigeons, 8 Collared Doves, 2 Turtle Doves, 15+ Swallows, 3 House Martins, a Grey Wagtail, 3 Sedge Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher and 3 Tree Sparrows on Foula.

There are 4 Carrion Crows, a Tree Sparrow and 10 Swallows at Haroldswick, along with the male Greater Scaup.


Wednesday 28th May 2003

On Unst, there is a Wood Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper and 2 Tree Sparrows at Haroldswick, where the male Greater Scaup also remains. A male Crossbill was briefly at Skaw and a Kestrel is at Burrafirth.

On Whalsay there is a Golden Oriole.

A singing Icterine Warbler is at Kergord, a Red-backed Shrike is at the Collafirth plantation and an Osprey flew south over Ness of Ireland, south Mainland.

A male Pheasant is on Burra, almost certainly one of those released on Trondra last year.


Tuesday 27th May 2003

On Unst, a singing male Bluethroat is at Skaw, along with a Grey Wagtail, a Pied Flycatcher, 2 Swifts and 18 Swallows. There is also an Icterine Warbler at Norwick, along with a Reed Warbler and a Short-eared Owl, the 2 brown Common Rosefinches are still at Haroldswick, along with the singing Sedge Warbler and the pair of Shovelers are at Baltasound.

The Skaw Bluethroat - Darren Robson

A Short-eared Owl is on Fetlar.

On Whalsay there is a singing Icterine Warbler, a Reed Warbler, a female Bluethroat and 2 Linnets.

Birds on Foula include a Collared Dove, 2 Turtle Doves, a Tree Pipit, a Sedge Warbler and a Linnet.

The first fledged Starlings are at Eswick - another early record in an early spring.


Monday 26th May 2003

No sign of either the Scops Owl or the Pallid Harrier on Unst today. There are 2 brown Common Rosefinches at Haroldswick and 2 Grey Wagtails at Skaw.

A female Red-backed Shrike is on Fetlar.

A Jackdaw at Hillwell was the most notable bird reported from south Mainland. A Lesser Whitethroat is at Voe.

 

Birds seen on Foula included a Common Sandpiper, a Collared Dove, a Turtle Dove, a Swift, a Linnet and a Snow Bunting.

 

Photos of the Foula Common Rosefinch have been added for 24th May and the Fetlar White-throated Sparrow for 11th May.

 


Sunday 25th May 2003

The Scops Owl is still in the elders at the end of the road at Northdale on Unst and the Pallid Harrier is over the fields in Haroldswick between Northdale and the Heritage Centre. Also on Unst, there is an Icterine Warbler and a Grey Wagtail at Skaw, a Reed Warbler and a Sparrowhawk at Norwick. Both the red male and the brown Common Rosefinches were relocated at Haroldswick, where there is also a Blue-headed Wagtail and 3 Linnets. The Spotted Crake is still calling in Haroldswick.

A female Red-backed Shrike is at Housabister, Nesting. A Marsh Warbler is at Quendale.

New on Foula were 2 Collared Doves, a female Bluethroat, an Icterine Warbler, a red male Common Rosefinch and a Reed Bunting. Also present were the Pink-footed Goose, a Turtle Dove, 3 Swifts, a Grey Wagtail, a Sedge Warbler, 7 Lesser Whitethroats, a Brambling and a Mealy Redpoll.


Saturday 24th May 2003

The Scops Owl is still in the elders at the end of the road at Northdale on Unst.

The Unst Scops Owl - two videograbs by Mike Pennington; next photo Steve Minton; two photos Micky Maher

Also on Unst, the Pallid Harrier has been seen twice in the afternoon, although it has proved rather elusive today. There were also 3 Dotterels on Valla Field at mid-day, which flew off north. Very few other birds, but there is a Pied Flycatcher at Norwick, the Sedge Warbler still in song at Haroldswick, where the male Greater Scaup is also still present, and a Grey Wagtail, a Short-eared Owl, a Linnet and the pair of Shovelers at Baltasound.

Even fewer migrants reported from Mainland, although there are female Bluethroats at Sumburgh and Scatness and a Black Redstart at Grutness. There was a Pied Flycatcher on East Burra.

A Goldfinch and a male Red-backed Shrike are on Fetlar.

New on Foula today were a Common Rosefinch, 2 Common Scoters, 3 Tree Sparrows and 2 new Garden Warblers. There were also 2 Grey Wagtails, a Tree Pipit and a Common Sandpiper.

Common Rosefinch - Steve Votier


Friday 23rd May 2003

Two star birds on Unst today. A Scops Owl was found by Bob Holyoak at mid-day in Northdale, and was seen there until the evening, sitting in amongst elders, although it was initially seen sitting on a fencepost. It is the 10th Shetland record, but only the second multi-observer sighting after one at Cunningsburgh in 2001.

In the early afternoon, a 1st summer male Pallid Harrier was found by Steve Duffield and Micky Maher. It spent the afternoon flying over fields between Northdale and the Heritage Centre in Haroldswick, although it was last seen heading north towards Saxa Vord. It is the fifth Shetland record following birds on Fair Isle in 1931 and in south Mainland in 1993, 2001 and 2002.

Also on Unst, a red male Common Rosefinch, a Sedge Warbler and a Short-eared Owl are at Haroldswick, the Osprey is still at Burrafirth, a Carrion Crow is at Baltasound and a Reed Warbler is at Skaw.

There are 2 Icterine Warblers at Vidlin. On Out Skerries there is a Tree Sparrow and a Reed Warbler. An Icterine Warbler is on Whalsay.

On Foula, there was a singing male Lapland Bunting and a Sand Martin was new, while there were 4 House Martins and 3 Swifts. There were also a Short-eared Owl, a Cuckoo (calling in the evening), a Linnet, a Fieldfare, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Reed Buntings, 2 Turtle Doves and a Pink-footed Goose.


Thursday 22nd May 2003

A singing Marsh Warbler and a Reed Warbler are on Fetlar.

The Spotted Crake was still calling at Haroldswick this morning and there are 2 male Snow Buntings on Hermaness and 2 Lesser Whitethroats at Burrafirth, one in song. A Pink-footed Goose and the pair of Shovelers are at Baltasound and a Short-eared Owl is at Haroldswick.

On Foula, a male Bluethroat was singing in the morning sunshine and there was also a female seen. Also new were a Grey-headed Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtails and a Siskin, while a Lesser Whitethroat was singing and there were 5 Mealy Redpolls, 2 Turtle Doves, 2 Woodpigeons, a Ring Ouzel, a Short-eared Owl and the Pink-footed Goose.


Wednesday 21st May 2003

The Icterine Warbler is still at Hoswick, along with a Lesser Whitethroat, a Blackcap, a Chiffchaff and a Mealy Redpoll. A Bluethroat is at Ocraquoy, along with 2 Blackcaps.

The Great Grey Shrike is at Urafirth in north Mainland. In central Mainland, a Golden Oriole is at Kergord, a Red-backed Shrike is at Sandgarth, Voe and a Sedge Warbler is at Eswick.

There are 2 Bluethroats on Fetlar, along with 4 Tree Sparrows, a Wood Sandpiper and a Goldfinch.

On Unst, the Osprey and female Red-backed Shrike are still at Burrafirth, along with a male Red-backed Shrike, and a pair of Shovelers are at Baltasound along with 3 Bramblings and a Chaffinch.

New on Foula were Pink-footed Goose and at least 5 Swifts. There were also 4+ House Martins, 12+ Swallows, 2 Sedge Warblers, a Red-backed Shrike, a Ring Ouzel, a Turtle Dove and a Brambling.


Tuesday 20th May 2003

On Unst, a Common Rosefinch is at Haroldswick and the Osprey and a female Red-backed Shrike are at Burrafirth, while there is Spotted Crake calling from a mire in Haroldswick for the third consecutive year.

On Foula, an Icterine Warbler was the most interesting arrival but  there were also 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Sedge Warblers, a Red-backed Shrike, a Robin, at least 3 Mealy Redpolls and a Turtle Dove, while 2 Teal and a Red-breasted Merganser are quite unusual there at this time of year.

On Whalsay, there was just a single male Red-backed Shrike, and a nice red male Common Rosefinch.

Another new Icterine Warbler is at Hoswick. A late Great Grey Shrike is at Urafirth in north Mainland. A singing Grasshopper Warbler is at Veensgarth. Two Shelducks flew over Eswick and a Lesser Whitethroat is in rarity-staved Whiteness.


Monday 19th May 2003

A singing Icterine Warbler is at Helendale, with another still at Geosetter. There are single Red-backed Shrikes at Kergord and Hoswick, 2 at Levenwick and 2 at Catfirth. A male Golden Oriole is at Cunningsburgh and another is at Boddam. The Black Redstart is still at Geosetter and a Wood Sandpiper is at Bakkasetter. There are Wood Warblers at Kergord and on East Burra. A Pied Flycatcher and a Reed Bunting are at Voe. A female Red-backed Shrike, a Lesser Whitethroat, an Icterine Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher are at Eswick.

On Unst, there is an Icterine Warbler, 20 Swallows, a Sand Martin and a Greater Scaup at Haroldswick, a Red-backed Shrike at Northdale, 6 Swallows and 4 House Martins at Skaw, the Osprey still at Burrafirth and Sparrowhawks at Baltasound and Norwick.

On Foula, the 2 Brent Geese are still present and there was also a Sparrowhawk, at least 6 Swallows and 4 House Martins, a Grey-headed Wagtail, a Sedge Warbler, a male Red-backed Shrike, 2 Linnets and a Reed Bunting.

On Whalsay, there are no fewer than 7 Red-backed Shrikes (5 males and 2 females), 4 Tree Pipits, a Sand Martin, a Swift and a new Sedge Warbler.


Sunday 18th May 2003

In south Mainland, there are male Red-backed Shrikes at Sumburgh Farm, Virkie and Fladdabister, an Icterine Warbler and a Black Redstart at Geosetter and a Bluethroat and a Grey-headed Wagtail at Quendale. There are also small numbers of common migrants in south Mainland e.g. 4 Common Whitethroats and 3 Lesser Whitethroats and a Swift at Sumburgh. There are also 65 Sanderlings on Grutness beach, along with a pair of Shovelers, and the Ruddy Duck is still at Loch of Hillwell along with 3 Pintails.

Some sightings in Nesting include a female Red-backed Shrike and an Icterine Warbler at Eswick and a Yellow Wagtail at Catfirth (which showed a grey head, no supercilium and a white throat, features closest to Ashy-headed (!)).

A Nightingale sp. (probably a Thrush Nightingale) was at Skaw, Whalsay. Also on the isle are 3 Red-backed Shrikes (2 males and a female), 2 Bluethroats, a Common Rosefinch as well as singles of Tree Pipit, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Scaup, Green Sandpiper and Sanderling as well as some commoner migrants, while there were 57 Purple Sandpipers at the Houb.

On Unst, there are Icterine Warblers at Skaw and Northdale, 3 Wrynecks at Baltasound and an Osprey at Burrafirth, while there are still Red-backed Shrikes at Norwick and Baltasound. Other migrants include 2 Swifts, 2 Sedge Warblers and 2 Tree Pipits at Skaw, a Swift at Norwick, a Cuckoo and a pair of Pintails at Haroldswick, 5 Siskins, a Greenshank and a male Shoveler at Baltasound and a male Pintail at Uyeasound.

On Foula there were 2 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, a Common Sandpiper, a Cuckoo, a Short-eared Owl, 4 House Martins, 2 Grey-headed Wagtails, a Sedge Warbler, the Subalpine Warbler, a Red-backed Shrike, 2 Carrion Crows and 4 Crossbills.

There are 2 Red-backed Shrikes on Out Skerries along with a male Bluethroat, a Reed Warbler and a male Grey-headed Wagtail. Yet another Red-backed Shrike is on Noss and a Common Rosefinch is on Bressay.


Saturday 17th May 2003

A Golden Oriole is at Kergord. A Wood Sandpiper is at Loch of Hillwell. A Bluethroat and a Grasshopper Warbler are on Noss. A Red-backed Shrike and a Bluethroat are on Out Skerries. A pair of Pintails are at Haroldswick.

New on Foula, were a male Bluethroat, 2 Whinchats, a Garden Warbler, a Blackcap and 3 Willow Warblers.

There are fledged Blackbirds in Ramsey Napier's garden in Lerwick and Redshank chicks on Burra.

The Thick-billed Warbler is still on Fair Isle, but it has moved to the crofting area at the south of the island.


Friday 16th May 2003

Most extraordinary news of what is becoming an increasingly extraordinary year is a Thick-billed Warbler on Fair Isle, caught on the early morning trap-round and released in the FIBO garden. It is the fourth for Shetland and Britain and the fifth for Europe, but the first in spring.

The Fair Isle Thick-billed Warbler -  Fair Isle Bird Observatory

For more photos and info, don't forget to visit the FIBO website.

On Foula what was assumed to be the same Subalpine Warbler was relocated by Steve Votier and single Short-eared Owl, Collared Dove, Redwing, Ring Ouzel, Common Redstart, Pied Flycatcher and Reed Bunting were new while there were also at least 12 Swallows.

On Unst, a female Red-backed Shrike is still at Haroldswick and a male Red-backed Shrike is still at Norwick, while a pair of Shovelers were on the pool at Baltasound school at mid-day, 6 Swallows and a Sparrowhawk were at Haroldswick and 2 Goosanders flew past Hermaness, where there was a male Snow Bunting.

The first fledged Blackbirds of the year are on Trondra.


Thursday 15th May 2003

The (Western) Bonelli's Warbler is still at Scatness. A Goldfinch is at Vidlin. A flock of 7 Whimbrels flew north over Bridge End, Burra.

On Unst, there are two female Red-backed Shrikes at Baltasound (the birds found on 12th and 13th) as well 2 Linnets and a Goldfinch and the Wood Warbler still there. Another female Red-backed Shrike is at Haroldswick.

The Halligarth Wood Warbler - Mike Pennington

On Foula, a Garden Warbler was new and there were 6 Chiffchaffs including one that had first been caught on 30th April. Two Mealy Redpolls were still present and there were 2 Bramblings and 50 Turnstones.

A Reed Warbler is on Out Skerries.


Wednesday 14th May 2003

North-westerly winds encouraged observers to spend 9 hours (from 7am to 4pm) at Wats Ness, west Mainland, where they were rewarded with 727 Pomarine Skuas (including a flock of 200+), 21 Long-tailed Skuas, 2 summer-plumaged Little Auks and a Great Northern Diver.

The (Western) Bonelli's Warbler is still at Scatness, although it has been fairly elusive. A female or immature Golden Oriole is at Toab. A Cuckoo is at Eswick.

On Foula, a Common Whitethroat, a Blackcap and a new Chiffchaff were the only warblers seen today but there were still two Mealy Redpolls and at least 4 White Wagtails. Fulmars are on eggs there now.

There are still 2 Goldfinches at Baltasound.


Tuesday 13th May 2003

A presumed Western Bonelli's Warbler is at Scatness. It is the first spring record fro Shetland, although unless it calls or is trapped it may not be absolutely certain whether it is of the Western or Eastern species, although the former seems much more likely.

The Scatness Bonelli's Warbler -  Steve Minton

There are 2 Long-eared Owls in the bushes at Pool of Virkie and 2 Linnets at Toab.

On Unst, there are male and female Red-backed Shrikes at Norwick, along with 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a new female Red-backed Shrike at Baltasound, along with the Wood Warbler from yesterday, and a Spotted Flycatcher and a Mealy Redpoll at Northdale.

A very early Red-necked Phalarope is back on Fetlar, where there is also a Turtle Dove.

On Foula, the Shore Lark was relocated, a Pintail was new and other birds present include 2 Common Sandpipers, 2 Sedge Warblers, a Turtle Dove, a Common Whitethroat and a Carrion Crow.

The crew of the Good Shepherd saw their first Manx Shearwater of the year on the crossing between Sumburgh and Fair Isle.


Monday 12th May 2003

There was no sign of the White-throated Sparrow at Brough Lodge, Fetlar, today although 2 male Red-backed Shrikes were on the island.

At Baltasound there were a male and female Red-backed Shrike, a Wood Warbler, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and 3 Sand Martins. A Short-eared owl is at Baliasta on Unst.

 

A male Red-backed Shrike is at Skaw, Whalsay.

 

There was not much of note on Foula today and the Pectoral Sandpiper was not seen again though a Cuckoo was certainly new. Otherwise there was a Turtle Dove, 2 Woodpigeons, a Sedge Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Common Whitethroat and a Wood Warbler. A Moorhen's nest was also confirmed there today.


Sunday 11th May 2003

A White-throated Sparrow is at Brough Lodge, Fetlar. It is the tenth Shetland record and the second North American passerine for the month.

The Fetlar White-throated Sparrow - Steve Duffield

Bird of the day on Foula was a Pectoral Sandpiper found by Steve Votier. Among other birds seen were a Common Sandpiper, 4 Woodpigeons, a Turtle Dove, a Long-eared Owl, at least 6 Tree Pipits, a Black Redstart, a Whinchat, a Ring Ouzel, 2 Wood Warblers, a Rook, a Carrion Crow, 2 Goldfinches, a Lapland Bunting, a Snow Bunting and 2 Reed Buntings. Also today, the first Great Skua nest with eggs was found, there were 3 pairs of Lapwings with chicks and Arctic Terns have returned in some numbers.

There are 2 Goldfinches and a Whinchat at Baltasound.

A drake Ruddy Duck, a pair of Pintails, 20+ Swallows and a House Martin are at Loch of Hillwell, 63 Sanderlings and 12 Dunlins are at Virkie and 24 Great Northern Divers were in Bay of Quendale this evening.


Saturday 10th May 2003

The Dark-eyed Junco is still on Out Skerries.

On Foula one Shore Lark is still present. There were also 12 Purple Sandpipers, 34 Turnstones, a Common Sandpiper, more than 10 Swallows, a House Martin, 8 or more Tree Pipits, at least 7 White Wagtails and one Pied Wagtail, 2 Whinchats, a Robin, 2 Sedge Warblers, a Carrion Crow, 2 Goldfinches and a Reed Bunting.

The Foula Shore Lark - photo Tony Mainwood

A Sedge Warbler, a Whinchat and a Tree Pipit are at Sumburgh, and a pair of Pintails, a pair of Shovelers, a Ruddy Duck and 25 Swallows are at Loch of Hillwell. A Lesser Whitethroat is at Maywick. Davy White reported 2 Common Cranes on the hill at Cunningsburgh.

On Unst, a Pied Flycatcher is at Northdale, at Norwick there are 3 Blackcaps, a Common Whitethroat, 3 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 2 Tree Pipits and a Long Eared Owl and at Haroldswick there are 2 House Martins, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Common Sandpiper.


Friday 9th May 2003

The Dark-eyed Junco is still on Out Skerries, along with a Wood Warbler, a Mistle Thrush, a Linnet, at least 4 Tree Pipits and 3 Common Whitethroats.

A summer plumage White-billed Diver, possibly the bird seen on Foula last weekend, and Pomarine Skua were seen from the Papa Stour Ferry.

On Foula, there were 2 Shore Larks and the first Arctic Terns (50) of the year. There were also single Sparrowhawk, Moorhen and Greylag Goose while still present were the 2 Goldfinches, 2 Redpolls, 3 Bramblings, 2 Reed Buntings, Song Thrush, Wood Warbler, 2 Sedge Warblers, at least 6 Tree Pipits and 2 Whinchats.

A Pomarine Skua and a Manx Shearwater were off Wats Ness this morning.

A Pied Flycatcher is at Kergord and a Common Whitethroat is at Swinning.

A pair of Gadwall are at Baltasound, a female Pintail is at Haroldswick along with a House Martin and 6 Reed Buntings. A Wood Pigeon is sitting on eggs at Baltasound School plantation.


Thursday 8th May 2003

The Dark-eyed Junco is still on Out Skerries.

A Long-tailed Skua flew over Papa Stour at about 5pm.

New on Foula, were a pair of Tufted Ducks, 2 Sedge Warblers, 3 Common Whitethroats, a Whinchat and a Pied Flycatcher, while the 2 Goldfinches are still there.

A pair of Pintails flew past Scord.


Wednesday 7th May 2003

The Dark-eyed Junco was seen briefly on Out Skerries.

A Marsh Harrier was at the Brig of Bakkasetter (Brow marsh) this evening, and there are 36 Sanderlings at Pool of Virkie.

On Unst, there are 5 Tree Sparrows now at Baliasta (one at Baltasound was possibly one of the same), a pair of Gadwalls at Baltasound and a Grey Wagtail and a Short-eared Owl at Skaw, while Arctic Terns have arrived in force, with 50+ between Haroldswick and Baltasound.

Birds on Foula today included a Common Sandpiper, a Dunnock, a Ring Ouzel, 2 Tree Pipits and 2 Garden Warblers.


Tuesday 6th May 2003

A Rough-legged Buzzard is flying around the ridge between Baltasound and Haroldswick. Also on Unst, there are 5 Jackdaws, 2 Carrion Crows and 2 Rooks at Baltasound as well as a Bar-tailed Godwit and a House Martin.

A flock of 12 Pomarine Skuas flew north past Wats Ness at 8:00 am and, although nothing else of note was seen in a 3 hr watch, another 3 flew past at noon.

A Sandwich Tern is at Loch of Gards, Scatness, a Wood Warbler is at Virkie and a pair of Pintails are at Loch of Hillwell.

New on Foula were 3 Blackcaps and a Garden Warbler, while Willow Warblers increased to 7 and there were 2 Mealy Redpolls and 2 new Reed Buntings. Still present are 2 Goldfinches and the Wood Warbler.

A Red Kite was reported from Kergord again today.


Monday 5th May 2003

The Dark-eyed Junco is still on Out Skerries, where it was seen in the morning, although it could not be found in the evening.

An Alpine Swift was seen flying around Stivla, at the east end of Fetlar, during the afternoon, before it flew south. It is the 11th Shetland record and the second for Fetlar, following one there in 1999.

The Mediterranean Gull is still at Spiggie and there is a male Ruddy Duck on Loch of Hillwell. A Barnacle Goose is at Loch of Gards, Scatness. The spring flock of Great Northern Divers at Bay of Quendale has reached 27. A Pied Flycatcher is in the small plantation at Bridge End, East Burra.

On Unst, there are now 4 Tree Sparrows at Norwick as well as the 3 still at Baliasta. There are Sparrowhawks at Norwick, Burrafirth and Baltasound while other notable migrants include Ring Ouzel and Whinchat at Burrafirth, Common Whitethroat and Whinchat at Norwick, Common Sandpiper and Tree Pipit at Haroldswick and 6 Jackdaws, 2 Carrions Crows, Rook, male Black Redstart, Whinchat and Common Sandpiper at Baltasound.

New arrivals on Foula are a Short-eared Owl, an early Wood Warbler, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Goldfinches and 2 Pied Flycatchers while Tree Pipits are up to 6 there and the Subalpine Warbler is still present as are 2 Greenfinches and the Common Scoter.

Goldfinch on Foula - photo Tony Mainwood


Sunday 4th May 2003

The Dark-eyed Junco is still on Out Skerries along with a Short-eared Owl.

Two White-billed Divers were located today, an adult  just moulting into summer plumage at Burrafirth, and another adult off Ham Voe, Foula.

The Foula White-billed Diver - photo Tony Mainwood - and the Burrafirth diver - photo Wendy Dickson

Also on Foula, the Subalpine Warbler is still present and new birds include 3 Carrion Crows, a Goldcrest, a Mealy Redpoll a House Martin and 4 Swallows, while the Common Scoter and a Tree Sparrow are also present.

A male Bluethroat is at Geosetter.

On Unst, the Tree Pipit is at Skaw and there are several Swallows and Willow Warblers around.

There have been reports of  Red Kites from West Yell and Kergord today, but both sightings are unconfirmed.


Saturday 3rd May 2003

The Dark-eyed Junco is still on Out Skerries, looking a lot livelier today and feeding on seed which has been put out for it. A Tree Sparrow, a Ring Ouzel, a Mistle Thrush and a Long-eared Owl are also there, along with at least 10 Robins.

A male Ruddy Duck is on Loch of Brow, with a Short-eared Owl hunting nearby over the Brig of Bakkasetter (aka Brow marsh).

On Foula, there are 2 White Wagtails, 2 Woodpigeons, a Snow Bunting and a Tree Pipit, while the Tree Sparrow, Common Scoter and Bar-tailed Godwit are still present.

A Tree Pipit is at Skaw on Unst and a Black-tailed Godwit is at Haroldswick.

Black-tailed Godwit - photo Micky Maher


Friday 2nd May 2003

The Dark-eyed Junco is still on Out Skerries, and so becomes the first in Shetland to be seen on more than one day. It does, however, seem to have a close encounter with a cat since it was released. A Tree Sparrow, a Black Redstart, a Ring Ouzel and a Linnet are also there.

The Skerries Dark-eyed Junco - photo Paul Sclater

On Unst, a male Linnet, a Common Sandpiper and a Siskin are at Baltasound, 2 Ring Ouzels and a female Common Kestrel on Hermaness and a Whinchat is at Skaw. A Hawfinch has been visiting Heather Macauley's birdtable in Uyeasound for the last week, including today, and Barbara Priest had 3 Tree Sparrows in her garden today.

On Foula, there are 2 Greenfinches, a Grasshopper Warbler, a Ring Ouzel and a Kestrel while the Subalpine Warbler has been relocated and the Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Scoter and Tree Sparrow are all still present.

Birds visiting Anne Anderson's garden at Scousburgh include 20 Bramblings, 2 Siskins, a Goldcrest and the first Garden Warbler of the year. A Black-throated Diver was in the bay at the pier at Mousa.


Thursday 1st May 2003

A Dark-eyed Junco is on Out Skerries. It was caught in a children's playhouse in a garden on West Isle and handed to Edwin Tait who ringed and released it back at its capture site. It is only the fourth Shetland record, following individuals on Foula in 1966 and 1967 and on Out Skerries in 1969, all occurring between 1st and 10th May.

Annie Thomson saw a male White-spotted Bluethroat at her house at Ungirsta, Haroldswick. Also on Unst, a Tree Pipit and the adult Glaucous Gull are at Skaw, a Green Sandpiper and a Ring Ouzel are on Hermaness, 2 Linnets are at Norwick along with the 2 Tree Sparrows and a Great Tit and a Greenfinch are at Baltasound.

On Foula, 4 Dunlin were the first of the year and there is also a Grasshopper Warbler, a Tree Pipit, 2 Greenfinches and a Sparrowhawk.

A Kestrel is at South Nesting and 2 Mealy Redpolls are at Vidlin. A dead Wryneck was found on Bressay.


Wednesday 30th April 2003

The Mediterranean Gull was still at Spiggie in the evening. A Mistle Thrush is at Nesting.

On Unst, there are still 80 Bramblings at Baltasound, along with 2 Siskins and 2 Carrion Crows, there are 3 Linnets and 5 Swallows at Uyeasound, and the 2 Gadwalls are now at Burrafirth. A male Common Redstart, 5 Willow Warblers and 3 Pied Wagtails are at Haroldswick and there are the Great Tit is still at Norwick, while there is a House Martin and 3 Fieldfares on Hermaness.

On Foula there is a Common Scoter, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Woodpigeon, a Moorhen, a Whimbrel, a Long-eared Owl, 2 Greylag Geese, 12 Fieldfare and a Tree Sparrow, along with some other common migrants.

A pair of Blackbirds on Foula are carrying food and a Blackbird's nest at Uyeasound also has hatched eggs.


Tuesday 29th April 2003

On Fetlar, there is a female Ring Ouzel, the first Yellow Wagtail of the year, 5 Common Redstarts, a female Sparrowhawk, a male Pied Flycatcher, a Sand Martin, 4 Swallows, 16 Fieldfares, a Mealy Redpoll and a Dunnock.

On Unst, an adult Glaucous Gull is at Norwick, a Common Whitethroat is at Skaw, a Whimbrel is at Burrafirth and a Water Rail is at Haroldswick. A 'Blue' Fulmar is on Hermaness.

The Hawfinch is still visiting the birdtable at the Nurse's Cottage on Foula and the Common Scoter is still in Ham Voe.

A Grasshopper Warbler is on Noss.


Monday 28th April 2003

On Unst, the Shore Lark is still at Lamba Ness, there are Sparrowhawks at Skaw, Norwick and Baltasound, 2 Common Redstarts and a Blackcap at Skaw, the Great Tit still at Norwick along with a Common Sandpiper and a Carrion Crow, a pair of Gadwalls at Haroldswick and a Rook is at Baltasound along with at least 85 Bramblings.

A Hawfinch is on Foula along with 2 Swallows, 2 Woodpigeons, 3 Reed Buntings, 21 Bramblings, a Common Redstart, a Moorhen, 3 Chiffchaffs, a juvenile Peregrine and a Sparrowhawk, while the Marsh Harrier is still there and there is a Common Scoter.

There are still 20 Bramblings at Scousburgh, along with a male Siskin. A 'Blue' Fulmar is in the Wick of Tresta, Fetlar.


Sunday 27th April 2003

A 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull is at Spiggie, the second record for the year, although it is only the 5th for Shetland.

The Mediterranean Gull at Spiggie - photo Paul Sclater

A Subalpine Warbler is on Foula, along with 3 Carrion Crows, 16 Bramblings, 3 Swallows, a Long-eared Owl, 3 Ring Ouzels, a Common Redstart and a Sparrowhawk.

A pair of Garganeys is at the Brig of Bakkasetter (aka Brow marsh). The first Common Sandpiper of the year is on Noss. An Arctic Tern is at Gutcher.

On Unst, there is a Shore Lark at Lamba Ness, a female Great Tit at Norwick along with the 2 Tree Sparrows, Whinchats at Skaw and Northdale, Common Redstart at Norwick, Northdale and Baltasound, a Black Redstart, 2 Rooks and 3 Carrion Crows at Baltasound, at least 10 Swallows at three sites and still plenty of Bramblings.

One of the Norwick Tree Sparrows and Ringed Plover on Norwick beach - photos Micky Maher


Saturday 26th April 2003

A Nightingale is at Skaw, Unst, along with a male Common Redstart. An Osprey flew over Baltasound and there at least 105 Bramblings there, along with a female Black Redstart, 2 Linnets and a Greenfinch. There are about 20 Bramblings, 4 Siskins, a Moorhen and Rook at Norwick, along with the 2 Tree Sparrows. A Sand Martin is at Haroldswick and there are at least 20 Fieldfares on Unst. A 1st summer Glaucous Gull is at Burrafirth.

On Foula, there is a Green Sandpiper and a Marsh Harrier, a Short-eared Owl and a Sparrowhawk, along with a good scatter of other migrants.

An early Cuckoo was heard calling at about 7pm at Maywick. A Short-eared Owl is at Spiggie. The 5 Common Scoters are still in Lerwick harbour.

A male American Wigeon is on Grunna Water, South Nesting. There are 4 Ruddy Ducks on Loch of Tingwall and a Hawfinch at Veensgarth.

The American Wigeon in South Nesting and the Ruddy Ducks on Loch of Tingwall - photos Paul Sclater


Friday 25th April 2003

Bramblings are very much in evidence today with counts of 40 at Scousburgh, 40 on Trondra, 37 at Uyeasound and 16 at Baltasound.

A Sand Martin is at Loch of Hillwell, a Common Tern and a Greenshank at Spiggie and a Grasshopper Warbler is at Geosetter. The 2 Tree Sparrows are still at Norwick, along with a female Blackcap. A 1st summer hybrid Glaucous x Herring Gull is at Baltasound.


Thursday 24th April 2003

A Wryneck is at Hamister, Whalsay - the earliest Shetland record away from Fair Isle. The first Common Whitethroat and a Rook are also on the island.

On Unst, there are 60 Bramblings at Baltasound 13 at Norwick, 2 Linnets at Baltasound, the 2 Tree Sparrows still at Norwick and the male Hen Harrier still at Haroldswick and a Siskin is at Baltasound. On Fetlar, there are 2 Linnets, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Barnacle Goose, 10 Bramblings and 5 Chiffchaffs.

Migrants on Foula include 2 White Wagtails, a Blackcap, 2 Swallows and a Ring Ouzel.

A male Pied Flycatcher, 4 Bramblings, a Siskin and a Chiffchaff are at Maywick. There are 25 Bramblings on Trondra. A flock of 4 Waxwings is at the Old Cemetery in Lerwick.


Wednesday 23rd April 2003

On Unst, there is a Greenshank, 10 Bramblings, at least 3 Siskins and a Blackcap at Baltasound, several Swallows at Quoys and the female Pintail is still at Haroldswick. There are 2 Linnets on Fetlar.

A Ring Ouzel is at Sumburgh. At Loch of Hillwell, 14 Swallows and a Sand Martin, there are 2 Chiffchaffs, a White Wagtail, a Blackcap, a Willow Warbler and a Tree Pipit at Quendale, and a Common Tern and a Swallow at Loch of Spiggie. There are  13 Bramblings at Vidlin and 4 at Maywick.

On Foula, there are 14 Bramblings, a Reed Bunting, a Peregrine Falcon and a Ring Ouzel.

Some of the Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers around the islands are occasionally bursting into song.


Tuesday 22nd April 2003

A Great Grey Shrike and a Tree Pipit are at Skaw, Whalsay.

There are 2 Tree Sparrows and 2 Arctic Skuas at Norwick, where the male Blackcap is still present, while a male Hen Harrier and a female Pintail are at Haroldswick.

There is a Peregrine Falcon on Foula, along with a House Martin and a Swallow.

There are Blackcaps at both Sumburgh Head and Quendale,  7 Swallows and a White Wagtail at Quendale, a Shoveler at Loch of Hillwell and 2 Sanderlings still at Pool of Virkie.


Monday 21st April 2003

A Great Tit and a Carrion Crow are at Baltasound. Two Arctic Skuas are at Tingwall and 2 are on Trondra, as they become yet another species to arrive back early. There are 2 Goldfinches on Trondra.

The Slavonian Grebe is still on Loch of Brow, a male Gadwall is at Pool of Virkie, a Dunnock is at Geosetter and there are now 8 Coots and a Little Grebe on Loch of Hillwell.


Sunday 20th April 2003

Ian Sandison found a male Green-winged Teal near the burn mouth at Sand Water, Weisdale.

An early Whimbrel is at Westing, Unst and the male Blackcap is still at Norwick, while there are 66 Long-tailed Ducks at Belmont.

There are 2 Sandwich Terns and the first Arctic Tern of the year in Grutness Voe, a Kestrel and an Arctic Skua at Pool of Virkie along with the Black-tailed Godwit, 15 Bar-tailed Godwits and 2 Sanderling there, pairs of Shovelers at both Loch of Spiggie and Loch of Gards and a Slavonian Grebe on Loch of Brow.


Saturday 19th April 2003

Male Wheatear - photos Micky Maher

Beautiful day again, with plenty of Wheatears back, as they have been for several days now. The Firecrest is still at Marrister, Whalsay along with 2 Goldfinches.

The first Arctic Skuas of the year are 2 on Fetlar and singles at Scatness and on Mousa. A female Sparrowhawk was flying around north Unst. There are single Common Crossbills at Lerwick and Voe.

A Canada Goose is on Foula, along with a  3 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 2 Rooks, 16 Bramblings and a Kestrel


Friday 18th April 2003

A Firecrest is at Marrister, Whalsay. It is the fourth for the island but the first in spring. There are also 2 Goldfinches at Huxter, Whalsay, which have been visiting a birdfeeder for 2-3 days.

There are Goldfinches at Sumburgh Head and Grutness, a male Lapland Bunting at Scatness, along with 2 Swallows there, a Sandwich Tern is at Pool of Virkie along with a Willow Warbler, 2 Sanderling and the wintering Black-tailed Godwit, and 2 Shovelers are at Loch of Hillwell. There are also several Chiffchaffs around.

There are 4 Pink-footed Geese still at Baltasound and a male Blackcap at Norwick. On Fetlar, there are 4 Chiffchaffs. On Foula, there are 2 Sand Martins, 3 Swallows, 16 Bramblings and the first arrivals of Wheatears (20).


Thursday 17th April 2003

On Unst, the first Pied Flycatcher of the year was at Northdale, 2 Sandwich Terns, a Chiffchaff, 3 Bramblings and 5 Swallows are at Skaw, and another Sandwich Tern and a Scandinavian Rock Pipit are at Haroldswick.

There are 4 Swallows, 2 Sand Martins and a Kestrel at Sumburgh Head. A male Common Scoter is on Loch of Gards, Scatness, with the Green-winged Teal still there along with a Swallow. A Pink-footed Goose is at Spiggie. The Black Redstart is still at Skaw, Whalsay.

A Kestrel is on Foula, along with 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrests, 10 Bramblings and 2 Chaffinches


Wednesday 16th April 2003

On Unst, there is a male Hawfinch, a Jackdaw and a Chiffchaff at Baltasound and a male Black Redstart, a Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaffs and 5 Swallows at Skaw. There are singles of Goldcrest, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff on Fetlar.

The Unst Hawfinch - Mike Pennington

There are 2 Linnets at Bigton, 3 Willow Warblers and a Chiffchaff at Quendale, a Chiffchaff and a Bullfinch at Geosetter and a Swallow at Spiggie. A Sparrowhawk is at Collafirth, Northmavine.

There is also a Black Redstart at Skaw on Whalsay today, along with 4 Willow Warblers a Chiffchaff and a Brambling. On Foula, there are 8 Bramblings, a Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler and a Goldcrest.

An early Oystercatcher nest, with 2 eggs, has been reported from within Sullom Voe Terminal, just 10m away from a Lapwing's nest there.


Tuesday 15th April 2003

The first Common Redstart of the year is at Skaw on Whalsay.

On Unst, 2 Sand Martins, 2 Swallows, a Chiffchaff, 4 Bramblings and a Greenfinch are at Baltasound, 5 Greenfinches are at Norwick and a Chiffchaff is at Skaw.

A Willow Warbler is at Hoswick, a Jack Snipe is at Swinister and singing Song Thrushes are at Hoswick and Swinister. The Bullfinch and Chiffchaff are still at Geosetter and a Goldcrest is at Sumburgh Hotel.


Monday 14th April 2003

A very early Common Tern overflew the Houb on Whalsay and headed off in a westerly direction. There are only two earlier Shetland sightings, both in 1996. Also on Whalsay there are 2 Goldfinches at Skaw, 5 Chiffchaffs, 3 Goldcrests, 2 Mealy Redpolls a Greenfinch and a Brambling. A Great Tit is on Trondra.


Sunday 13th April 2003

Andy Gear was informed that the White-tailed Eagle flew over Sellafirth, Yell, at about mid-day.

A Linnet, a Goldcrest, 3 Bramblings and 4 Pink-footed Geese are at Baltasound, a Brambling is at Burrafirth and a Greenfinch is at Gutcher. There were 7 Shovelers in the Ness (2 pairs at Loch of Hillwell, 2 males a a female at Loch of Spiggie) and 7 Wood Pigeons at Spiggie, with the Dunnock and Yellowhammer still at Sumburgh, the Swallow at Loch of Hillwell and the Bullfinch still at Geosetter. A Long-eared Owl is on Whalsay.


Saturday 12th April 2003

The first Swallow of the year is at Loch of Hillwell. The Green-winged Teal and 2 Gadwall are still at Scatness, a Gadwall and 2 Sanderling are still at Pool of Virkie and 2 Gadwall, a Pintail, a Pink-footed Goose, the European White-fronted Goose and a Short-eared Owl are at Spiggie. The Bullfinch is still at Geosetter and a White Wagtail is at Quendale.

A Crossbill is at Helendale. A female Sparrowhawk is at Gulberwick. A Hen Harrier is at Gutcher, Yell. On Unst, a Goldcrest is at Norwick and a Moorhen is at Haroldswick, while there is a scatter of Redwings around. On Fetlar, there is a Dunnock, a Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrests and 3 Greenfinches.


Friday 11th April 2003

An early House Martin is at Sumburgh, along with a Yellowhammer and a Dunnock, while a Bullfinch is at Geosetter. There are 4 Bramblings and at least 4 Chaffinches at Baltasound and 4 Pied Wagtails at Haroldswick and Norwick..


Thursday 10th April 2003

A juvenile White-tailed Eagle flew north over Fair Isle just after lunchtime today and was seen flying north at Sumburgh Head at 3:45pm.

A Jack Snipe and a male White Wagtail are at Quendale, a Wheatear is at Garths Ness, a Little Grebe is at Loch of Hillwell and a Chiffchaff is at Geosetter. A Hen Harrier was at Scord, Scalloway, at lunchtime. A Crossbill flew over Walls.

On Unst, a male Lapland Bunting was on Sobul, the hill north of Uyeasound, a Chiffchaff, a female Stonechat, a Pied Wagtail and a male Brambling and 4 Wheatears are at Skaw and 2 Bramblings are at Baltasound. On Foula, the first Chiffchaff of the year was a ringed bird trapped at Ham. There was also a Chaffinch, a Goldcrest and a Pied Wagtail.


Wednesday 9th April 2003

New today on Foula were a male Blackcap, a female Crossbill, a Goldcrest and a Pink-footed Goose while there are now 4 Greylag Geese there, a few more Blackbirds (c. 15) and 2 Merlins as well as 4 Bramblings, while the Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail and Lapland Bunting are all still present.

The female Crossbill is still visiting a garden at Sletts, Lerwick, along with 7 Bramblings. On Unst, counts of 6 Great Northern Divers at Haroldswick and 2 at Burrafirth indicate some through-passage. There are 2 Bramblings, a Long-eared Owl and 3 Mealy Redpolls on Whalsay. A Greenfinch is at Gutcher.


Tuesday 8th April 2003

The female Crossbill is still visiting a peanut feeder at Sletts, Lerwick. The Green-winged Teal is still at Scatness with 2 Gadwalls also there. A male Gadwall, 2 Sanderling and 23 Bar-tailed Godwits are at Pool of Virkie. A female Brambling is at Maywick.

A female Sparrowhawk is at Northdale, Unst. A Greenfinch, 2 Siskins and a Wheatear are on Whalsay, along with a Common Scoter there. On Foula there were 3 Collared Doves, a Merlin, a Brambling and a Linnet, while the Lapland Bunting is still present and there are also 2 Woodpigeons.


Monday 7th April 2003

The female Crossbill is still visiting a peanut feeder at Sletts, Lerwick. A Canada Goose and 2 Greylag Geese are still on Foula (although the Whoopers appear to have left). There were 3 Wheatears on Foula today and one at Haroldswick.


Sunday 6th April 2003

A Crossbill has been visiting a peanut feeder at Lerwick all day. A Long-eared Owl has been at Cunningsburgh for about a week. A female Sparrowhawk is at Haroldswick. Two extra Whooper Swans have arrived on Foula, making a total of 5 there, and a Snow Bunting is still present.


Saturday 5th April 2003

The Black-throated Diver is still in Bay of Quendale Bay along with about 20 Great Northern Divers. A Pintail is at Loch of Spiggie, 4 Coots are still at Loch of Hillwell and a Stock Dove is in a ploughed field west of Loch of Spiggie. The Green-winged Teal is still at Scatness. A male Sparrowhawk flew north at Stromfirth.


Friday 4th April 2003

A Lapland Bunting is on Foula and several Great Skuas are now at Spiggie.


Thursday 3rd April 2003

A Mealy Redpoll is at Whiteness and a Jack Snipe was flushed from the Burn at Swinister, Sandwick. On a generally more pleasant day, auks were back in some numbers on Foula with good numbers of Razorbills ashore as well as on the sea and Puffins ashore in the evening. Only a few Guillemots ashore and two oiled birds also noted. Great Skuas are now up to about 20. A Woodpigeon and a Snow Bunting are still present as are the 3 Whooper Swans, 2 Greylags and Canada Goose. Redwings now up to about 40 there and some were giving a bit of subsong. A Crossbill has been at Eswick for about 3 days.


Wednesday 2nd April 2003

Little new - except snow and hail. The ringtail Hen Harrier is still on Unst, this time at Colvadale. The Green-winged Teal is still at Scatness, along with 3 Gadwalls. The Black-tailed Godwit is still on Pool of Virkie. There are 3 Siskins at Maywick. The usual wintering Black-throated Diver was in Bay of Quendale in the evening, now moulting into summer plumage. The 3 wintering Short-eared Owls are in the Brow marsh at Bakkasetter. A Snow Bunting was new on Foula today.


Tuesday 1st April 2003

The Green-winged Teal is still at Scatness. A Siskin is at Baltasound. A male Wheatear was at one of the Sumburgh quarries and 2 Pink-footed Geese were at Fleck. A Grey Wagtail and a Black Redstart are still present on Foula.

An unidentified large raptor was at Levenwick (possibly a Hen Harrier).


Monday 31st March 2003

A Stock Dove is at Quendale. The Green-winged Teal is still at Scatness, along with 3 Gadwalls, a Pintail is at Loch of Spiggie and there are 4 Coots and a pair of Shovelers at Loch of Hillwell. The Sanderling is still at Pool of Virkie. Great Skuas were in Yell Sound, at Lerwick Catch and at Easting (Sandwick) on Unst. On Foula, a Merlin was new and single Jack Snipe, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail and Canada Goose were still present.


Sunday 30th March 2003

The European White-fronted Goose is still at Spiggie along with a male Pintail. There are 3 Coots at Loch of Hillwell along with 2 Shovelers. A Bar-tailed Godwit is at Baltasound.


Saturday 29th March 2003

Harry Rose had a Great Grey Shrike in his garden at Levenwick. A Grey Wagtail is at Boddam, an adult Iceland Gull is at Quendale and a Short-eared Owl, presumably one of the wintering birds, is at Brow marsh. There are 2 Moorhens at Loch of Spiggie.

There are 3 Siskins on Whalsay and 2 Collared Doves there (they are migrants on the island). On Foula, new arrivals include a Dunnock, a Grey Wagtail, a Wheatear and a Black Redstart, along with a Jack Snipe, a Wood Pigeon, the Canada Goose still present and counts of 26 Teals and 4 Goldeneyes.


Friday 28th March 2003

There are 4 Siskins on Whalsay and one at Bigton. On Foula, there is a Canada Goose and 3 Whooper Swans (which have all been around for a few days), a Pied Wagtail, a Moorhen and 2 Goldcrests. A Goldcrest is at Northdale, Unst. A Great Skua was in Bluemull Sound.


Thursday 27th March 2003

There are 3 Gadwall at Scatness, plus the male still on Pool of Virkie, along with the Black-tailed Godwit and the Sanderling. A Pintail and 2 Pied Wagtails are at Spiggie. On Unst, there are 2 Greenfinches at Baltasound and 2 Goldcrests at Norwick. A Long-eared Owl is at Maywick.


Wednesday 26th March 2003

The Green-winged Teal is still at Scatness. There are 9 Siskins visiting at birdfeeder at Maywick and another is at Sumburgh Head. The wintering Black-tailed Godwit and a Sanderling are at Pool of Virkie. There are 2 Grey Wagtails and an adult Iceland Gull at Quendale. A Coot is on Loch of Asta. There are 6 Siskins, 3 Chaffinches and 2 Mealy Redpolls on Whalsay.

The 2 wintering Little Grebes at East Voe of Scalloway have disappeared, following a spill of diesel there.


Tuesday 25th March 2003

Single Goldcrests are at Sumburgh Head and at Hoswick, a Yellowhammer and a Song Thrush are at Virkie, a Siskin is at Scatness, 2 Shovelers and 2 Coots are on Loch of Hillwell and a single Little Grebe is on Loch of Spiggie. A 1st winter Glaucous Gull is at the Shetland Catch.

At least 10 Puffins were close inshore around Sumburgh Head this afternoon.

A Great Skua was reported 40km off Balta today although, surprisingly, none have been reported ashore yet.

A strikingly-marked and nearly completely albino Starling was with an evening roost flock of about 400 west of Spiggie this evening.

The Hen Harrier was still on Unst today, at Haroldswick, and the Pink-footed Goose is still at Baltasound. There are 7 Siskins on Whalsay.


Monday 24th March 2003

Iain Robertson saw the White-tailed Eagle flying south over Cunningsburgh at 11:30am. A male Wheatear is on Mossy Hill and a male Stonechat is at Papil, Burra. A Pink-footed Goose is at Baltasound.

A bat was on Unst today - see the Latest Other Sightings page.


Sunday 23rd March 2003

An exceptionally early male Wheatear is at Uyeasound, 2 female Crossbills at Baltasound are the first Shetland record for March, a record-equalling count of 8 Goosanders are at the Loch of Quoys, Burrafirth, and Hen Harrier was at Buddabrake, Burrafirth. There were 4 summer-plumaged Red-throated Divers on Loch of Quoys.

The 2 adult Common Cranes are still at Huesbreck and the 1st summer Common Crane is still at Laxfirth. (The two Cranes on Unst have not been seen for over a week).

The male Green-winged Teal and 3 Gadwall are at Scatness, a Stock Dove is at Hillwell and a Grey Wagtail and a Wood Pigeon are at Quendale.  A Goldcrest is at Toft.


Saturday 22nd March 2003

Migrants on Unst include a Jackdaw, 20 Wood Pigeons and a Goldcrest at Baltasound, 2 Siskins at Northdale and 3 Fieldfares at Burrafirth.

The 2 Common Cranes are still at Huesbreck, 2 Shovelers are on Loch of Hillwell and  3 Gadwall are at Scatness. A male Pied Wagtail is back on territory at Sumburgh quarry.


Friday 21st March 2003

A male Stonechat is at Norwick and 2 Siskins are at Baltasound.


Thursday 20th March 2003

The female King Eider is still off north-west Fetlar. The wintering Hen Harrier is still on Fetlar.

In south Mainland, the 2 adult Common Cranes are still at Huesbreck, a Grey Wagtail is at Quendale, 3 Gadwalls are at Scatness and a Short-eared Owl is at Spiggie. A Mistle Thrush is at Brae. There are 4 Siskins on Whalsay.


Wednesday 19th March 2003

The 2 adult Common Cranes are still at Huesbreck. A Grey Wagtail is along the Hoswick burn and there are 2 Song Thrushes in the Sandwick area. A Mealy Redpoll was at a birdfeeder in Bigton. A pair of Shovelers are at Loch of Hillwell and Meadow Pipits were singing at Geosetter during the day. A Rook is on Whalsay.


Tuesday 18th March 2003

The female King Eider was relocated today, off the north-west coast of Fetlar along with with 420 Eiders and 2 Velvet Scoters.

A Red Kite was at Hoswick in the morning and it, or another, was at Kergord in the evening. The 2 adult Common Cranes are still at Huesbreck.

A 1st winter Glaucous Gull was in Mid Yell Voe. A Pied or White Wagtail flew over Burrafirth and a Pied Wagtail was at Baltasound along with 3 Mealy Redpolls. The wintering Black-tailed Godwit is still at Pool of Virkie, where there was also a male Gadwall. Another male Gadwall is on Loch of Spiggie. A Song Thrush was in song at Hoswick. There are 12 Wood Pigeons on Kergord. A Siskin is on Whalsay.


Monday 17th March 2003

The 2 adult Common Cranes are still at Huesbreck. There are 5 Common Scoters in Lerwick Harbour and a 1st winter Iceland Gull at the Shetland Catch, with a Pale-bellied Brent Goose on Holm of Gunnister, Bressay.


Sunday 16th March 2003

A juvenile White-tailed Eagle was seen today from a boat survey along the east coast of Mainland, at Catfirth.

There was a Velvet Scoter in Cat Firth and another at Dales Voe, and 23 Slavonian Grebes between Dales Voe and Gletness. The 1st summer Common Crane is still at Laxfirth, Tingwall and the 2 adult Common Cranes are still at Huesbreck. A male Stonechat is at Grutness. There are 3 Common Scoters in the Bay of Quendale. An early Pied Wagtail is at Hoswick, along with 2 Song Thrushes.

On Unst, there is a Long-eared Owl at Norwick and a Stock Dove and a ringtail Hen Harrier at Haroldswick. A Goldcrest is on Whalsay.

Stonechat at Grutness - photo Steve Minton


Saturday 15th March 2003

Chris Brown saw a Red Kite over Gallow Hill, Walls, at about 11.00am.

The 2 adult Common Cranes are still at on Unst at Haroldswick.

In south Mainland, the 2 Common Cranes are still at Huesbreck, 2 American Wigeons are on Loch of Spiggie, a 1st winter Glaucous Gull is on Loch of Brow, along with a Lesser Black-backed Gull, the wintering Black-tailed Godwit is still at Pool of Virkie, along with 15 Bar-tailed Godwits, a male Gadwall at Virkie and a female Stonechat.


Friday 14th March 2003

A Red Kite was at Gulberwick this morning and at Black Gaet in the afternoon. It is the Unst bird with the missing primary on one wing.

The 2 adult Common Cranes are still at Heusbreck and the 1st summer Common Crane is still at Laxfirth.

A Water Rail has been frequenting a garden at Boddam for the last few weeks. There are 5 Wood Pigeons on Whalsay.


Thursday 13th March 2003

The adult female King Eider is still amongst the eider flock at Belmont. The 2 adult Common Cranes are still at Haroldswick.

The 2 Common Cranes in south Mainland are now at Heusbreck and there is a Grey Wagtail, a Woodcock and a Wood Pigeon at Channerwick. The 1st winter Common Crane is still at Laxfirth, Tingwall. The wintering female Common Scoter is still at Burrafirth. A Water Rail is at Voe. A Goldcrest is on Whalsay.


Wednesday 12th March 2003

Brydon Thomason found an adult female King Eider amongst the eider flock at Belmont. It has been seen twice during the day, but has proved elusive. It is probably the bird that was here this time last year.

Also on Unst, there are 76 Long-tailed Ducks on Loch of Belmont, and 2 Rooks and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits at Baltasound.

The 2 Common Cranes are still in south Mainland, between Hillwell and Quendale, along with 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. The wintering Black-tailed Godwit is still at Pool of Virkie, along with 15 Bar-tailed Godwits.

A 2nd winter Iceland Gull is on Trondra and 2 Little Grebes are still at East Voe of Scalloway.


Tuesday 11th March 2003

One of the Red Kites flew over Baltasound at about 9.00am. It, or another, was occasionally seen at Burrafirth during the day. The 2 Common Cranes are still at Haroldswick and the Common Buzzard, a dark morph individual, has been relocated, at Norwick.

The Unst Common Buzzard - photo Micky Maher

An early Siskin is at Hoswick, along with Song Thrushes at Hoswick and Sandwick.

The wintering Hen Harrier is still on Fetlar. The Pale-bellied Brent Goose is still on Whalsay.


Monday 10th March 2003

On Unst, at least one Red Kite is still at Burrafirth and the 2 Common Cranes are still at Haroldswick, although they are now back at Clibberswick. The adult Iceland Gull is still at Haroldswick and 20 Snow Buntings are at Buddabrake, Burrafirth..

The other 2 Common Cranes are still at Quendale, along with 2 Carrion Crows and a Rook. An adult Iceland Gull, a Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Shoveler are at Scatness. The Pink-footed Goose is still at Fleck.

At Helendale, there are 2 Long-eared Owls, 6 Wood Pigeons, 8 Chaffinches and 4 Bramblings. and there was a Red Grouse near Sandy Loch, Lerwick.

The Pale-bellied Brent Goose is still on Whalsay.

Further signs of an advanced spring - a dead Feral Pigeon chick, about 6 days old, was found in Lerwick.


Sunday 9th March 2003

On Unst, the 2 Red Kites are still at Burrafirth and the 2 Common Cranes are still at Haroldswick, this time a few hundred metres away at Skeggie. There were 5 Grey Herons roosting beside Halligarth, at Baltasound.

The 2 Common Cranes are still at Quendale, a male Shoveler and a male Pintail are at Scatness, there are 3 Stonechats at Virkie and 2 at West Voe of Sumburgh and a Pink-footed Goose at Fleck.

A Brambling is on Trondra along with 3 new Chaffinches.

Three Common Scoters are in Lerwick Harbour.


Saturday 8th March 2003

There are 2 Red Kites at Burrafirth on Unst. Both are untagged and they spent the morning flying between Burrafirth, Buddabrake and Quoys, although they were elusive later in the day. They are the 15th and 16th Shetland records.

There are definitely 5 Common Cranes in Shetland today: 2 adults still at Clibberswick on Unst, a 1st summer at Laxfirth, Tingwall, and 2 at Quendale. All of them have arrived at least 3 weeks ahead of the previous earliest Shetland record!

One of the Red Kites and the two Unst Common Cranes - top videograbs (no scope), below transparency scan by Mike Pennington

A male Green-winged Teal is at Scatness, along with the long-staying American Wigeon and a female Shoveler.

Also on Unst, there was a Common Buzzard between Burrafirth and Haroldswick, before flying off north, female Stonechat at Haroldswick, the adult Iceland Gull at Haroldswick (the bird with a smudge on one wing), a Mistle Thrush at Burrafirth, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Haroldswick, a male Goosander at Burrafirth, 2 Reed Buntings at Skaw and another at Burrafirth. An early White Wagtail is on Whalsay along with the Pale-bellied Brent Goose still there. 


Friday 7th March 2003

The Red Kite is at Burrafirth on Unst. It is a first-year bird and it has spent the whole day flying between Burrafirth, Buddabrake and Quoys, sometimes passing within 50m of observers.

Also, on Unst, 2 adult Common Cranes, probably those first seen at Sandwick last month, spent the day at Clibberswick, on the north side of Haroldswick. They were also reported flying north at Haroldswick late yesterday evening.

The other Common Crane, a 1st summer, is still at Laxfirth, Tingwall.

A Lesser Black-backed Gull of the year was at Haroldswick and a Jackdaw was at Buddabrake, Burrafirth, for its third day. A Peregrine and a Wood Pigeon were at Toab this morning and the adult Glaucous Gull is still at Shetland Catch. On Whalsay, there are 6 Mistle Thrushes, a Stonechat, a Woodcock., 3 Reed Buntings, a Common Scoter and the Pale-bellied Brent Goose, along with 80 Purple Sandpipers on the Houb.


Thursday 6th March 2003

Jim Thomson reported the Red Kite at Haroldswick this evening.

The adult Little Gull is still at Shetland Catch today, along with an adult Glaucous Gull.

There were 2 adult Common Cranes at Quendale today, which have been there for a couple of days, and are therefore new birds.

A Red-throated Diver was on fresh water at Loch of Cliff today, but it was still in winter plumage. Two Water Rails have wintered nearby at Quoys, but one was caught by a cat recently. Two Reed Buntings were at Baltasound. On Whalsay there are 3 Wood Pigeons, no less than 5 Mistle Thrushes and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose.


Wednesday 5th March 2003

A Common Crane was at Laxfirth, Tingwall, at 3:30pm before flying to the east side of the voe.

An adult Little Gull was at Shetland Catch around mid-day today.

On Unst, Stonechats are still at Burrafirth and Baltasound, 2 Rooks and a Wood Pigeon are at Baltasound, 17 Snow Buntings are at Baltasound and an adult Glaucous Gull is at Belmont. In south Mainland, a Woodcock was on Hamari Field, north of Sandwick, and juvenile Peregrine Falcon flew south over Sandwick. On Whalsay, there are 2 Mistle Thrushes, a Wood Pigeon and 2 Reed Buntings.


Tuesday 4th March 2003

John Laurenson saw 2 Common Cranes just north of Tingwall at 7:50am and the Keith Nisbet reported the Red Kite at Belmont.

The male American Wigeon is still at Scatness, and the first Lesser Black-backed Gull of the year was also there. A Mistle Thrush is on Whalsay.


Monday 3rd March 2003

Giles Morgan and Gabby Woehrl reported a Red Kite this afternoon, flying from Woodwick towards Baltasound on Unst. It was presumably the bird that was on Fair Isle yesterday (unless it's still there!).

Also on Unst, there are Stonechats at Baltasound and Westing, a Mistle Thrush at Westing, 2 Wood Pigeons at Burrafirth and 6 Tundra Bean Geese at Baltasound, along with 133 Greylag Geese.  

A Stonechat is still at Grutness and 3 Common Scoters are off Scord. On Whalsay, there are 2 Stonechats and singles of Mistle Thrush, Dunnock  and Reed Bunting.

There were 3 probable Common Cranes reported at Laxfirth, Tingwall, but they flew north and could not be found later.

A Woodlark is on Fair Isle.


Sunday 2nd March 2003

The earliest spring for years continues.

A Black Redstart is at Grutness. There are 2 Mistle Thrushes on Whalsay.

On Fair Isle, there is a Red Kite, yesterday's Common Buzzard, a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 4 Mistle Thrushes and the earliest ever spring Hawfinch.

Common early spring migrants such as Skylarks, Black-headed Gulls, Lapwings etc. are all around in good numbers.


Saturday 1st March 2003

The Black Redstart and the Stonechat are still at Hoswick. A Peregrine flew over Virkie. There are 2 Mistle Thrushes on Whalsay.

On Fair Isle, there are 2 Canada Geese, a Common Buzzard, and Iceland Gull and 2 Rooks.


Friday 28th February 2003

A Stonechat is at Hoswick. There are 175 Black-headed Gulls at Symbister, Whalsay.


Thursday 27th February 2003

The Red-necked Grebe is still at Grutness. A male Stonechat is at Burrafirth and a 2ndwinter Glaucous Gull is at Easter Loch, Uyeasound. The wintering male Black Redstart is still at Hoswick. A flock of 12 Snow Buntings is at Gluss, Northmavine


Wednesday 26th February 2003

John Laurenson saw a single Common Crane at Noss, Scousburgh. It was presumably one of the Sandwick birds.

The Stonechat is still at Sandwick and a Song Thrush is at Hoswick.

An adult Glaucous Gull is at Burrafirth.


Tuesday 25th February 2003

It continues to seem like late March, not late February, with Stonechats at Grutness and Sandwick and a Yellowhammer at Hoswick, while the Red-necked Grebe is still at Grutness. A Common Scoter is at Scord, a Short-eared Owl was flushed from near the Loch of Yaawater on the Ness of Ireland, Bigton, and 4 Long-eared Owls are at Helendale. A Water Rail and a Mistle Thrush are in Whalsay.

There are no fewer than 7 Stonechats on Fair Isle.


Monday 24th February 2003

Yesterday's strong SE gale blew in 2 exceptionally early Common Cranes, which were still at Sandwick this morning after arriving some time yesterday.

A Red-necked Grebe was at Grutness.

There were also early Wood Pigeons at Baltasound and Maywick, a Black-throated Diver off Scord, a Slavonian Grebe at Scatness, 2 Mistle Thrushes on Whalsay, a Sparrowhawk at Tingwall and a Puffin in Wadbister Voe. The male American Wigeon and the White-fronted Goose were still at Spiggie.

A Black Redstart and 2 Stonechats are on Fair Isle.

The Long-eared Owls are still roosting at Helendale - up to 9 have been counted there.

 

Common Cranes at Sandwick - Nat & Dave Hall; Red-necked Grebe at Grutness - photo Nat & Dave Hall;


Sunday 23rd February 2003

A Little Auk and 2 Common Scoters are off Scord.

One of the Common Scoters off Scord - photo Steve Minton


Saturday 22nd February 2003

The Black Duck is still at Dales Voe, Delting and a male Green-winged Teal is at Loch of Brow, presumably the same bird that was at Hillwell earlier in the winter. Male American Wigeons are still at Scatness and Loch of Spiggie.

Also in south Mainland, the wintering Black-tailed Godwit is still at Pool of Virkie, a Little Grebe is at Loch of Spiggie and single Scaup and Pintail are at Loch of Brow. A male Stonechat is at Channerwick.


Friday 21st February 2003

Three Mealy Redpolls are at Hoswick.


Thursday 20th February 2003

A Little Grebe is on Out Skerries.


Tuesday 18th February 2003

Two Mealy Redpolls are at Whiteness.


Sunday 16th February 2003

The male Black Duck has been relocated at Dales Voe, Delting.

An adult male Peregrine Falcon was at Haroldswick and there are 20 Snow Buntings at Baltasound.

The male American Wigeon is still at Scatness, along with a Mute Swan.


Saturday 15th February 2003

A Tundra Bean Goose is still at Sumburgh Farm, the European White-fronted Goose is still at Spiggie, the Black-tailed Godwit is at Virkie along with 10 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Long-eared Owls are still at the roost in south Mainland and the male American Wigeon is still at Scatness.

The Scatness American Wigeon - photos Steve Minton

The wintering White-billed Diver is off Housabister, Nesting, along with a Little Auk. Also in central Mainland there the usual Goosanders, with 4 at Dury Voe, 3 at Queyfirth and one at Strand Loch. A flock of 25 Snow Buntings is in north Mainland at Leon, Ollaberry. 

An adult Iceland Gull with a strange black marking on the primary is at Burrafirth. It is the same bird that was at Haroldswick in December, although it has not been seen since. The marking appears to be part of the plumage, although as yet it has not been established if the same marking is on both wings. There are also 2 Glaucous Gulls at Burrafirth.

The Unst Iceland Gull - photos (taken in December) Micky Maher

The Long-tailed Duck flock on Loch of Belmont, Unst is building up; there were 48 there today. No sign of the Ring-necked Duck on any of the Uyeasound lochs - presumably it is commuting to Yell. Likewise the Mediterranean Gull is proving elusive.


Thursday 13th February 2003

There are now 9 Long-eared Owls roosting at Helendale.

Photos of the pale Mealy Redpoll and Bean Goose have been added for 9th February.


Wednesday 12th February 2003

A week of returning birds, as the Mediterranean Gull, last seen on 18th January, was seen briefly at Belmont on Unst  this morning.


Tuesday 11th February 2003

The male Ring-necked Duck, last seen on 26th January, was back at Easter Loch today.


Monday 10th February 2003

The wintering Black-tailed Godwit is at Pool of Virkie and a Little Grebe is at East Voe of Scalloway.


Sunday 9th February 2003

A boat survey of Yell Sound and Sullom Voe today found 6 Common Scoters off Lunna, 4 Common Scoters and a Velvet Scoter in Garths Voe in Sullom Voe, 6 Slavonian Grebes and a similar number of Little Auks in Sullom Voe and lots of Razorbills. There were also some cetaceans (see the Latest Cetacean Sightings page).

Lots of Goosanders were in central Mainland with 6 in Laxo Voe, 4 on Petta Water, 2 at Strand Loch and one on Kirkhouse Loch. Vidlin. A ringtail Hen Harrier was at Sand Water. There were 75 Greylag Geese and 8 Snow Buntings on Muckle Roe.

There are 5 Mealy Redpolls at Sumburgh Head with one very pale-looking bird which looked rather like an Arctic Redpoll in the field, although it was not one when it was trapped. A flock of 20 Mealy Redpolls was at Baltasound.

pale Mealy Redpoll - photo Steve Minton;

The ringtail Hen Harrier was at Maywick today, with what was presumably the same bird at at Levenwick A new  Tundra Bean Goose is at Sumburgh Farm and the American Wigeon is still at Scatness.

Tundra Bean Goose - photo Steve Minton


Saturday 8th February 2003

There are now 5 Coots at Uyeasound.

There are 7 Mealy Redpolls at Sumburgh Head, a ringtail Hen Harrier was at Robin's Brae in Dunrossness and a wintering Whimbrel and a Black-tailed Godwit were reported at Scatness. Another 8 Mealy Redpolls are on Whalsay, where up to 3 were reported in January.


Friday 7th February 2003

Four Iceland Gulls (2 adults, a 2nd winter and a 1st winter) and 2 Glaucous Gulls (an adult and a 1st winter) are at Shetland Catch. Another Glaucous Gull is on Whalsay. A Moorhen is at West Sandwick, Yell.


Thursday 6th February 2003

A Kumlien's Gull has been reported in Lerwick. A 1st winter Glaucous Gull is also present there.

A 1st winter Iceland Gull is at Shetland Catch and an adult is at Haroldswick, while 6 Glaucous Gulls are at Burrafirth. A Song Thrush is being seen regularly at Voe.


Wednesday 5th February 2003

An Arctic Redpoll is with a small flock of Mealy Redpolls at Sumburgh Head.

A Grey Wagtail is at Hoswick. A Long-eared Owl and a flock of 10 Mealy Redpolls are at Baltasound.

There are 2 Long-eared Owls and 2 Glaucous Gulls on Fair Isle.

In north Mainland, 2 Water Rails have been regular visitors to a garden at Ronas Voe over the last few weeks. Up to 4 Greenfinches and a Song Thrush have been amongst visitors to Dave and Nat Hall's garden in Lerwick over the last few days.


Tuesday 4th February 2003

A male Peregrine Falcon flew over Baltasound today, where there are also 3 Mealy Redpolls. The female Common Scoter is still at Burrafirth.


Monday 3rd February 2003

An adult Iceland Gull is in Lerwick. Two Mealy Redpolls are at Ulsta.


Sunday 2nd February 2003

The male American Wigeons are still at their usual sites, at Loch of Spiggie, Loch of Hillwell and Scatness. The 6 Tundra Bean Geese which arrived in December are still present in the area around Hillwell and Quendale.

There are 5 Common Scoters in Ronas Voe, off the end of the Heylor Road, while the Coot at Urafirth and the Moorhen at Collafirth, both of which arrived before Christmas, are still present. The 6 Long-eared Owls are still at Helendale.


Saturday 1st February 2003

The male American Wigeon is still at Loch of Hillwell.

On Unst, the female Common Scoters are still at Burrafirth and Baltasound and 2 Little Grebes are at Baltasound while there are 5 Skylarks at Uyeasound.


Friday 31st January 2003

A Black Redstart is at Hoswick.

A Song Thrush and 7 Chaffinches were in Ramsay Napier's garden in Lerwick. There are 3 Red-throated Divers and a Great Northern Diver in Dales Voe, Lerwick.

Two Skylarks were around sheep feeders at Ollaberry. Another Song Thrush is at Haroldswick.


Thursday 30th January 2003

A Greenfinch joined 3 wintering Chaffinches in Ramsay Napier's garden in Lerwick.


Wednesday 29th January 2003

A pair of Goosanders was at Baltasound.


Tuesday 28th January 2003

There were 5 Velvet Scoters in the Bluemull triangle.

A Waxwing was at Haroldswick while 6 Glaucous Gulls and the female Common Scoter were at Burrafirth.

A first-winter Iceland Gull is at the Shetland Catch in Lerwick.


Monday 27th January 2003

The three wintering male American Wigeons, now present for their third winter, are still at Loch of Spiggie, Loch of Hillwell and Scatness. A White-fronted Goose of the Eurasian race is also at Spiggie, while 2 Mealy Redpolls are at Sumburgh Head, where 2 Little Auks were seen flying offshore.

In central Mainland, there are 2 Long-eared Owls Laxfirth, 3 Goosanders at Sand Water and another Goosander at Strand. A Grey Wagtail, last seen before Christmas, is still at Collafirth, Northmavine, along with 2 overwintering Sparrowhawks. A 1st winter Iceland Gull is still at the Sletts, Lerwick.

A 2nd winter Glaucous Gull was at Haroldswick.


Sunday 26th January 2003

The male Ring-necked Duck is still on Easter Loch at Uyeasound, along with 4 Coots which have been there since before Christmas.

The Slavonian Grebe, female Common Scoter and Shelduck are all still in the voe at Baltasound, along with a Little Auk. Also at Baltasound, there is an overwintering Carrion Crow and a flock of 33 Snow Buntings on the Hill of Caldback. There were also 4 Glaucous Gulls on Unst at Burrafirth.

On Mainland, there are 3 Goosanders at Strand Loch and Laxfirth and another 3 in Dury Voe, no less than 220 Hooded Crows at Kergord and 10 Snow Buntings at Gluss. Up to 6 Long-eared Owls are roosting at Helendale in Lerwick and an Iceland Gull is at the Sletts in Lerwick. A Water Rail is at Collafirth, Northmavine.


Friday 24th January 2003

An adult Ring-billed Gull was found by Mark Chapman and Graham Ball, opposite the shop at Vidlin. It is the 12th Shetland record and the third American vagrant to be found already this year!

The male Ring-necked Duck is still on Easter Loch at Uyeasound.

Nat and Dave Hall reported a Pied Wagtail at Clickimin in Lerwick; winter records are very unusual.


Thursday 23rd January 2003

A male Ring-necked Duck was found by Graham Bundy on Easter Loch at Uyeasound this afternoon. It is the fourth record for Unst of this rare North American duck which has been recorded 19 times in Shetland.

Also on Unst, a male Hen Harrier and a Slavonian Grebe were at Baltasound, while the Shelduck was also still there. The Waxwing that was in care was released at Halligarth.

The Waxwing before release at Halligarth - digicam by Micky Maher


Wednesday 22nd January 2003

Andy Graham reported a Red-necked Grebe in Cat Firth, along with 3 Slavonian Grebes.

A Waxwing was at Baltasound and another was found exhausted on Unst and is in care at Burrafirth.


Monday 20th January 2003

The 6 Bean Geese are still at Sumburgh Farm. A Moorhen and a Coot are at Loch of Clickimin.

A flock of 32 Snow Buntings are at Hamar Heights, Northmavine.

A Little Grebe, a Shelduck and a female Common Scoter are at Baltasound. Four (2 pairs) Goosanders are in Mid Yell Voe. A Waxwing is on Whalsay.


Saturday 18th January 2003

An adult Mediterranean Gull spent the day feeding with Common Gulls over the surf at Westing beach, Unst. It is only the fourth Shetland record, following singles in Lerwick in March 1983, Baltasound in April 1992 and Fair Isle and Dunrossness in October 1995.

The Med Gull at Westing - videograbs by Mike Pennington

A male Black Duck was found by Brydon Thomason at Dales Voe, Delting at mid-day. It is only the third Shetland record of this North American duck, following singles at Loch of Spiggie in February to April 1990 and at Loch of Hillwell in May 2002.


Friday 17th January 2003

The 6 Bean Geese are still at Quendale, a 1st winter Glaucous Gull and an adult Iceland Gull are at Scatness and a 3rd winter Glaucous Gull is at Sandwick.


Thursday 16th January 2003

A Velvet Scoter is at Belmont.


Tuesday 14th January 2003

A Waxwing is on Whalsay.


Sunday 12th January 2003

A Short-eared Owl is at Brig of Bakkaetter (Brow Marsh) and 18 Moorhens are at Loch of Hillwell. A Waxwing is on Whalsay.


Saturday 11th January 2003

A Wood Pigeon, a rare bird in Shetland in winter, is at Collafirth, Northmavine.

The female Common Scoter is still at Burrafirth along with 4 Glaucous Gulls.


Friday 10th January 2003

A female Common Scoter is at Burrafirth and a pair of Goosanders were on Loch of Cliff. A Waxwing and 4 Red Grouse are on Whalsay.


Thursday 9th January 2003

A recently dead Short-eared Owl was found at Burrafirth. There are 3 Little Grebes at East Voe of Scalloway. A Waxwing is on Whalsay.


Wednesday 8th January 2003

There are 4 Skylarks feeding around sheep feeders at Eshaness.


Tuesday 7th January 2003

Bob Holyoak reported the wintering White-billed Diver off Kirkabister, North Nesting, along with 2 Slavonian Grebes. A Waxwing is at Norwick and a pair of Goosanders are in Basta Voe, Yell. Another Waxwing is on Whalsay, along with a Water Rail and 19 Snow Buntings.


Monday 6th January 2003

A Slavonian Grebe, a Shelduck and a male Goosander are at Baltasound. There are 2 Little Auks at Collafirth, Northmavine. A Mistle Thrush, which arrived in 2002, is still on Whalsay.


Sunday 5th January 2003

An Eurasian White-fronted Goose is with other geese at Sumburgh Farm and a Black Redstart is at Boddam.


Saturday 4th January 2003

A Rook is on Whalsay.


Friday 3rd January 2003

The 6 Tundra Bean Geese which arrived in mid-December are still at Hillwell.


Thursday 2nd January 2003

Single Waxwings are at Norwick and Baltasound. A Long-eared Owl is at Collafirth plantation, Northmavine.

A wintering Little Grebe is still on Whalsay, where there are also 24 Snow Buntings.


Wednesday 1st January 2003

The wintering Woodlark was still at Hamister, Whalsay (it has not been seen subsequently). Also on Whalsay there is a Moorhen, 3 Skylarks, 13 Fieldfares, 9 Redwings, and at least 146 Black-headed Gulls.

A 1st winter Glaucous Gull is at Lochend beach, Northmavine.

 

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