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Nature in Shetland

Recording nature in Shetland since 1996

Winner of a Shetland Environment Award 2004

BIRD News Archive 1999


Friday 31 December 1999

A LITTLE GREBE is at Haroldswick (Unst).


Thursday 30 December 1999

Two first-winter ICELAND GULLS are at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory (north end of Lerwick Harbour).


Wednesday 29 December 1999

A first-winter ICELAND GULL is at Symbister (Whalsay) along with a LITTLE AUK.


Tuesday 28 December 1999

A RUDDY DUCK is on Loch of Spiggie (south Mainland).


Monday 27 December 1999

Two first-winter and a second-winter ICELAND GULLS are at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory (north end of Lerwick Harbour) and a first and third-winter ICELAND GULLS and a fist-winter GLAUCOUS GULL are at Uyeasound (Unst). The drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL is still on Loch of Tingwall.


Sunday 26 December 1999

Eighteen GREY HERONS were together on Beosetter Loch (Bressay) today.


Thursday 23 December 1999

Four first-winter ICELAND GULLS are at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory (north end of Lerwick Harbour).


Sunday 19 December 1999

Four first-winter and one second-winter plumage ICELAND GULLS are at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory (north end of Lerwick Harbour).


Saturday 18 December 1999

At least 2 WAXWINGS are in Lerwick and two first-winter ICELAND GULLS are at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory (north end of Lerwick Harbour).


Thursday 16 December 1999

A WAXWING and a CHIFFCHAFF are at Seafield (Lerwick) and another WAXWING was found dead at Sound (Lerwick).


Tuesday 14 December 1999

Two first-winter ICELAND GULLS are at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory (north end of Lerwick Harbour) and 2 BULLFINCHES are still in Lerwick.


Monday 13 December 1999

The PALE-BELLIED BRENT GOOSE is still at Virkie (Sumburgh) and a drake SHOVELER is at Scatness (Sumburgh).


Sunday 12 December 1999

Three GLAUCOUS GULLS are at UIyeasound (Unst), 2 first-winter plumage birds and an adult. The drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL is still frequenting the area around the island on Loch of Tingwall.


Friday 10 December 1999

A drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL is frequenting the area around the island on Loch of Tingwall.


Thursday 9 December 1999

A first-winter ICELAND GULL and a second-winter plumage GLAUCOUS GULL are at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory (north end of Lerwick Harbour).


Tuesday 7 December 1999

A POMARINE SKUA was at Ulsta (Yell) today and a RED-NECKED GREBE was in Boatsroom Voe (Lunna, north-east Mainland).


Monday 6 December 1999

A LITTLE AUK was in Lerwick Harbour today and a first-winter ICELAND GULL was at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory (north end of Lerwick Harbour).


Saturday 4 December 1999

Two first-winter ICELAND GULLS are at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory (north end of Lerwick Harbour) and 4 GLAUCOUS GULLS (2 adults and a first and second-winter) are at Burrafirth (Unst).


Wednesday 1 December 1999

Two second-winter plumage GLAUCOUS GULLS are at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory (north end of Lerwick Harbour) and 2 BULLFINCHES are still in Lerwick.


Sunday 28 November 1999

The 5 BARNACLE GEESE are still at Spiggie.


Saturday 27 November 1999

A SLAVONIAN GREBE was at Lund on Unst today and an adult GLAUCOUS GULL and adult ICELAND GULL are at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory (north end of Lerwick Harbour).


Friday 26 November 1999

On Unst 6 GLAUCOUS GULLS were at Burrafirth (including 5 adults), a SLAVONIAN GREBE was in Baltasound and the BARNACLE GOOSE was still at Haroldswick.


Thursday 25 November 1999

A juvenile POMARINE SKUA and 2 LITTLE AUKS were seen from the Yell Sound ferry. A pair of BULLFINCHES were near Fort Charlotte in Lerwick today along with a very late PIED WAGTAIL. A BARNACLE GOOSE was with 59 GREYLAG GEESE in Haroldswick.


Wednesday 24 November 1999

A female BULLFINCH is still in Lerwick, being seen at Bank Lane today. A POMARINE SKUA was seen on Whalsay.


Tuesday 23 November 1999

A blue phase FULMAR was at the Shetland catch factory in Lerwick.


Sunday 21 November 1999

There were plenty of geese around with about 825 GREYLAG GEESE in the Sumburgh area, 5 BARNACLE GEESE at Spiggie, 4 BRENT GEESE at Sumburgh and another 4 (pale-bellied race) at Virkie. Also at Virkie there are 5 SHELDUCKS and 5 BAR-TAILED GODWITS. Elsewhere a first-winter plumage GLAUCOUS GULL is at the north end of Lerwick harbour and 2 adults were at Burrafirth on Unst.


Friday 19 November 1999

A late SPOTTED REDSHANK was at Scatness (Sumburgh) today along with drake SHOVELER and 10 SNOW BUNTINGS. A GREY WAGTAIL is at Quendale Mill, 30 SNOW BUNTINGS are at Quendale Links and the 3 PINK-FOOTED GEESE are still at Ringasta (one of which has a neck-collar).


Thursday 18 November 1999

A first-winter GLAUCOUS GULL is at the Shetland Catch fish factory (Lerwick) and a female BULLFINCH is frequenting the Shetland Amenity Trust garden.


Tuesday 16 November 1999

A GREAT GREY SHRIKE was at Geosetter (south Mainland) today and the GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER is still frequenting the 'lanes' in Lerwick.


Monday 15 November 1999

The DARK-BREASTED BARN OWL was seen again at Sumburgh at around 7pm having remained elusive since its last sighting on the 30th October. Two BULLFINCHES were in the Shetland Amenity Trust Office garden (Lerwick) this morning, the GREAT-SPOTTED WOODPECKER is still frequenting the 'lanes' in Lerwick and a GREY WAGTAIL is at Maywick (south Mainland).


Sunday 14 November 1999

The 5 BARNACLE GEESE are still on Unst along with 2 GLAUCOUS GULLS. Elsewhere at least one SLAVONIAN GREBE was still on Loch of Tingwall along with 3 SCAUP. Two SLAVONIAN GREBES were on Loch of Spiggie, 8 SCAUP were on Loch of Brow and 3 PINK-FOOTED GEESE were at Ringasta (Dunrossness) - one of which has a neck-collar. Two POMARINE SKUAS were seen on Whalsay.


Saturday 13 November 1999

Five BARNACLE GEESE are at Baltasound (Unst).


Friday 12 November 1999

At least 3 BULLFINCHES were in the Shetland Amenity Trust Office garden (Lerwick) this morning.


Wednesday 10 November 1999

Three eastern race JACKDAWS are at Gott (Tingwall) and the 2 SLAVONIAN GREBES are still on Loch of Tingwall. The GREAT TIT is still at Baltasound (Unst) and 3 BULLFINCHES are frequenting gardens around Staney Hill (Lerwick). 


Tuesday 9 November 1999

Four GREY PLOVER are at the Pool of Virkie (Sumburgh) along with 5 BAR-TAILED GODWIT. The 2 SLAVONIAN GREBES are still on Loch of Tingwall.

One of the Grey Plover at the Pool of Virkie - photo Bill Jackson


Monday 8 November 1999

The GREAT TIT is still at Baltasound (Unst) and a pair of SCAUP and 2 SLAVONIAN GREBES are on Loch of Tingwall.


Sunday 7 November 1999

At least 80 SNOW BUNTINGS are at Haroldswick (Unst) and 2 Eastern Race JACKDAWS are at Gott (Tingwall).


Saturday 6 November 1999

Single GOLDFINCHES (a rare bird in Shetland) turned up at Grutness and Maywick today (both south Mainland). Elsewhere there was a late BLUETHROAT at Virkie (south Mainland) and 4 GREY PLOVERS on the Pool of Virkie.


Friday 5 November 1999

The HOOPOE is still at Rerwick (south Mainland) and a BULLFINCH is still at Norwick (Unst).


Thursday 4 November 1999

There was no further sign of yesterdays White-rumped Sandpiper in the south Mainland today. Elsewhere there was a HOOPOE at Rerwick (south Mainland) and GREAT-SPOTTED WOODPECKERS at Lerwick and Scalloway.


Wednesday 3 November 1999

A WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER was discovered at Fleck (south Mainland) at around mid-day. It disappeared from the area but was relocated on the Pool of Virkie (Sumburgh, south Mainland) in the late afternoon. Elsewhere there were 2 GLAUCOUS GULLS at Sumburgh and the GREAT-SPOTTED WOODPECKER is still at Scalloway. A flock of 67 WHOOPER SWANS on Fetlar was a record for the island - they probably consisted mainly of birds from Unst as the birds present on 1st have largely moved on.


Monday 1 November 1999

Yesterdays AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was at Aithsetter today (just south of Fladdabister). Elsewhere there was an obvious arrival of WHOOPER SWANS on Unst today, with at least 125 on the island, including 52 at Burrafirth (there were only 16 birds present on 31st October). Five LONG-EARED OWLS are still present on the island and a WAXWING was reported at Haroldswick. Further flocks of WHOOPER SWANS reported were 60 at Breckon on Yell and 40 on Foula.


Sunday 31 October 1999

A juvenile AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was found at Fladdabister (south Mainland) this afternoon. Elsewhere there was a LITTLE GREBE at Pullars Loch (Scatness, Sumburgh) and a late WHIMBREL also at Fladdabister.


Saturday 30 October 1999

A DARK-BREASTED BARN OWL was seen flying around Virkie (Sumburgh) in the early hours of this morning. Fortunately it was located in one of the old buildings adjacent to Sumburgh Airport at around mid-day and was trapped and ringed by members of the Shetland Ringing Group. It is only the thirteenth record of the species in Shetland (following an earlier individual at Cunningsburgh on the 24th September this year) and only the fifth definite record of a dark-breasted individual. These dark-breasted birds originate from north-east Europe and are generally regarded as migrants to the UK. White-breasted individuals - those seen in the wild in the UK - are also commonly kept in captivity (including a few in Shetland) and there have been reports of escaped individuals here in recent years.

Photos: The dark-breasted Barn Owl at Sumburgh - Kevin Osborn

Elsewhere there was a GREAT TIT at Baltasound (Unst), a GREAT-SPOTTED WOODPECKER at Scalloway and the SHORELARK is still on Fair Isle.


Friday 29 October 1999

Two pairs of BULLFINCHES are frequenting the Norstane area (Lerwick) and another male is at Sullom Voe, a GREAT TIT is at Norwick (Unst) and a BLUETHROAT and SHORELARK are on Fair Isle.


Thursday 28 October 1999

A RED-BACKED SHRIKE and a late WHEATEAR are at Burrafirth (Unst), an ARCTIC REDPOLL is at Lunna and a GREY WAGTAIL is at Spiggie (south Mainland).


Wednesday 27 October 1999

The GREAT TIT is still at Baltasound (Unst).


Tuesday 26 October 1999

At least 6 BULLFINCHES are still in Lerwick and 5 more were at Geosetter (south Mainland). At least 150 GREYLAG GEESE arrived in the south Mainland today. The adult AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was associating with Golden Plover in the fields near the Laxfirth pier (Gott) during the afternoon.

Six LONG-EARED OWLS are on Unst - 4 at Baltasound and 2 at Northdale, a GREAT TIT is also at Baltasound.

On Fair Isle a RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER was a new arrival, along with a BLACK REDSTART and the long-staying ARCTIC REDPOLL is still there.


Monday 25 October 1999

There was no sign of the Whalsay Raddes Warbler today although the PALLAS'S WARBLER was still present. The only other birds of note reported were several BULLFINCHES still in the isles, although again mostly in the central and north Mainland, a YELLOWHAMMER on Fetlar and 3 WAXWINGS on Unst.

A WAXWING and the long-staying ARCTIC REDPOLL are on Fair Isle.


Sunday 24 October 1999

Bird of the day was a RADDES WARBLER on Whalsay - the 15th Shetland record of the species. Elsewhere the NIGHTINGALE was still at the small 'quarry' along the road to the Sumburgh Lighthouse (the quarry closest to the lighthouse), a KINGFISHER is at Voe, a BLACK REDSTART and a WOODCOCK are at Quendale,  a COMMON REDSTART is at Maywick and 4 SCAUP are at Scatness. At least 30 BULLFINCHES are in the isles - the majority around Lerwick and the north Mainland. BLACKCAPS were also evident today - at least 50 were reported - and the 4 LONG-EARED OWLS are still at Baltasound (Unst). The  PALLAS'S WARBLER is still on Whalsay along with a late WHEATEAR, a BLACK REDSTART and 3 WAXWINGS..


Saturday 23 October 1999

A NIGHTINGALE was in the small 'quarry' along the road to the Sumburgh Lighthouse (the quarry closest to the lighthouse) during the afternoon and early evening. Elsewhere there are a few WOODCOCK in the Sumburgh area and a few BULLFINCHES turning up throughout the isles. The adult AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER is also still associating with Golden Plover at the end of the Veensgarth road (Tingwall, central Mainland) and 12 LITTLE AUKS were off Sumburgh Head. The  PALLAS'S WARBLER is still on Whalsay.


Friday 22 October 1999

Three BULLFINCHES are on Unst and two are still at Helendale (Lerwick) and 2 POMARINE SKUAS flew south off Sumburgh Head. The  PALLAS'S WARBLER is still on Whalsay along with 2 WAXWINGS.


Thursday 21 October 1999

A PALLAS'S WARBLER is on Whalsay. On Unst today there were 3 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS, 4 LONG-EARED OWLS and a SHORT-EARED OWL, while the BARRED WARBLER was still at Northdale.

The adult AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER is still associating with Golden Plover at the end of the Veensgarth road (Tingwall, central Mainland). A WAXWING is at Hoswick, 7 BULLFINCHES are at Geosetter and 2 more are at Helendale (Lerwick).

The ARCTIC REDPOLL is still on Fair Isle.


Wednesday 20 October 1999

A first-year female BLACK-THROATED THRUSH was briefly at the ruined croft adjacent to the northern side of the RAF camp on Unst today (Haroldswick). Unfortunately it flew off and could not be relocated (as they frequently seem to do!). Also on Unst were a WAXWING and a female BULLFINCH at Norwick, a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER at Haroldswick and a GREAT TIT and 2 WAXWINGS at Baltasound. Another GREAT TIT and a MISTLE THRUSH are also on Fetlar.


Tuesday 19 October 1999

On Unst a BARRED WARBLER is at Northdale, a WAXWING is at Norwick, the YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER is still at Baltasound and GREAT-SPOTTED WOODPECKERS are at Skaw and Norwick.

Elsewhere  the YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER is still at Maywick (south Mainland) along with a female COMMON CROSSBILL and a male 'northern' BULLFINCH. A LITTLE GREBE is on Loch of Hillwell (south Mainland).

The ARCTIC REDPOLL is still on Fair Isle along with 2 GREAT TITS.


Monday 18 October 1999

There was no sign of the Red-flanked Bluetail at Scatness today. Elsewhere there were YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS at Baltasound (Unst), Helendale (Lerwick) and Maywick (south Mainland) and the juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER is still at the pools at the end of Scatness (Sumburgh). 

An ARCTIC REDPOLL is on Fair Isle, along with a LANCEOLATED WARBLER, a RICHARDS PIPIT and 2 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS.


Sunday 17 October 1999

The RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL was still frequenting the garden of the house at the end of the Scatness (Sumburgh) road today. Amazingly there are also three others in the UK - in the Borders, Norfolk and Cornwall.

The Red-flanked Bluetail at Scatness - photos Bill Jackson

On Unst today there was a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER at Halligarth, Baltasound, a COMMON ROSEFINCH at  Burrafirth, a BULLFINCH at Norwick and a GREAT-SPOTTED WOODPECKER is at Northdale.

The adult AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER last seen on the 6th was rediscovered in the fields at the north end of Loch of Tingwall (central Mainland) today - associating with the Golden Plovers there.

Elsewhere there was a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER, COMMON BUZZARD and a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER at Kergord, a BULLFINCH at Voe, a BLUETHROAT and BLACK REDSTART on Skerries, the DOTTEREL is still at Quendale (south Mainland) and the LITTLE GREBE is still in the East Voe of Scalloway.

left - the American Golden Plover at Tingwall - photo Bill Jackson


Saturday 16 October 1999

Shetland's sixth RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL was found at Scatness (Sumburgh) this afternoon. The bird was extremely mobile although mainly frequented the garden of the house at the very end of the Scatness road. Previous records are as follows:

  • 1947    Whalsay, shot, 7th October, second British record, specimen now in the Lerwick Museum
  • 1971    Fetlar, male, 31st May to 1st June
  • 1981    Busta, Fair Isle, first year, probably male, 29th-30th September
  • 1984    Hjukni Geo, Fair Isle, 21st September
  • 1993    Easterhoull, Fair Isle, first-winter, 16th September

Another Red-flanked Bluetail also turned up in the Borders today - at St. Abbs Head!

Elsewhere there was a COMMON ROSEFINCH at Norwick (Unst), a DOTTEREL at Scousburgh (south Mainland) and the juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER is still at the pools at the end of Scatness (Sumburgh). Several hundred FIELDFARES and REDWINGS also arrived today - they were especially noticeable around the central/north Mainland and in the northern isles.

There was no sign of yesterday's Harlequin Duck on Fair Isle today although a LANCEOLATED WARBLER was new there.


Friday 15 October 1999

Bird of the autumn so far was found on Fair Isle today - an immature male or female HARLEQUIN DUCK in the south harbour. It is the third record for Shetland, the other two records are as follows:

1965    Fair Isle, pair, 11th January to 2nd February
1987    Sullom Voe, first-winter male, 16th January to 25th February

Also on Fair Isle are 3 PALLAS'S WARBLERS, a RICHARDS PIPIT, RUSTIC BUNTING, ORTOLAN BUNTING, COMMON ROSEFINCH, BLUETHROAT, GLAUCOUS GULL and up to 14 GREAT-SPOTTED WOODPECKERS.

A LANCEOLATED WARBLER was brought in by a cat at Northdale (Unst) this afternoon - unfortunately it died shortly after it was rescued from the cats jaws. The juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER is still at Garth's Loch, Scatness (Sumburgh), a juvenile POMARINE SKUA and first-winter ICELAND GULL were in Yell Sound, a BLUETHROAT and 6 'Tristis' type CHIFFCHAFFS are on Skerries and a GREAT-SPOTTED WOODPECKER is at Maywick (south Mainland).

The Unst Lanceolated Warbler - Mike Pennington


Thursday 14 October 1999

A juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER was at Garth's Loch, Scatness (Sumburgh) today.


Wednesday 13 October 1999

The ORTOLAN BUNTING is still at Grutness.


Tuesday 12 October 1999

The ORTOLAN BUNTING is still at Grutness and the BEE-EATER is still at still at Valyie, Norwick (Unst).


Sunday 10 October 1999

An ORTOLAN BUNTING is at Grutness, along with a TURTLE DOVE and the BEE-EATER is still at still at Valyie, Norwick (Unst).


Saturday 9 October 1999

The BEE-EATER is still at still at Valyie, Norwick (Unst).


Friday 8 October 1999

On Unst the BEE-EATER is still at still at Norwick and the LITTLE STINT is also still at Baltasound. There are no signs of any small owls as yet.


Thursday 7 October 1999

An ARCTIC REDPOLL was at Sandsound today. On Unst BEE-EATER is still at still at Norwick and the LITTLE STINT is also still at Baltasound.

The Arctic Redpoll at Sandsound - photos Bill Jackson


Wednesday 6 October 1999

The adult AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER is still frequenting the fields at the north end of Loch of Tingwall (central Mainland) - associating with the 200 or so Golden Plovers there. A GREAT-SPOTTED WOODPECKER is also at Hayfield (Lerwick).

On Unst the BEE-EATER is still at still at Norwick, the SHORT-TOED LARK is still at Haroldswick and the YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER is still at Norwick A LITTLE STINT is also at Baltasound.

On Fair Isle today were a RICHARDS PIPIT, 3 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS, a BLUETHROAT, 5 LAPLAND BUNTINGS and 50 SNOW BUNTINGS.


Tuesday 5 October 1999

The adult AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER is still frequenting the fields at the north end of Loch of Tingwall (central Mainland) - associating with the 200 or so Golden Plovers there. A BULLFINCH is at Kergord (central Mainland).

On Unst the SHORT-TOED LARK is still at Haroldswick and the YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER, COMMON ROSEFINCH and BEE-EATER are still at Norwick

On Fair Isle today were a BLUETHROAT, 5 LAPLAND BUNTINGS and 230 SNOW BUNTINGS.


Monday 4 October 1999

The adult AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER is still frequenting the fields at the north end of Loch of Tingwall (central Mainland) - associating with the 200 or so Golden Plovers there.

On Unst the SHORT-TOED LARK is still at Haroldswick, the YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER, COMMON ROSEFINCH and BEE-EATER are still at Norwick, a LAPLAND BUNTING is at Baltasound and a probable Arctic Redpoll was at Valyie, Norwick.

On Fair Isle today were a BLUETHROAT, YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER and a LAPLAND BUNTING.


Sunday 3 October 1999

An adult AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER is frequenting the fileds at the north end of Loch of Tingwall (central Mainland) associating with the 200 or so Golden Plovers there and a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER is at Helendale (Lerwick).

On Unst a new RICHARDS PIPIT is at Skaw, but other birds have all been around for a while - the SHORT-TOED LARK is still at Haroldswick along with a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER and the BEE-EATER is at Norwick along with a BARRED WARBLER, COMMON ROSEFINCH and 3 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS.


Saturday 2 October 1999

A YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER is at TOAB (south Mainland) - opposite the Exnaboe junction and a BLUETHROAT is at Scatness. The BEE-EATER is still at Valyie, Norwick (Unst) and the SHORT-TOED LARK is still at Haroldswick (Unst).

On Fair Isle today were 2 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS, an ORTOLAN BUNTING, a BLUETHROAT and 3 LAPLAND BUNTINGS.


Friday 1 October 1999

On Unst the SHORT-TOED LARK is still at Haroldswick along with 2 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS and a BARRED WARBLER. A YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER is also still at the Baltasound Post Office garden and the BEE-EATER is still at Norwick.

On Out Skerries today were a RICHARDS PIPIT, GRASSHOPPER WARBLER, 2 LAPLAND BUNTINGS and a JACK SNIPE.

A YELLOW_BROWED WARBLER is at Gulberwick (just south of Lerwick).

On Fair Isle today the YELLOW-BREASTED BUNTING, ROSE-COLOURED STARLING,  YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS and a BLUETHROAT.


Thursday 30 September 1999

There were far fewer birds around today - the only reports of note were - on Unst a BLUETHROAT and SHORT-TOED LARK still at Haroldswick and a COMMON ROSEFINCH and the ever-present BEE-EATER still at Valyie, Norwick. Jack Standring reported a PEREGRINE sitting on girders for several hours at Sullom Voe Terminal and a LAPLAND BUNTING was also on Whalsay, 

On Fair Isle today - a YELLOW-BREASTED BUNTING, ROSE-COLOURED STARLING, 7 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS and a LAPLAND BUNTING.


Wednesday 29 September 1999

Unst was the place to be again today with a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER,  SHORT-TOED LARK and 2 BLUETHROATS at Haroldswick, YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS at Baltasound and Halligarth, a BARRED WARBLER, COMMON ROSEFINCH and the long-staying BEE-EATER at Norwick and another COMMON ROSEFINCH at Hamar.

Elsewhere there was a probable Arctic Redpoll at Isbister (Whalsay), a WOOD WARBLER at Sandwick (south Mainland) and a TURTLE DOVE at Grutness.

On Fair Isle today were one of yesterdays BLYTH'S REED WARBLERS, a juvenile ROSE-COLOURED STARLING, a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER and a LAPLAND BUNTING. Five SOOTY SHEARWATERS were also seen from the island today.


Tuesday 28 September 1999

On Unst today - an ARCTIC WARBLER was at the Gerratoun garden at Haroldswick along with a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER,  a BARRED WARBLER was at Haroldswick, another YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER was at the Baltasound Post Office garden and the BEE-EATER is still at Norwick.

A SHORT-TOED LARK is at north Exnaboe (Sumburgh area) and a SOOTY SHEARWATER was off Sumburgh Head.

On Fair Isle today there were 2 BLYTH'S REED WARBLERS (both trapped and ringed), also there are 4 YELLOW_BROWED WARBLERS.


Monday 27 September 1999

There was no sign today of the Two-barred Crossbill on Whalsay although a male RED-BACKED SHRIKE was at Challister, a COMMON ROSEFINCH was at Brough and 3 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS, a BARRED WARBLER and a WOOD WARBLER were at Symbister.

On Unst there were 2 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS at Baltasound and the BEE-EATER still at Valyie, Norwick.

Elsewhere the SHORT-TOED LARK is still at Tangwick, Eshaness along with a COMMON ROSEFINCH, a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER is at Eshaness and a FIRECREST is on Foula.

On Fair Isle the BLYTH'S REED WARBLER is still present (in the Observatory garden). Also there were 5 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS, an ORTOLAN BUNTING, RED-BACKED SHRIKE and a RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER.


Sunday 26 September 1999

The TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL is still associating with 3 COMMON CROSSBILLS at Setter, Symbister (Whalsay). Also on Whalsay are 2 BARRED WARBLERS, 2 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS, a COMMON ROSEFINCH and a WOOD WARBLER at Symbister and a RED-BACKED SHRIKE at Challister.

On Unst the RED-BACKED SHRIKE and the long-staying BEE EATER at still at Norwick along with a new COMMON ROSEFINCH.

The GREAT SNIPE has been relocated on Out Skerries - also there are a RICHARDS PIPIT, COMMON ROSEFINCH and 2 REED WARBLERS

Elsewhere there is a SHORT-TOED LARK at the oat field at Tangwick, Eshaness (north Mainland), 2 BLUETHROATS are still at Grutness (Sumburgh), YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS are at Kergord, Voe and Swinning (central/north Mainland), an OSPREY and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER at Spiggie (south Mainland) and a LAPLAND BUNTING at Sandwick (south Mainland).

On Fair Isle there is a  BLYTH'S REED WARBLER,  ROSE COLOURED STARLING and an ORTOLAN BUNTING.


Saturday 25 September 1999

A TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL is associating with 3 Common Crossbills at Setter, Symbister (Whalsay). Also on Whalsay there are a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER, BARRED WARBLER and 2 WOOD WARBLERS and a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER is at Laxo. 

A LEACH'S PETREL was seen from the Foula to Walls inter-island ferry this morning and a juvenile POMARINE SKUA was seen from the Vidlin to Out Skerries ferry. On Out Skerries today were a REED WARBLER, 2 GRASSHOPPER WARBLERS and a JACK SNIPE but there was no sign of yesterdays Great Snipe. 

Elsewhere there were 3 BLUETHROATS at Grutness (Sumburgh), an OSPREY  over Scatness (Sumburgh), 4 JACK SNIPE at Scatness and another at Sumburgh, 2 LITTLE STINTS at Scatness and another at Boddam and 5 CURLEW SANDPIPERS at Scatness.

Jon Stokes and John Cozens reported the following from Unst - a RED-BACKED SHRIKE, BARRED WARBLER and the long-staying BEE EATER at Norwick, a HAWFINCH at North Dale, a LONG-EARED OWL and BARRED WARBLER at Halligarth, 2 RICHARDS PIPITS and a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER at Baltasound, a COMMON ROSEFINCH at Burrafirth and an ICELAND GULL at Uyeasound. They also had 2 BARRED WARBLERS at Voe below the house called Hillside and a  YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER at Swinning.


Friday 24 September 1999

On Out Skerries today were a GREAT SNIPE, 2 RICHARDS PIPITS, a HAWFINCH, 3 GRASSHOPPER WARBLERS,  3 CROSSBILLS and around 30 TREE PIPITS

On Unst today were a BLUETHROAT, BARRED WARBLER and RICHARDS PIPIT at Baltasound, a BARRED WARBLER and RED-BACKED SHRIKE at Norwick and a COMMON ROSEFINCH at Burrafirth. 

Elsewhere there were YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS at Swinning (near Vidlin, north Mainland) and Scatness (Sumburgh), 2 RICHARDS PIPITS were on Foula and another was at the Brig O' Fitch (just north of Lerwick), a BARRED WARBLER at Veensgarth (Tingwall, central Mainland),  2 BLUETHROATS were at Grutness (Sumburgh), and a HONEY BUZZARD was at Kergord (central Mainland). A LITTLE STINT, WOOD SANDPIPER and 3 RUFF were at Scatness beach and another LITTLE STINT was at Boddam.

A BARN OWL of unknown origin was at Cunningsburgh during the evening.


Thursday 23 September 1999

Tim and Jonathan Drew are on Foula for their regular autumn visit, and they have had an excellent day with a PALLAS'S GRASSHOPPER WARBLER (the fourth for Shetland away from Fair Isle), 2 TAWNY PIPITS (the eighth and ninth for Shetland away from Fair Isle) and a RED-THROATED PIPIT

On Unst today were a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER still at Northdale, a RICHARD'S PIPIT is at Baltasound about 1 km from yesterday's sighting, 2 COMMON ROSEFINCHES and a BARRED WARBLER, while the long-staying BEE-EATER and the RED-BACKED SHRIKE are at Norwick. 

There are four BLUETHROATS on Mainland - two at Grutness and singles at Sumburgh Head and Catfirth, a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER is at Noness (near Sandwick, south Mainland) and a LAPLAND BUNTING is at Geosetter (south Mainland).


Wednesday 22 September 1999

On Unst today a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER is at Northdale and a RICHARD'S PIPIT is at Baltasound while the long-staying BEE-EATER and the RED-BACKED SHRIKE are at Norwick. 

A BLUETHROAT is still at Sumburgh Head and the KINGFISHER is still at Voe but there was no sign of the Arctic Warbler there. A RED-THROATED PIPIT, 2 RICHARDS PIPITS and a WRYNECK are on Foula. A male 'eastern race type 'samamisicus' REDSTART was at Geosetter.

Fair Isle has PADDYFIELD WARBLER, CITRINE WAGTAIL and RED-THROATED PIPIT today.


Tuesday 21 September 1999

BLUETHROATS are st Sumburgh Head and Grutness, a LAPLAND BUNTING is at Sumburgh, 2 RICHARDS PIPITS are on Foula and a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER is on Fetlar. An OSPREY flew north over Grutness this evening.


Monday 20 September 1999

The ARCTIC WARBLER and the KINGFISHER are still at Voe and the BEE-EATER is at Norwick, along with a RED-BACKED SHRIKE, but there was no sign of the Lesser Grey Shrike on Fetlar. A COMMON ROSEFINCH is at Lunna. 


19/9/99

The first-winter LESSER GREY SHRIKE is still along the Feal Burn on Fetlar and the BEE-EATER is still at Norwick on Unst. A RED-BACKED SHRIKE is still in the Sumburgh area and a BLUETHROAT is at Grutness. The fifth PECTORAL SANDPIPER of the autumn is at Lunna. An ARCTIC WARBLER was at Voe this afternoon. Even rarer, in Shetland terms, is a KINGFISHER, also at Voe. This is presumably the same bird that was reported on Fair Isle last week and it is the 13th Shetland record. By contrast, more than 120 Arctic Warblers have been seen in Shetland, if all the Fair Isle records are included. A POMARINE SKUA and SOOTY SHEARWATER flew past Sumburgh Head.


18/9/99

The first-winter LESSER GREY SHRIKE is still along the Feal Burn on Fetlar along with a BARRED WARBLER and a RED-BACKED SHRIKE. Single RED-BACKED SHRIKE, WRYNECK and BARRED WARBLER are all in the Sumburgh area. A RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER is at Maywick. The BEE-EATER and the BARRED WARBLER are still at Norwick on Unst.


17/9/99

The LESSER GREY SHRIKE is still along the Feal Burn on Fetlar. RED-BACKED SHRIKES are in south Mainland at Sumburgh and Durigarth and a WRYNECK is at Sumburgh. The BEE-EATER is at Norwick along with the BARRED WARBLER which has been there a week or so. A COMMON BUZZARD at Halligarth on Unst this evening flew north before dusk.


16/9/99

A LESSER GREY SHRIKE is along the Feal Burn on Fetlar. It is the 17th Shetland record, and although it is the fifth in the 1990s, these records have come after a gap of 16 years from 1974-90 with no records at all. A HOOPOE is in Sandwick. A BLUETHROAT and a BARRED WARBLER are still at Norwick on Unst, along with the long-staying BEE-EATER.


15/9/99

A WRYNECK is on Unst and the BLUETHROAT and BARRED WARBLER are still at Norwick. 


14/9/99

A juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER is at Scatness, possibly the third individual there this autumn. A SPOTTED REDSHANK and a LAPLAND BUNTING are also at Scatness. At Norwick on Unst today there is a WRYNECK, a BARRED WARBLER, a BLUETHROAT and the long-staying BEE-EATER. SISKINS are very much in evidence with 100 at Sumburgh and 80 on Unst.


13/9/99

There are BARRED WARBLERS at Northdale and Norwick and a freshly dead WRYNECK at Norwick on Unst today. The RED-BACKED SHRIKE is still at Grutness, BARRED WARBLERS are at Sumburgh and Gulberwick and the COMMON ROSEFINCH is at Gulberwick.


12/9/99

A BARRED WARBLER, a RED-BACKED SHRIKE and a WOOD WARBLER are at Grutness, a SPOTTED REDSHANK is at Scatness, while there is a BARRED WARBLER at Quendale and a COMMON ROSEFINCH at Maywick. On Unst there are 2 LAPLAND BUNTINGS at Skaw, 2 REED WARBLERS at Norwick, 2 late WHIMBRELS at Skaw and Haroldswick and the BEE-EATER is still at Norwick.


11/9/99

A BARRED WARBLER was at Norwick (Unst) today along with the long-staying BEE-EATER.


8/9/99

On Unst today there are BARRED WARBLERS at Norwick and Northdale and COMMON ROSEFINCHES at Baltasound and Haroldswick while the BEE-EATER is still at Norwick.


7/9/99

The BEE-EATER is still at Norwick (Unst) along with a REED WARBLER while 60 WHITE WAGTAILS came in to roost at dusk. A BARRED WARBLER and COMMON ROSEFINCH are at Sandwick (south Mainland).


5/9/99

A PECTORAL SANDPIPER was seen briefly at Scatness today. At such a well-watched site it is likely that this a different bird to the one there two weeks ago. On Virkie there were 15 BLACK-TAILED GODWITS and 10 LITTLE STINTS.


4/9/99

Grant Robertson saw a juvenile ROSE-COLOURED STARLING at Grutness today, but it could not be relocated later. A COMMON BUZZARD flew north over the Loch of Brow. Elsewhere, a TURTLE DOVE and a COMMON CROSSBILL (one of several that have arrived over the last week) are at Geosetter and 12 LITTLE STINTS at Virkie. Some of the more obvious passerine migrants around include Meadow Pipits and White Wagtails, which have probably come from Iceland. The BEE-EATER is still at Norwick (Unst).


3/9/99

There have been few new arrivals in the south-westerly winds of the past few days, but long-stayers on Unst include the WOOD SANDPIPER at Baltasound, now present for a week, and the BEE-EATER at Norwick, coming up for its two months residence in the islands.


2/9/99

A WOOD WARBLER is at Quendale. The summering first-year ICELAND and GLAUCOUS GULLS are still at Uyeasound (Unst).


1/9/99

The two BARRED WARBLERS are still in Cunningsburgh.


31/8/99

Two BARRED WARBLERS are in Cunningsburgh and the WOOD SANDPIPER is still at the small loch adjacent to Baltasound School (Unst).


30/8/99

The ARCTIC WARBLER was still at Swining (near Vidlin, north Mainland) today. Elsewhere, BARRED WARBLERS were at No Ness (Sandwick), Lerwick (2), Baltasound and on Noss, a WRYNECK was at Hayfield (Lerwick), 3 WOOD WARBLERS were at Lerwick, the 25 BLACK-TAILED GODWITS were still on Noss and the WOOD SANDPIPER was still at the small loch adjacent to Baltasound School (Unst).


29/8/99

An ARCTIC WARBLER was at Swining (near Vidlin, north Mainland) this afternoon. Elsewhere there were WOOD WARBLERS at Kergord (central Mainland) and Eswick (east Mainland), BARRED WARBLERS at Noss, Swining, Halligarth (Unst) and Eswick, a WRYNECK on Noss and 25 BLACK-TAILED GODWITS on Noss. The summering first-year GLAUCOUS GULL is still at Uyeasound.


28/8/99

Single BARRED WARBLERS were at Grutness, Sumburgh, Whalsay and Halligarth (Unst) today, along with a COMMON ROSEFINCH at Sumburgh Head and WOOD WARBLERS were at the Sumburgh Hotel garden and Halligarth (Unst). The BEE-EATER is still at Valyie (Norwick, north Unst) and a WOOD SANDPIPER is at the small loch adjacent to Baltasound School (Unst).


27/8/99

On Skerries today there were a GRASSHOPPER WARBLER, ICTERINE WARBLER, BARRED WARBLER and COMMON ROSEFINCH and two MANX SHEARWATERS on the crossing. Elsewhere there were COMMON ROSEFINCHES at Maywick (near Bigton, south Mainland) and Sumburgh Head, a BARRED WARBLER was at Grutness (Sumburgh), a WRYNECK is on Fetlar, the BEE-EATER is still at Valyie (Norwick, north Unst) and the WOOD WARBLER is still at Halligarth (Unst). There were also quite a few common migrants around today, mainly Willow and Garden Warblers and Whinchats.


26/8/99

The BEE-EATER is still at Valyie (Norwick, north Unst), the COMMON ROSEFINCH is at Maywick (near Bigton, south Mainland) and a WOOD WARBLER is at Halligarth (Unst).


25/8/99

A COMMON ROSEFINCH is at Maywick (near Bigton, south Mainland) and 2 WOOD WARBLERS are on Unst.


23/8/99

Jim Watt reported a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER at Ladysmith Road, Scalloway. The SPOTTED REDSHANK is still at Brindister (near Quarff, south Mainland).


22/8/99

The juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER is still at Haroldswick (Unst), the BEE-EATER is still at Valyie (Norwick, north Unst) along with a RED-BACKED SHRIKE, first-summer plumage ICELAND and GLAUCOUS GULLS are at Uyeasound (Unst), a DOTTEREL is on Sandness Hill (west Mainland), a WOOD WARBLER is at Sumburgh and a SPOTTED REDSHANK is at Brindister (near Quarff, south Mainland). Another SPOTTED REDSHANK is on Fetlar where the summering WHITE-BILLED DIVER is still off Brough Lodge.


21/8/99

A GREENISH WARBLER is at the Sumburgh Hotel garden, a juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER is at Haroldswick (Unst), the adult PECTORAL SANDPIPER is still at Scatness (Sumburgh), the BEE-EATER is still at Valyie (Norwick, north Unst) and a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER is at Baltasound (Unst).

At the Pool of Virkie (Sumburgh) today were 14 CURLEW SANDPIPERS, at least 50 KNOT, 60 SANDERLING and 100 DUNLIN.


20/8/99

At the Pool of Virkie (Sumburgh) today were 6 CURLEW SANDPIPERS, a WOOD SANDPIPER, 5 BAR-TAILED GODWITS and at least 50 SANDERLING, 100 DUNLIN and 25 KNOT.


19/8/99

An adult PECTORAL SANDPIPER is at Scatness (Sumburgh) and a SPOTTED REDSHANK is on Fetlar.

The adult Pectoral Sandpiper at Scatness - photo Bill Jackson


16/8/99

The BEE-EATER is still at Valyie (Norwick, north Unst) along with the BARRED WARBLER and another BARRED WARBLER is at Haroldswick (Unst).


15/8/99

A GREAT SHEARWATER was photographed from the fishing boat MV Zephyr 2 miles north of Muckle Flugga (Unst), along with 10 SOOTY SHEARWATERS. The BEE-EATER is still at Valyie (Norwick, north Unst) along with a BARRED WARBLER.


14/8/99

The BEE-EATER is still at Valyie (Norwick, north Unst) and the WHITE-BILLED DIVER is still off Brough Lodge (Fetlar). A REED WARBLER was also at Burrafirth (Unst) today.


13/8/99

A RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER is on Fetlar.


11/8/99

The BEE-EATER is still at Valyie (Norwick, north Unst), the WHITE-BILLED DIVER is still of Brough Lodge (Fetlar) and  first-summer plumage ICELAND and GLAUCOUS GULLS are at Uyeasound (Unst).


8/8/99

The BEE-EATER is still at Valyie (Norwick, north Unst).


6/8/99

An ICTERINE WARBLER is at Gulberwick and the BEE-EATER is still at Valyie (Norwick, north Unst).


5/8/99

An adult SABINE'S GULL was seen between Whalsay and Out Skerries today and the WHITE-BILLED DIVER is still of Brough Lodge (Fetlar).


3/8/99

A BARRED WARBLER is on Fetlar.


2/8/99

The BEE-EATER is still at Valyie (Norwick, north Unst).


1/8/99

An AQUATIC WARBLER was briefly on the hill at the south end of Trondra (near Scalloway) around mid-day, but could not be relocated. 


31/7/99

The BEE-EATER is still at Valyie (Norwick, north Unst) and the 30 or so CROSSBILLS are still at Kergord (central Mainland).


30/7/99

The BEE-EATER is still at Valyie (Norwick, north Unst). and the WHITE-BILLED DIVER is still of Brough Lodge (Fetlar).


29/7/99

The BEE-EATER is still at Valyie (north Unst) and the 30 or so CROSSBILLS are still at Kergord (central Mainland).


28/7/99

The male COMMON ROSEFINCH is still at Norwick (Unst) and the BEE-EATER is still at Valyie (north Unst).


27/7/99

A red (male) COMMON ROSEFINCH is at Norwick (Unst) and the BEE-EATER is still at Valyie (north Unst). At least 30 CROSSBILLS are at Kergord (central Mainland).


26/7/99

The BEE-EATER is now at Valyie (north Unst).


25/7/99

At least 30 CROSSBILLS are frequenting the main plantation at Kergord (central Mainland), the WHITE-BILLED DIVER is still of Brough Lodge (Fetlar) and first-summer plumage ICELAND and GLAUCOUS GULLS are at Uyeasound (Unst).


22/7/99

The BEE-EATER is still at Halligarth / Baltasound (Unst).


16/7/99

Bill Jackson has been over at Mousa photographing the Storm Petrels on the isle and has provided these two photographs, taken at about 1 am.

 

These birds are part of the large breeding population in the isle. Recent work there using a tape to play the call of an adult into likely nesting areas to elicit a response has estimated the population at around 6,400 pairs + 2000 pairs. Most breed in the drystone walls and the boulder beaches, although some do breed in the walls of the broch which is where these two were photographed.

The months of July and August are the best time to see this species in Shetland, and a late evening trip to Mousa with Tom Jamieson (from the Sandwick pier) is by far the easiest way to see them. Very few Storm Petrels have been recorded in Shetland waters before the beginning of May. A freshly dead adult on Whalsay in mid March 1981 and one flying past Sumburgh Head on 6th April 1973 are easily the earliest records. There are no April records from Fair Isle or from the ferry crossing, for example. Sightings from the Fair Isle ferry the Good Shepherd are regular in June to September, but birds are seldom seen inshore in daylight. Movements of 40 per hour past Skerries on 28th September 1977, 2000 in an hour past Sumburgh Head on 11th August 1989 and 150 sheltering in Scalloway Harbour on 20th September 1990 are all exceptional. Pelagic trips beyond Ramna Stacks in August 1993 and 1994 recorded up to 500 birds attracted to fish-oil bait, reminiscent of the sight that must have greeted the “haaf” fishermen. There are regular records in October, often involving late records of stranded juveniles, and a scatter of records in the first week of November, but one past Sumburgh Head on 22nd November 1986 is by far the latest record.

The size of the whole Shetland breeding population is very hard to estimate, but with about 6000 pairs on Mousa and possibly as many as 1000 pairs on Fair Isle and Foula it is probably about 10,000 pairs. Censusing this nocturnal species is very difficult, but it is unlikely that the world population exceeds half a million pairs, most of which are in Britain, Ireland and the Faroes.


14/7/99

The BEE-EATER is still on Unst, commuting between the trees at the Baltasound Post Office and Halligarth and the WHITE-BILLED DIVER is still of Brough Lodge (Fetlar).


13/7/99

Bill Jackson has been out and about lately photographing the Shetland wildlife and has sent the excellent photograph below.

The female Red-necked Phalarope shown left is one of the small breeding population on Fetlar. Thanks to protection from the RSPB and the support of the Fetlar islanders the population has increased from around 10 pairs annually during the late seventies and eighties to 20-30 pairs during the last few years. Although the population is now confined to Fetlar the species once bred at several other locations in Shetland - records are known from Dunrossness and sites in West Mainland, Yell, and Unst.  

The species is unusual in that the females are much more brightly coloured than the males and the roles of the sexes are reversed. After the eggs have been laid the females take no further part in the proceedings and leave the males to incubate the eggs and rear the young. The females also leave the breeding grounds much earlier than the males - most have usually left by mid-July with the males and juveniles usually leaving during early/mid August.

 


12/7/99

The BEE-EATER is still at Halligarth (Unst) along with 4 CROSSBILLS.


11/7/99

The WHITE-BILLED DIVER is still of Brough Lodge (Fetlar).


8/7/99

A second-summer plumage WHITE-BILLED DIVER was off Brough Lodge (Fetlar) this morning.


7/7/99

What was almost certainly yesterday's BEE-EATER turned up at Halligarth (Unst) in the late afternoon - sitting on a telephone wire with Starlings. At least 3 CROSSBILLS are at Kergord (central Mainland).


6/7/99

A BEE-EATER flew north over Fladdabister this afternoon.


4/7/99

The adult ROSE-COLOURED STARLING is still at Halligarth, Unst.


3/7/99

An adult ROSE-COLOURED STARLING came in to roost at the trees around the Busta House Hotel (Brae) this evening. First-summer plumage ICELAND and GLAUCOUS GULLS are at Uyeasound (Unst).


2/7/99

The adult ROSE-COLOURED STARLING is still at Halligarth, Unst. It is associating with House Sparrows and feeding at the very top of the trees there.


30/6/99

The adult ROSE-COLOURED STARLING is still at Halligarth, Unst along with 2 CROSSBILLS and the first-summer ICELAND GULL is still at Uyeasound (Unst).


29/6/99

An adult ROSE-COLOURED STARLING was at Halligarth, Unst during the morning but could not be relocated during the afternoon. 


28/6/99

The odd CORNCRAKE is still in the isles - this one was photographed by Bill Jackson during the early hours of the morning at a site on the Mainland. A CUCKOO was at Baltasound (Unst) today and the first-summer ICELAND GULL is still at Uyeasound (Unst).

Corncrake - photos Bill Jackson

Elsewhere there was a CROSSBILL in Lerwick today and the COMMON CRANE was seen again at Aith.


27/6/99

The desert LESSER WHITETHROAT is still on Fair Isle.


26/6/99

The desert LESSER WHITETHROAT is still on Fair Isle.


25/6/99

A desert LESSER WHITETHROAT was trapped on Fair Isle today. The bird shows characters of the forms minula and margelanica and differs from the nominate lesser whitethroat by its sandier-grey upperparts, the bluish-grey crown contrasting strongly with the blackish-brown lores and ear coverts, a pale yellowish-brown iris (as opposed to pale brownish-grey), a slightly different tail pattern and slightly different measurements. Overall the bird resembles a very well marked common whitethroat rather than a lesser whitethroat. The form originates from central Asia and Mongolia and is thought by some authorities to be a distinct  species rather than a subspecies of lesser whitethroat.


23/6/99

The first-summer ICELAND GULL is still at Uyeasound (Unst).


21/6/99

A COMMON CRANE was reported at Eswick (east Mainland) this morning, probably the bird that was at Aith on the 15th.


19/6/99

A RING OUSEL and 3 CROSSBILLS were at Sumburgh Head and the first-summer ICELAND GULL is still at Uyeasound (Unst).


15/6/99

A COMMON CRANE was at Aith during the evening but there was no further sign of the Collared Flycatcher on Unst.


13/6/99

A  male COLLARED FLYCATCHER was discovered by Mike Pennington at Skaw on Unst this evening - the 8th record for Shetland.


8/6/99

The BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER is still at Boddam Voe (south Mainland), a RED-BACKED SHRIKE is also at Boddam and the first-summer ICELAND GULL is still at Uyeasound (Unst).


7/6/99

The BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER is still at Boddam Voe (south Mainland) and a TEMMINCK'S STINT is on Noss.

The Broad-billed Sandpiper at Boddam Voe - photos Bill Jackson


6/6/99

Shetlands' fifth BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER was found by Bill Jackson at Boddam Voe (south Mainland) during the early afternoon feeding with Dunlin and Turnstone among the rocks along the shoreline there. As the last one was way back in 1988 it was a very welcome addition to the Shetland lists of several resident birdwatchers. Previous records were singles on Whalsay on the 3rd November 1976, Virkie on the 20-23rd May 1985, Urafirth on the 26th May 1987 and Whalsay again on the 18-22nd May 1988.

Elsewhere there was an ICTERINE WARBLER at Hillwell (south Mainland), 2 ICTERINE WARBLERS, a RED-BACKED SHRIKE and a female HEN HARRIER on Out Skerries and a CUCKOO at Rerwick (south Mainland).


5/6/99

The YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER turned up again on Fair Isle this morning after having vanished for all of yesterday. One of the HAWFINCHES is still at Kergord and a first-summer ICELAND GULL is at Uyeasound (Unst).


3/6/99

Shetlands' second YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER turned up on Fair Isle this morning - at the south light, which was exactly where the first was in 1977. Also on Fair Isle were yesterdays BLYTH'S REED WARBLER and RED-THROATED PIPIT along with a MARSH WARBLER. Elsewhere there was a CURLEW SANDPIPER at Haroldswick (Unst) and a LONG EARED OWL at Baltasound (Unst).


2/6/99

A summer-plumage WHITE-BILLED DIVER is at Aith Voe, just south of Aithsetter (south Mainland), a SUBALPINE WARBLER is on Skerries, a COMMON ROSEFINCH is at Baltasound (Unst) and a TREE SPARROW (much scarcer than a rosefinch up here) is at Norwick (Unst). A BLYTH'S REED WARBLER and RED-THROATED PIPIT are on Fair Isle.


1/6/99

The male BLUETHROAT was still at Boddam (south Mainland) today and the 2 HAWFINCHES are still at Kergord..


31/5/99

There was no sign of the Great Reed Warbler at Geosetter today. Birds of note were BLUETHROATS at Boddam and Skaw (Unst), an ICTERINE WARBLER also at Skaw (Unst), a NIGHTJAR just north of Robins Brae (Dunrossness) and a first-sumer GLAUCOUS GULL at Uyeasound (Unst).


30/5/99

Bird of the day was a GREAT REED WARBLER at Geosetter (south Mainland) - the 23rd record for Shetland and the first since 1996. Elsewhere there was a MARSH WARBLER at the Sumburgh Hotel garden, a male BLUETHROAT at Boddam, an ICTERINE WARBLER at Hillwell and a QUAIL and first-summer plumage ICELAND GULL at Quendale. The COMMON ROSEFINCH is still at Gord (Cunningsburgh) and the 2 HAWFINCHES are still at Kergord.


29/5/99

The 2 HAWFINCHES are still at Kergord and the COMMON ROSEFINCH is still at Gord (Cunningsburgh). A female-type GOLDEN ORIOLE is at the Sullom Plantation, a red male COMMON ROSEFINCH is on Skerries and a third-summer plumage GLAUCOUS GULL is at Uyeasound (Unst).

The male Hawfinch at Kergord - photos Bill Jackson


28/5/99

A COMMON ROSEFINCH is at Gord (Cunningsburgh) and a second-summer plumage ICELAND GULL is at Baltasound (Unst).


27/5/99

The male RED-BACKED SHRIKE is still at Virkie, the 2 HAWFINCHES are still at Kergord and a HEN HARRIER is on Skerries.


26/5/99

The male RED-BACKED SHRIKE is still at Virkie and the 2 HAWFINCHES are still at Kergord. A CORNCRAKE is in the fields near the crossroads at Veensgarth (Tingwall), a female-type GOLDEN ORIOLE is at the Catfirth plantation (near south Nesting) and an ICTERINE WARBLER is at Gulberwick.

The male Red-backed Shrike at Virkie - photos Bill Jackson


25/5/99

The male RED-BACKED SHRIKE is still at Virkie and another is at Cunningsburgh. First-summer plumage ICELAND GULLS are at Scatness and Hillwell.


24/5/99

The male RED-BACKED SHRIKE is still at Virkie and a female is at Hillwell (Quendale). The 2 HAWFINCHES are still at Kergord.


23/5/99

A male RED-BACKED SHRIKE is at Virkie (Sumburgh) and an ORTOLAN BUNTING is at the north end of Loch of Spiggie..


21/5/99

New birds today were a pair of HAWFINCHES and GOLDFINCHES at Kergord plantation. Birds still here from yesterday were the 2 SHORE LARKS and the male RED-BACKED SHRIKE at Skaw (Unst).


20/5/99

Amazingly, another LESSER YELLOWLEGS turned up at Haroldswick (Unst) today at 5pm - the 8th for Shetland. Also on Unst today were a male RUSTIC BUNTING at Norwick, 2 SHORE LARKS on Lamba Ness, a WOOD SANDPIPER and drake GARGANEY at Haroldswick, a BUZZARD near Haroldswick and the male RED-BACKED SHRIKE still at Skaw. The only other bird of note elsewhere was a GOLDEN ORIOLE at north Collafirth.


19/5/99

A RED-BACKED SHRIKE is at Skaw (Unst), a drake GARGANEY is at Burrafirth (Unst), a SHORT-TOED LARK is on Fetlar, a GRASSHOPPER WARBLER is singing in a garden at Gonfirth (central Mainland), and 3 DOTTEREL are on Ronas Hill (north Mainland).


18/5/99

Two WRYNECKS are on Fetlar.


17/5/99

An OSPREY flew over Baltasound (Unst) about mid-day


16/5/99

A wing-tagged and ringed RED KITE was at Clibberswick (Unst).


15/5/99

A NIGHTJAR was at Burravoe (Yell) today.


14/5/99

New birds today were a SHORT-TOED LARK at Hagdale (Unst), a MARSH HARRIER at Haroldswick (Unst) and a drake GARGANEY on Loch of Hillwell (south Mainland). The 3 COMMON CRANES' are still in the Hagdale area (Unst) and the PECTORAL SANDPIPER is still on Fetlar - on the small pools to the left of the road mid way between Aithbank and Loch of Funzie. Also on Unst were a flock of crows comprising 33 CARRION CROWS, 4 HOODED CROWS and 4 CARRION x HOODED CROW HYBRIDS at Haroldswick.


13/5/99

Bird of the day was an ALPINE SWIFT that flew south over Finnie (Fetlar) at around 3pm, only the eleventh Shetland record - the last was one at the Noup of Noss on the 2-30th July 1994. The PECTORAL SANDPIPER is still on Fetlar - on the small pools to the left of the road mid way between Aithbank and Loch of Funzie. Elsewhere a LITTLE BUNTING was at the large pool near the end of Scatness (Sumburgh) this afternoon, an OSPREY was at Burrafirth (Unst), the 3 COMMON CRANES' are still in the Hagdale area (Unst) and a HAWFINCH and WOOD WARBLER were at Helendale (Lerwick). A ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD flew north over Noss at 7.45pm a female-plumage GOLDEN ORIOLE is at south Collafirth and the SPOTTED REDSHANK and 2 RUFF were still at Virkie (Sumburgh)


12/5/99

A SPOTTED REDSHANK, WOOD SANDPIPER and 2 RUFF were at Virkie (Sumburgh) today, the WOOD SANDPIPER is still at Haroldswick (Unst) and the 3 COMMON CRANES' are still in the Hagdale area (Unst). On Noss today there were 3 SHORELARKS, a WRYNECK and a GRASSHOPPER WARBLER. Lots of common migrants were evident today, particularly Redstarts, Pied Flycatchers, Willow Warblers and a few Tree Pipits.


11/5/99

New birds today were an OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT and SHORELARK on Noss, a first-year male SUBALPINE WARBLER at Seafield (Lerwick) and a PECTORAL SANDPIPER on Fetlar on the small pools to the left of the road mid way between Aithbank and Loch of Funzie. The 3 COMMON CRANES' are still in the Hagdale area (Unst). The SHORT-TOED LARK reappeared at Sumburgh Head, the GRASSHOPPER WARBLER is still at Virkie and a drake GARGANEY is at Scatness (Sumburgh).


10/5/99

The 3 COMMON CRANES' are still in the Hagdale area (Unst) and 6 SHORE LARKS were on Lamba Ness (Unst) today.


9/5/99

A SHORT-TOED LARK was briefly at Sumburgh Head this monrning. On Unst the 3 COMMON CRANES' are still in the Hagdale area and 4 SHORE LARKS were on Lamba Ness today. The WOOD SANDPIPER is still at Scatness, a GRASSHOPPER WARBLER is still at Virkie and an OSPREY was at Loch of Girlsta.

Spring migrants are noticeable at the moment, especially Reed Buntings (at least 80), Pied Flycatchers (at least 30), Redstarts (at least 40), Willow Warblers (at least 60) and Garden Warblers (at least 30), along with a scattering of other migrants like Lesser Whitethroats, Whinchats and Blackcaps.


8/5/99

On Unst the SHORT-TOED LARK is still on Lamba Ness along with 6 SHORE LARKS today, the 3 COMMON CRANES' have moved back to the Hagdale area and the WOOD SANDPIPER and drake COMMON SCOTER are still at Haroldswick. Elsewhere single GRASSHOPPER WARBLERS are at Sumburgh Head and Virkie and a WOOD SANDPIPER and RING OUSEL are at Scatness.


7/5/99

Most of the good birds are currently on Unst. A SHORT-TOED LARK is on Lamba Ness, along with 8 SHORE LARKS, the 3 COMMON CRANES' are frequenting the Baltasound area and a WOOD SANDPIPER and drake COMMON SCOTER are at Haroldswick. Elsewhere there are 3 GOLDFINCHES at Scalloway.


6/5/99

The LESSER YELLOWLEGS is still at Scatness (Sumburgh), frequenting the marshy area to the west of the end of the Scatness road and the 3 COMMON CRANES' are still around the Hagdale area (Unst). There are now 8 SHORE LARKS on Lamba Ness (Unst). The only new birds found today were a drake GARGANEY at the head of Wadbister Voe (central Mainland) and a drake COMMON SCOTER at Haroldswick (Unst).


5/5/99

The LESSER YELLOWLEGS is still at Scatness (Sumburgh), frequenting the marshy area to the west of the end of the Scatness road and the 3 COMMON CRANES' are still around the Hagdale area (Unst). There are now 5 SHORE LARKS on Lamba Ness (Unst).


4/5/99

The LESSER YELLOWLEGS is still at Scatness (Sumburgh), frequenting the marshy area to the west of the end of the Scatness road. The 3 COMMON CRANES' are also still on Unst - around the Hagdale area and 3 SHORE LARKS are on the tip of Lamba Ness (Unst).


3/5/99

Startling news of the day was the discovery of Shetlands' seventh LESSER YELLOWLEGS at Scatness (Sumburgh). The bird was frequenting the marshy area to the west of the end of the Scatness road from at least 11am to 6pm and is remarkeable as the sixth record is currently on Fair Isle, where it has been since Saturday. Prior to these two the last record here was in May 1984, also at Scatness.

The 3 COMMON CRANES' are still on Unst - still around the Hagdale area and a first-summer ICELAND GULL was also at Sumburgh.


2/5/99

Another (or the same) adult WHITE-BILLED DIVER was off the Knab (Lerwick) this morning, but was seen to fly south towards Gulberwick. The 3 COMMON CRANES' are still on Unst - around the Hagdale area and the first-summer GLAUCOUS GULL is still at Uyeasound.


1/5/99

The 3 COMMON CRANES' are still at Haroldswick (Unst), and the adult WHITE-BILLED DIVER is now off Kirkabister (South Nesting). A male GARGANEY was also at Haroldswick and the first specifically identified ARCTIC TERN of the year was at Uyeasound (Unst) along with a first-summer GLAUCOUS GULL. A GREAT GREY SHRIKE was also on Fetlar.


30/4/99

The 3 COMMON CRANES' have reappeared on Unst - on the hill to the south side of Haroldswick.


29/4/99

An adult WHITE-BILLED DIVER was seen off the south-east side of Whalsay this morning while counting seabirds for the Seabird 2000 project.


28/4/99

A white-phase GYR FALCON flew north along the west side of Bressay at around 3 pm today and a SHORELARK and WRYNECK are on Noss. On Unst there are a pair of GARGANEY at Haroldswick and the GRASSHOPPER WARBLER is still at Halligarth, but there was no sign of the 3 Common Cranes' today. The first BLACK-TAILED GODWIT of the year was at Scatness today.


27/4/99

The 3 COMMON CRANES' are still requenting the fields just south of the Keen of Hamar, Unst. A WRYNECK was also at the Burrafirth Shore Station garden and a GRASSHOPPER WARBLER was singing at Halligarth. A GREY WAGTAIL was also on Fetlar.


26/4/99

The 3 COMMON CRANES' are still on Unst, today they were frequenting the fields just south of the Keen of Hamar and a SHORELARK was on Fetlar.


25/4/99

The 3 COMMON CRANES' on Unst were at Burrafirth today. There were still lots of migrants around today with the first BLACK REDSTART and COMMON REDSTARTS of the year at Scatness.


24/4/99

On Unst today were 3 COMMON CRANES' at Skaw (an adult and two immatures), a RING OUSEL and an OSPREY (possibly the bird on Skerries yesterday). Another RING OUSEL was also at Veensgarth (central Mainland).


23/4/99

The first COMMON TERN of the year was at Scatness (south Mainland) today, along with a RING OUSEL and an OSPREY was on Skerries. There has been an obvious arrival of migrants with the strong easterly winds, primarily involving Robins, Dunnocks, Redwings, Fieldfare and Chiffchaffs. There are also small numbers of Tree Pipits, Willow Warblers and Blackcaps.


19/4/99

At least 3 RING OUSELS are on Fetlar.


17/4/99

A first-summer GLAUCOUS GULL is still at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory, Lerwick and 2 RING OUSELS are on Fetlar.


11/4/99

The first SWALLOW of the year was at Uyeasound, Unst today. Also at Uyeasound were 2 GADWALL and 2 ICELAND GULLS.


8/4/99

The first HOUSE MARTIN of the year was on Unst today.


6/4/99

A BLACK-THROATED DIVER is the West Voe of Sumburgh.


4/4/99

A first-summer plumage GLAUCOUS GULL is at the Shetland Catch fish Factory, Gremista (Lerwick) and first-summer ICELAND GULLS are at Loch of Tingwall and Strand Loch. A group of 42 GREYLAG GEESE are also at Strand Loch.


27/3/99

The first WHEATEARS of the year arrived on Shetland Mainland today.


26/3/99

The first migrant GOLDCREST of the spring was reported by Tony Gerrard at Voe today.


21/3/99

The first WHEATEAR of the year arrived on Fair Isle today - summer is here!


20/3/99

The BLACK-BELLIED DIPPER is still frequenting the burn at Hillend, Voe.


18/3/99

A BLACK-BELLIED DIPPER is frequenting the burn at Hillend, Voe.


14/3/99

A white GYR FALCON was on Fetlar today, possibly the same bird that was seen on Whalsay on the 21st February. The drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL is still associating with the Common Teal aound the island on Loch of Tingwall.


13/3/99

A white GYR FALCON flew over Gulberwick this morning heading towards Scalloway, possibly the bird that was released from the Gott SSPCA on the 27 February.


10/3/99

The drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL is still associating with the Common Teal aound the island on Loch of Tingwall.


8/3/99

The drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL is still associating with the Common Teal aound the island on Loch of Tingwall and a first-winter GLAUCOUS GULL is still at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory, Gremista (Lerwick).


5/3/99

A white GYR FALCON flew over Safeways car park (Lerwick) early this afternoon and headed towards Loch of Clickimin. It is almost certainly the bird that was released from the Gott SSPCA on the 27 February.


2/3/99

A first-winter ICELAND GULL is at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory, Gremista (Lerwick)..


27/2/99

The white GYR FALCON was successfully released from the Gott SSPCA today. Around 50 folk turned up to watch the bird fly strongly north towards the south Nesting area. Elsewhere the drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL is still associating with the Common Teal aound the island on Loch of Tingwall and a first-winter GLAUCOUS GULL is at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory, Gremista (Lerwick).


26/2/99

The drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL is still associating with the Common Teal aound the island on Loch of Tingwall and a first-winter ICELAND GULL is also at Tingwall.


24/2/99

A WAXWING is frequenting the gardens around Sandveien (Lerwick).


23/2/99

A drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL is associating with the Common Teal aound the island on Loch of Tingwall.


22/2/99

There was no further sign of the Whalsay Gyr Falcon today although the bird at Got SSPCA is still feeding well. Elsewhere there were 6 first-winter ICELAND GULLS and 2 first-winter GLAUCOUS GULLS at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory (Lerwick).


21/2/99

Another white-phase GYR FALCON turned up on Whalsay this afternoon - it was seen sitting on the roof of the Old Manse at Symbister before flying off towards the Hamister area. A COMMON BUZZARD was also at Cunningsburgh and 10 first-winter ICELAND GULLS were at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory, Gremista (Lerwick).


20/2/99

Ron Patterson of the SSPCA at Gott took charge of another rare bird today - a white-phase GYR FALCON. The bird, which is a first-year (probably male), was picked up on the Tern Alpha Oil Rig (about 80 miles NE of Unst) and brought to Ron at the Tingwall centre. It is in good condition but was very hungry and devoured several day-old chicks as they were presented to it. As it appears to be in such good condition it is likely that it will be released by next weekend at the latest - and in Shetland.

 

The Gyr Falcon at the Gott S.S.P.C.A. - photos Kevin Osborn


19/2/99

Mark Bolton collected the CATTLE EGRET in Portugal yesterday evening as planned and has sent the following message.

The CATTLE EGRET arrived here safely as planned thursday evening, amid a blaze of TV camera lights and reporters. The egret was in good health on arrival and was ringed and released this morning (again accompanied by TV crews), weighing 330g, a good bit above the average weight of the species. We had ridiculous difficulty finding a big group of egrets to release it alongside - they usually feed in the garden - but eventually located about 7 feeding in dry marshland. On release it remained for about 1 minute before flying towards the egrets, and landed after about 100m, in a small channel, and drank and preened for about 10 minutes.


18/2/99

The CATTLE EGRET is on its way to Heathrow and on to Faro (Portugal).


17/2/99

The CATTLE EGRET is unfortunately still at the Gott S.S.P.C.A due to the snow as there were no flights out of Shetland today. A further attempt will be made tommorrow.


16/2/99

There were 8 first-winter plumage ICELAND GULLS in Lerwick Harbour today.


14/2/99

Seven first-winter ICELAND GULLS were at the Shetland Catch fish factory (Lerwick) today. The CATTLE EGRET is still alive at Gott S.S.P.C.A and is due to be flown to Heathrow and on to Faro (Portugal) on Wednesday where it will hopefully be able to survive. British Airways have generously agreed to fly it there at no cost.


7/2/99

A first-winter ICELAND GULL and GLAUCOUS GULL were at the Shetland Catch fish factory (Lerwick) today and the CATTLE EGRET is still alive at Gott S.S.P.C.A.


4/2/99

A first-winter ICELAND GULL is at the Shetland Catch fish factory (Lerwick) and the CATTLE EGRET is still alive at Gott S.S.P.C.A.


30/1/99

A first-winter ICELAND GULL and a second-winter GLAUCOUS GULL are still at the Shetland Catch fish factory (Lerwick) and the CATTLE EGRET is still alive at the Gott S.S.P.C.A.


29/1/99

Two first-winter ICELAND GULLS and a second-winter GLAUCOUS GULL were at the Shetland Catch fish factory (Lerwick) today and the CATTLE EGRET is still alive at the Gott S.S.P.C.A.


28/1/99

The CATTLE EGRET has survived the night at the Gott S.S.P.C.A. and will hopefully recover.


27/1/99

Bird of the year so far was the extraordinary discovery of Shetlands' first CATTLE EGRET which landed on the Whalsay ferry the M.V.Hendra late this afternoon and was picked up by the crew. It was weak and very thin and was taken to the S.S.P.C.A. at Gott where it will hopefully recover. The overwintering WHIMBREL is also still at Scatness and a female COMMON SCOTER is in the West Voe of Sumburgh.

The Cattle Egret at Gott S.S.P.C.A.


26/1/99

The adult LITTLE GULL was still at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory (Gremista, Lerwick) today and the overwintering WHIMBREL is still associating with Curlews at Scatness (Sumburgh).


25/1/99

A fist-winter LITTLE GULL was on Skerries today.


24/1/99

The adult LITTLE GULL was back at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory (Lerwick) today.


23/1/99

An adult LITTLE GULL was briefly at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory (Lerwick) this morning before flying off north. A first-winter ICELAND GULL was also there.


22/1/99

4th winter type KUMLIEN'S GULL at the Shetland Catch Fish Factory (Lerwick) briefly today.


21/1/99

At least 3 WAXWINGS are frequenting gardens around Lerwick.


20/1/99

A WAXWING was reported around Gilbertson Road, Lerwick today and first-winter ICELAND and GLAUCOUS GULLS are frequenting the north end of Lerwick Harbour.


17/1/99

An adult KUMLIEN'S GULL was briefly at Scalloway Harbour today but could not be relocated.


15/1/99

Two first-winter ICELAND GULLS and a first-winter GLAUCOUS GULL are around the Shetland Catch Fish Factory (Lerwick) and the overwintering WHIMBREL is still associating with Curlews at Scatness (Sumburgh).


12/1/99

Three first-winter ICELAND GULLS are around the north end of Lerwick Harbour.


9/1/99

A first-winter ICELAND GULL and GLAUCOUS GULL are still at the north end of Lerwick Harbour.


8/1/99

Jonathan Wills reported a remarkable 126 COMMON TEAL on the sea at Orka Voe this morning.


4/1/99

A first-winter ICELAND GULL is at the north end of Lerwick Harbour, along with 2 first-winter GLAUCOUS GULLS.


2/1/99

The overwintering WHIMBREL that was first noted on the 24th December is still associating with Curlews at Scatness (Sumburgh).


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