Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The Patch, some Migrants and the Odd bit of Ringing

The weekend of the 24th was pretty good in my terms.
First of all the 25th started with a bang, two patch ticks of Willow Warbler and Common 'Mealy' Redpoll turned up on Clickimin, in the same tree! so I was delighted about that.

Male Gadwall, one of only a pair that are on Clickimin now, first Shetland breeding record?

Mealy? Lesser? Its a Redpoll anyway

Stretching Willow Warbler

The head colour looks quite subdued but you can still see the red

Bressay in the background, quite an odd sight

Later on in the day I headed out with Paula and a trip to Ladysmith Road got me a Hawfinch (year tick along with the above birds), a Goldfinch and a Goldfinch x Greenfinch Hybrid! a really odd but fascinating bird and probably the first one in Shetland, of course credit goes to the finder Jim Watt who lives in the house where the bird was seen.

The beast itself, captive escape? wild hybrid? who knows but it is odd

I also had time to go out on the patch and the snow was rising as steam off the hills

Seal at Seafield

Sleepy Seal

And this beauty! patch year tick of a Razorbill, quite the treat also around was a White Wagtail (patch year) and 18 Tysties

Also the old Sea Kale is growing more everyday

Water droplet upon the leaf

Closer up shot of the droplet

Purple Sandpiper "KKU" ringed in Svalbard

This guy was found by Kevin Bryant and has been around for a few days

The next day the 26th I headed out with Dave for some Raven ringing, my first shot at ringing Ravens after I went twitching for a Cretzschmar's Bunting last year (and dipped) instead of ringing.
It was a truly amazing experience, the chicks were so fat and the bellys huge so I found it difficult to hold them/pick them up.
We were doing one nest and this pair kept squawking until one flew down and landed just a foot short of where I was, I've never been that close to an adult Raven and even Dave was amazed!
A total of 7 chicks were ringed and hopefully we are to do some the next weekend.

Though my story is not done, after Dave dropped me in Brae just before 4, I got ready for tea, then he texted with news of a BLACK KITE at Exnaboe, now going from Brae to Sumburgh to see a bird of prey which may fly off and roam the Shetland cpountryside is quite risky, though I like my risks....
I ended up phoning one of the finders Roger Riddington (The other finders were Rob Fray & Gary Bell) to see if the bird was still around, he said it was happily sitting on a fence post and looked like it would sit around, I asked him to keep me posted and we shot off!

The Deep Blue (not really the right name for a red ship)

An hour later we arrived to see Jim Nicolson & Roger at the site at North Town, Exnaboe looking at a plowed park.
I got out, got directions and raised the bins to the Kite sitting on the ground a few hundred metres away! Black Kite! Shetland tick/lifer no.232 and also no.105 on the year list! I rattled off a few record shots and we spent a minute or two admiring the bird.
I don't really see myself as a twitch and go kinda person but I have to be at times, such as needing to catch a ferry and so on, so we left and thanked Roger for helping out.

Record shot or what? still good to have a memory of it- Black Kite

I don't really see myself as a twitch and go kinda person but I have to be at times, such as needing to catch a ferry and so on, so we left and thanked Roger for helping out.

We headed off and I spotted some Curlew ish sized birds in the park below Paul's so we checked them out, I very happily raised by bins to not 1 but 4 Whimbrel! year ticks! (106) I was actually more excited to find these 4 Whimbrel than the Kite! it did round off a great day so we headed north and that conludes this blog post.

In the field I have difficulty sometimes separating them from Curlew but its from lack of experience

Its good to get them again, hopefully more birds will return in the next week


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