Friday, 21 December 2012

The shortest day of the year

It's only four days until Christmas now and it's also the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice. The sun will come up here in Shetland at 09.12 and will go back down at 14.55 which means that the sun is up for just under six hours, a very short day indeed.

An hour before sunrise
Come the middle of June things will have changed. The sun will go down at about 22.30 and will come back up at about 03.30, meaning a long, long day and an almost non-existent night as at this time it is never really dark, only dusky for a while.

I find this quite difficult at times. At the moment I'm comfortable living in a predominantly dark environment. Come the spring and it starts to change, becoming very much the opposite and for a while it's hard work coping with the change but I will get into it – and soon after it will start to go the other way again and it's time to settle into that yet again.

Some things never change and yet, they change so much. From winter to summer, the time that the sun goes down changes by approximately seven and a half hours and the change in the morning is similar.

I wonder why I can't sleep sensibly?

Thursday, 6 December 2012

I had plans

Today, my perhaps shrunken mind was full. It was full of plans to go rushing out and grab some beautiful snapshots of the freshly laid snow and the sun bouncing off it, making the whole place really bright and beautiful.

Linlithgow Castle
Aye, that will be right. It's rained off and on all day and the sun has been hiding behind the clouds the whole time. Pity that I didn't put a little more effort into it yesterday when it was just as I needed for spot-on photo's all day but I was too bloody lazy to go out and get them.

The picture was taken a couple of years ago. It's Linlithgow Castle, down in central Scotland. It's the snowiest that I've got to show at the moment.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Brilliant weather

I love the snow. I know that, at my age, I really should have grown up and got over it now but it's been snowing off and on for a couple of days now and it's brilliant.

I just hope that it lasts like this for a good few months :))

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

I missed it!!!

I missed the lunar eclipse today. It was only half my fault though. I forgot when to look for it but it was all cloudy anyway so it was hardly visible.

I checked up for the next one to miss, either by forgetting to look in my diary or by bad weather making it impossible to see here in Shetland. April the twenty-fifth next year there will be a partial eclipse and October the eighteenth will be a penumbral one meaning that the sun is on one side of the earth and the moon is at the opposite side of planet earth.

Keep your eyes open on the twenty-eighth of September, 2015 as there will be a total lunar eclipse which will let all the bad luck fall upon us - if you believe in that sort of thing.

I believe in it but I call it marriage :))

Oh, I nearly forgot to say that there will be a total eclipse of the sun on the twentieth of March, 2015. Remember to get some new batteries for your torch!!!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Serco Northlink Ferries

At last, at long, long last it has been announced that people travelling on Serco Northlink Ferries between Shetland, Orkney and Aberdeen in Scotland, no longer need to provide photographic ID to allow them to get on board the ferry that they have bought the ticket for.

It was farcical in the first place. You don't need ID to get a taxi and you don't need ID to get on the bus (just yet) so what justified the demand for ID to get on a ferry that never leaves the country that we live in, in the first place? Sorry, I cannot work out what goes behind it - other than the stupidity and big-headedness that goes with the company running the ferries, of course!!!

In a couple of days I hope to be on the bus into Lerwick, the only real town in Shetland. If they demand any ID other than my bus pass then I'll let you know.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Shetland's shortening day

Today the sun came up at 8.27 and went down again at 3.15. That cannot be called a long day, now can it.

A good day but a short one.
In just over a week the sun comes up at 8.50 in the morning and goes down again at 3.00 in the afternoon. That's about six hours of sunlight - how much shorter can the day get? Will it be worth getting out of bed in the morning? Will I still be snoring in the afternoon? Who can tell and who cares :))

Friday, 16 November 2012

The days are getting shorter

The days are really getting shorter now as the sun comes up at around ten past eight in the morning, stays up and visible for less than seven and a half hours and goes down again a minute before three thirty in the middle of the afternoon.

Certainly not a long day now but don't worry, it will get shorter yet. Sunrise and sunset at the moment are beautiful and happen at just the right time to enjoy!!!

That's Shetland for us, eh :))

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Internet problems in Google Chrome

Anyone having trouble with MyStart by Incredibar and would like some help getting rid of the problem?

In the top right of google chrome there is “Customise and control Google Chrome” Click on it then click on Settings/ Manage settings where you’ll find a list of search engines. Right down at the bottom (You may have to screen down) you’ll find Incredibar. Delete, run spyware, have a coffee and smile!!!

This won't keep the problem away for ever, it'll reappear regularly but it gives you a solution that works until you pick it up again.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

My girlfriend and I

We're all home in Shetland now, my girlfriend and I, and of course the wee cat. In all honesty, not so long ago he was a kitten but he's settled quickly and yesterday he made his first visit into the back garden. The window was left open for him, he took a quick sniff of the air and jumped out. Now he jumps in and out all the time.

The sun is out today and the wind is non-existent which is good for people to move into but it won't be long until both Kate and the cat are both aware just what the weather can be like on the Atlantic coast - and let's be honest - it's only three or four miles away from the North Sea. No protection to be had here at all.

It's going to be a good life for us here in Northmavine at the northern end of Mainland, here in Shetland. It's a good place to live if you appreciate a quiet life, surrounded by lots of natural life, both on the land and in the sea. It's amazing how many seals, dolphins and whales that you see in the water.

Must admit, I've never caught a kipper yet though :))

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham

Strangely enough for someone that lives in Shetland, at the moment I'm sitting in Nottingham where my girlfriend lives. It wasn't a long trip down. A night on the boat down to Aberdeen and then the train to finish off the journey and I'm so glad that I made the trip. Anywhere, or everywhere, is the right place to be with the girl that you love.

Nottingham has turned out to be a lovely place. Lots of trees all around, which is a novelty to me because you don't see them up in Shetland as many years ago neolithic cut them all down and used them for fires and to build houses or whatever.

Haven't seen anything of old Robin Hood yet. Haven't spotted the Sheriff either. Perhaps it's because I've behaved myself or the Merry Men are out fighting.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Thanks to all the nurse's

Please, show the nurses some love, some care and some consideration. I've just spent a fortnight in the  Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in Aberdeen in Scotland and I have been superbly looked after. If they wern't there then it would have been entirely different. Please give the doctors a pat on the back too.

If they didn't do their jobs, where would you and I be now?

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Strawberry, garlic and mint.

I always like to use my garden to provide some of my favourites but up here in Shetland I'm never sure of what will actually grow but I'm about to find out.

I've just ordered seeds to start me off (hopefully) with mint, garlic and something that I really am looking forward to growing, strawberry.

I think that I've ordered enough of all but we'll have to wait and see there. If I haven't then I'll just have to order more. I know that mint was successful here in Shetland because my grandfather on my mothers side grew it very successfully but I know nothing of the other two, other than the fact that I love them.

All of it should arrive within a week to ten days and I think that I'll get it all planted immediately. It won't produce this year but next year, hopefully, it will sprout away and offer me something to enjoy.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Happy again

The weather hasn't been too good since I got home but today it has changed. There is no wind blowing this morning and there's only very light cloud overhead.

Yet again it gives me the chance to potter about in the garden, feed the birds and keep myself happy. It's amazing just what you do to entertain yourself, isn't it.

Right, better get down to it before I'm too old or lazy or the winter sets in or something. Not that he'll give me any help, jumping around in the water like that.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Back home in Shetland

Sorry that I’ve not been around for a while but I’ve been in hospital in Aberdeen for a fortnight, dealing with skin problems that are not solved but hey, that’s life.

I’m back home now, thank goodness, and feeling good about it too. The weather is a bit fresh but better than that of a ward, eugggggh!!!!!

Now I have all the time that I need to look after my trees, the willows and black hawthorns that I grow.

Perhaps I’ll start some more, maybe something that produces some fruit. That’s difficult up here in Shetland because of the wind and the salt that we suffer but if I make the effort, I just might get a result. I will need to grow a bit around the garden as protection and then , inside of that I can put some apple, or possibly some pear, we’ll see what happens.

All these dreams, grown at ward 29 in the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and they may well turn into reality in the not too distant future.

Fingers crossed, if I try any of it, it will produce something, fruit maybe!!!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

In hospital for perhaps two weeks

What do you do when you are stuck in hospital for perhaps two weeks and there is no, wait for it, internet connection available.

Personally, I am lucky in many ways as I have my eReader with me which means that I have all my eBooks with me too. I also have blogs etc on board it, which, surprisingly, update as and when there is an update available. That’s great but it would also be good to have internet access with your laptop as well, so that you could remain in contact with your friends, or if an idea came into your head you could follow it through on the internet, at no cost to the NHS, or yourself,  whatsoever. If you were able to remain in work while in hospital then there would be no time off sick and therefore no loss of earnings.

Here in the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, in sunny northern Scotland, we are told that things are on the change. Supposedly, in December of this year, there will be internet access across the board for firstly the staff working here and  secondly, the patients who can remain here for large periods of time with nothing but the copy of the Scotsman that they arrived with and a magazine about fishing that they used to get every month.
I live about three hundred miles north in the Shetland Islands, which is an absolutely gorgeous place to live, but it is very small so there is no more than purely basic medical services available. This means that you go down to the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for attention to your problem when necessary and that is where I am at present.

I must admit that I’m wallowing in the care being taken but miss access to the internet terribly. As I said earlier, this will change, hopefully in December when Internet access is provided across the hospital for all and sundry to enjoy.

The staff all care very well for me but the internet will make the difference.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Peace in the water

It's almost warm, not quite but almost and it's still, no wind at all. Looking at the Atlantic it's like a polished mirror today, no movement to take the reflection away from the water.

A seal sitting on the sand across from me, watching. Is it because it is looking out for itself naturally or is it hoping that I have something for it to eat, a bit of fish perhaps. It's probably hoping, I think.

So much serenity today, so much peace. No disturbance, no trouble, just the seal sitting.

Peace all around, I hope that it lasts. 

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Do you believe in God?

If you do, can I ask you a question, a plain, simple question?

Why, what reason do you have to believe in what the church (of whatever type) either sells you or tells you?

 Perhaps you believe in what your parents told you, but did they give any reason or did they just tell you that there was a God and that was why you had to say your prayers every night and have faith and go to church on a Sunday?

 I always preferred to use my own mind, to question what I was told and to ask for proof. And the result? From a very young age I have known, in my heart, that there is no God because there is no proof, there is no showing, no indication. Nothing more than a row of different churches, praying loudly.

 What about you, what do you think?

Thursday, 12 July 2012

One of the differences between Northmavine and the south end of the mainland of Shetland.

I have now lived here in Shetland for just over twelve and a bit years, starting down at the south end in Scatness, where my mother had lived very happily for about twenty-five years and winding up here in Hillswick, in Northmavine, approximately seventy miles north of my starting point.

Hillswick and Scatness are very different places. For a start, Scatness is very close to Sumburgh Airport so there are a much greater amount of buses going up and down to Lerwick which is a great benefit to the people living there. It’s not the same in Hillswick, where there is a bus down to Lerwick at 7.30am and 10.00am and one home at 5.10pm. There is also a shoppers bus, leaving Lerwick at 3.10 for Hillswick and the surrounding areas every second Tuesday and on a Sunday there is nothing, time to get a taxi – if you can.

Very different to the south end where the buses operate seven days a week. I’m tempted to think that some of us here in Northmavine should benefit from the same service because we might need to get to the airport on a Sunday, or perhaps to Lerwick on our day off to go to the museum or the swimming pool for a little relaxation in the same way that the people in the south end can do, without any problem, seven days a week.

 It does surprise me that nothing has been done about this. Why not? Why has no-one shouted and cried about the non-existent Sunday service, or the fact that there is no 10.00am service on a Wednesday?

Why is it impossible for us here in Northmavine to enjoy a couple of pints with our family and friends in Lerwick on a Friday or Saturday evening and then get a bus home?

We don’t get the same service that the south end get, do we. I don’t know why but it isn’t fair, is it???

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Radio, radio

The part of Shetland that I live in, Hillswick in Northmavine, is a really beautiful place but it does have one problem. The electricity supply can be a bit dodgy as I found out at Christmas last year. The power went off at quarter to three in the afternoon on Christmas day and came back on twenty-six hours later. No lights, no computer, no radio, nothing. I've just ordered a radio that I can wind up and also runs on solar power. Hopefully, the winter coming will have a better power supply but at least, if there are any breaks, I can wind up the radio. The good thing is, you can use it at the beach or in the bath too. Good, eh!!!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Neolithic Shetland

Shetland, many thousands of years ago, was covered in trees until neolithic man arrived. He cut them all down and used them to build houses or bows and arrows or fires to cook food but whatever he used them for, he used them all and that is why Shetland now is covered in peat.

Because of this, I believe that some trees should be grown back. It cuts back the wind, therefore protecting the stock of sheep and allows some crop to be grown which allows the generation of natural earth. This sends the land, in quality, back thousands of years, which has to be good.

So I do my little bit in my back garden. I grow a couple of very young willows which, in a couple of years I will be able to take a couple of cuts off of which I will start and that will mean there are four. I also have a black hawthorn which I am looking forward to doing the same with.

It's a great pity that more people don't make the effort to return Shetland back to what it originally was but some do and one day, in more than just a few years, it may just happen.

Monday, 25 June 2012


I woke at 3.45 this morning and the curtains above my bed were light. Now that's early, in Shetland, in style!!!

ShetlandSun weather and sunrise/sunset

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Tomorrow is Monday

It’s the middle of the day now. It’s been like this since kick-off this morning, bland, no wind either. The sun can’t see through the light cloud so it’s even more boring outside than in.

I think that I’ll probably remain here, sat on my backside all afternoon, getting up for the odd cup of coffee in case I die of thirst.

I suppose that Shetland is just like the rest of the world when you see it this way. Of course, it might well brighten up tomorrow. There’ll be a bit of a breeze, the sun will be beating down, prices will have trebled and your computer will be knackered.

Just the day to go out and cut the - apart from the fact that you lent the lawnmower to your neighbour a fortnight ago, a week before he moved house, taking your lawnmower with him.

Oh well, tomorrow is Monday, just perfect to break your heart on the gaffers shoulder. That is, if he doesn’t burst into tears first because the wife left him on Saturday. Nothing to do with the wife leaving but she took the car with her.

Oh no. Here comes the neighbour with the lawnmower :(

Friday, 15 June 2012

Feeding the birds

The bird-feeder was empty so, obviously, the birds weren’t spending too much time in my back garden. I can’t say that I blame them for that but I do like to see them so I decided to deal with the problem.

I went into the shed and there it was, the food for all the birds. I decided to take it round to the back garden and fill the feeder there so around to it I went with the feed.

When I got there I laid the big bag of bird-food down and turned around to get the feeder to fill it up.

 Guess what happened when my back was turned?

Yes, you’re right, the big bag fell over and the feed inside poured out, lots and lots of it, bird feed so not that easy to get back into the bag, especially when the grass hasn’t been cut for a while.

I did my best though and filled the feeder too. After all, that was the job that I was there for.

But the amount of food for the birds that has been left on the lawn is working well, the birds love it.

They go nowhere near where I intended though:))

Saturday, 9 June 2012

The Olympic Wanderers

Looking out of the window here, I think that I have to accept that I was wrong. I think that the weather is going to allow the Olympic Wanderers to make it to Shetland by plane after all because it's only a breeze outside just now.

It may not last, of course, but you have to look on the good side, regardless of what you know fine well will be happening. As long as it happens to them and not to the locals, I suppose that it will be alright though.

Very much doubt it will happen to them though. Oh no, they'll run too fast and call it training for the Olympics.

But both you and I would know better, eh ;))

Friday, 8 June 2012

Those woolly young girls

I was just thinking to myself, maybe I should be getting myself a bit fitter so that I can con my way by as an Olympic whatsit. Then I could chat up one or two of these woolly young girls and have a good time to remember.

But then I thought to myself, "No, that would be a right waste of time. There's a field full of sheep just outside the house!!!"

That could have been a lot of work just wasted. Think that I'll cut the grass and ask them if they would like to go out for a meal tonight.

Will I get lucky?

I'll keep you posted!!!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Olympic torch vs The Shetland prostitute

Believe it or not, I’ve just found out that the Olympic Torch is here in Shetland on Sunday. I don’t know how it’s getting here, it’ll be either by airoplane or, if the weather is poorly, it’ll come by rowing boat. The last stage will be from the Fair Isle so it’s not too much of a paddle if the wind is in the right direction. If they get here in time then the fun can start immediately and there’s plenty of it to be had, or so I understand.

No doubt there will be at least a couple of flocks there and ready for action but I don’t think that there will be anywhere as many as that on a rowing boat so there will certainly be more than enough to go around.

I’ve just had a last thought. By the time they jump back into the boat to paddle off to their next destination they’ll be well knackered!!!

I hope it's a nice, warm, sunny day and that everyone enjoys themselves and that the sheep have been shorn recently.

Prostitutes passing through Shetland for the Olympics

I’ve just been reading an article on the BBC showing concern about the Olympics and prostitution, namely, will London 2012 up the number of prostitutes that are active in London at the time. I immediately thought to myself “What about here in Shetland, they could well sneak into the country on fishing boats. They may well swim ashore outside my house and knock on my door, asking if they could wash their clothes and you know how they would look to pay for the favour!!!”

Obviously, I’ll have to take care. Possibly keep the curtains closed so that they think that I’m in bed, asleep. Then again, they might think that I’m in bed, working. Awe Jings, I can’t have them thinking that, now can I?!?

Then, of course, I could pretend to be the gardener but they might land in the middle of the night. I’d have to tell them that I was after the overtime but then they’ed think that I could afford them, so that’s not a good idea, either.
Perhaps I should paint the window glass but then, oh goodness, then they’ll just break in and it’ll be me that has to phone the council and try to explain why my “female friends” have broken the glass.

I’ll have to think of a reason to give them about why I painted the glass because them being what they are will think that it was so that I could do as I liked without them or the neighbours being able to take snap-shots in the windows. No, they’d think that I’d take the photo’s myself and charge a good price for them.

Oh no, this is getting worse. I think that I’ll have a strong cup of tea. That's maybe their mother and their aunt in the photo.

Friday, 1 June 2012

To B.T or not to B.T, yet again

I got up at around half past seven this morning, a pretty normal time of day to get out of bed, (The only normal thing you ever do, I hear you say!!!) and, as usual, switched on the computer first. Then I went and made coffee, took tablets and all the rest before sitting down at the computer.

When I sat there, what a surprise, there was no access to the internet. There was nothing wrong with the system, I just couldn’t connect although BT charge me, like they do you, for 24/7 connectability.

What I found this morning is nothing new, it happens so regularly that I think that in future I’ll order the newspaper. Not quite as up-to-date but more chance of getting it.

The question has to be, why, oh why, up here in such a beautiful place as Shetland does BT get away with charging us the same price for a system that doesn’t work, as it does the rest of the country for a system that does work.

If you, Mr B. Telecom, have an answer to that, then I would be delighted to hear about it.

On the other hand, if you don’t have an answer, I’ve already heard the bullshit.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

More hospital app's

Sorry I wasn't around yesterday ,folks. I had a hospital appointment and that, in effect, costs me the day. It means that I leave home just before ten in the morning to catch the bus into Lerwick, getting there just after eleven.

I do whatever I can justify (which usually takes about two minutes) and then, if I've got the day right, I'll get the three o'clock bus, getting home for perhaps half past four, but this bus only runs once a fortnight. Otherwise, it's a twenty to four kick-off, three buses and home for about five o'clock.

Regardless, it takes me ages and as I'm an alcoholic, hanging around in the town which is full of pubs, life is difficult. There is a link relating to that subject, somewhere on the blog, if you are interested.

But I'm home for a while now, a week off the top of my head, so it's possible that I'll have some some sense to write, fingers crossed ;))

Go on, have a look

Monday, 28 May 2012

I don't like Monday's

I don't like Monday's, not at all. When I think about it, I'm probably not the only one either. Compare today with the weekend when the sun was beaming down, there was no wind and it was lovely and warm.

Today it's comparatively cold, it's windy and the sun is in hiding. Not the same sort of weather at all. I did have thoughts regarding the garden but I must be honest when I say that those thoughts have dribbled away now. Oh dear, what a shame.

Must be honest again when I say that today I plan today to do bugger all.

There's always tomorrow :))

Friday, 25 May 2012

Yesterdays walk

Yesterday, it was warm and calm in Lerwick, the capital of Shetland. It wasn’t sunny but you can’t have everything, can you.

I had some business to attend to, and once that was done there was about four hours to waste so I thought and thought and thought about it. Most of the thoughts revolved around the pub but I held tight and stayed away. In doing so, not only did I save money but I stayed sober too.

I took a walk down to the museum and looked around the docks that they control. In the first area there was one boat in particular that broke my heart. It has obviously done a lot of work in its life and is now tied up in the dock, enjoying retirement.

            I walked along and there were some fishing boats from the 19th century, known as sixereens, pulled out of the water and obviously done up and painted. It must have been very hard work to use that sort of boat to go fishing in. There again, at that time it was the best that they had.

I'm very glad that it wasn't my job :))

Thursday, 24 May 2012

I don't usually keep my mouth shut

Jings, I've kept my mouth shut for a couple of days. Sorry folks, but I'm still talking to you when the epilepsy leaves me alone.

I'm going into the big toon today and will have the camera at the ready. Of course, there may well be nothing of any interest, in which there will be no pictures to inflict upon you.

We'll see ;))

Monday, 21 May 2012

Now, that's a morning well spent

I've been beside the Atlantic all morning and it's been a morning well spent indeed. The sun has beamed down the whole time which helps my skin, no ointment at this rate. It's amazing the good a bit of sun does for you.

I was just thinking that some time spent on the shore with a fishing rod would be good. A bit of fresh ocean air, perhaps a suntan and with any luck it'll be fish for lunch too. These ideas are making me pretty hungry!!!

Better get the rod out ;))

What a morning

I was up at three-thirty this morning and it was bright for that time of day. By half past four the sun had been up for twenty minutes and it was beautiful, blue sky and the sun beaming down.

Now it's quarter to six, I'll grab a quick breakfast and top up my tan I think. When you get weather like this you have to take advantage of it up here in Shetland, know what I mean :))

Friday, 18 May 2012

Looking out the window

I was looking out of the window to see what I needed to wear when I went down to the shop for my coffee and it was beautiful. Blue sky and the sun beaming down with just a light breeze so just a sweat-shirt to get me along to the shop and back.

I strode out of the front door, thinking about thing like suntan lotion for perhaps the first twenty-five yards and then I broke into a jog because sunshine or not, it was bloody cold, averaging four or five degrees.

I bought the coffee, told everyone in sight that I was a fitness freak and ran home before I froze to death.

This changes my plans to move the pansy's and the black viola's outside at this point in time. Possibly in a week or two it will have warmed up a little and the plants will hopefully survive.

Not at the moment though, regardless of sunlight :(

Just to get some odds and ends

As usual, it's all my fault. I went down to the local shop yesterday, just to get some odds and ends - and I came  home without coffee. No coffee, will I survive, will I chew my right hand off???

It is a really beautiful day today so I'm going to nip down and get the coffee and enjoy the trip as I go - and when I get back I'll make a really strong cuppa to stop the shakes :))

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Damn, I missed it

Damn, I missed it. Two robins, fighting to get at their favourite perch on the feeder. I rushed for my mobile with the camera on it and when I got back there was one in place, smiling, and the other was sitting on the fence, waiting.

It makes me think when I see thing like that. It makes me think just how like them we are, fighting and shouting for whatever we want, not afraid to put our demands on the table or stand there and shout and bawl about it.

The only difference is, we can't fly.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

I'm having another breakdown

Awe jings, it's half past nine in the morning and I'm having a breakdown. Can I take it? Will I last until tea-time? We'll wait and see!!!

I suffer from hay-fever and part of that is house dust, carpet bugs and bed bugs and a bloke living on his own is a bit of a disaster and I admit it - I am that man!!! So today I am dealing with the problem. I'm washing the bedding, vacuuming the carpets, the sofa, seats, chairs, stairs and the bed. If it stay still, I'll vacuum it. If it doesn't stay still then I'll chase it and then vacuum it.

I don't want to do any sneezing tonight - or wheezing or scratching for that matter ;))

I've done the hall and the living room, even the kitchen and when I finish my cuppa I'm heading up the stairs to vacuum the bedroom carpet, the matress and the pillows - and I will stand proud.

I will stand proud and tell everyone - everyone - that I have spent the morning reading the news and drinking tea :))

Monday, 14 May 2012

The sun and the rain and the wind

What has happened to Hillswick, here in Shetland. It's supposed to be the end of spring with summer starting next month and.......

And the wind is gusting 30 to 40mph and because of that it makes the cool weather feel bloody cold. The clouds are light but where is that sun, it's not been seen yet today and surprise, surprise - it's just started pouring with rain again. By the time the summer weather starts, Santa Claus will be getting stuck in my chimney.

Maybe it's just a bad start to the year. Maybe the second half will be all sweetness and light, the sun will come out and not be troubled for three months and we'll spend a fortune on suntan lotion.

Aye, maybe ;))

Or maybe it'll just settle a little bit, maybe the wind will slow down and if it does that then it won't feel so cold. Here in Shetland it might even feel warm - if the wind slows down a bit.

As I see it, it's just one of those years, all a bit pear-shaped regardless of what you try for, what you want and what you hope for.

I'm just glad that I've got a clothes drier because outside, all it would get is a rinse :))

Saturday, 12 May 2012


Snowballs available from the top of Ronas Hill. £1.00 a shot + postage!!!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Weather ain't what it used to be

Not only is it blowing a gale but it's snowing as well - and it's ten days until summer starts but don't be silly and put your thermals away until next winter. The way that it's going, winter will go through spring, summer and autumn, meeting itself at the end of the year so be careful ;))

I have some black viola's to put out in the garden but the later that I do it this year, the better I think. They are coming on really well, as are the pansy's, but the closest they are getting just now is the front window.

So watch out everyone, weather ain't what it used to be :))

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The day has been saved

The day has been saved after all!!! I arrived in Lerwick and did what I had to do, jumped on the bus to Brae and got a lift home from there, brilliant. It's amazing how generous people can be ;))

Now that I'm home, I'll probably spend most of the day watching the birds feeding themselves. They still don't eat summer food as quickly as winter food. The winter food must have been smaller and therefore easier to get at. Doesn't matter though, they persevere and they win in the end.

Broken day

It's going to be a rather broken day today, I'm afraid. I have to pop into town, Lerwick, here in Shetland, to deliver a letter and unfortunately that will cost me the day. There is a bus into town that leaves here at 10.00am and there is a bus that will get me home for 17.00 and that is the best on offer on a Thursday.

I'm hoping that I can make use of my time in town. As it is a good morning here, hopefully it will be at least the same when I get there. If it is, then once business is dealt with, I fancy a wander down to the harbour and a good look around to see which boats are in. There may be none, they might well be out fishing but I'll find out when I'm there.

I hope that the sun stays out too.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

That was productive

I'm so glad that the sun came out. It encouraged me to go out and do some work and it was pretty productive. All I really did was get the strimmer out and tidy the grass around the edges, beside the fencing, the bits that are difficult with a lawn-mower.

It made a big difference. The whole place looks a lot tidier now so I'm glad that I went out and did it. There is still a whole lot more to do but there is rain on the way so that's me back in, drinking coffee.

I've used that excuse a few times before :))

What a change

It's stopped raining, the sky has cleared and the sun is beaming at the moment so I'm going to nip out and see if I can do any work in the garden this afternoon.

It has been a few days since I've been out there and it certainly makes a difference (and it's not a good one) over such a short time.

Right, must run before things change again ;))

A horrible today

I'm going to stay inside today, I'm not going outside. Since I got out of bed and looked out of the window, it's been raining continually. One other thing that I'm not going to do today is water the wee trees. They've possibly been drowned already this morning.

Just as well the computer is in front of me, it helps to keep me in touch with my reality - no-one elses, I must admit but my reality will keep me out of trouble and on track for a wee while.

It's great, it's the laptop, which means that I can do away and if I have to stop and think, I can peek out of the window and watch my friends with wings flying here and there, stopping when they are peckish to have a wee bite to eat out of the feeder.

Right, nuff said, it's time for a good strong cuppa :))

Oh, I forgot - it's @GeorgeHears if you're interested!!!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Aw jings

Aw jings, I've got to go to the Citizens Advice Bureau today to scrounge some advive. I may be back!!!

Monday, 7 May 2012

We are into the second half of spring

Some year this is turning out to be. We are well into May, we are into the second half of spring and when I got up this morning it looked like there was potential.

The sun was creeping out from behind the clouds so I got all the rubbish ready to be picked up and took it out for collection. When I went out it was perfect, no wind at all, so still that you couldn’t believe it, beautiful. I’m back inside and it is lashing down with hailstones.

What is going on here? There is still no wind, you can see that from the way that the hail falls – straight down, no angle to it at all. I’m wondering how long it will last, will it continue and turn life into winter again or will it resort into rain and wash all the hail and icing away – or, with a little hope, will the sun come out and put a smile to life in the second half of spring, to our journey into summer.

I have a couple of flowers that are just about ready for planting out, black viola’s and pansy’s. If it stays like this it will be a bit too cold for them.

But the second half of spring, with the sun putting just a wee bit of warmth around them, now that would be perfect.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Ronas Hill and the Voe

All day the weather has been changing, one minute it has been beautiful sunshine and the next the snow has been pouring down. Luckily, it has refused to lie and has blown away instead, unless of course you lived at the top of Ronas Hill, the highest point here in Shetland at 455m.

I'm standing just outside my house and I took the photo because the snow was still up there on the top of the hill. No doubt it will be gone in a few minutes, along with the sunshine.

It always surprises me to think that in between me and the hill there is the voe. It's about three or four miles away from me so it isn't that far away but the beauty in it is immense.

Just think, at the end of the voe lies the Atlantic Ocean, just waiting to take you to America or Canada, or Iceland if you fancy it.

The robins fly past

Just leaving spring and coming into summer. Consider what a year this is - the start of summer, very often a blue sky and the sun beaming down on us - and then the clouds head in on the wind and the snow arrives ahead. Not what you would expect at this time of year, certainly not what I expect but it's been going on for a day or two now and I'm asking myself how much longer this will go on. Will we actually see summer or will the weather skip by, passing autumn as well and bring in winter before we can blink.

Last year I planted Scots Pine and it was a lovely year but despite all the care and attention they passed away, every single one of them. The Austrian Pine are in this year and really looking good - will they make it, will they survive, will the year-long snow be more natural for them? Hopefully, I'll get the right answer.

And the food for the birds, a small mistake there I here you say. Well, I think that you're right. The sparrows continue to pick at it but that is all they are doing I'm afraid, they pick at it, they play with it and they get bored or hungry and then move on. The robins fly past now, on their way to wherever is more interesting. I'll think about this and do what I can for them.

Perhaps they will stop in passing.

Perhaps Shetland will warm up a little ;))

Friday, 4 May 2012

The birds have disappeared

I can't believe it. When I wrote earlier we had green grass up here - we don't any more. Winter has returned with a vengance and the snow is pouring down, all lovely and clean.

The birds have disappeared, home to bed I suppose and by the look of the sky, it's going to be a long shower. I bet that it's an early night for me tonight.

Good idea to take a flask of tea with me though :))

Summer snow!!!

It's the middle of May and summer has been cancelled. It snowed last night and it snowed again this morning. Not only that but my poor wee birdies are probably frozen but they're still smiling, cheery little chaps that they are ;))

I'll have to check out the feed that I put out for them, though. Not so sure that summer feed is really that appropriate for them in this somewhat wintery weather. They are certainly not eating it quite as quickly as the robins eat the winter feed that I put out first.

It might warm them up a wee bit if the sun comes out though.

Fingers crossed :))

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


I'm utterly heartbroken. Utterly, utterly, utterly heartbroken. I was sitting in the living-room, watching two really beautiful robins having lunch on the lawn when suddenly they jumped into the next-door neighbours garden without even saying thank you. Can you believe it?

Well, boo to them. The sun has come out at last so I think that it's time for a can of coke, enjoyed in the sun outside - and they'll have to chase the sparrows before they get any of the grub that's there for them ;))

Bad hair day

It's definitely a bad hair day today.

Woke up at a decent time this morning, seven o'clock or so. Straight down the stairs to get the kettle on - after all, one does what one has to ;)) Computer on immediately and half an hour spent waking up.

Then, first job - print the address on an envelope. It's now quarter past eleven and the envelope job is done. That's not bad, three and a quarter hours to address an envelope.

I do have a form to deal with - thank goodness I can use a pen on this one, safer that way I think.

After that has been done I think that I'll go into the garden and deal with my birds.

Quite amazing how many birds are hanging around a fifty year old guy. Must be the way that I get my hair cut, or not cut, as the case may be :))

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Sheep in the back

A couple of sheep in the back of the van. Just lost the name of the person to name so if you spot your photo then please let me know!!!

He's up on top, protecting his food

When I got home tonight I went out and watered the new trees and spotted him on top of the post that holds the bird feeder. He was there for one reason only - to make sure that no other bird could move in and grab the grub. He surprised me by staying on top of his post as I watered the tree that was growing just beside him.

These wee sparrows can be brave little buggers. It's either that or he's just getting used to being around me. They do get to like the folk that feed them.

The sparrows have taken over the world

On Saturday my world was getting on normally and the birds were getting used to me slowly. Now that I'm back, things have changed.

The sparrows seem to have taken over the bird feeder. They are around all the time at the moment so they must be enjoying the food that is out for them. The robins do occasionally stop as they pass by but now they are only visitors, my back garden is a real sparrow house now.

Will it last, who will take over next  - we'll wait and see :))

Saturday, 28 April 2012

The birds are alright

Well, the birds are alright now but what about the trees? I'll have to do a bit more looking after them, just so that they get used to my garden.

I planted three willows along with the rest of them last year and they are still with us but only one of them is the same height, the other two are now shorter which is a real heartbreaker.

Right up at the top of the two, they were dying and had to be cut and they ended up to be half the height. I'm very worried about the remaining tall one, mainly because of what happened to the other two, I think.

I'm going out now to look after them as best I can, them and the other two as well, the Austrian Pines and the black hawthorns.

Any disasters and I'll let you know immediately.

Fingers crossed, eh ;)) 

Friday, 27 April 2012

Whew, they're not put out

Whew, they're not not put off or out at all. Three or four of them have just been back for a quick bite. They came in fast, had a bite or two and left. I thought to myself, "That wasn't much!!!" but a few seconds later and they were back again.

I've been trying to get a picture or two of them but today they same to be quite shy. Perhaps they didn't have the time to do their hair just right this morning ;))

As soon as I get a good picture of them for you, I'll put it up, ok :))

I'm delighted

Oh magic, I'm absolutely delighted. I had run out of bird food so my wee flying friends stopped coming around to say "Hello, have you filled our feeder yet?" but today a big bag of it arrived. I promptly filled the feeder!!!

It has been about ten minutes since it was filled and the robins are so chuffed. There are a couple of sparrows, well, I've just looked out again and they are not so keen.

This is summer feed and it has been winter feed that I've been putting out for the last six weeks or so. This time of year I expected them to change their choice as the flowers and plants started to show their faces. They have been in and had a poke around and then buzzed off.

Perhaps they had found some earlier and had eaten then came around just to see what was on offer today.

Fingers crossed, eh ;))

Thursday, 26 April 2012

A month or two ago

A month or two ago, I was asked for a wee snapshot of  one or two of the trees that I have growing in my back garden and believe it or not, I've finally gotten round to doing the job.

Firstly, I took a shot of one of this years trees, an Austrian Pine, tiny but beautiful. There are a good few more but this one will be shown again and again.

Then I took a shot of one of last years Scots Pines, the remaining one, unfortunately.

Unfortunately, I left the picture on the table, went in to make myself a cup of coffee and, would you believe it, it blew off the table as the bin man passed by and all that I was quick enough to do was get a quick snap of the truck it took to carry it up the road.

Just as well that I was out as fast as I was or you would have thought that I had ballsed it right up, eh ;))

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Early Gardening

I've just been around the garden and the willows actually have a chance. I pruned them back a bit because the very top of both was a bit iffy but we'll see.

Both of the black hawthorns are a surprise, a real surprise. One of then was just a stick and the other was a dead stick but in a week they've made a good difference and are coming on a treat. I don't know if it's the temperature or the sunlight but they're doing well.

The Austrian Pine are a mess, they are a disaster.The black viola's are going to take over if the pansy's, which are doing quite well, don't beat the pines first. The dead Scot's Pine is doing better than the Austrian ones. There are a couple that might live to tell the tale but.......

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

A tiny wee black viola

At last. At long, long last a tiny wee black viola has shown its head. I'm sure that you know what it's like. You spend a fortnight getting half a dozen wee pots ready, you plant the seeds, go to bed and when you get up in the morning and nothing has shown -  bang, immediately you get paranoid.

But today I can proudly announce that after about a couple of weeks, one has, at last but looking cheerie, shown its head. My hope is rising. Now I'll have to have a look around the rest of the pots because there are a few more to be checked and the heart is beating ;))

Now I won't settle again for ages, waiting, hoping for a few more to show their gorgeous wee green heads. And it won't be long until they get re-potted into into something a little larger.

And when September, or possibly October comes along they'll be planted outside where they will sleep over the winter and spring will eventually arrive and they'll burst into flower :))

Hopefully ;)

Monday, 23 April 2012

It's been confirmed

Jings, it has been confirmed. I am I am inherently stupid. I wanted a greenhouse but because of the weather up here in Shetland, you need to be quite careful.

I spotted a tiny one that I could fix to the house wall at a good price and that really took me so I promptly ordered - a spare cover for it. It was delivered today. Jings, crivens, I can be useless without trying.

The wee greenhouse will hopefully get here before winter. :(

And if it does, then I will promptly put a smile on my face, put the greenhouse up and hopefully get some plants to grow.

And keep me happy ;))

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Today, I've been wandering

Today I've been wandering along the shore and it's mad, completely mad.

I'm only too happy to feed the little buggeres that fly overhead when they come along and a wee snapshot here and there is lovely but who is the worker and just who is the daft bugger that feeds them all, free of charge. I think that there's a problem here.

They are all particularly parasitical. Don't get me wrong, it's lovely to see them but if they vanished we would miss them terribly.

The question has to be - who is the feeder and who is the scrounging, parasitical eater - with a smile on his face, of course 

The sun is out again

The sun is out again and I think that today, if it stays like this that I'll be strolling down the side of the loch. It'll help to top up the suntan and it might help me to get a bit fitter too.

I'll get the chance to watch the sheep and the birds, and if it's really still then the insects will land on the water for a moment and then fly off again and the fish will rise, trying to get them - and they often do too!

The birds are back at at the feeder, think I'll sit and watch them, just for a while ;))

Friday, 20 April 2012

Shetland's beautiful birds

After the last blog I got caught up with thinking about the birds that live here, about the birds that have live here in the past and the birds that will live here in the future. It's amazing, absolutely amazing when you consider that at present there are only three species that have been introduced to the Islands by mankind. The rest got here under their own steam.

There are four hundred and thirty-four different species living here on a tiny wee group of islands, about two hundred and fifty miles north of Scotland. When I found that out I was so surprised. I've known Shetland for forty-eight years and lived here for twelve years and it was so new to me.

So I set out to find out, firstly, what birds are here. I got this list from

Avibase - Bird Checklists of the World

I hope that they don't mind but it is such a massive - and useful list. I hope that you enjoy this.

Country or region: Shetland
Number of species: 434
Number of globally threatened species: 5
Number of introduced species: 3
Date last reviewed: 2009-02-28

Willow Grouse/Red Grouse          Lagopus lagopus
Grey Partridge                             Perdix perdix                 Introduced species
Common Quail                            Coturnix coturnix          Rare/Accidental
Common Pheasant                      Phasianus colchicus        Introduced species

Bean Goose                                Anser fabalis                   Rare/Accidental
Pink-footed Goose                     Anser brachyrhynchus
Greylag Goose                           Anser anser
Greater White-fronted Goose     Anser albifrons
Bar-headed Goose                    Anser indicus                     Rare/Accidental
Snow Goose                             Anser caerulescens            Rare/Accidental
Canada Goose                          Branta canadensis             Rare/Accidental
Brent Goose/Brant                    Branta bernicla                  Rare/Accidental
Barnacle Goose                        Branta leucopsis
Mute Swan                               Cygnus olor
Tundra Swan                            Cygnus columbianus          Rare/Accidental
Whooper Swan                        Cygnus cygnus
Common Shelduck                   Tadorna tadorna
Wood Duck                            Aix sponsa                           Introduced species
Mandarin Duck                       Aix galericulata                   Rare/Accidental
Gadwall                                  Anas strepera                       Rare/Accidental
Eurasian Wigeon                    Anas penelope
American Wigeon                  Anas americana                     Rare/Accidental
American Black Duck            Anas rubripes                        Rare/Accidental
Mallard                                 Anas platyrhynchos
Blue-winged Teal                  Anas discors                            Rare/Accidental
Northern Shoveler                Anas clypeata
Northern Pintail                    Anas acuta
Garganey                             Anas querquedula                    Rare/Accidental
Baikal Teal                          Anas formosa                           Rare/Accidental                Vulnerable
Common Teal                     Anas crecca
Common Pochard               Aythya ferina
Ring-necked Duck              Aythya collaris                          Rare/Accidental
Tufted Duck                       Aythya fuligula
Greater Scaup                    Aythya marila
Lesser Scaup                     Aythya affinis                             Rare/Accidental
Steller's Eider                     Polysticta stelleri                       Rare/Accidental                 Vulnerable
King Eider                         Somateria spectabilis                 Rare/Accidental
Common Eider                  Somateria mollissima
Harlequin Duck                 Histrionicus histrionicus             Rare/Accidental
Surf Scoter                       Melanitta perspicillata                Rare/Accidental
White-winged Scoter        Melanitta fusca                            Rare/Accidental
Black Scoter                    Melanitta nigra
Long-tailed Duck/OldsquawClangula hyemalis
Common GoldeneyeBucephala clangula
Barrow's GoldeneyeBucephala islandica
SmewMergellus albellusRare/Accidental
Hooded MerganserLophodytes cucullatusRare/Accidental
GoosanderMergus merganser
Red-breasted MerganserMergus serrator
Ruddy DuckOxyura jamaicensisRare/Accidental

Red-throated Diver or LoonGavia stellata
Black-throated Diver/Arctic LoonGavia arcticaRare/Accidental
Common Loon/Great Northern DiverGavia immer
White-billed Diver/Yellow-billed LoonGavia adamsiiRare/Accidental

Black-browed AlbatrossThalassarche melanophrysRare/Accidental
Northern FulmarFulmarus glacialis
Cory's ShearwaterCalonectris diomedeaRare/Accidental
Manx ShearwaterPuffinus puffinus
Sooty ShearwaterPuffinus griseusNear-threatened
Great ShearwaterPuffinus gravisRare/Accidental

Wilson's Storm PetrelOceanites oceanicusRare/Accidental
European Storm PetrelHydrobates pelagicus
Leach's Storm PetrelOceanodroma leucorhoa

Little GrebeTachybaptus ruficollis
Red-necked GrebePodiceps grisegenaRare/Accidental
Great Crested GrebePodiceps cristatusRare/Accidental
Slavonian or Horned GrebePodiceps auritus
Black-necked or Eared GrebePodiceps nigricollisRare/Accidental

Greater FlamingoPhoenicopterus ruberRare/Accidental
Black StorkCiconia nigraRare/Accidental
European White StorkCiconia ciconiaRare/Accidental

Glossy IbisPlegadis falcinellusRare/Accidental
Eurasian SpoonbillPlatalea leucorodiaRare/Accidental

Eurasian BitternBotaurus stellarisRare/Accidental
Little BitternIxobrychus minutusRare/Accidental
Black-crowned Night HeronNycticorax nycticoraxRare/Accidental
Grey HeronArdea cinerea
Purple HeronArdea purpureaRare/Accidental
Great EgretArdea albaRare/Accidental
Little EgretEgretta garzettaRare/Accidental

Northern GannetMorus bassanus
Great CormorantPhalacrocorax carbo
European ShagPhalacrocorax aristotelis

Lesser KestrelFalco naumanniRare/Accidental Vulnerable
Common KestrelFalco tinnunculus
American KestrelFalco sparveriusRare/Accidental
Red-footed FalconFalco vespertinusRare/Accidental Near-threatened
MerlinFalco columbarius
Eurasian HobbyFalco subbuteoRare/Accidental
Saker FalconFalco cherrugRare/Accidental
GyrfalconFalco rusticolusRare/Accidental
Peregrine FalconFalco peregrinus

OspreyPandion haliaetusRare/Accidental
European Honey BuzzardPernis apivorus
Rare/AccidentalRed KiteMilvus milvusRare/Accidental Near-threatened
Black KiteMilvus migransRare/Accidental
White-tailed Sea EagleHaliaeetus albicillaRare/Accidental
Western Marsh HarrierCircus aeruginosusRare/Accidental
Northern Harrier/Hen HarrierCircus cyaneusRare/Accidental
Pallid HarrierCircus macrourusRare/Accidental Near-threatened
Montagu's HarrierCircus pygargusRare/Accidental
Eurasian SparrowhawkAccipiter nisus
Northern GoshawkAccipiter gentilisRare/Accidental
Eurasian BuzzardButeo buteoRare/Accidental
Rough-legged BuzzardButeo lagopusRare/Accidental
Golden EagleAquila chrysaetosRare/Accidental

Great BustardOtis tardaRare/Accidental Vulnerable
Little BustardTetrax tetraxRare/Accidental Near-threatened

Water RailRallus aquaticus
CorncrakeCrex crexRare/Accidental Near-threatened
Little CrakePorzana parvaRare/Accidental
Baillon's CrakePorzana pusillaRare/Accidental
Spotted CrakePorzana porzanaRare/Accidental
Sora RailPorzana carolinaRare/Accidental
Common MoorhenGallinula chloropus
Common CootFulica atra

Sandhill CraneGrus canadensisRare/Accidental
Common CraneGrus grusRare/Accidental

Eurasian Stone CurlewBurhinus oedicnemusRare/Accidental
Snowy SheathbillChionis albus
Eurasian OystercatcherHaematopus ostralegus
Black-winged StiltHimantopus himantopusRare/Accidental
Pied AvocetRecurvirostra avosettaRare/Accidental

Northern LapwingVanellus vanellus
Eurasian Golden PloverPluvialis apricaria
Pacific Golden PloverPluvialis fulvaRare/Accidental
American Golden PloverPluvialis dominicaRare/Accidental
Grey Plover/Black-bellied PloverPluvialis squatarolaRare/Accidental
Common Ringed PloverCharadrius hiaticula
Little Ringed PloverCharadrius dubiusRare/Accidental
KilldeerCharadrius vociferusRare/Accidental
Kentish PloverCharadrius alexandrinusRare/Accidental
Eurasian DotterelCharadrius morinellusRare/Accidental

Eurasian WoodcockScolopax rusticola
Jack SnipeLymnocryptes minimus
Great SnipeGallinago mediaRare/Accidental Near-threatened
Common SnipeGallinago gallinago
Long-billed DowitcherLimnodromus scolopaceusRare/Accidental
Black-tailed GodwitLimosa limosaNear-threatened
Bar-tailed GodwitLimosa lapponica
WhimbrelNumenius phaeopus
Eurasian CurlewNumenius arquataNear-threatened
Upland SandpiperBartramia longicaudaRare/Accidental
Spotted RedshankTringa erythropus
Common RedshankTringa totanus
Marsh SandpiperTringa stagnatilisRare/Accidental
Common GreenshankTringa nebularia
Greater YellowlegsTringa melanoleucaRare/Accidental
Lesser YellowlegsTringa flavipesRare/Accidental
Green SandpiperTringa ochropus
Solitary SandpiperTringa solitariaRare/Accidental
Wood SandpiperTringa glareola
Terek SandpiperXenus cinereusRare/Accidental
Common SandpiperActitis hypoleucos
Spotted SandpiperActitis maculariusRare/Accidental
Ruddy TurnstoneArenaria interpres
Great KnotCalidris tenuirostrisRare/Accidental
Red KnotCalidris canutus
SanderlingCalidris alba
Semipalmated SandpiperCalidris pusillaRare/Accidental
Western SandpiperCalidris mauriRare/Accidental
Red-necked StintCalidris ruficollisRare/Accidental
Little StintCalidris minuta
Temminck's StintCalidris temminckiiRare/Accidental
Least SandpiperCalidris minutillaRare/Accidental
White-rumped SandpiperCalidris fuscicollisRare/Accidental
Baird's SandpiperCalidris bairdiiRare/Accidental
Pectoral SandpiperCalidris melanotosRare/Accidental
Sharp-tailed SandpiperCalidris acuminataRare/Accidental
Curlew SandpiperCalidris ferruginea
Purple SandpiperCalidris maritima
DunlinCalidris alpina
Stilt-SandpiperCalidris himantopusRare/Accidental
Broad-billed SandpiperLimicola falcinellusRare/Accidental
Buff-breasted SandpiperTryngites subruficollisRare/Accidental Near-threatened
RuffPhilomachus pugnax
Wilson's PhalaropePhalaropus tricolorRare/Accidental
Red-necked PhalaropePhalaropus lobatus
Grey Phalarope/Red PhalaropePhalaropus fulicariusRare/Accidental

Collared PratincoleGlareola pratincolaRare/Accidental
Black-winged PratincoleGlareola nordmanniRare/Accidental Near-threatened

Mew GullLarus canus
Ring-billed GullLarus delawarensisRare/Accidental
Great Black-backed GullLarus marinus
Glaucous GullLarus hyperboreus
Iceland GullLarus glaucoides
Herring GullLarus argentatus
Lesser Black-backed GullLarus fuscus
Common Black-headed GullLarus ridibundus
Bonaparte's GullLarus philadelphiaRare/Accidental
Mediterranean GullLarus melanocephalusRare/Accidental
Laughing GullLarus atricillaRare/Accidental
Franklin's GullLarus pipixcanRare/Accidental
Little GullLarus minutusRare/Accidental
Ivory GullPagophila eburneaRare/Accidental Near-threatened
Ross's GullRhodostethia roseaRare/Accidental
Sabine's GullXema sabiniRare/Accidental
Black-legged KittiwakeRissa tridactyla
Gull-billed TernSterna niloticaRare/Accidental
Caspian TernSterna caspiaRare/Accidental
Sandwich TernSterna sandvicensisRare/Accidental
Roseate TernSterna dougalliiRare/Accidental
Common TernSterna hirundo
Arctic TernSterna paradisaea
Little TernSterna albifronsRare/Accidental
White-winged Black TernChlidonias leucopterusRare/Accidental
Black TernChlidonias nigerRare/Accidental

Great SkuaStercorarius skua
Pomarine SkuaStercorarius pomarinusRare/Accidental
Parasitic Jaeger/Arctic SkuaStercorarius parasiticus
Long-tailed JaegerStercorarius longicaudusRare/Accidental

Little Auk/DovekieAlle alle
Thick-billed Murre/Brunnich's GuillemotUria lomviaRare/Accidental
Guillemot/Common MurreUria aalge
RazorbillAlca torda
Black GuillemotCepphus grylle
Atlantic PuffinFratercula arctica

Pallas's SandgrouseSyrrhaptes paradoxusRare/Accidental
Rock DoveColumba livia
Stock DoveColumba oenasRare/Accidental
WoodpigeonColumba palumbus
European Turtle DoveStreptopelia turtur
Oriental Turtle DoveStreptopelia orientalisRare/Accidental
Eurasian Collared DoveStreptopelia decaocto

Common CuckooCuculus canorus
Black-billed CuckooCoccyzus erythropthalmusRare/Accidental
Yellow-billed CuckooCoccyzus americanusRare/Accidental

Barn OwlTyto albaRare/Accidental
Eurasian Scops OwlOtus scopsRare/Accidental
Snowy OwlNyctea scandiacaRare/Accidental
Eurasian Eagle-OwlBubo buboRare/Accidental
Northern Hawk-OwlSurnia ululaRare/Accidental
Tengmalm's Owl/Boreal OwlAegolius funereusRare/Accidental
Long-eared OwlAsio otus
Short-eared OwlAsio flammeus

European NightjarCaprimulgus europaeusRare/Accidental
White-throated NeedletailHirundapus caudacutusRare/Accidental
Alpine SwiftTachymarptis melbaRare/Accidental
Common SwiftApus apus
Little SwiftApus affinisRare/Accidental

European RollerCoracias garrulusRare/Accidental Near-threatened
Common KingfisherAlcedo atthisRare/Accidental
European Bee-eaterMerops apiasterRare/Accidental
Common HoopoeUpupa epopsRare/Accidental
Northern WryneckJynx torquilla
Great Spotted WoodpeckerDendrocopos major

Brown ShrikeLanius cristatusRare/Accidental
Red-backed ShrikeLanius collurio
Isabelline ShrikeLanius isabellinusRare/Accidental
Lesser Grey ShrikeLanius minorRare/Accidental
Great Grey Shrike/Northern ShrikeLanius excubitorRare/Accidental
Woodchat ShrikeLanius senatorRare/Accidental

Eurasian Golden OrioleOriolus oriolusRare/Accidental
Eurasian JayGarrulus glandariusRare/Accidental
Common MagpiePica picaRare/Accidental
Eurasian NutcrackerNucifraga caryocatactesRare/Accidental
Red-billed ChoughPyrrhocorax pyrrhocoraxRare/Accidental
Eurasian JackdawCorvus monedula
RookCorvus frugilegus
Carrion CrowCorvus corone
Common RavenCorvus corax

Bohemian WaxwingBombycilla garrulus
Rare/AccidentalCedar WaxwingBombycilla cedrorumRare/Accidental

Great TitParus majorRare/AccidentalBlue TitParus caeruleusRare/AccidentalCoal TitParus aterRare/AccidentalWillow TitParus montanusRare/Accidental
Collared Sand Martin/Bank SwallowRiparia riparia
Barn SwallowHirundo rustica
Northern House MartinDelichon urbicum
Red-rumped SwallowCecropis dauricaRare/Accidental

Long-tailed TitAegithalos caudatusRare/Accidental
Calandra LarkMelanocorypha calandraRare/Accidental
Bimaculated LarkMelanocorypha bimaculataRare/Accidental
Greater Short-toed LarkCalandrella brachydactylaRare/Accidental
Crested LarkGalerida cristataRare/Accidental
WoodlarkLullula arboreaRare/Accidental
Eurasian SkylarkAlauda arvensis
Horned Lark/ShorelarkEremophila alpestrisRare/Accidental

Lanceolated WarblerLocustella lanceolataRare/Accidental
Grasshopper WarblerLocustella naeviaRare/Accidental
Rusty-rumped WarblerLocustella certhiolaRare/Accidental
River WarblerLocustella fluviatilisRare/Accidental
Savi's WarblerLocustella luscinioidesRare/Accidental
Thick-billed WarblerPhragamaticola aedonRare/Accidental
Great Reed WarblerAcrocephalus arundinaceusRare/Accidental
Aquatic WarblerAcrocephalus paludicolaRare/Accidental Vulnerable
Sedge WarblerAcrocephalus schoenobaenus
Paddyfield WarblerAcrocephalus agricolaRare/Accidental
Blyth's Reed WarblerAcrocephalus dumetorumRare/Accidental
Eurasian Reed WarblerAcrocephalus scirpaceus
Marsh WarblerAcrocephalus palustris
Booted WarblerIduna caligataRare/Accidental
Sykes's WarblerIduna ramaRare/Accidental
Olivaceous WarblerIduna pallidaRare/Accidental
Melodious WarblerHippolais polyglottaRare/Accidental
Icterine WarblerHippolais icterinaRare/Accidental
Willow WarblerPhylloscopus trochilus
Common ChiffchaffPhylloscopus collybita
Western Bonelli's WarblerPhylloscopus bonelliRare/Accidental
Wood WarblerPhylloscopus sibilatrixDusky WarblerPhylloscopus fuscatusRare/Accidental
Radde's WarblerPhylloscopus schwarziRare/Accidental
Pallas's Leaf WarblerPhylloscopus proregulusRare/Accidental
Yellow-browed WarblerPhylloscopus inornatus
Arctic WarblerPhylloscopus borealisRare/Accidental
Greenish WarblerPhylloscopus trochiloidesRare/Accidental
BlackcapSylvia atricapilla
Garden WarblerSylvia borin
Barred WarblerSylvia nisoria
Lesser WhitethroatSylvia curruca
Greater WhitethroatSylvia communis
Subalpine WarblerSylvia cantillansRare/Accidental
Sardinian WarblerSylvia melanocephalaRare/Accidental
Rüppell's WarblerSylvia ruppeliRare/Accidental

FirecrestRegulus ignicapillaRare/Accidental
GoldcrestRegulus regulus

Winter WrenTroglodytes troglodytes
Eurasian TreecreeperCerthia familiarisRare/Accidental
Purple-backed Starling/Daurian StarlingSturnus sturninusRare/Accidental
White-shouldered StarlingSturnus sinensisRare/Accidental
Rosy StarlingSturnus roseusRare/Accidental
European StarlingSturnus vulgaris

Scaly ThrushZoothera daumaRare/Accidental
Gray-cheeked ThrushCatharus minimusRare/Accidental
Swainson's ThrushCatharus ustulatusRare/Accidental
Hermit ThrushCatharus guttatusRare/Accidental
Ring OuzelTurdus torquatus
Eurasian BlackbirdTurdus merula
Eyebrowed ThrushTurdus obscurusRare/Accidental
Dusky ThrushTurdus eunomusRare/Accidental
FieldfareTurdus pilaris
RedwingTurdus iliacus
Song ThrushTurdus philomelos
Mistle ThrushTurdus viscivorus
American RobinTurdus migratoriusRare/Accidental

European RobinErithacus rubecula
BluethroatLuscinia svecica
Siberian RubythroatLuscinia calliopeRare/Accidental
Orange-flanked Bush RobinLuscinia cyanuraRare/Accidental
Rufous-tailed RobinLuscinia sibilansRare/Accidental
Thrush NightingaleLuscinia lusciniaRare/Accidental
Common NightingaleLuscinia megarhynchosRare/Accidental
Black RedstartPhoenicurus ochruros
Common RedstartPhoenicurus phoenicurus
WhinchatSaxicola rubetra
Common StonechatSaxicola torquatus
Isabelline WheatearOenanthe isabellinaRare/Accidental
Northern WheatearOenanthe oenanthe
Pied WheatearOenanthe pleschankaRare/Accidental
WheatearOenanthe hispanicaRare/AccidentalDesert WheatearOenanthe desertiRare/AccidentalBlack WheatearOenanthe leucuraRare/AccidentalCommon Rock ThrushMonticola saxatilisRare/AccidentalSpotted FlycatcherMuscicapa striataAsian Brown FlycatcherMuscicapa dauuricaRare/AccidentalPied FlycatcherFicedula hypoleucaCollared FlycatcherFicedula albicollisRare/AccidentalRed-breasted FlycatcherFicedula parvaRare/Accidental

White-throated DipperCinclus cinclusRare/Accidental
House SparrowPasser domesticus
Eurasian Tree SparrowPasser montanus

Alpine AccentorPrunella collarisRare/Accidental
DunnockPrunella modularis

Yellow WagtailMotacilla flavaRare/Accidental
Citrine WagtailMotacilla citreolaRare/Accidental
Grey WagtailMotacilla cinereaRare/Accidental
White WagtailMotacilla alba
Richard's PipitAnthus richardiRare/Accidental
Blyth's PipitAnthus godlewskiiRare/Accidental
Tawny PipitAnthus campestrisRare/Accidental
Meadow PipitAnthus pratensis
Tree PipitAnthus trivialis
Olive-backed PipitAnthus hodgsoniRare/Accidental
Pechora PipitAnthus gustaviRare/Accidental
Red-throated PipitAnthus cervinusRare/Accidental
Buff-bellied PipitAnthus rubescensRare/Accidental
Water PipitAnthus spinolettaRare/Accidental
Rock PipitAnthus petrosus

ChaffinchFringilla coelebs
BramblingFringilla montifringilla
European SerinSerinus serinusRare/Accidental
European GreenfinchCarduelis chloris
Eurasian SiskinCarduelis spinus
European GoldfinchCarduelis carduelisRare/Accidental
Common RedpollCarduelis flammea
Hoary RedpollCarduelis hornemanniRare/Accidental
TwiteCarduelis flavirostris
Common LinnetCarduelis cannabina
Common RosefinchCarpodacus erythrinus
Pine GrosbeakPinicola enucleatorRare/Accidental
Parrot CrossbillLoxia pytyopsittacusRare/Accidental
Red CrossbillLoxia curvirostraRare/Accidental
White-winged CrossbillLoxia leucopteraRare/Accidental
Eurasian BullfinchPyrrhula pyrrhula
HawfinchCoccothraustes coccothraustesRare/Accidental

Tennessee WarblerVermivora peregrinaRare/Accidental
Chestnut-sided WarblerDendroica pensylvanicaRare/Accidental
Yellow WarblerDendroica petechiaRare/Accidental
Blackpoll WarblerDendroica striataRare/Accidental
Blackburnian WarblerDendroica fuscaRare/Accidental
Yellow-rumped WarblerDendroica coronataRare/Accidental
Black-and-white WarblerMniotilta variaRare/Accidental
OvenbirdSeiurus aurocapillaRare/AccidentalCommon
YellowthroatGeothlypis trichasRare/Accidental

Baltimore OrioleIcterus galbulaRare/Accidental
Yellow-headed BlackbirdXanthocephalus xanthocephalusRare/Accidental
BobolinkDolichonyx oryzivorusRare/Accidental

Corn BuntingEmberiza calandraRare/Accidental
YellowhammerEmberiza citrinella
Pine BuntingEmberiza leucocephalosRare/Accidental
Ortolan BuntingEmberiza hortulanaRare/Accidental
Cretzschmar's BuntingEmberiza caesiaRare/Accidental
Little BuntingEmberiza pusillaRare/Accidental
Yellow-browed BuntingEmberiza chrysophrysRare/AccidentalRustic
BuntingEmberiza rusticaRare/Accidental
Yellow-breasted BuntingEmberiza aureolaRare/Accidental Vulnerable
Chestnut BuntingEmberiza rutilaRare/Accidental
Black-headed BuntingEmberiza melanocephalaRare/Accidental
Red-headed BuntingEmberiza brunicepsRare/Accidental
Pallas's BuntingEmberiza pallasiRare/Accidental
Reed BuntingEmberiza schoeniclus
Lapland LongspurCalcarius lapponicus
Snow BuntingPlectrophenax nivalis
Song SparrowMelospiza melodiaRare/Accidental
White-crowned SparrowZonotrichia leucophrysRare/Accidental
White-throated SparrowZonotrichia albicollisRare/Accidental
Dark-eyed JuncoJunco hyemalisRare/Accidental
Savannah SparrowPasserculus sandwichensisRare/Accidental

Blue GrosbeakPasserina caeruleaRare/Accidental
Indigo BuntingPasserina cyaneaRare/Accidental
Lazuli BuntingPasserina amoenaRare/Accidental
Varied BuntingPasserina versicolorRare/Accidental
Painted BuntingPasserina cirisRare/Accidental Near-threatened