23rd May 2019
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Owl species spotted in isles for first time since 1912

The Tengmalm’s owl at Tumblin. Photo: John Coutts

A Tengmalm’s owl has been discovered in a garden at Tumblin, Bixter.

There have only been four previous Shetland records, the last being in 1912 in Unst.

Erik and Jackie Moar opened their curtains to find a cute little owl sitting in the tree outside the bedroom. They put the photo on Facebook on Tuesday and within a short while both Hugh Harrop and Dennis and John Coutts knew this was something much rarer than the normal long-eared owls that are seen in Shetland trees.

The Tengmalm’s owl is a very rare vagrant from Northern Europe and Siberia and will be a new bird for all Shetland listers (twitchers).

About Jim Tait

Jim Tait is news editor at The Shetland Times.

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