SHETLAND BIRD NEWS, PHOTOS, BIRDING, LIFE AND MORE! MY 14th YEAR ANNIVERSARY 2024!


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Monday 15 July 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
PACIFIC SWIFT at Pool of Virkie.
Gull-billed Tern at Loch of Gards, Scatness.
 
 
Very busy decorating and on a time schedule now, so didn't go and see the Pacific Swift after work this evening, but saw one last year at Boddam on 5th July.

Sunday 14 July 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Gull-billed Tern at Loch of Gards, Scatness.
 
 
 
GULL-BILLED TERN
Loch of Gards, Scatness
 
Arctic Tern
Loch of Gards, Scatness
 
 
I have not been birding for AGES, so I escaped for a little while this afternoon and headed south to see the Gull-billed Tern at Scatness. I was the only person here at Loch of Gards! Spitting with rain on and off all day, so not the best of light, but what fabulous views of this awesome tern, as it flew around the loch to feed, wow and a new bird for me! Arctic Terns also and 5 Swallows skimming over the water. The Gull-billed Tern disappeared around 6.30pm, so I left.

At The Grutness Pool there were 4 Dunlins feeding, Oystercatchers, Arctic Terns, juv gulls and House Sparrows. Checked out the Pool of Virkie to see if I could find the Gull-billed Tern, but couldn't find it anywhere. Good numbers of waders including several Dunlin, Ringed Plovers, Oystercatchers, Curlews and Eiders.

Made it home in time to watch Spain beat England 😞 Spain have had an awesome day with Carlos Alcaraz beating Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final today too!

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Saturday 13th July
Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Gull-billed Tern at Pool of Virkie and Scatness.
 

Thursday 11 July 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
No news today.
 
 
Very busy week at work – fell asleep this evening. Serious three days of decorating ahead, carpet laying date has been changed to later in July. Dismal weather for July, hopefully it will improve at some point, before Autumn arrives!

Wednesday 10 July 2024

Tuesday 9 July 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Icterine Warbler early morning at Hoswick Burn.
Marsh Warbler at Swinister, Sandwick.
Little Stint at West Voe, Sumburgh.

White-billed Diver off Houbie, Fetlar.
 
 
The best day since we had a lovely warm spell in May. Glorious blue skies all day long and the sea glittering in the sunshine from the hospital windows. It would have been a lovely evening for a walk or and some birding, but I was filling holes with wood filler! I watched the first half of the Spain/France match and watching the speed and agility both sides were playing, England have no hope at all on beating Spain IF they reach the final, just saying!

Monday 8 July 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Black-throated Diver at Dales Voe, NE of Veensgarth.
 
 
I'm still here! The right side of my head feels very tender to touch, is sore and still swollen and I do feel worried about it, so made a point of not doing anything to raise my blood pressure. A beautiful sunny day here at last. Started preparing for decorating this evening and now I'm seriously behind schedule. I will more than probably have to cancel the carpet being fitted on Friday. I have done loads of scraping, sanding and going over the window frames with a damp cloth. My clothes are all white dust and I have hoovered me and the floor from the sanding. Filled all the holes with wood filler.
 
Tomorrow evening after work I can put the undercoat on the window frames, some sections of skirting and shelves in what was the inbuilt wardrobe and maybe get the first coat of turquoise paint on the frames. Not much birding getting done lately I'm afraid, but I'm determined to get everything done by Christmas and I certainly don't want to be doing house stuff in September and October! Chosen "Cashew" black out blinds, which are extremely insulating and made to measure so there are no gaps from Duette® Blinds and buying from A1 Flooring in Lerwick, the same company who are fitting my carpet.
 
The garden looks amazing, even though I say so myself, I have worked really hard to fill every space with window boxes, pots, creativity etc. I will post some pictures of the garden when I have finished the office/studio. Lots of bees on the borage and on my blue thistle and other flowers and also one Red Admiral. Can't wait for all my colourful annuals to come out into flower. Got fed up with the mouldy wet logs bought from Jewsons (which they keep outside), which are not drying out, so put all the wettest ones outside and in the brick barbeque, which actually looks really good. Will get some bags of dry hard wood delivered from elsewhere in a few weeks time. I still have no hot water for washing up or bathroom sink, as the immersion tank has died completely now, still waiting for quotes from two electricians.

Sunday 7 July 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Black-throated Diver at Bay of Quendale.
 
 
Today I had an accident. I tripped over my front gate door stop, which is basically a small metal stump and is only a couple of inches high – its camouflaged against the concrete path and I have tripped over this before, but never fallen until today. I was carrying a tall clay plant pot with plant in, tripped and cracked my head on the sharp edge of the large concrete gate pillar. I have never hit my head as bad as this before. I sat on the step next to the gate for a good 15 minutes and didn't dare move. Went indoors and sat with ice on my head for a good half an hour and didn't move for several hours. I can feel a bump and its difficult to turn my head to the right. My head took the entire impact of the fall, as I had the plant pot in both hands, so no wonder my head hurts. It won't happen again as I have now put a bright purple ceramic plant pot over the metal stop! The clay plant pot didn't survive, hopefully I will!

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MEGAS!

Saturday 6th July

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Quail at Loch of Hillwell.
Melodious Warbler early morning only at Sumburgh.
 
Sooty Shearwater, Storm Petrels x 26 at Hermaness, Unst.
Iceland Gull 1s at Mid Yell, Yell.
 
 
Another full day of gardening and another visit to Planticrub Garden Centre at Tingwall. I'm really pleased with all the work I've done, everything is looking brilliant! Watched the first half of the England match and then came back indoors to watch the penalty shootout. Decorating tomorrow.

Saturday 6 July 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Friday 5th July

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Iceland Gull 1s at Mid Yell, Yell.
 
 
At last it was a dry day with some sunshine, so got lots of gardening done. Planted up my three new wooden planters. Created a new planting area between two large pieces of concrete, that once held an oil tank and planted a borage plant, foxglove and some wild flowers. Put more plants in the border. A bit more to do tomorrow and then I will be seriously decorating on Sunday and Monday (public holiday here on Monday). Carpet being fitting in office/studio next Friday.

Thursday 4 July 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Night Heron flew over Mid Dale, Walls.

Iceland Gull 1s at Mid Yell, Yell.
 
 
Raining again and chilly. Another very busy day at work. Went to vote this evening. Public holiday on Monday, so now have four days off with more rain. Electrician, builder and carpet man coming out tomorrow.

Wednesday 3 July 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Mealy Redpoll in garden at Sandwick.
Black throated Diver 1s SW of Gluss Isle and south of Ollaberry
 
 
Awful weather for Summer wherever you live, raining every day here and chilly. Extremely busy day at work, fell asleep most of the evening.

Tuesday 2 July 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Black Redstart at Esha Ness.
 
Iceland Gull at Mid Yell, Yell.
Black Redstart at Isle of Noss.
 
 
Sunny all day for the first time in ages, until I get home from work and then it switches to gloomy dark skies and light rain. So frustrating when I have plants to put in the garden.

Received some sad news today, about my very old friend Christine Paine – her husband Clive called me this evening to let me know that Christine had had a major stroke in January and was now more or less bed bound at home – things don't sound too good at all.

Christine very kindly gave me a roof over my head, when I found myself in a very difficult situation in my early twenties. I was working at The Lavenham Press Ltd at the time. I was desperately looking for somewhere to live, as I urgently needed to get out of a situation I was in. Someone told me that a lady in Lavenham sometimes has lodgers and I was directed to where she lives. It was pouring with rain and I was soaked and on my bicycle (didn't have a car then). I remember feeling quite scared about knocking on someone's door who I didn't know, but Christine greeted me with a big beaming smile, invited me in for a cup of tea and was so kind and friendly. She was an extremely trusting and lovely person and did me a huge favour at a very difficult time.

I lodged with Christine for quite a while in her little cottage in Hall Road, Lavenham, Suffolk. Very fond memories there and of her gorgeous cats Garfield and Marmaduke. We used to have some fascinating chats. Christine was very religious, a passionate gardener and was extremely interested in history and particularly her family tree. Happy times long ago. I recall Christine coming to my wedding with her first husband in 1992. Sadly her husband died a few years later and further down the line, she married the true love of her life Clive and they have lived in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk since they have been together. I would like to go and see her, but as you all know, its not simple getting off Shetland. 😢

RBA Weekly Round-Up 25th June to 1st July!

By Jon Dunn

Monday 1 July 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Marsh Warbler at Swinister, Sandwick.
 
Red-backed Shrike at Tresta, Fetlar.
Glaucous Gull at Uyeasound, Unst.
 
 
As I was reversing into my driveway after work this evening, a couple were walking close by and smiled. I suddenly realised it was Chris Creedy and his wife Tracey, who moved to Unst a few years ago. I knew Chris from him birding at Holme Bird Observatory, a good few years ago, but had not met Tracey, so it was lovely to meet her. We had a lovely catch up and I showed them round my house and garden – it was nice to have some visitors. Cold and dull weather here again today.

Friday 28 June 2024

SHETLAND BIRD NEWS & MORE!

Rare  Bird  Alert  News 
Marsh Warbler, Nightjar at Ham Yard, Foula.
 

My wood Eco Hive Composter, Ladder Planter and Window Boxes arrived this morning. Its been raining for most of the day and very windy. I got drenched preparing the spot where I wanted the composter, but good to see it in place. I positioned bricks on the ground, so the composter was not directly on the soil, hopefully it will lengthen its life a little bit.

I watched a Hedgehog running up the driveway this morning and then disappeared onto Gallow Hill to join the sheep! Lots of House Sparrows and young Starlings in my garden today. Gwen (two houses away) very kindly came and had a chat with me and she told me that the gorgeous smelling shrub in my front garden is called "Mock Orange" – delicate little white flowers and highly scented with a gorgeous orange fragrance. I gave her a tour of the house and she told me she and her sister have pictures of my house from her relatives years ago – so looking forward to seeing those one day.

Electricians came this afternoon and fitted my new Arezzo 4 Way Adjustable Ceiling Spotlight Bar Track Lighting in the studio/office and put in three new double sockets. They are coming back to do a bit of filling and then all electrical work in that room is finished. Went to the garden centre just before they closed to pick up some bags of seaweed compost, gravel and plastic sheeting to line the window boxes. Saturday looks atrocious for weather again, Sunday looks better.