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Tuesday 20 February 2024


Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Tundra Bean Goose at Sumburgh Farm.
A very angry phone call with COPART yesterday, who are actually worse than British Gas I've decided and that's saying something! They still insisted my car hasn't left the island. So I phoned Streamline, who confirmed my car left Shetland on the 11th February and arrived in Aberdeen on the 12th February. Long story short, I think its going to take a long time before I even get an offer for my car, never mind actually buying another car!
On Saturday I couldn't find my reading glasses and then discovered I had been sitting on them – they were only bent, but as I tried to slowly straighten them the frame snapped, so that's that! Boxes fallen down from the stack in my dining room when I returned home from work yesterday and this morning I woke up to my large clock smashed into smithereens on the kitchen floor – shards of fine glass everywhere.
My multi fuel stove is leaking black sooty water and that's because I have not lit it I was told. The reason I have not lit it is, because I wanted to get all my photography and computer gear out of the room into the office and I can't do that until the carpet is laid in the office etc.
Speed walked to Specsavers after work and of course my lovely Converse 52 frames are not available any more. Looked at other styles in the shop and didn't find a single pair that I liked and only had 12 minutes before they closed at 5pm anyway and just caught the bus home in time. Will try and Google to see if I can buy them elsewhere. A smooth week so far!!! 😒😐😉

RBA Weekly Round-Up 13th to 20th February!

By Jon Dunn

Monday 19 February 2024


Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Kumlien's Gull, Glaucous Gull, Little Gull at Shetland Catch, Gremista. Hen Harrier ringtail at Loch of Spiggie. King Eider 1w drk at Bluemull Sound. White-billed Diver on sea at Sound Gruney, 2 miles SSW of Uyeasound, Unst. Tundra Bean Goose at Sumburgh Farm. Hen Harrier east of Yell Kirk, Otterswick, Yell.

Sunday 18 February 2024


Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Common Crane at Loch of Hillwell. Russian White-fronted Goose at Quendale Farm. Tundra Bean Goose at Sumburgh Farm. Kumlien's Gull, Glaucous Gull, Little Gull at Shetland Catch, Gremista. Hen Harrier at Mid Yell. Hen Harrier at Burn of Lunklett at East Burrafirth, NE of Aith.

Great Spotted Woodpecker
First visit to my garden in Scalloway

I was over the moon today, whilst watching my bird feeders from the stable front door, a female Great Spotted Woodpecker appeared on my tree and then flew to the nut feeder and happily fed away, along with 3 Collared Doves, 5 Blackbirds, around 8 House Sparrows, a Robin and a ton of Starlings. To be fair though, the GSW was only a mere guest, as she normally resides in my neighbour Jimmy's garden, so I feel quite privileged she made a visit. Never in the all the 22 years I lived in King's Lynn did I have a Great Spotted Woodpecker visit my town garden – of course they were seen regularly in our family garden at Holme though.

The new bathroom cabinet and glass/chrome shelves were put up on Friday, so I arranged the bathroom properly today, did some washing and general jobs around the house. No wind of note today and no rain either, both unusual here.


Saturday 17th February
Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Common Crane at Quendale. Tundra Bean Goose at Sumburgh Farm. Snow Buntings x 30 at Ronas Hill.

Jamie from Islesat came out to my house this morning to look at my TV signal situation – he explained that even though my Satellite dish looked like it had seen better days, it was working perfectly well and I simply needed a new up-to-date Freesat box. He said that if I got fed up with looking at my very rusty dish, then I could change it to a galvanised one at a later date if I wished, so that's what I decided to do. Jamie sold me and set up a Manhattan Freesat Satellite TV Box and I now have a TV that works!

Walked to the post office, which is within the pharmacy shop in Scalloway with my heavy duty carrying trolley and large parcel to return to Amazon – unfortunately the QR code wouldn't scan as it was an Evri return, so had to walk all the way back to my house and drag the trolley and parcel back up the hill to my house! Will sort that out next week.

Went back to the Main Street and went to The Cornerstone Cafe for the first time. It was totally full, but luckily two people left just as I was going out of the door, so I quickly returned and sat at the window table overlooking the harbour. I had a Basil Pesto, Tomato and Mozzarella Cheese Panini with Coleslaw and Chips and a pot of tea, followed by a banana & chocolate muffin. The food was delicious and I felt like I was on holiday! Its so lovely to know that the second I walk from my house, there are beautiful views of the harbour, trees and a homely cafe 5 minutes away! Who needs a car?!

Had a short walk around the main streets and then went to "Scalloway Meat Company Ltd" (it really shouldn't be called that) and bought some groceries, some cards for people, a door mat, two long bungees for my new wheelie bins and a paint brush. As I walked back home, I was aware of a large number of Collared Doves in a large garden of sycamore trees behind a stone wall – I counted 27 perched up in the bare branches, I don't think I have ever seen that many together before! Back at home I attached the new and longer bungees around my wheelie bins to the expanding eye bolts (that the builder had put in for me yesterday) in the wall – there is no way these are going to fly down the hill into the harbour now!

My insurance company still haven't rung me to say how much they are going to offer me for my written off car. I got pretty cross with them last week, when the week previously I was told on the 9th February that the car was currently been assessed, which takes 5 working days and this would mean the assessment would be finished last Monday at which point they would ring or email me with an offer. I heard nothing by Thursday and when I phoned up in my lunchbreak, I was told they still didn't have the car yet, so basically I had been lied to! I was fuming to say the least. I was told to ring my underwriters and ask for the status to be changed to deskstop assessment (to speed it up), which basically means they would assess by the pictures of the car. So I phoned the underwriters and emailed them 12 pictures in four emails. I then receive an email asking for all the pictures to be sent in one email as they "couldn't save them to send to COPART"?! I emailed back to explain that it isn't possible to send 12 large size pictures in one email and that was why I sent it in four lots. I have heard nothing since.

Caught up with Vivien & Ray, Lucy and also phoned Eddie to wish him happy birthday. Watched some TV for the first time since I moved in on the 23rd January, which was good. Couldn't find my reading glasses anywhere and then I found them. I was mortified. I had been sitting on them! More expense. Currently taped up with sellotape and can only half see out of one lens as I type!

Happy Birthday Eddie!

🎉  🥳 😊 🎊

Saturday 17 February 2024


Friday 16th February
Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Common Crane at Quendale. White-fronted Goose at Quendale Farm. Tundra Bean Goose at Hoswick Burn. Little Gull at Shetland Catch, Gremista. Hen Harrier ringtail, Iceland Gull at Loch of Spiggie.

Very busy day, early morning bus to Lerwick to buy bathroom cabinet and glass shelves. Had eggs, toast and tea in the Viking Bus Station Cafe, which I was very impressed by and cheaper than some other places in Lerwick. Then returned home to meet tradesmen to do several more jobs for me, including putting up coat racks, mending stable door etc etc. The office was measured up for a new carpet, late afternoon. Spent ages putting coats on hooks, cleaning up from the drilling mess. Used Briwax to put some new life into my two pine stools. Topped all the bird feeders up. Cleared out some old broken window boxes in the garden. Its been a fairly sunny day here and no wind at all, which is unusual. Busy 🐝!

I introduced myself to my lovely neighbour Jimmy this morning, who is a birdwatcher and has an amazing long standing selection of bird feeders and ponds. Jimmy discovered the Rufous Turtle Dove in his garden in 2015 and showed me a picture that Hugh H. gave him in his living room. It was very sad to hear that Jimmy's wife had passed away unexpectedly on the 22nd January, the day before I moved here. Such a shame that I didn't get to meet her. Hopefully birds and nature will help to lift Jimmy's spirits a little as time goes on. 🕊

Thursday 15 February 2024


Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Holboll's Red-necked Grebe (form holbolii) male found dead on beach at Quendale. Common Crane at Quendale. Iceland Gull at Pool of Virkie. Iceland Gulls x 2 at Mid Yell.

Wednesday 14 February 2024


Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Snowy Owl adult male on Ronas Hill. Common Crane at Quendale. Velvet Scoter in Yell Sound. Iceland Gull at Mid Yell. Velvet Scoters x 2 at Sullom Voe. Hen Harrier male at North Nesting. Iceland Gull at Leebitten, north of Sandwick.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 6th to 12th February!

By Jon Dunn


Tuesday 13th February

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull, Little Gull at Shetland Catch, Gremista. Kumlien's Gull at Uyeasound Beach, Unst. Common Crane flew over Shirva, Fair Isle.

Monday 12 February 2024


Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Common Crane, Tundra Bean Goose on Fair Isle. Little Gull at Shetland Catch, Gremista.

Sunday 11 February 2024


Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Iceland Gull, Little Gull at Shetland Catch, Gremista.

Had a lovely video catch up with our family friend Malcolm from Heacham, so he could see my house and a catch up with John F. Apart from that I didn't do any of my intended jobs, as felt too cold – the warmest room is my bedroom. 14°C 🥶 in my house, which I'm not used to 🤣, but I have to focus on the fact that it won't be like that next Winter, once I have put in storage heaters where there should be some, replaced the old ones and I have unpacked everything. Replaced the soaked towel at the bottom of the leaking stable door for a dry one – hopefully this will be fixed on Friday. Raining all day. ⛆ 😊 Lots of bulbs appearing under the tree in my driveway! 😊

2024 is the year of the Wood Dragon!

I've only just found it that its the "Year of the Wood Dragon" – that's me! After my car accident, this must mean things are going to improve!

Saturday 10 February 2024


Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Red-necked Grebe at Bay of Quendale. Black-throated Diver at South Nesting Bay. Iceland Gull in harbour, Iceland Gull at marina, Lerwick. Glaucous Gull at Shetland Catch, Gremista. Hybrid Green-winged Teal/Teal at Boddam.

Nearly all the bird food has gone in one day and that was a full selection of goodies. Saw a Robin in the garden again, along with a huge flock of Starlings. Got the bus to Lerwick in the afternoon to do some jobs, collection prescription etc. Had a "Fish Supper" in The Fort Cafe, caught the bus home and then started to hang up all my clothes. I will be cleaning out musty smelling pine furniture tomorrow morning. Another day of sleet and wind.

Happy Birthday Lucy!

Happy Birthday To My Dear Sister Lucy!

Lucy didn't have the best of birthdays as she had a tooth extraction a few days ago and is still in pain. Vivien had booked a birthday lunch for them both, but had to cancel it as Lucy didn't want to go. I sent Lucy her birthday presents via Amazon. Vivien went over to see her anyway, which was far more than I could do! Not long to go before I return to Norfolk to see my sisters in March.

💐 🎂 🎁 🎉 🎊 🎶 🎻 🎹 🎵

Friday 9 February 2024


Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Red-necked Grebe at Bay of Quendale.

I've become a flat-pack queen! I hate putting flat pack stuff together with a passion, but have had no choice but do this with several of my Amazon buys lately. When you buy a 5-draw plastic storage chest, you don't expect to have to put this together, but it all came in bits – actually it was very simple in comparison to a tall chrome shelving unit I have been putting together this evening and still putting together, but nearly there!

Everywhere is still white and looking pretty, but icy cold. There are Shetland ponies and sheep on the hill behind my house, which is so lovely to see. My house is much colder than I want it to be, but I'm sure it will be better by next Winter, when I have unpacked everything and the dining room and living room are seperated and with a new heating system on the way and additional storage heaters.

I put all my bird feeders out late this afternoon – the birds will have a fantastic selection in the morning, including a coconut to feed on. I'm just missing peanuts, but I've just ordered some from Amazon. Its very difficult to get heavy bird food with no car. Also sent off for a cool slate roofed hanging bird table to hang from my tree. No point in buying a normal bird table, as I wouldn't be able to stabilise it enough in the winds.

Birthday Memories

Margaret Clarke
From my father's slide collection – no idea of location
My dearest mother – you would have been 84 today
Always in my thoughts
 I hear your voice, I see you and remember you
Days, weeks, months and years tick by,
 But you remain in the forefront of my mind
 I miss you so much, nothing changes
Time is irrelevant
Always with me in spirit and soul

Until we meet again

x x x

Thursday 8 February 2024


Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Glaucous Gull at Sumburgh Head. Red-necked Grebe at Bay of Quendale. Black-bellied Dipper at Burn of Lunklet, NE of Aith. Iceland Gull at Cullivoe, Yell.

Its still an icy white scene from Narnia here. Buses still running though and I was able to get to work this week.

Wednesday 7 February 2024


Rare  Bird  Alert  News 

Red-necked Grebe at Bay of Quendale. Iceland Gull flew over Boddam. Northern Bullfinches x 2 at The Sletts, Lerwick. Iceland Gull at Scatness. Scaup at Brow Marsh, Loch of Brow.

Tuesday 6 February 2024


Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Red-necked Grebe at Bay of Quendale. Iceland Gull flew over at Trondra.

Snow again!