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Monday 27 May 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Icterine Warblers x 2, Red-backed Shrike male and fem., Turtle Dove, Hen Harrier at Quendale Mill.
Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Red-backed Shrike fem. at Scatness.
Bluethroat singing behind J. W. Gray at Gremista Industrial Estate, Red-backed Shrike male behind South Burn of Gremista, Red-backed Shrike fem. above Anderson High School, Icterine Warbler singing at Sound of Solberg (south of Lerwick), Icterine Warbler singing at Peerie Oversund Park at Lerwick.
Common Rosefinch at North Road, Red-backed Shrike fem. by Dunrossness Baptist Church, Boddam.
Icterine Warblers x 2 at Burravoe, Brae.
Marsh Warbler at Loch of Clevigarth, Red-backed Shrikes x 3 (all fem.), Marsh Warbler at Exnaboe.
Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Red-backed Shrike, Common Rosefinch, Pied Flycatcher at Swinister Burn, Red-backed Shrike male, Icterine Warbler at Setter, Red-backed Shrike male in garden, Icterine Warbler at Noness, Red-backed Shrike male at Sanick, Sandwick.
Icterine Warbler, Hawfinch at Cruister, Sandness.
Common Rosefinch by beach, Icterine Warbler at Levenwick.
Icterine Warblers x 2 at South Voxter.
Hobby at Cunningsburgh.
Icterine Warbler at Geosetter Burn.
Marsh Warbler at Orca Country Inn, Hoswick.
Red-backed Shrikes x 3, Marsh Warbler, Icterine Warbler at Maywick.
Red-rumped Swallow east of Vidlin.
 
Red-backed Shrikes x 2 (1 male) at Funzie, Icterine Warbler in garden at Aithness, Fetlar.
Curlew Sandpiper at Easting, Glaucous Gull at Uyeasound, Unst.
Red-backed Shrikes x 7, Icterine Warblers x 8, Marsh Warbler, Nightjar on Out Skerries.
Icterine Warblers x 2 at Marrister, Whalsay.

 
I was at work today, but checked out a few local spots for migrants this evening. Visited the Peerie Oversund Park in Lerwick, where an Icterine Warbler had been singing earlier today, no sign when I visited for the first time, but what a fabulous little spot – it even has a mini reed bed, which I didn't expect at all! Went to the Burn of Sound and found nothing at all, but did bump into a work colleague from the Independent Living Centre, who I didn't know lived here, so that was a nice surprise. Feeling very tired, I returned to Scalloway, but checked out the large sunken garden before I returned home and nothing there either. No energy to do any more birding. Chilled night at home – I fell asleep!

Sunday 26 May 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Icterine Warbler, Red-backed Shrike, Pied Flycatcher male, Turtle Dove at Quendale Mill.
Golden Oriole fem/1s male still, Marsh Warbler, Pied Flycatcher fem., Hen Harrier at Quendale.
Red-backed Shrike, Black Redstart, Icterine Warbler at Sumburgh Head.
Red-backed Shrike fem. between Sumburgh Farm & Sumburgh Hotel.
Marsh Warblers x 2 at Sumburgh Farm.
Red-backed Shrike, Icterine Warblers x 2 at Loch of Clickimin, Icterine Warblers x 2 at Hayfield House, Red-backed Shrike male at Anderson High School, Red-backed Shrikes (1 male) x 2 at North Burn of Gremista, Lerwick.
Marsh Warbler in garden at medical centre at Hillswick.
Red-footed Falcon fem., NightjarIcterine Warblers x 3, Marsh Warblers x 2, Red-backed Shrike, Common Rosefinch at Swinister Burn, Sandwick.
Common Rosefinch at east end of Virkie Road at Exnaboe.
Red-backed Shriked fem., Ring-necked Duck, Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler at Loch of Hillwell.
Red-backed Shrike fem., Icterine Warbler at Melby.
Long-eared Owl at Toab.
Icterine Warbler at Burravoe, Brae.
Icterine Warblers x 3, Red-backed Shrike male at Orca County Inn, Common Rosefinch at Hoswick.
Red-backed Shrike male south of Fleck.
Red-backed Shrike male in garden at Southpunds, Levenwick.
Red-backed Shrike male, Marsh Warbler, Icterine Warbler at South Voxter.
Marsh Warbler, Red-backed Shrike fem. at Fladdabister.
Icterine Warbler in garden at Bigton.
Red-backed Shrike fem., Mealy Redpoll at Tresta.
Red-backed Shrikes (1 male) x 2 at North Collafirth.
Icterine Warbler at Trondra.
Hobby at Bakkasetter.

Marsh Warbler, Icterine Warbler at Hillend, Icterine Warbler at Gutcher, Icterine Warbler at Cullivoe, Red-backed Shrike at Basta, Red-backed Shrike at Bugarth, Marsh Warbler at Camb, Icterine Warbler at south of Yell.
Rustic Bunting at Ham Burn, Rustic Bunting at Hametoun Burn, Icterine Warblers x 3, Bluethroat, Marsh Warbler, Common Rosefinch, Pied Flycatchers x 3, Mealy Redpoll on Foula.
Nightjar at West Voe, Icterine Warblers x 8, Red-backed Shrikes x 7, Common Rosefinch on Out Skerries.
Icterine Warbler in garden at Skaw, Whalsay.
Marsh Warbler, Golden Orioles x 2 at Halligarth, Golden Oriole at Hunter's Wood, Marsh Warbler, Honey Buzzard at Uyeasound, Red-backed Shrikes x 8 at Baltasound, Red-backed Shrikes x 2 at Baliasta, Red-backed Shrikes x 4 at Westing, Honey Buzzard, Turtle Doves x 2 at Valyie, Icterine Warbler, Red-backed Shrikes x 3 at Norwick, Glaucous Gull, Red-backed Shrikes x 2 at Skaw on Unst.
 Icterine Warbler at Funzie Hide, Red-backed Shrike on Fetlar.

 

My birding list today, too tired to make it anything much more than a list!

Swift, several Swallows, Marsh Warbler singing/seen and Blackbirds at Swinister Burn – so beautiful here, not been for ages. Several birders hoping to see the Red-footed Falcon that was seen briefly on a post here, not long before I arrived, but it wasn't seen again today. Back at my car I was chatting to someone on the phone whilst eating a late lunch – when I walked round to get in my car, a black cat had made itself very cosy on my driver's seat!!!

Icterine Warbler singing at The Orca Inn, but impossible to see. Lovely to meet a Shetland family of birders, including Sam who works in Occupational Health!

Photographed a pair of Shelduck and cute goslings at Boddam Voe (no issue for me, but other birders were harrassed for just parking on the road and in a layby this morning! When will it end?!). Also several Eider here, a Snipe flew over and Turnstones foraging amongst the seaweed. Walked down to the Croft Museum, but apart from a gorgeous Shetland pony, there were no birds of note here.

News on WhatsApp of 3 Crossbills at the Geosetter Burn and was heading that way next anyway. Delighted to see the Crossbills, by the Geosetter Bridge, but they were very, very skittish and flew off up the burn and I only got a distant, rubbish photo later on. Also Garden Warbler and female Blackcap here.

Found a Spotted Flycatcher and Garden Warbler, opposite the Spiggie Hotel.

Found 2 Spotted Flycatchers, a female Blackcap and a Chiffchaff in the Grutness Garden. After a foggy, gloomy day, the light was now stunning and I got some cracking pictures of one of the Spotted Flycatchers. Swallows skimming over the Grutness Pool, 2 Dunlin, Oystercatchers, Shelducks x 2 and Arctic Terns carrying fish – a beautiful scene.

Checked out the Sumburgh Hotel garden – nothing here, but did bump into Norfolk birder Gary Elton leading a group for Oriole Birding Tours!

At Quendale Mill, I found the Turtle Dove in the tree above the mill with Collared Doves, a very photogenic male Pied Flycatcher in the garden, Icterine Warbler seen, but wasn't able to get a photo, male and female Siskin, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and a Reed Warbler. Swallows skimming over the burn, so lovely to see. Cute skipping lambs as I walked along the burn and as far as the dam, where I found a Spotted Flycatcher on a fence wire and House Sparrows dust bathing. Arrived home at 10pm and then watched the first of five parts of the Shetland documentary on Channel 5 +1.

The long run of easterlies here concludes on Wednesday.

Saturday 25 May 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Marsh Warblers x 2, Icterine Warbler at Sumburgh Farm.
Icterine Warbler at Sumburgh Hotel.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Ness of Sound, Sound, Icterine Warbler at Longland, Sound, Red-backed Shrike male at South Burn of Gremista, Marsh Warbler, Pied Flycatcher at Anderson High School, Marsh Warbler at Burn of Sound, Lerwick.
Icterine Warblers x 3, Marsh Warbler at Scatness.
Golden Oriole fem/1s. male, Red-backed Shrikes (both males) x 2, Turtle Dove, Marsh Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Pied Flycatcher at Quendale Mill.
Red-backed Shrikes (1 male) x 2 at Wester Quarff.
Marsh Warbler, Red-backed Shrikes (both males) x 2, Wood Sandpiper at Levenwick.
Red-backed Shrike male at Spiggie House, Loch of Spiggie.
Nightjar flushed at Weisdale Chapel Garden, Weisdale.
Golden Oriole male singing at Kergord.
Little Stint at Pool of Virkie.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Noness, Red-backed Shrike fem., Pied Flycatcher at Swinister Burn, Icterine Warbler, Common Rosefinch at Swinister, Icterine Warbler at Leebitten, Sandwick.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Tresta.
Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Red-backed Shrike male at Geosetter.
Ring-necked Duck at Loch of Hillwell.
Golden Oriole flew north from garden, Red-backed Shrike fem. at Hillwell.
Icterine Warbler in garden at Grutness.
Red-backed Shrike at Melby.
Red-backed Shrike male at Ronas Voe.
Red-backed Shrike male at Wethersta Plantation, Brae.
Red-backed Shrike male at Northmavine, Voe.
Red-rumped Swallow at Brow Marsh, Loch of Brow.
Icterine Warblers x 2, Marsh Warbler at Hoswick.
Red-backed Shrike male, Icterine Warbler, Pied Flycatcher at Mossbank.
Red-backed Shrike male at South Voxter.
Marsh Warbler at Vatster.
Marsh Warbler singing in burn opposite Gulberwick Kirk, Gulberwick.
 
Icterine Warbler singing at Burravoe, Golden Oriole still, Marsh Warbler, Pied Flycatcher at Hillend, Yell.
Great Reed Warbler at Greenfield, Marsh Warbler at Haroldswick, Honey Buzzard at Belmont/Snaravoe, Grey-headed Wagtail at Norwick, Green-winged Teal at Northdale, Glaucous Gull at Uyeasound, Honey Buzzard at Baltasound, Unst.
Icterine Warbler in garden at Aithness, Icterine Warbler at Funzie, Fetlar.
Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler at Skaw, Icterine Warbler at Marrister, Whalsay.
Rustic Bunting at Ham, Common Rosefinch, Red-backed Shrike at Foula.

 
Siskins, House Sparrows, Starlings and a male Blackbird in my garden today. Lots of cute lambs on Gallows Hill behind me, along with Shetland ponies. This evening I went to Gulberwick, parked up at the Kirk and walked along the track opposite, that runs alongside a burn leading to the large yellow wooden cladded property called Wick House. Not far along the track I flushed a warbler into some Rosa Rugosa by the burn. I couldn't see it and didn't see it, but it started singing a while later and turned out to be a Marsh Warbler – this is a new find for me, very pleased indeed. After I put the news out (there has been loads here this Spring), another birder called James turned up, who said he had only searched this area an hour ago, lucky me and lucky him! Nothing else of note here.

Had a drive and walk around Fladdibister and then Oraquay where I saw a Bonxie fly over, then continued on to Aith and Cunningsburgh. A black bunny rang along the road in front of me! There was a Great Northern Diver close in by the shore, in the pull in area off the A970. On route home I saw a very long winged brown 'ish' bird fly across the road, just outside Cunningsburgh – the only thing I could think of was Nightjar, but the light was awful, so couldn't be sure at all.

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Friday 24th May
 
Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Red-backed Shrikes x 3 (2 males), Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler at Burnbank, Pied Flycatcher at Seafield Park, Red-backed Shrike fem. at Burn of Sound, Marsh Warbler at Peerie Oversund Park, Sound, Red-backed Shrike male at Staney Hill, Lerwick.
Common Rosefinch 1s male, Bluethroat, Marsh Warbler, Red-backed Shrike, Icterine Warblers x 5 at Scatness.
Marsh Warbler, Red-backed Shrike, Icterine Warblers x 2, Pied Flycatcher at Sumburgh.
Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler at Scatsta Farm.
Icterine Warblers x 2 in garden at Bigton
Red-backed Shrike, Pied Flycatcher in garden at Lunna.
Red-backed Shrike fem., Bluethroat at Noness, Common Rosefinch male, Honey Buzzard at Leebitten then over Setter at Sandwick.
Red-backed Shrike fem., Icterine Warbler at Swinister Burn, Common Rosefinch at Sandwick.
Red-backed Shrike male at Hillswick.
Common Rosefinch, Icterine Warblers x 2, Mealy Redpoll at Hoswick.
Icterine Warblers x 2, Red-backed Shrike male at Exnaboe.
Red-backed Shrikes x 2, Marsh Warbler at Levenwick.
Pied Flycatcher at Scalloway.
Red-backed Shrike male, Icterine Warbler, Pied Flycatcher at Geosetter Burn.
Red-rumped Swallow again at Toab.
Red-backed Shrikes x 3, Pied Flycatcher male at Quendale.
Wood Sandpiper, Ring-necked Duck at Loch of Hillwell.
Red-backed Shrike fem., Marsh Warbler in garden at Hillwell.
Red-backed Shrikes x 2 (1 male), Marsh Warbler, Icterine Warbler at Boddam.
Icterine Warbler at Loch of Clumlie, Boddam.
Red-backed Shrike male at Loch of Spiggie.
Icterine Warbler at St Michael's Wood, Aith.
Red-backed Shrikes x 2 at Community Wood, Brae.
Red-backed Shrike fem. in garden at Eswick.
Little Stint at Pool of Virkie.
Marsh Warbler in garden at Aestaure, Hillswick.
Icterine Warblers x 4, Marsh Warbler, Red-backed Shrikes x 2 (1 male) at Maywick.
 
MEGA: GREEN WARBLER male still, at Valyie, Rose-coloured Starling, Red-backed Shrike fem., Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler at Norwick, Hawfinch at Haroldswick, Red-backed Shrike male at Baltasound, Unst.
Woodchat Shrike male at Leagarth, Houbie, Golden Oriole at Hillend, Golden Oriole at North a Voe, Camb, Red-backed Shrike male at Burravoe, Icterine Warbler at Cullivoe, Icterine Warbler at Hillend, Red-backed Shrike male at Windhouse Lodge, Red-backed Shrike at Basta Voe, Yell.
Red-backed Shrikes x 5, Icterine Warbler in garden at Aithness on Fetlar.
Icterine Warblers x 12, Red-backed Shrikes x 10, Wood Sandpiper on Out Skerries.
Pied Flycatcher fem. at Voehead, Bressay.
Icterine Warblers x 3, Marsh Warbler, Red-backed Shrikes x 3 (2 males), Pied Flycatcher at Isle of Noss.
Icterine Warblers x 2, Bluethroat, Red-backed Shrikes x 8, Pied Flycatcher at Isle of Whalsay.

 
I watched a female Pied Flycatcher catching flies in the large sycamore opposite my house this morning, but it flew off before I could even think about getting the camera out. Later on I watched three Bar-headed Geese very distantly in Lerwick Harbour, which Phil H. had found. Ordered some very sturdy and good quality garden furniture from Huws Gray, massively cheaper than elsewhere here and being delivered and put together for free – excellent service. Alex was at my house again today to do more taping and filling of the plasterboard.

Thursday 23 May 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Icterine Warbler at Spiggie Hotel, Red-backed Shrikes fems. x 2  at Culsetter, Icterine Warblers x 2 at Noss Farm, Icterine Warbler on west side at Loch of Spiggie.
Waxwing at Dalsetter, Boddam.
Icterine Warbler, Bluethroat fem. at Sumburgh Hotel.
Common Rosefinch, Red-backed Shrike at Sumburgh.
Pied Flycatcher fem. at quarry, Sumburgh.
Marsh Warbler at Sumburgh Farm.
Red-backed Shrikes x 2 (1 male) by houses above Boddam Voe.
Ring Ouzel, Icterine Warblers x 2 at Loch of Clumlie, Icterine Warbler at Boddam.
Red-backed Shrikes x 2, Icterine Warblers x 4, Bluethroat male singing at Pool of Virkie.
Icterine Warbler in garden at Bigton.
Nightjar at Exnaboe then flew to Virkie.
Bluethroat fem. in garden, Red-backed Shrikes x 3, Marsh Warbler at Exnaboe.
Icterine Warbler, Red-backed Shrike male at Geosetter.
Hobby flew over Sandwick towards Swinister Burn.
Red-backed Shrike at Swinister Burn, Wood Warbler in garden at Sandwick.
Icterine Warbler, Ring-necked Duck on pool at east end of dunes at Quendale.
Turtle Dove at Quendale Mill.
Bluethroat fem., Icterine Warbler, Red-backed Shrike fem. at Dale of Walls.
Red-rumped Swallow, Bluethroat fem. at Toab.
Wood Warbler, Red-backed Shrike male at Levenwick.
Bluethroat fems x 2., Red-backed Shrike fem. at Noness.
Bluethroat fem., Icterine Warbler, Wood Warbler at Scatness.
Rustic Bunting, Marsh Warbler in garden at Cruisdale, Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Pied Flycatcher at Turrifield, Red-backed Shrike at Sandness.
Icterine Warbler at Swarthoull, Sound, Red-backed-Shrike fem. at West Hall, Marsh Warbler at North Loch Drive, Icterine Warbler SW of Hayfield House at Lerwick.
Hobby flew over, Icterine Warblers x 2, Red-backed Shrikes x 2 at Maywick.
Red-backed Shrike male in garden, Red-backed Shrike fem. by The Manse at South Voxter.
Common Rosefinch 1s male singing at Ellister.
Red-backed Shrike male at Mail, Cunningsburgh.
Icterine Warbler, Red-backed Shrikes x 2 (1 male) at Otterswick.
Icterine Warbler at Orca Country Inn, Hoswick.
 
MEGA: GREEN WARBLER male singing still, Icterine Warblers x 2, Wood Warbler, Hawfinch, Red-backed Shrike at Valyie, Golden Oriole, Waxwing, Marsh Warblers x 2, Red-backed Shrike fem. at Haroldswick, Unst.
Icterine Warbler, Common Rosefinch male at Aithness, Common Rosefinch male at Tresta, Icterine Warblers x 6, Marsh Warbler, Red-backed Shrikes x 10 at Fetlar.
Red-backed Shrike male at Basta Voe, Basta, Red-backed Shrike male at Burravoe, Glaucous Gull at Cullivoe, Yell.
Icterine Warblers x 4, Bluethroat, Red-backed Shrike at Skaw, Red-backed Shrike at Isbister, Marsh Warbler at Grunitaing, Whalsay.
Thrush Nightingale still, Bluethroat, Icterine Warbler, Red-backed Shrikes x 3 (2 males) on Isle of Noss.
Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Red-backed Shrikes x 4 on Out Skerries. 

 
Whilst I've been at work, its been dripping with birds all day long in heavy rain and foggy conditions. After work I walked in the rain at Clickimin Loch, but sadly only found a few Blackbirds and House Sparrows here. Checked out Helendale Drive and just before Helendale House I found a very wet Spotted Flycatcher in the middle of some dead branches, which was nice to find, but not photographable and certainly not worth getting my camera wet for. I was drenched, so decided to go home and in any case, not much was going to be showing in these atrocious conditions at this time of night. Oh well, at least I tried.

RBA Weekly Round-Up 14th to 20th May!

By Jon Dunn

Wednesday 22 May 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Golden Oriole, Icterine Warbler at Burravoe, Brae.
Honey Buzzard flew over Lerwick.
Pied Flycatcher at Greenfield Place, Lerwick.
Bluethroat fem., Icterine Warbler at The Sumburgh Hotel.
Red-backed Shrike male at Sumburgh Head.
Icterine Warbler at Sumburgh Farm.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Pool of Virkie.
Marsh Warbler at Virkie.
Ring-necked Duck at Loch of Hillwell.
Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Red-backed Shrike in garden at Hillwell.
Red-backed Shrike male at Quendale.
Icterine Warbler, Turtle Dove at Quendale Mill.
Bluethroat at Grutness.
Red-backed Shrike fem. along road at Loch of Spiggie.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Dalsetter, Icterine Warblers x 2 at North Road, Boddam.
Red-backed Shrike fem., Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Pied Flycatcher at Swinister Burn, Sandwick.
Mealy Redpoll at Toogs, West Burra.
Wood Warbler at Scatsta Farm.
Icterine Warbler at Toab.
Red-backed Shrike male at Geosetter.
Icterine Warbler male singing at Frakkafield.
Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler at Orca Country Inn, Hoswick.
Red-backed Shrike at Picnic Press Cake Fridge, Loch of Clumlie.
Wood Sandpiper at Esha Ness.
 
MEGA: GREEN WARBLER opposite house along burn in sycamores, Icterine Warbler, Red-backed Shrike at Valyie, Red-backed Shrike male at Norwick, Red-spotted Bluethroat fem., Red-backed Shrike fem. at Burrafirth, Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler both singing at Baltasound, Marsh Warbler, Red-backed Shrike at Haroldswick, Icterine Warbler at Uyeasound, Unst.
Woodchat Shrike male, Icterine Warblers x 2, Red-backed Shrike fem. at Aithness, Red-backed Shrike fem. at Mires of Funzie, Red-backed Shrike fem. at Everland, Bluethroat male, Icterine Warbler, Red-backed Shrikes x 4 at Mires o Houbie, Fetlar.
Thrush Nightingale still at Moarfield, Cullivoe, Yell.
Red-backed Shrike male, Pied Flycatcher, Icterine Warbler in garden at Skaw, Whalsay.
Red-backed Shrikes x 2 (1 male), Icterine Warbler in garden on Out Skerries.
Thrush Nightingale, Bluethroat, Marsh Warbler, Red-backed Shrikes x 3 (1 male) on Isle of Noss.

 
I knew there would be a fall of birds when I returned to work today. A GREEN WARBLER was found on Unst! This mega would be a new bird for me! I'm glad it was on Unst and not somewhere I could have gone to, as we had an pre-arranged OT work meal out at 5pm this evening at Fjara Café in Lerwick – lovely get together, but it finished far sooner than I expected! At 6pm I started birding to see what I could find. Went to West Hall and Sea Road area, found 1 Lesser Whitethroat in the avenue of sycamore trees that leads down to the sea and that was it. Nothing at West Hall apart from Blackbirds and Starlings.

Went to Frakkafield, as someone had seen an Icterine Warbler and 2 Spotted Flycatchers here. It was the first time I have visited this little spot, which is a large (for Shetland) copse of trees next to/part of  someone's garden and plant centre, just off the A970 outside Lerwick and overlooks the golf course. It was raining by the time I got here and sadly didn't see a single bird – lovely little spot though and I can see why birds are found here.

Headed to Scalloway, parked up and checked out the very large sunken garden as its known. This private garden can be viewed from the road, but its so vast there could be anything in there, especially now all the leaves are fully out on all the trees. Sadly I didn't hear anything exotic (or otherwise) calling or see anything. Also checked out the scrub alongside the road along the harbour, nothing there either. Late evening now and raining steadily, I returned home. Lashing down with rain later on and wind still east. Raining all tomorrow with north east winds. Winds continue east until Sunday! Gap in the rain part way through Friday morning – all eyes to the skies then! At work tomorrow and then my usual three days off.

Tuesday 21 May 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Marsh Warbler at Hoswick Burn.
Marsh Warblers x 2 at Swinister Burn, Sandwick.
Marsh Warbler singing at Old Manse, Cunningsburgh.
Red-backed Shrike male at Wester Quarff.
Icterine Warbler still, Pied Flycatcher fem. at Greenfield Place, Lerwick.
Icterine Warbler, Mealy Redpoll at Bakkasetter.
Icterine Warbler at Scatness.
Red-backed Shrike fem. above Setter Marsh, Loch of Spiggie.

Thrush Nightingale at Moarfield, Cullivoe, Yell.
Red-backed Shrike male at Ham, Bressay.
 
 
Another DIY day, second coating of painting skirting boards and planning the layout of my new room. It was an expensive mistake to buy two new 6ft office desks from Norwich Office Supplies, which came flat packed and ready for me to put together when I eventually found my forever home – ideally they now need to be 5ft desks, maybe someone clever can cut a foot off them?!
 
New RSPB feeding poles arrived today and interestingly they are a far more sturdy pole at a cheaper price than my previous more expensive one (which they don't sell anymore) – all good, apart from the fact I bought two feeding poles and one pronged base, the old pronged base is fine and not bent, so left it in the ground ready for one of the new feeding poles to go into – you've guessed it, its a difference size, smaller diameter and new pole won't go in! Now I need to send off for another pronged base!
 
Another glorious day here with total blue skies, sunshine and too hot for me. Went to the garden centre and then headed into Lerwick to try and see Andy J's Icterine Warbler and Pied Flycatcher in the large garden at Greenfield Place. I found this quite quickly and what a stunning garden, completed packed with bluebells and bees buzzing and a good number of mature sycamores. This is the first time I have heard an Icterine Warbler singing and not being able to locate it! Extremely frustrating indeed and no sign of the Pied Flycatcher.
 
Joined others on the pier at Lerwick to watch Orcas in the harbour on the Bressay side, so distant, but still amazing to watch. Was chatting to a nice lady, who was here on holiday with her husband and this was the first time she had seen Orcas, she was very happy indeed. Bought a "fish supper" and bumped into Baz Scampion and his wife, who are here on holiday from Norfolk – lovely to see them and have a little catch up. Returned home and did the second coating of painting the skirting boards. Sent Alex (builder) a message about next plans for the room. Back to work tomorrow. Light rain and south easterlies for the next three days, will hopefully bring some good birds and fingers crossed they are still around after I finish work in the evenings!

Monday 20 May 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Red-backed Shrike male west of Park Hall at Effirth.
Red-breasted Flycatcher until late morning, then killed by cat 😢 in Grutness Garden.
Red-backed Shrike male along road to Quendale Mill.
Black-throated Diver at Ronas Voe.
Ring-necked Duck drk, Wood Sandpiper at Loch of Hillwell.
White-billed Diver reported at Bigton.
Marsh Warbler at Setter, Sandwick.

Hen Harrier ringtail flew over Isle of Noss.
Northern Bullfinch, Long-eared Owl at Halligarth, Marsh Warbler at Norwick, Marsh Warbler, Red-backed Shrike at Haroldswick, Unst.
 
 
DIY day, painting skirting boards etc and gardening. Tomato plants coming along nicely in my shed. Had to move one of my new shrubs, as I realised it was too close to the invasive rhubarb plant. Only having one border, which is dominated by two trees and rhubarb is not enough for me – I can see the lawn becoming replaced by plants! New RSPB feeding poles are taking forever to arrive. Another glorious day here with total blue skies and sunshine, but a quiet day on the birding front.

Sunday 19 May 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 

Ring-necked Duck, Wood Sandpiper at Loch of Hillwell.
Marsh Warbler singing in garden at Hillwell.
Red-backed Shrike male + fem. at Bellister, Laxfirth.
Red-backed Shrike male at Setter, Loch of Spiggie.
Red-backed Shrike male at Fleck.
Red-backed Shrike male at West Hall, Ness of Sound, Lerwick
Icterine Warbler, Wood Warbler, Marsh Warbler at Greenfield Place, Lerwick.
Red-backed Shrike males x 2 at Sumburgh Head.
Red-backed Shrike male Uradale, SE of Scalloway.
Icterine Warbler at Hestingott.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Sandwick.
Hen Harrier ringtail at Loch of Girlsta.
Marsh Warbler, Red-backed Shrike male at Quendale.
 
Golden Oriole still in garden at Mid Yell, Red-backed Shrike fem. at Arisdale Burn, Red-backed Shrike male at Breckon, Red-backed Shrike at Gutcher, Marsh Warbler at Basta, Icterine Warbler at Camb, Yell.
Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler at Halligarth, Red-backed Shrike male at Norwick, Unst.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Feal, Red-backed Shrike male at Aithbank, Fetlar.
Red-backed Shrikes x 2 male + fem., Marsh Warblers x 2 on Out Skerries.
Icterine Warbler, Red-backed Shrikes x 6 on Whalsay.
 
 
My SanDisk Extreme PRO CFexpress Card Reader arrived yesterday, which was extremely quick. Spent the entire day trying to find some good birds and failed, but still a lovely day out south. At the Geosetter Burn, I found one Chiffchaff and that was it! No sign of the Red-backed Shrike yesterday or of the one at Rerwick by the roadside. Headed to Brow Marsh to have a scan of all the dykes for the Little Bittern found last night, no luck there. Also had a look at Setter Marsh. Headed to Quendale Mill, where I saw a Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler, a Swallow, tons of House Sparrows, Raven and a few Wheatears as I walked as far as the dam. Bumped into Michelle H. here too! Saw a Bonxie flying over as I left.

Tried to find this morning's Icterine Warbler at Hestingott and failed with that too. Went to the Grutness Pool, where it was lovely to see several Arctic Terns flying around, 2 Oystercatchers, Lapwing, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Blackbird bathing in a puddle and a Pied Wagtail joined him. Looked in the Grutness Garden, nothing there but Starlings and House Sparrows and not even any cats! Drove up to Sumburgh Head and walked across to look at the new tree plantation within a dried stone wall area – all looks very good, all the trees have been protected by pallet fencing and hopefully they will survive and mature over the next few years and be a magnet for migrants – there have already been Red-backed Shrikes in here.
 
Drove along the Scatness Road, super slowly – didn't see anything of note. Thought about walking down to the pool, but felt too tired at this point. Headed to the Virkie Pool where there was a good number of waders, including Turnstones, Ringed Plovers, Sanderlings, Ruff, Dunlins, Curlew and also Starlings foraging amongst the seaweed. The bluebells lining the road here, made a very pretty scene.

Parked up at Exnaboe to look for a Icterine Warbler and as soon as I got out of the car a very large pale golden husky type dog growled and barked from a garden next to the three parking spaces, so I left and found somewhere else to park. No sign of any Icterine Warbler. Ended up at every birder's favourite destination, Boddam! Lots of Eiders at Boddam Voe, Turnstones, Redshanks, Starlings, Mallards and a Great Northern Diver. Drove straight home from here and arrived back at 9pm, still light!

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Saturday 18th May

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Red-backed Shrike male in trees at Sumburgh Head.
Red-backed Shrikes male + fem. at Sumburgh Hotel/Farm
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Grutness.
Red-backed Shrikes males x 2 at Boddam.
Hawfinch at North Loch Drive, Lerwick.
Marsh Warbler in garden, Ring-necked Duck drk still at Hillwell.
Red-backed Shrike fem. between Channerwick and Bigton.
Red-backed Shrikes fem. x 3, Iceland Gull at Quendale.
Red-backed Shrike male at Fleck.
Red-backed Shrike male at Sanick, Red-backed Shrike fem. at Setter, Sandwick.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Cunningsburgh.
Common Rosefinch male at Scatness.
Red-backed Shrike male at North Voxter.
Pied Flycatcher at Aith.
Red-backed Shrikes x 3 (2 males) between Exnaboe & Virkie.
Little Bittern at Brow Marsh, Loch of Brow.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Spiggie House, Loch of Spiggie.

Turtle Dove at Haroldswick, Marsh Warbler, Red-backed Shrike fem. at Norwick, Red-backed Shrike at Baltasound, Unst.
Red-backed Shrikes x 5, Marsh Warbler, Blue-headed Wagtail on Out Skerries.
Golden Oriole at Hillend, Mid Yell, Red-backed Shrike fem. at Arisdale, Yell.
Red-backed Shrikes x 8 (5 males) on Fetlar.
 

Saturday 18 May 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Friday 17th May

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Bee-eater on wire fence (6.10am), Icterine Warbler at Hestingott.
Marsh Warbler at Hoswick Burn, Red-backed Shrike fem. at Hoswick.
Bee-eater by road (7.26am), Marsh Warbler in grass at Sumburgh Head.
Marsh Warbler at Burn of Sound.
Thrush Nightingale (not Nightingale), Red-backed Shrike at Greenmow Farm, Cunningsburgh.
Marsh Warblers x 2, Red-backed Shrikes x 8 at Quendale.
Red-backed Shrike fem. Culsetter, Red-backed Shrike male at Setter, Loch of Spiggie.
Icterine Warbler in garden, Marsh Warbler in garden at Setter, Sandwick.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Swining.
Red-backed Shrike male at Scatsta Farm.
White-billed Diver off Sound Grunay from ferry to Fetlar at Bluemull Sound.
Red-backed Shrike male at junction of Scatness.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Mossy Hill, Scousburgh.
Icterine Warbler, Red-backed Shrike fem. at Exnaboe.
Wood Warbler at Toab.
Thrush Nightingale trapped and ringed in garden (not Nightingale) for second day at Hillwell.
Red-backed Shrikes x 2, Marsh Warbler at Loch of Hillwell.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Grutness.
Red-backed Shrike male at Geosetter Burn.
Red-backed Shrike male at Williamsetter, Red-backed Shrike fem. in willows at turning to Bigton.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Mossbank.
Red-backed Shrike male at Ireland Burn, Ireland.
Red-backed Shrikes fem. and male at Boddam.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Rerwick.
Red-backed Shrike fem. in garden at Fleck.
Red-backed Shrike male at Gulberwick.
Red-backed Shrike at Sandness.
Red-backed Shrike at Frakkafield.
 
Blyth's Reed Warbler (possible), Marsh Warbler, Red-spotted Bluethroat male at Aith, Red-backed Shrike male, Hawfinch at Tresta, Red-backed Shrike fem. at Baelens, Fetlar.
Red-breasted Flycatcher fem. at Baliasta, Marsh Warbler in garden at Uyeasound, Marsh Warbler, 10+ Red-backed Shrikes, Wryneck, Mealy Redpoll, Hawfinch at Norwick, Mealy Redpoll, Pied Flycatcher at Baltasound, Unst.
Marsh Warbler at Cullivoe, Marsh Warbler at Arisdale, Yell.
Red-backed Shrikes x 2, Marsh Warbler at Skaw, Red-backed Shrikes x 2 at Vats-Houll, Whalsay.
Red-backed Shrikes x 6, Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warblers x 2, Nightingale, Blue-headed Wagtails x 2, Black Redstart, Mealy Redpoll on Out Skerries.
 

My ProGrade CFexpress reader decided to fail when I tried to offload all my latest pictures – cost £71.00 and is only just out of warranty! Completely dead. Sent off for a SanDisk Extreme PRO CFexpress Card Reader. I had to learn very fast how to download my pictures via Wifi which was painfully slow, new card reader is supposed to be arriving next Wednesday.

Tried to find my own birds in Scalloway and failed. A roasting hot day here with little wind. At Tingwall Loch I found 4 Red-breasted Mergansers, several Tufted Ducks and Mallards. I was drawn into the garden centre and bought three more plants, then headed south.

Had fabulous views of a male Red-backed Shrike at The Geosetter Burn, along with a Garden Warbler, female Blackcap, Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler singing its heart out. Sat at the bottom of the stile waiting for the Red-backed Shrike to reappear on the fence line, when a Short-eared Owl came into view over the hill! Jill and Rob joined me here and pointed out a Whinchat on the fence. Another male Red-backed Shrike seen in the scrub by the pull in at Rerwick. Nothing of note at Levenwick. Headed home.

Thursday 16 May 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Icterine Warbler, Black Redstart, Red-backed Shrike fem. at Gremista, Lerwick.
Red-backed Shrike male and fem., Wood Sandpiper, Nightingale at Loch of Hillwell.
Red-spotted Bluethroat male at Grutness Pool.
Red-backed Shrike male at Pool of Virkie.
Green-winged Teal, Wood Sandpiper at Loch of Spiggie.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Wester Quarff.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Dalsetter, Boddam.
Red-backed Shrike fem. and male at Brow Marsh, Loch of Brow.
Red-backed Shrike fem. and male at Helli Ness, Nightingale, Icterine Warbler at Cunningsburgh.
Red-backed Shrike male by Midfield at Ringsta.
Black Redstart at Toab.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Quendale.
Red-backed Shrike male at Swinster Burn, Sandwick.
Red-backed Shrike male at Scousburgh.
Red-backed Shrike male, Marsh Warbler at Scatness.
Marsh Warbler at Aith.
 
Nightjar, Red-backed Shrike fem. at Feal Burn Plantation, Common Rosefinches x 2 at Tresta, Marsh Warbler in Funzie Willows on Fetlar.
Red-backed Shrike fem. at Northdale, Green-winged Teal at Baltasound, Unst.
Red-backed Shrike male at Skaw, Red-backed Shrike male at Vevoe, Vats-Houll, Whalsay.
Red-backed Shrike male x 2, Marsh Warbler on Out Skerries.
Red-backed Shrike male, Pied Flycatcher at Mid Yell, Yell.
 

Another gloriously sunny day here with south east winds. Amazing driving and crane skills from Ozzie Craig, who delivers for Jewsons, when he delivered my ton bag of logs to stack in my shed. I couldn't believe with such calmness, that he managed to crane that bag over the corner of my house, over the washing line and onto my raised patio next to the shed door! I wish I had taken a video of that. He did say that if the Jewson's own lorry had delivered, they would not have been able to do that and it would have simply been craned onto my driveway. He suggested to ask for him again, when I get the next delivery – I certainly will. It didn't take as long as I thought to remove all the logs and stack them up in my shed. I will easily be able to stack another three ton bags in there and probably more.

Brilliant washing day with twice the amount of pegs used as you would need down south. The views from my house, especially with a full on sun day and magical light are stupendous, I feel so lucky to be living here. Siskins, House Sparrows, Blackbirds, Starlings and Robin in the garden and lambs skipping on Gallows Hill.

Wednesday 15 May 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Red-spotted Bluethroat male at Grutness Pool. Ring-necked Duck drk, Wood Sandpiper at Loch of Hillwell.
 
Bonaparte's Gull, Icterine Warbler at Norwick, Quail x 2 at Haroldswick, Red-backed Shrike at Uyeasound, Mealy Redpolls x 3 at Northdale, Unst.
Subalpine Warbler sp. fem. at Marrister, Whalsay.
Bluethroat at Isle of Noss.
 

Red-spotted Bluethroat 
Grutness Pool

 

Very busy day at work and then drove south to the Grutness Pool to see the Red-spotted Bluethroat which was still around – lucky me! It was a beautiful day here with full on sunshine. As I pulled up to park, Rebecca N. was here and she had been photographing it about 20 minutes ago, but it had vanished. It soon returned and we watched and photographed it at fairly close range. Then Hugh H. turned up, along with Paul H. and then Jim N. and a friend of his. I have seen several Red-spotted Bluethroats before throughout my life, but you can never tire of watching these striking and elegant birds. It was happily feeding around the pool and was at one point only a few yards away over the fence by the shore side. Chiffchaff and male Blackcap here, Shelduck, Mallard, Turnstone, Wren, Starlings, Eiders on the sea close by, Great Northern Diver, 1 Swallow. Lots of Silver-Y moths around and a few Red Admirals seen.

In the Grutness garden I found 1 Chiffchaff and a female Blackcap amongst the Starlings and one of the gorgeous ginger tabby cats was sunning itself in the warmth of the greenhouse. It seemed like the perfect evening to view my first Puffins of the Spring, so headed up to Sumburgh Lighthouse. I saw more flying around than posing by burrows, but I did get lucky with one very cute Puffin coming out of his burrow, who briefly watched his audience of five people, then duly turned, excreted two yards of Puffin poo and retreated to his burrow, much to the amusement of us all! I walked along the famous "Roses'' by the lighthouse – nothing excited errupted apart from 1 Blackbird and a Starling. Several Wheatears around on the dry stone walls. I found two more Puffins just over the wall at the far end, but my normally stealthy fieldcraft skills failed and they flew off before I was able to get any winning shots. The spectacle of Fulmars, Gannets and Guillemots flying below me was stupendous as the sun was starting to set. Back at the disabled car park, I watched two Twite on the wall.

I returned to the Grutness Pool where the Red-spotted Bluethroat was still in view at 9.15pm! A Chiffchaff was also still catching flies close by. A fabulous birding trip after work. Arrived home at 10pm. One of the dangers of living here at this time of the year, is that you can easily spiral into burning the candle at both ends with the long daylight hours available to you, but I don't have to be at work tomorrow, so no issues with that. I now have the next six days off!

PICTURES TO BE ADDED

RBA Weekly Round-Up 7th to 13th May!

By Chris Batty

Tuesday 14 May 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Pied Flycatcher along Hoswick Burn. Pallid Harrier juv. flew over Channerwick, then Levenwick. Red-spotted Bluethroat male at Grutness Pool. Black-necked Grebe, Wood Sandpiper, Black Redstart at Loch of Hillwell.
 
Bonaparte's Gull at Norwick, Green-winged Teal at Baltasound, Unst.
Nightjar at The Manse, Red-backed Shrike at Tresta, Fetlar.
Bluethroat fem., Blue-headed Wagtail male at Foula.
Red-backed Shrike, Bluethroat fem., Icterine Warbler, Hawfinch on Out Skerries.
 
 
Alex the builder has been at my house all day, whilst I was at work and he was still there when I got home. He has finished insulating the two outside walls, the plasterboard is on and he has refigured the window frames. Plasterboard tape to put on and a few gaps to fill. I then need to paint the plasterboard and the new skirting wood, then he can fix these up to the walls.

I desperately wanted to head south to see the male Bluethroat at Grutness this evening, but I was beyond exhausted and it wouldn't have been safe to drive. More hoovering up etc. On holiday from Thursday!

Monday 13 May 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Hobby at Grutness. Wood Warbler in plantation at Vidlin. Pallid Harrier juv. flew over Levenwick, then south over Setter, Sandwick. Wood Sandpiper flew towards Sumburgh Head.
 
Red-backed Shrike at Skaw, Hawfinch at Norwick, Unst.
Pied Flycatcher at Feal, Fetlar.
Bluethroat at Skaw, Whalsay.
 
 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JOHN FURSE!

Today was not the best of days, my entire RSPB bird feeding pole bent and broke, bringing all my bird feeders crashing to the ground – I didn't witness it, probably a good job I didn't. Very strong south east winds, thunderstorm and lashing rain. I know its Shetland, but this feeder pole has only been up since January! It might have been the increased number of feeders I added though! Climbed onto my step ladder to hang my bird feeders anywhere I could from the tree, so at least my birds can continue feeding, even though I can't see most of them from my window.

Alex, the builder was at my house today (whilst I was out) and has started the room insulation! Went to the tip again and dumped my old storage heater and then visited Jewsons and GTS to plan for the next jobs to get done in the house! Back to work tomorrow.

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Sunday 12th May
 
Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Ring-necked Duck at Loch of Hillwell. Little Stints x 2 at Loch of Spiggie. Waxwing found dead at Kergord. Mealy Redpolls x 2 at Dalsetter, Boddam.
 
Bee-eater at Tripwell, Short-eared Owl at Skaw, Whalsay.
Ring Ouzel at Skaw, Garganey at Uyeasound, Ring Ouzel at Haroldswick, Unst.
Wrynecks x 2, Icterine Warbler, Long-eared Owl, Ring Ouzels x 2 on Out Skerries.
 
 
Hawfinch seen in trees opposite my garden today and 3 Siskins on the feeders.

Saturday 11 May 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Hawfinch at Toogs, West Burra. Pied Flycatcher, Waxwings x 2 at Burn of Sound, Waxwing flew over Lerwick. Long-eared Owl, Hawfinch at Brae. Orca at Esha Ness.
 
Short-toed Lark, Shorelark at Skaw, Unst.
Common Rosefinch fem./1s male at Leagarth, Houbie, Fetlar.
Ring Ouzel on Out Skerries.
Orca x 2 south past lsle of Bressay.
 
 
It was seriously hot here (for Shetland) today and reached 20°c – south wind and blue skies all day!!! People walking round Scalloway in shorts and t-shirts! One Siskin today, along with House Sparrows, Blackbirds x 2, Starlings, Rock Doves, Collared Doves and heard the Great Spotted Woodpecker. Potentially good for migrants in the next couple of days – switches south east from 1pm tomorrow and then stays south east with rain on Monday and I have that day off as annual leave!

I did two packed car runs to the Recycling centre in Lerwick this morning, the first one was all cardboard boxes and the second was all kinds of stuff including old bathroom radiator, old garden border fencing, garden waste etc. Stuffed a ton of newspaper used for packing into the paper/card wheelie bin. Swept the wood shed out and its now super tidy and ready to get a log delivery when I need it, not right now!

My house is lovely and cool in hot weather, thank goodness. Spent a long time cleaning up after the work that went on in the bathroom and washed all the floors and did some housework. Dismantled the storage heater that has been removed from the office so I could remove the eight fire bricks inside and this then enabled me to carry the storage heater outside, ready to take to the tip. Had a super healthy salad tea, sitting outside on the patio – from here I can see telegraph wires over my wall on the hill – hoping for a Bee-eater on there one day! My Sycamore tree leaves are now fully out and looking magical against the blue skies. Everything looked so pretty today and all my pots and plants are all looking good. Bluebells now out in the front garden.

Had a lovely card from Debbie Jackson today. Sisters Debbie and Ruth are daughters of the late Ruby and Peter Jackson, who were very close friends of our family. Peter was very close friends with Richard Richardson and my father. Peter did several trips to Fair Isle with Richard. Debbie writes in her card "..... I hope you're ok and loving living in Scalloway, I remember Shetland, its just so beautiful and wild and green. Uncle Richard and my dad would be pleased you moved there....." I've just noticed the address in her card, that she has moved from Hertfordshire to Norfolk!
 
No Northern Lights here yet, but its still not completely dark, maybe later........

Friday 10 May 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Waxwings x 3 at North Road, Boddam. Ring-necked Duck at Loch of Hillwell. Common Crane few south over Swinister, Sandwick. Long-eared Owl at Eswick. Glaucous Gull at Gilbertson Park, Lerwick.

Nightjar at Leagarth, Fetlar
Wryneck on Out Skerries
Hen Harrier at Hamister, Whalsay
Wood Warbler at Bellevue, Yell
 
 
No Siskins today at all for the first time in ages. Very busy day with electricians here – new Rointe Elba Oval Electric Towel Rail and an extractor fan installed above the shower, which proved difficult to do and two holes had to be cut into the ceiling to link up with a wire to get this installed. Ceiling now patched up and will be finished and smoothed over next time David has a gap in his busy schedule. They also put in a new cable in the office and conversed with my builder Alex (who kindly popped round to chat with them) about cables etc in preparation of putting two new double sockets in and the new radiator. Will now have to wait until Alex can come out to insulate the two outside walls and put new skirting in etc. Then electricians can return and then I can book the carpet shop to fit my carpet that I have aleady paid for. A long process for one room!
 
No amazing show of Northern Lights showing here, due to cloud cover!!! Meanwhile, the rest of the UK seems to be having a dazzling show of colours, even in Norfolk! Eddie told me he was watching the lights from the East Bank at Cley and he couldn't believe what he was seeing – he said it was the best he had ever seen, with lots of swathes of colours visible to the naked eye!