Shetland. Wildness everywhere.
I enjoy. Well pretty much everything with Birds and Nature 🙂
Some wind in the west has cut down numbers of migrant birds. I hope Yoav is still enjoying himself- off today with PAC to explore another island. Being a little less mobile I just go a little slower and stay more local.
I am not short of things to look at. Indeed I have had lovely couple of days both with birds and wildlife and with great people company. I have too many subjects I would like to explore further. But can’t do them justice!
So here’s what I am wrestling with about whether to ‘blog’ about and will try to look into more…
Yellow-browed Warblers – call variation
Mono-syllabic in hand call:
Two birds calling to each other- normal di-syllabic calls
They are everywhere. I can see 2-3 Yellow-broweds outside the windows most days. They also have both a well known disyllabic call and less well know other calls. Roger and I recorded the trapped bird giving alternate calls (which trapped birds do anyway). I have however heard and recorded Yellow-broweds giving mono calls in the field and seen them fool folk into thinking , maybe it’s a Hume’s Warbler. More on that maybe..
Pink-footed Geese – grumbling!
Each morning flocks fly over. Every time I smile. Straight in the Iceland/ Greenland/Svalbard?. Wow! Most continue south. Some land. This flock of 6 flew south close. It’s sounded as if one or more were grumbling. The flock flew over Sumburgh, turned around and back over my head presumably to land in fields north of me. The grumbling had stooped.
Teenage Pink-feet. Have a listen on the first pass after 30 seconds the grumbling kicks in…
Then on return a few minutes later when the long trip is cancelled- for now.
Lapland Buntings – from where?
I raised this a few years ago now. The assumption that Lapland Buntings all arrived in Britain from Scandinavia– tosh-me gosh! This one yesterday could have easily come from Arctic Canada. Now there’s a thought! Lapland Buntings join Northern Wheatears in being one of the only songbirds which routinely crosses an ocean as part of their migration. Bonkers!
Redpolls and the Redpoll Code
Always want to wade in to this. A scattering of redpolls in Shetland and all so far have proven to be identifiable Lessers – and that is unusual for Shetland, where Lesser is generally the less common taxon. This adult male shows off some easy ID features. Red in the breast- already becoming visible here means only 2 one of two taxa could be involved. but then you would know that. #redpollcode
Already the Lesser Redpoll, photographed by Yoav near Sumburgh Airport- above shows pinkish- red over the breast and flanks- adult male signs, in a deep rich buffy plumage. Cracking photo!
Yoav and I came across this perplexing individual which did have us initially a little foxed. Like a miniature Common Goldeneye. Head shape wrong. Little bill. Vague whitish patch over lower cheek (not visible in pics). What the heck??. A very small, perhaps late hatched juvenile Common Goldeneye. Tim Jones and those nice chaps form the NGB followed up my waffle and got some pics the next day:
bird on far left (top)
and I have not even started on (see what I mean)…
Snow Buntings, Redwing, Wader calls, vagrant Canada Geese…