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Nature in Shetland

Recording nature in Shetland since 1996

Winner of a Shetland Environment Award 2004

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May 2012
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NOTE that ALL bird records go into the database used in the compilation of the Shetland Bird Report produced by Shetland Bird Club, EVEN IF they do not appear on this page. Recording forms are available here.  Information on all species is made available to Shetland Biological Records Centre. 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. New Shetland Checklist downloadable as a pdf here. Species in red are BBRC rarities. Species in orange are local rarities.

Shetland Bird Report 2010 now available. See the home page for details.

The adult Long-tailed Skua has returned to the area north-west of Mill Pond (aka Mill Loch), on East Burra. We ask that anyone looking for this bird should keep well away from the banks of Mill Pond, and generally try to give the pond area as wide a berth as possible, to avoid disturbing breeding birds. Also, please be careful not to cause unnecessary disturbance to Arctic Skuas and other birds that breed in the area favoured by the Long-tailed Skua, as well as, of course, following the normal Shetland Bird Club code of conduct in the area.


Don't forget to check the Nature in Shetland page on Facebook which often has news and pictures before it's posted here and you don't need to be a Facebook member to view the page. To see it click here.

Tuesday 3rd July 2012

Yell: Short-eared Owl near Mid Yell.

Cetaceans: Minke Whale off the Hopp, Eshaness.

Insects: Bordered Sallow at Scatness (2nd for Shetland).

Bordered Sallow at Scatness - Steve Minton

Monday 2nd July 2012

Unst: Common Redpoll at Skaw.

Fetlar: Chiffchaff at Tresta.

Central Mainland: about 6 Common Crossbills at Brae.

Burra: 4 Common Crossbills on Trondra.

Golden Plover and Dunlin on Yell - George Petrie

Sunday 1st July 2012

Central Mainland: Slavonian Grebe in Weisdale Voe.

Cetaceans: Common Dolphin at Skeld Voe.

Common Dolphin at Skeld - Julie Redpath

Shetland Bumblebees and White-tailed Bumblee at Voe - Brian Gray

Saturday 30th June 2012

North Mainland: White-tailed Eagle over Roer Water, north of Ronas Hill.

South Mainland: Icterine Warbler and Common Whitethroat at Sumburgh Hotel.

Central Mainland: Siskin and Common Redpoll at Voe. 3 Siskins at Kergord.

West Mainland: Wood Pigeon at Gairdens o' Sand.  4 Sanderlings at Melby.

Guillemot in Lerwick - Mike Pennington; Arctic Skua and Great Northern Diver at Sand, west Mainland - Gordon Carle; Herring Gull and Curlew chick at Cunningsburgh - Robin & Charyl Gosden; Otter in South Mainland - John Moncrieff

Insects: Red Admirals widespread.

Friday 29th June 2012

Fetlar: Pectoral Sandpiper still at Funzie. Glaucous Gull at Houbie.

Glaucous Gull on Fetlar - Andy Cook

South Mainland: Hobby over Sumburgh Airport. Icterine Warbler still at Sumburgh Hotel.

Icterine Warbler at Sumburgh and Wheatears and Snipe at Clumlie - George Petrie; Meadow Pipit and Wheatear at Spiggie and Gannet at Boddam - John Moncrieff

Insects: Red Admiral at Baltasound.

Thursday 28th June 2012

South Mainland: Great Reed Warbler between Dalsetter and Boddam.

North Mainland: wing of dead immature Night Heron found on Sand Voe beach.

Unst: Carrion Crow and Marsh Warbler at Baltasound.

Central Mainland: 2 Swifts at Lunna.

Wednesday 27th June 2012

Whalsay: Arctic Warbler trapped at Skaw.

Arctic Warbler on Whalsay - John Lowrie Irvine

North Mainland: Black Kite at North Roe.

South Mainland: Icterine Warbler at Sumburgh Hotel.

Central Mainland: Glaucous Gull in Lerwick.

Black Guillemot on Papa Stour - Naomi Scott

Cetaceans: Pod of Killer Whales off North Roe.

Tuesday 26th June 2012

Fetlar: Black Kite at Funzie.

Whalsay: Hawfinch and Red-backed Shrike at Skaw.

Yell: 16 Sanderlings at Cullivoe.

Sanderlings at Cullivoe - Jim Nangle

Cetaceans: 2 Minke Whales south of Sumburgh Head. Pod of Killer Whales off North Roe.

Monday 25th June 2012

Whalsay: New Black Redstart at Hamister. Red-backed Shrike at Skaw.

South Mainland: Redwing and Common Swift at Sumburgh Hotel. Green Sandpiper at Hillwell.

Arctic Terns at Grutness - Charles Gifford

Insect sightings: several Red Admirals at Scatness.

Cetaceans: About 8 White-sided Dolphines at Skeld.

Sunday 24th June 2012

Whalsay: Red-backed Shrike still at Skaw.

South Mainland: Icterine Warbler at Sumburgh Hotel. Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Sumburgh Farm.

West Mainland: 4 Sanderlings at Melby.

Unst: Willow Warbler at Haroldswick.

Arctic Skua, Dunlin and Great Skua at Hermaness - Mike Pennington

Otter in South Mainland - John Moncrieff

Insect sightings: Red Admirals at Toab and Sumburgh.

Cetaceans: About 5 Killer Whales off Fethaland.

Saturday 23rd June 2012

Unst: Black Kite around Watlee.

Black Kite at Watlee - Rob Brookes

Whalsay: Red-backed Shrike and Wood Pigeon at Skaw. Lesser Whitethroat at Marrister.

Central Mainland: Cuckoo at Trondavoe. 2 Common Swifts at Loch of Clickimin.

South Mainland: Black-throated Diver in Clift Sound south of Uradale.  Icterine Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher at Sumburgh Hotel.

Black-throated Diver in Clift Sound - Pete Ellis

West Mainland: Spotted Flycatcher at Unifirth, West Burrafirth.

Spotted Flycatcher at West Burrafirth - Julie Redpath

Eiders at Boddam and Otters in south Mainland - John Moncrieff

Oystercatchers at Sandness - Charles Gifford

Friday 22nd June 2012

Unst: Black Kite around Watlee.

Whalsay: Stonechat and Wood Pigeon at Skaw. Black Redstart still at Hamister. Siskin at Symbister.

Stonechat on Whalsay - John Laurie Irvine

South Mainland: ChiffchaffRobinReed Warbler and Swallow at Sumburgh Hotel.

Chiffchaff and Robin at Sumburgh; Redshank at East Burra - Jim Wood

Yell; House Martin at Kirk Loch, Cullivoe.

Marine sighting: Basking Shark in Firths Voe.

Thursday 21st June 2012

Unst: Black Kite on Hermaness. Chiffchaff at Norwick.

Fetlar: Glaucous Gull at Houbie.

Central Mainland: 4 Common Crossbills at Voe.

Common Crossbill at Voe - Brian Gray

Common Snipe and Wren at Cullive - Jim Nangle

Arctic Skua at Clumlie - Jim Wood

Wednesday 20th June 2012

Unst: Hobby on Saxa Vord. Sparrowhawk at Baltasound.

Fetlar: Snow Bunting and Wood Sandpiper.

South Mainland: Wood Sandpiper at Virkie. Kestrel at Scatness. 2 Siskins at Ocraquoy.

Arctic Tern at St Ninian's Isle - Gordon Carle; Hooded Crow at Hillwell and Rock Pipit and Oystercatcher at Grutness - Jim Wood

Central Mainland: Shelduck at Ness of Sound.

Shelduck at Ness of Sound - Gordon Carle

Cetaceans: 4-5 Killer Whales off Hermaness, Unst at least twice during the day.

Tuesday 19th June 2012

Central Mainland: Black Kite at Gremista, Lerwick.

Black Kite at Gremista - Jim Nicolson (one photo); Rob Fray (one photo); Wood Pigeon at Upper Sound - Gordon Carle

Unst: Sparrowhawk, Wood Sandpiper, Marsh Warbler and 3 Siskins at Baltasound.

Great Skua and Dunlin on Hermaness - Rob Brookes

South Mainland: Black Kite reported at Wester Quarff and elsewhere in early evening. Common Crossbill at Swinister. Reed Warbler and Chiffchaff at Sumburgh Hotel. Common Whitethroat at Virkie.

Wheatears and Puffins at Sumburgh - John Moncrieff; Great Northern Diver at Grutness, Skylark at Clumlie and Whooper Swans - Jim Wood

Great Northern Diver at Voe of Garderhouse - Julie Redpath

Cetaceans: 5 Killer Whales off Hill of Clibberswick, Unst..

Killer Whales off Clibberswick - Ken MacLeod

Monday 18th June 2012

South Mainland: Black Kite reported over Sumburgh Head. Long-eared Owl and Willow Warbler at Geosetter. Reed Warbler at Sumburgh Hotel. Blackcap at Quendale. Hawfinch at Ocraquoy.

Hawfinch at Ocraquoy - George Petrie; juvenile Wren at Sumburgh - Jim Wood

Fetlar: Snow Bunting and Pintail.

Snow Bunting on Fetlar - Gary Bell

Unst: Kestrel, Chiffchaff and a Swallow at Norwick. 2 Swallows at Haroldswick.

Gannets at Hermaness - Charlie Inkster

Yell: 5 Sanderlings at Cullivoe.

Central Mainland: Siskin at Voe. Shoveler at Loch of Trondavoe.

West Mainland: Swallow at Skeld.

Cetaceans: 2 Killer Whales off Sumburgh Head.

Sunday 17th June 2012

South Mainland: Marsh Warbler at Sumburgh Head. 6 Canada Geese at Sumburgh Hotel. Hawfinch at Geosetter. Red-necked Phalarope at Hillwell.

Hawfinch at Ocraquoy - Jim Wood; Wrens and Common Gulls at Sumburgh - Ray Johnston

Unst: Chiffchaff at Norwick. Siskin at Haroldswick. Swift at Colvadale. 3 Sanderlings at Easting.

Ringed Plover chick on Unst - Mike Pennington

Yell: 8 Sanderlings at Cullivoe.

Puffin and Dunlin at Burravoe, Yell - Charlie Inkster

Saturday 16th June 2012

South Mainland: Reed Warbler at Sumburgh Head. Common Whitethroat and 4 Gadwall at Hillwell. Blackcap at Quendale. Robin, Chiffchaff, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and 3 Common Redpolls at Gulberwick.

Reed Warbler at Sumburgh - Jim Wood

Yell: 4 Sanderlings at Cullivoe.

Sanderling at Cullivoe - Jim Nangle

Ringed Plover chick on Unst - Mike Pennington

Friday 15th June 2012

Central Mainland: White-tailed Eagle 2 km N of Laxo. Golden Oriole at Kergord. 2 Barnacle Geese at Catfirth.

South Mainland: Common Redstart and Lesser Whitethroat at Sumburgh Head. Long-eared Owl and Reed Bunting at Quendale.

Oystercatcher, Skylark, Arctic Skua and Whimbrel atClumlie - Jim Wood; Golden Plover at Cunningsburgh - George Petrie; Linnets at Sumburgh - Jim Nicolson

Whalsay: Black Redstart, Common Whitethroat and Chiffchaff at Hamister. Reed Warbler at Skibberhoull. Common Whitethroat at Skaw.

Thursday 14th June 2012

Fetlar: Pectoral Sandpiper at Funzie.

Yell: 3 Sanderlings at Cullivoe.

Sanderlings at Cullivoe - Jim Nangle

South Mainland: Reed Warbler and Blackcap at Quendale. Blackcap and Chiffchaff at Exnaboe. Scaup and Gadwall at Hillwell.

Linnet at Sumburgh - Jim Nicolson; Dunlin, Shelducks and Ringed Plover at Boddam - Jim Wood

Unst: Sparrowhawk, Spotted Flycatcher and Chiffchaff at Baltasound.

Wednesday 13th June 2012

South Mainland: Reed Warbler and Blackcap at Quendale. Pomarine Skua at Grutness. Spotted Flycatcher and Short-eared Owl at Virkie.

Reed Warbler at Quendale - Jim Nicolson (3 photos); Reed Warbler (2 photos) and Blackcap at Quendale and Wren at Sumburgh - Jim Wood

Unst: Snow Bunting still on Saxa Vord. Lesser Whitethroat and Chiffchaff. 2 Long-tailed Ducks and 2 Sanderlings at Skaw.

Whalsay: Black Redstart at Hamister.

Central Mainland: 9 Common Scoters at Dales Lees.

Tuesday 12th June 2012

South Mainland: Long-eared Owl, Reed Warbler, Blackcap  and Spotted Flycatcher at Quendale. Common Whitethroat and Spotted Flycatcher at Scatness. Black Redstart at Grutness. 2 Common Swifts over Loch of Spiggie. Hawfinch and Chiffchaff at Geosetter.

Puffins at Sumburgh - John Moncrieff; Shelduck at Boddam - Jim Nicolson; Arctic Skua at Cunningsburgh - George Petrie


Eider and Dunlin at Boddam, Twite at Sumburgh and Reed Warbler and Blackcap at Quendale - Jim Wood

West Mainland: 4 Common Redpolls and 2 singing Common Whitethroats at Gairdens o' Sand.

Unst: Snow Bunting on Saxa Vord, Yellow Wagtail and Reed Bunting at Skaw. Iceland Gull at Norwick.

Yell: 3 Goosanders at Gutcher. 2 Sanderlings at Cullivoe.

Arctic Skua and Oystercatcher at Cullivoe - Jim Nangle

Monday 11th June 2012

Fetlar: 1st summer White-billed Diver still off Brough Lodge. Red-backed Shrike at Feal Burn.

South Mainland: Marsh Warbler at Sumburgh. Icterine Warbler at Toab. Bluethroat at Exnaboe.

Wren and Fulmar at Sumburgh - Jim Wood; solitary Shelduck duckling at Boddam Voe - Jim Nicolson

Out Skerries: Red-backed Shrike, Fieldfare, Spotted Flycatcher, 2 House Martin, Swallow, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap.

Central Mainland: Sparrowhawk at Sound, Lerwick.

Unst: Robin, Sanderling and Yellow Wagtail at Skaw. Lesser Whitethroat at Norwick. Willow Warbler, Sparrowhawk and at least 25 Wood Pigeons at Baltasound.

Arctic Terns at Mid Yell - Charlie Inkster

Sunday 10th June 2012

Fetlar: 1st summer White-billed Diver off Brough Lodge. Chiffchaff  at Tresta. Red-backed Shrike and Reed Warbler at Feal Burn. Spotted Flycatcher at Houbie. Spotted Flycatcher and Blackcap at Funzie.

Out Skerries: Red-backed Shrike, Sedge Warbler, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 House Martins, Swallow, Blackcap, 2 Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff.

Whalsay: Icterine Warbler at Symbister.

Bressay: Spotted Flycatcher at Voehead.

South Mainland: 2 Hawfinches at Bigton. Common Whitethroat at Swinister. Hawfinch, Long-eared Owl, Spotted Flycatcher, Chiffchaff and Blackcap at Geosetter. Reed Warbler, Dunnock and Blackcap at Quendale. Chiffchaff at Virkie.


Ringed Plover, Puffin, Fulmars and Razorbill at Compass Head - John Moncrieff; Long-eared owl at Quendale, Balck Guillemot and Fular at Grutness and Whimbrel at Clumlie - Jim Wood

West Mainland: Common Whitethroat, 2 Robins and 4 Common Crossbills at Gairdins o' Sand. 9 Whooper Swans flew north over Semblister.

Common Crossbill at Sand - Rory Tallack; Common Whitethroat at Sand - Julie Redpath

North Mainland: Sparrowhawk at Oxensetter.

Sparrowhawk at Oxensetter - Stan Brown

Unst: Reed Bunting at Skaw. Iceland Gull at Norwick.

Reed Bunting at Skaw - Tony Gerrard; Red-throated Diver at Uyeasound - Jim Nangle

Otters - John Moncrieff

Saturday 9th June 2012

Out Skerries: Red-backed Shrike, Ring Ouzel, Song Thrush, Sedge Warbler, 2 House Martin, Swallow and Dunlin.

Fetlar: Red-backed Shrike and Song Thrush at Feal Burn. 7 Swallows at Papil Water. Chiffchaff  at Tresta. Spotted Flycatcher at Houbie. Blackcap at Funzie.

South Mainland: Hawfinch at Geosetter. 6 Sanderlings, Grey-headed Wagtail, Garden Warbler and Chaffinch at Scatness.

Grey-headed Wagtail at Scatness - Roger Riddington

Whalsay: Marsh Warbler, Blackcap and Common Whitethroat at Marrister. Sparrowhawk, Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Common Redstart and Chiffchaff at Skaw. Spotted Flycatcher and Chiffchaff at Hamister .

Friday 8th June 2012

Out Skerries: Red-backed Shrike, Song Thrush, 4 House Martins, 3 Swallows, Spotted Flycatcher, Common Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler and Dunlin.

South Mainland: Long-eared OwlSpotted Flycatcher and Common Whitethroat at Quendale. Spotted Flycatcher and Willow Warbler at Cunningsburgh. Swift at Sumburgh Head.

Spotted Flycatcher at Cunningsburgh - Jim Nicolson; Greylag Geese at Ocraquoy - George Petrie; Skylark at Clumlie - Jim Wood

Central Mainland: 11 Common Scoters at Dales Voe. Sparrowhawk and Common Crossbill at Dale, north of Voe. Cuckoo at Scatsta.

Cuckoo at Scatsta - Kevin Jackson

Unst: Chiffchaff at Norwick.

Thursday 7th June 2012

Out Skerries: Red-backed Shrike, 2 Chiffchaffs, Swallow and Blackcap.

Unst: 2 House Martins and 2 Swallows at Skaw. Chiffchaff at Norwick. Reed Warbler at Haroldswick.

Fetlar: Chiffchaff at Tresta. Spotted Flycatcher at Houbie.

Chiffchaff on Fetlar - Jim Nangle

Bressay: Spotted Flycatcher at Voehead.

Central Mainland: Wood Pigeon at Voe.

West Mainland: Glaucous Gull at Dale of Walls.

South Mainland: Long-eared Owl at Quendale. Swift at Sumburgh Hotel.

Meadow Pipit at Clumlie - Jim Wood; Dunlin and Eiders at Sandwick - Jim Nicolson

Wednesday 6th June 2012

Out Skerries: Swallow and Chiffchaff.

Yell: Swallow at Cullivoe.

Tuesday 5th June 2012

South Mainland: Red-backed Shrike at Cunningsburgh. Chiffchaff at Virkie. Long-eared Owl at Quendale.

Chiffchaff at Virkie, Whimbrel at Boddam and Red-throated Diver at Grutness - Jim Wood; Long-eared Owl at Quendale - Roger Riddington

Redshank, Skylark, Lapwing and Curlew at Cunningsburgh - George Petrie

Out Skerries: Swallow, Chiffchaff and 2 Willow Warblers.

Unst: Iceland Gull at Norwick.

Yell: White-tailed Eagle at Herra.

West Mainland: Common Whitethroat at Gairdins o' Sand.

Cetaceans: Minke Whale through Bluemull Sound

Monday 4th June 2012

South Mainland: Knot at Grutness.

Knot and Whimbrel at Grutness - George Petrie; Sanderling, Whimbrel and Knot at Grutness - Jim Nicolson; Arctic Tern and Knot at Grutness - Jim Wood

Out Skerries: 47 Knot flying north, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler.

Unst: 2 Iceland Gulls at Norwick.

Iceland Gull at Norwick - Jim Nangle

Curlew at Ollaberry - Charles Gifford

Sunday 3rd June 2012

South Mainland; Wryneck at Sumburgh early morning. Long-eared Owl at Quendale. Short-eared Owl at Virkie. Spotted Flycatcher at Scatness. Knot at Grutness. 2 Black-tailed Godwits near Boddam.

Knot at Gutness, Common Snipe at Spiggie; Raven at Quendale - Jim Wood

Black-tailed Godwits, Ravens and Arctic Skua around Boddam - John Moncrieff

Mallard and Meadow Pipit at Ollaberry; Arctic Tern at Heylor - Charles Gifford

Saturday 2nd June 2012

South Mainland: Subalpine Warbler still at Quendale; also Osprey, Marsh Warbler and Long-eared Owl there. Little Egret at Spiggie. Golden Oriole at Levenwick. Short-eared Owl at Virkie. Spotted Flycatcher at Scatness. Pied Flycatcher at Cunningsburgh.

Pied Flycatcher at Cunningsburgh - Jim Nicolson; Spotted Flycatcher at Scatness - Ronnie Robertson; Snipe at Brow Marsh - George Petrie

Red-throated Diver and Skylark at Spiggie, and Dunlin at Boddam - Jim Wood

Central Mainland: Common Crane at Tingwall.

Out Skerries: Common Scoter, Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaffs, Willow Warbler and a dead Short-eared Owl.

Unst: 4 Sanderling at Skaw.

Friday 1st June 2012

Yell: Black-headed Bunting still at Gloup.

Black-headed Bunting at Gloup - Larry Dalziel (1 photo), Jim Nicolson (2 photos)

South Mainland: Subalpine Warbler and Long-eared Owl at Quendale. Long-eared Owl and 2 Chiffchaffs at Virkie. Short-eared Owl at Toab. Spotted Flycatcher at Scatness.

Long-eared Owl at Virkie, Spotted Flycatcher at Scatness and Whimbrel at Boddam - Jim Wood

Central Mainland: Iceland Gull at Lerwick.

Unst: 3 Goosanders and a Shoveler at Uyeasound.

Goosanders at Uyeasound - Jim Nangle

Out Skerries: Spotted Flycatcher, Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff and 2 Willow Warblers.

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