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

They're getting to know all about it

The robins are getting to know where the food is and they are also getting used to me having a cup of coffee in the living room as well - and all so quickly too.

Now, they take no notice of me, they just get stuck in, scaring away the little sparrows as they go about their breakfast, lunch or tea.

I'm surprised too. Along with this feeder I bought winter food, expecting it to arrive after the summer stuff. It really doesn't seem to have mattered to them though. Having said that though, when the summer order does arrive it will be put away for a month or so. Timing of the seasons here in Shetland does run a bit late, in fact it runs a bit confused at times so I'll be a bit more careful in the future.

In fact, I may make sure that both are out at the same time and then we'll perhaps find out whether it's winter or summer. A bit of confusion here I think. Where have Spring and Autumn gone. They might be around for a short spell, I suppose ;))

Thursday, 19 April 2012


Tonight it's about half past eight, it's getting dark and they are all getting around the tree. What will they do, I don't know, we'll wait and see tomorrow :))


Jings crivens, if the wife had seen so many birds smiling in the back garden before she left, she'd have given me a bloody good slap in the face and legged it up the street - with me waving and shouting "Goodbye now, remember and write!!!" The birds love the food that's out for them so now I can tell everyone that I can cook after all ;))

It's a beautiful morning today, the sun is beaming in a nice blue sky and there's hardly a breeze blowing at all this morning. Fingers crossed that it won't change for a month or three.

And I've just spotted that the birds are not too sure of me yet. They fly up to the feeder but if I'm sitting here then they turn and fly off again. Hopefully, it won't take them too long to get used to me. The wife was quick enough.

It's Robin's and sparrow's that have been around, lovely and fit and I believe that the Robin's used to be considered to be part of the Thrush family, but that has changed now. They are now considered to be Old World flycatchers. Why the change, I've no idea, maybe it's because of the time that they spend in my back garden :))

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

That's the feeder up

I'.m quite pleased. That's the feeder up now and there's a seagull in the field, pretending not to look at the feeder. He'll be interested because it's new to him but I doubt if he'll use it.

Just as I write this a sparrow has arrived and is sitting on the washing line, peeking at it. There were two of them but I don't know where the other went.

I think that I'll try and find out.

Today is a bit of a change

It is a bit of a change today. Last night when I came home I watered the trees as I told you - and then it rained all night. A bit pointless really, wasn't it, oh well ;))

It's raining off and on today too so I won't be watering the trees today again as they don't really need it at the moment but I won't be totally idle. In the post arrive some bird feed and a feeder to put it in so I'll hang that and fill it. That way I can sit and watch the birds feeding themselves and perhaps make some new friends as well.

Not very sure just which birds are around so it might be quite a profitable day, we'll see :))

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Thank goodness for that

Whew, thank goodness for that. I got home on time, nipped in for a quick coffee and then shot out and watered the trees and they're looking pretty good.

Even the willows and the black hawthorns that I planted last year look as if there is a possible chance with them. I'm watching to see if any leaves come out and for a while now it has looked hopefully hopeful. One thing that I can't say yet is that they are dead so I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope.

But the Austrian Pines, my heart is on them. They look so good and they already have pine nuts right at the top, tiny little things as yet but every tree has four or five there so there's a forest awaiting.

Now I need to think about some small bushes that I can grow between the trees. Never ends, does it :))


I'm absolutely broken-hearted today. I have to go into town instead of looking after my trees. I'll get home at five though and it's guaranteed that dinner will be late.

They haven't been watered yet so they'll get a little before the bus comes and when I get back they will be first on the list. Dinner? About mid-night!!! :))

Monday, 16 April 2012

What a surprise

What a huge surprise. What a huge, massive surprise. Since I raised my head this morning it snowed until about ten-thirty and I wasn't going out to plant trees in that weather. True, it wasn't lying but the snow was falling continually throughout.

Then the snow stopped falling, so I immediately put my jumper on and went out to put the trees into the garden. There was no wind, it was totally still and it was mild, so mild that the jumper that I had put on inside I promptly took off outside. How strange ;))

Anyway, I've got the trees planted and watered and must remember to water them daily. I lost last years trees and I'm blaming myself for that. I truly believe that I made too little effort. I basically dug small holes, stuck them in, watered them a couple of times and did no more.

This year will be a little different. For a start, I'll water them every day regardless of the weather. If it's pouring down with rain and blowing a horrendous gale then I'll be out there, watering the trees. After all, they're like you and me, they need a little care taken, it's not a lot for them to ask for, is it and the pleasure that I'll get from them will be worth it a million times over

So please, don't let me forget, they have to be cared for every day, regardless of what else is going on in my life :))  

The snow has stopped

The snow, thank goodness, has stopped and I still have two Austrian pines so it's time to get dressed, run out of the door and get them planted.

I just hope that they last a little longer than last years efforts because it will make such a difference to the garden. It will protect all that is growing there from the wind for a start :))