🏴 Saturday 7th October 2023 🌤️ 7C ~ Wind NE @ 11MPH ~ A chilly start today with a light breeze after yesterday's storm and an early morning walk for me locally from the cottage along to Tresta Methodist Church. This is a nice short walk with plenty of pine and sycamore to check out along the route. A steady flow of Redwings overhead and plenty in the surrounding trees but surprisingly, there was nothing in the way of warblers, just a couple of Goldcrests. A few Red Grouse calls echoed around the hills on the walk back to the cottage, two Curlew on the fields and a few Turnstones along Sandsound Voe and time for breakfast.
|Esher Ness Lighthouse|
After breakfast and with light winds we drove out to Esherness Lighthouse. During my last two visits to Shetland, it was blowing a gale whenever I visited the lighthouse so it was nice to walk the area with just a stiff breeze. Lots of diving Gannets offshore and despite reports of Twite and Snow Buntings at the lighthouse we drew a complete blank after an extensive walk further afield. Lapwings and Golden Plover around the area, along with a few Snipe were the best we managed.
|Great-spotted Woodpeckers ~ A scarcity in Shetland|
A stop at Voe to eat our sandwiches and a walk to Old Olnafirth Church produced our first Great-spotted Woodpecker for Shetland, lots of House Sparrows and a very sad-looking Seal.
|Very ad-looking Seal at Voe.|
We ended the day in the hide at Spiggie Loch noting a couple of Drake Scaup, a dozen Whooper Swans, Pochard and a Goldeneye.
|Snow Buntings at Grutness|
🏴 Sunday 8th October 2023 🌤️ 12C ~ Wind NE @ 7MPH ~ With our flight back to Aberdeen at 4pm we spent the remainder of our time to the south of the Island around Grutness and Scatness, finally picking up the long-staying Cattle Egret on the stubble field over towards the Sumburgh Hotel. At Grutness we walked along the rocky areas and shoreline after a while came across a half dozen Snow Buntings.
I'm always surprised to still find Willow Warblers on Shetland in October but the above photographed bird was feeding happily around at Fair Isle Ferry Terminal.
|Tystie (Black Guillimot)|
Finally, around to Scatness to walk this stunningly beautiful area. As you head towards the headland, the peninsula narrows and the ground becomes uneven and rocky. There are excellent views on either side of Fitful Head and Sumburgh Head and in the distance Fair Isle looms. Two Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, a few Tysties (Black Guillemots) and a huge flock of some 50+ Twite on our walk to the southerly point. The highlight on the walk back to the car was my 3rd Merlin of the trip, chasing a group of Linnets. Not a bad way to end another excellent week on Shetland.