Latest sightings

We try to include most records sent directly to us and we collect records from many other sources. As a news site, there will inevitably be errors included - in identification and in compilation. This site does not constitute an official record; this is published annually in the Shetland Bird Report, using records which have been formally submitted and assessed by local and national committees.

Species in red are national (BBRC) rarities. 
Species in orange are local/Scottish rarities.


13th August 2020

Bird Sightings:

South Mainland:  Adult Long-tailed Skua at Dalsetter. Wood Warbler at Sumburgh Hotel. Wood Warbler at Bakkasetter. 4 Ruff at Spiggie. Female Hawfinch at Ocraquoy.

​Central Mainland: 3 Common Crossbill at North Hamarsland, Gott. Icterine Warbler at Law Lane, Lerwick.

Yell: 2 Common Crossbill at Gutcher.

​Unst: 5 Shoveler at Skio Taing. Water Rail at Haroldswick Pool. Tree Sparrow at Valyie. Whinchat at Skaw.

Whalsay: Red-backed Shrike at Hamister.

Foula: Red-backed Shrike and Reed Warbler at Ham.

Fetlar: red-backed Shrike at Aithness.

Insect Sightings:

South Mainland: Crescent trapped at Boddam overnight.

Central Mainland: Manchester Treble Bar and Scarce Silver Y trapped at North Hamarsland overnight. Great Brocade trapped at Law Lane, Lerwick, overnight.

Bressay: Great Brocade trapped at Voehead overnight.

Cetacean Sightings:

Unst: 6 Risso's Dolphin of Lambaness and Minke Whale there. Two Minke Whale off Haroldswick.

Burra: Minke Whale off West Burra.

South Mainland: Minke Whale off Boddam.


12th August 2020

Bird Sightings:

South Mainland:  Adult Long-tailed Skua at Dalsetter.  Female Hawfinch at Ocraquoy. Pied Flycatcher at Geosetter. 2 Common Crossbill at Bakkasetter. Wood Warbler at Sumburgh Hotel. Icterine Warbler on Mousa. Citrine Wagtail at Virkie. Wood Warbler at Culsetter.

​Central Mainland: 3 Common Crossbill at North Hamarsland, Gott. Icterine Warbler at Law Lane, Lerwick.

​Unst: Barred Warbler at Northdale. Reed Warbler at Haroldswick.Kestrel at Burrafirth. Long-tailed Skua at Hill of Caldbeck.

Whalsay: Reed Warbler at Skaw.

Foula: Red-backed Shrike and Greenshank.

Insect Sightings:

South Mainland: 6-striped Rustic and Great Brocade trapped at Boddam overnight. Scarce Silver Y and Great Brocade trapped at Sandwick overnight. Setaceous Hebrew Character trapped at Scatness overnight.


11th August 2020

Bird Sightings:

South Mainland:  Adult Long-tailed Skua at Dalsetter.  Hawfinch at Ocraquoy.

​Central Mainland: Greenshank at Grunna Water, South Nesting.

​Unst: Icterine Warbler at Northdale.

Whalsay: Greenshank at Challiser Ness.Black-throated Diver at Skaw.

Insect Sightings:

South Mainland: Lime-speck Pug trapped at Scatness overnight.


10th August 2020

Bird Sightings:

South Mainland: Adult Long-tailed Skua at Dalsetter.  9 Common Crossbill at Sumburgh Head.

North Mainland: Sooty Shearwater off Ramna Stacks.

Unst: Barred Warbler at Northdale.

Central Mainland: Second calendar year White-billed Diver at South Nesting Bay.

Offshore: 2 Wilson's Petrel and 2 Sooty Shearwater 36 nautical miles NNW of Ramna Stacks.

Cetacean Sightings:

North Mainland: Minke Whale at Eshaness.

Fetlar: Minke at East Wick of Aith.

Fish Sightings:

North Mainland: Basking Shark at Eshaness.

Insect Sightings::

Bressay: Dotted Clay trapped at Voehead overnight.


9th August 2020

South Mainland:  Long-tailed Skua back at Dalsetter.  Garden Warbler and Willow Warbler at Geosetter.  Willow Warbler at Spiggie.  Common Redpoll at Bakkasetter.  Common Crossbill at Sumburgh Head.  Kestrel at Cunningsburgh.

Cetacean Sightings:

Small groups of Risso's Dolphins seen feeding throughout the day from Aith-Ness, Bressay over to South Nesting Bay.  At least 17 seen from Noss tour boat.  

2 Minke Whales in South Nesting Bay, and 2 off Levenwick, with singles at Turvalds Head, Mavis Grind, south of Whalsay, and Burraland.

50+ White-sided Dolphins seen off Levenwick early morning.  

Porpoise reported from South Nesting Bay, and Whalsay.


8th August 2020

Southerly migration of breeding birds underway

Bressay:  6 Whimbrel over Voe Head.  

West Mainland:  2 Common Cranes near cemetery, west of Bixter.  Juvenile Crossbill near Park Hall.  

Unst:  Knot and 5 Sanderling at Skaw.  Juvenile Moorhen at Norwick. 

Central Mainland:  Ten Whimbrel over Scalloway.  

South Mainland:  12 Whimbrel over Boddam.  2 Swifts near Boddam.  Crossbill at Sandwick.  


7th August 2020

Yell:  Merlin at Mid Yell. 

North Mainland:  21 Red-breasted Mergansers at Sellaness.  Adult and 2 juveniles Tufted Duck on Loch of Urafirth. 

Central Mainland:  3 Crossbill at Stromfirth.  Female Shoverler at Pullars Loch, Lerwick.  

South Mainland:  Common Sandpiper at Grutness.  Crossbill at Sumburgh Hotel.  

Cetacean Sightings:

Minke Whale south of Muckla Skerry seen from ferry. 


6th August 2020

Unst:  Adult Rosy Starling at Skaw.  

South Mainland:  Goldeneye and Scaup at Spiggie Loch.  Swift and 4 Crossbill at Sumburgh Head.  30 Whimbrel flying south over Dunrossness.  

North Mainland:  Green Sandpiper at North Roe.  

Insects:  20+ Early Bumblebees near Clickimin loch.  White-line Dart moth trapped at Scatness.  


5th August 2020

West Mainland:  Merlin at West Burrafirth.

Central Mainland:  3 juvenile Barn Swallow at Tingwall Loch.  


4th August 2020

No news today


3rd August 2020

South Mainland:  Long-tailed Skua still present at Dalsetter. 

Central Mainland:  Common Sandpiper at Laxo.  

Cetacean Sightings:

Minke Whale heading south off Skea, North Mainland.

Dolphins seen from departing Hjaltland ferry.  

Harbour porpoise off Cunningsburgh.

Insects:  Manchester Treble-bars moth trapped in West Burrafirth last night.


2nd August 2020

South Mainland:  Sooty Shearwater south off Sumburgh.  Long-tailed Skua still at Dalsetter.  

Cetacean Sightings:

Minke Whale off Dalsetter heading south, with another off No Ness, Sandwick. 

40 Atlantic White-sided dolphin of Compass Head, Sumburgh.

22 Risso's dolphins between Fetlar, Unst and Bluemull sound. 

Harbour porpoise in Yell Sound.  


1st August 2020

Whalsay:  Juvenile Hawfinch at Murrister. 

Cetacean Sighting:

A group of about 20 Harbour Porpoise between Lamb Hoga, and Yell.