17th July 2018
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Posts tagged with Joyce Garden

Good breeding season in isles

Good breeding season in isles

24/07/2009, by in

So far the seabird breeding season in Shetland has been good, with even Arctic terns fledging young. After the disastrous breeding success of recent years, this is welcome news.Arctic terns, or tirricks, usually return to the islands in the first week of May, having wintered in southern oceans, ... Read more...

Tystie time with smart plumage on show

Tystie time with smart plumage on show

17/07/2009, by in

A black guillemot, more commonly known as a tystie, in smart summer plumage is a familiar sight through­out Shetland.The emblem of the Shetland Bird Club, tysties favour rocky shorelines and offshore islands where they generally breed among boulders and in rock crevices. They usually lay two eg... Read more...

Crossbills at large

Crossbills at large

03/07/2009, by in

Crossbills dominate the bird news this week, with the largest flock recorded being 45 observed at Kergord. Reports of common crossbills were widespread including Virkie, Sandwick, Cunningsburgh, Lerwick, Toft and Voe.Most Shetland records of this species occur in the summer when crossbills arriv... Read more...

Rare wood sandpipers turn up in Quarff

Rare wood sandpipers turn up in Quarff

12/06/2009, by in

There were fewer migrants around this week, but two wood sandpipers appeared at Henry’s Loch in Quarff.Wood sandpipers are scarce passage migrants. Their breeding range extends from Scandinavia to Russia, the birds which are recorded in Shetland in spring and autumn probably originating from S... Read more...

Painted ladies appear all over isles gardens

Painted ladies appear all over isles gardens

05/06/2009, by in

The big news this week concerns winged animals but not birds – they are painted lady butterflies which were recorded in unprecedented numbers throughout Shetland.These strongly-flying migrants are part of a national phenomenon.I mentioned a painted lady being seen at Twatt last week. This ... Read more...

Rare laughing gull stops off at south end

Rare laughing gull stops off at south end

30/05/2009, by in

The summer-plumaged laughing gull was still in the South Mainland this week, moving between the Boddam and Virkie/Scord area.This is a very rare vagrant from America, first recorded in Shetland in Fair Isle in 1975. About the size of a black-headed gull, the laughing gull has a similar plumage p... Read more...

Visiting nightjar a difficult bird to spot

Visiting nightjar a difficult bird to spot

22/05/2009, by in

The predominantly east and south-east winds brought a substantial fall of migrants this week. They included nationally rare species such as the lesser scaup, now moved to the Loch of Freester; a laughing gull at Boddam; and the Franklin’s gull, at Graven on the 12th.Local rarities included dip... Read more...

American birds spotted

American birds spotted

15/05/2009, by in

This week bird migration has had a distinctly trans-Atlantic theme, with the following very rare and rare North American species being recorded – a brown-headed cowbird on Fair Isle; a Franklin’s gull at Sullom: two black ducks at Hillwell, and then at Scatness; a laughing gull, a solitary sandp... Read more...

Fladdabister still home to black kite

Fladdabister still home to black kite

08/05/2009, by in

The black kite, recorded on 27th April, is still around, and on 5th May it was seen perching on fence-posts along the main road above Fladdabister.These kites scavenge on carrion and, in Europe, are often seen along motorways feeding on road-kills. A very rare vagrant to Britain, with around sev... Read more...

Male warbler with a fine singing voice

Male warbler with a fine singing voice

01/05/2009, by in

Local rarities this week included subalpine warbler, tundra bean goose, white-billed diver and black kite. The subalpine warbler, a fine singing male, was first recorded at Scatness on the 22nd.Slightly smaller than a common whitethroat, the male in breeding plumage is a colourful bird, with a g... Read more...

Colourful wood duck migrant attracts attention

Colourful wood duck migrant attracts attention

24/04/2009, by in

A very colourful migrant was the male wood duck on the Loch of Brow last Thursday.The male has beautiful metallic blue-green upperparts, with a green patch and fine white lines on the head. The chin and upper throat are white, and the sides of the neck and the breast are a dark red speckled with... Read more...

Sea eagle seen over the isles

Sea eagle seen over the isles

17/04/2009, by in

The largest and most impressive bird of prey in Britain was recorded this week, when a white-tailed eagle was seen flying over the South Mainland on the 12th. This bird, which was radio- and wing-tagged, originated from a recent introduction programme in eastern Scotland. It had previously been seen... Read more...

Signs of spring start to appear

Signs of spring start to appear

20/03/2009, by in

Twite are attractive, restless finches, usually seen in small flocks feeding on seeds on arable and cultivated land. Closely related to the common linnet, the twite is known as the “lintie” in Shetland.The warm tawny-brown, strong­ly-streaked plumage and longer, strongly-forked tail disting... Read more...

Return of mis-named oystercatcher

Return of mis-named oystercatcher

13/03/2009, by in

Oystercatchers are back in force now. They are one of my favourite waders – showy and extrovert, with their piebald plumage and ringing calls. We named our present house Tjaldur, which is the Faroese word for oystercatcher and is also used in Iceland.The Shetland word is shalder and, in Norw... Read more...