Thursday, January 31, 2013

UHA part2

Purple Sandpiper - not taken on Saturday but better a pic than nowt! Yes the pic on the first post was a Raven- looks incredibly scruffy! When I arrived at Sumburgh it was good to meet Hugh again - I had already seen Mark at Heathrow as we were booked on the same plane to Aberdeen altho on different planes to Shetland.To the Hotel and once unpacked and piled on more gear I was ready for a little walk and bird watch. So to Grutness - apart from a calling Rock pipit nothing on the beach nearby - then I spot 2 people and a couple of dogs...okay so wish I had my scope...but there were birds over the far side nearer the airport buildings....trek off to see. This as much better Turnstones and couple of Purple Sandpipers and then 2 Long-tailed Ducks! Joy! Once my eye was in there were 3 more LTD along way away but coming closer and closer. The light was not brilliant and photos rubbish - all birds too far away. Redshank appeared....on the walk back to the Hotel there were Curlew, Oystercatcher and more Redshanks on the airfield and I flushed a Snipe out of the grass by the side of the road - made me jump!Fulmars were in the quarry (distant). A lovely Common Gull as sitting in a field nearby Lapwings wheeled and landed , wheeled and landed...and Herring Gulls were every where. A Pink footed Goose was seen very briefly. A small flock of Greylags (from Greenland) rose into the sky that was threatening to rain flushed apparently by dog I got back to the Hotel CP . I looked across into the Voe opposite fortunately for me another SW traveller had a scope and we 3 watched Shags, and divers at distance then 2 red-throated divers appeared nearer as well as several Tysties (Black Gulillemots) appeared - we also spotted a Little Auk but that spent most of its time feeding or hiding below the wall as we looked! oh and lots and lots of brightly shining Starlings were everywhere! House Sparrows around the Hotel as usual. It was good to be back on Shetland!

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