Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Le Cloon De Maire

So today Tommy (My grandad) and I headed down to the South end (and various other places along the way) for a bit of bird watching, most of our time was spent photographing Puffins at Sumburgh Head.

So today at the Loch of Voe, with the time being around 10 o'clock (approximately ten minutes before I arrived there), Tommy was already waiting for me to arrive when he spotted a flock of over 60 Common Crossbills flying into the trees at the Plantation at the western side of the Loch.
When I arrived shortly afterwards, Tommy and I rushed into the trees hoping to relocate the huge flock of Crossbills.
After 5 minutes we were able to find about 25 Crossbills and only get one photo of a bird each, before they all took flight and vanished all together, leaving us to wonder " how do 60 Crossbills just vanish?".

One female Crossbill

and also 2 of 3 Red-Throated Divers which 
were flying over our heads

At about half-past eleven we arrived at the Loch of Tingwall where we saw hundreds of Black-headed Gulls  (most of those being recently fledged birds) and about 16 Tufted Ducks, one female had 6 ducklings and another one had 4).

A mammy tuftie with her babies

A Peerie Maa or Common Gull

A young Black-headed Gull 

Black-Headed Gulls

So another detour we took was to Ladysmith Road in Scalloway to see some very special Goldfinches

The first Goldfinches to be reared in Shetland which were
found at Ladysmith Road in Scalloway,
This is 2 of 4 Juvenile birds which have been seen over
the past few days

A close up on one of the babies

Parent and child happily eating Niger seeds

So after stopping off in Lerwick for about an hour to pick up a few things, we headed down to the 
South end

A Skylark at the Spiggie Loch

One of two Swallows at Spiggie along with 60 Bonxies 
having a wash in the Loch

So after finishing birding at Spiggie we headed over to Hillwell Loch which was teeming with ducks (one of which looked like a female Gadwall) and several Whooper Swans.

Also we found these little guys at Quendale,
My favourites are the ducklings

So when we had finished at Hillwell and Quendale we headed over to Virkie

A female Dunter at the Pool of Virkie along with 3 Bar-Tailed Godwits,
a summer plumage Turnstone, 10 summer plumage Sanderlings 
and a very tasty picnic

Baby Dunters on the hunt for their next meal

And finally we went up to Sumburgh Head looking for Puffins also called Tammie Nories
and in France they call them Le Cloon De Maire (not sure if this is the right spelling), as the title reads.

Gathering nesting material

"We have lift off"

Common Guillemots also known as Longvi.
(How many of the "Bridled variety can you see?)

Coming to a cinema near you
"Helicopters in the Mist"
"a movie you never saw coming"

Lots of Longvi

Sleepy Puffin

The Sumburgh Lighthouse Fog Horn

"Cute and cuddly boys, just like we practiced"

This Puffin was on a wall just under a foot away from some people 
who were busy taking pictures of themselves next to
it on their phones, it was quite amazing just watching it sit 
there so calm for so long

A very misty Sumburgh Head.

So today was quite a good day 
I got to see my first Crossbills of the year, 
see Shetlands first breeding Goldfinches,
see summer plumage Sanderlings for the first time
and to put my French to good use.


  1. Well posted best pal we need to get you one of them fancy cameras with the big lens' then you can get all the pics of those that we see but cant get close enough to take, keep up the good work. Looking forward to the next trip out.

  2. Exceptional! Great photos, delightful commentary. I hope that you retain your interest in birds and become an ornithologist!!!! (I'm in USA, saw this on facebook.)