Thursday, 6 October 2011

Far eastern 'Flava'(our) !

  Lots of Shetland birders will tell you that one of the exiting things about being here is that you really don't know what's around the next corner. The other week (29th Sept) was one of those moments........

  I was just off to take Rona to Brownies at 6.30pm; we had only driven 15 feet on to the drive from in front of the house, when I saw a bird out of the corner of my eye. All I saw was a grey and white bird fly off a short way but I had no idea what it was. Quickly stopping the car, I saw it was a wagtail - but not a White or Pied; so the first thought was Citrine. Grabbing the camera, I got some shots in the by now, rapidly fading light. The bird flew off a short way again and landed on our boundary wall to the west. Approaching the bird carefully, I got to within 20ft before it flew off again, emitting a loud 'shreep, shreep' sort of noise. I found it again, this time on the road at the top of our drive, unfortunately it didn't stay there long as a car came along and so it took off and I lost it.

  Listening to the Citrine Wagtail call on my Ipod it certainly sounded similar, but the plumage of the bird didn't quite fit. So I thought it must be a race of Yellow Wagtail, but there was nothing in the Collins book that came close to it. An hour later I managed to send some pics to Brydon and he thought it probably was an Eastern Yellow Wag' but would ask Martin (Garner) for his opinion later. Martin is leading a wildlife tour for Brydon up here at the moment and is an expert in the finer details of bird id. If I'd had the chance to sound record the bird, then a more accurate location of where the bird originated from would have been possible using sonagrams etc. As it is, Martin suggested that this bird could possibly have originated from far eastern Siberia; wow, and it ended up by our front door ! ('Flava' is part of the Latin name for Yellow Wagtail).........


'Eastern' Yellow Wagtail - at 2000 ISO

  A few days later, I returned to Belmont House to try for the Black-headed Bunting again now that the 'crowds' had gone. I had seen it the previous week but had only got a really poor record shot and so wanted to try again. Getting down there around nine on the Sunday morning, the sun was out and still fairly low in the sky and I had the place to myself for a while. While I didn't get the bird on a natural perch I was happy with this as when it was on the ground it was very difficult to see.........

Imm' Black-headed Bunting

  I finally managed to get a short avi sorted of the aurora we had here just over a week ago, it's straight out of the camera - so there's no sharpening etc but I though it would give an idea of what it was like. Again its 174 images, put together at a rate of 8 frames a second approximately......................

video

  A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned here that the otter family had lost one cub. Well sadly it seems that they haven't been reunited. Yesterday I had two otters pass the trail camera and they are possibly the mum and other cub..............

video

  Chatting to Brydon about it, he said that anything thing could have happened to it - and often does to young cubs - and that if it was a male, it could easily have been killed by a dog otter who felt threatened by the presence of a young male in the locality.

  Since the sighting of the Pallid Harrier, there have steadily been more and more sightings of Hen Harriers around the island. It now appears that there at least 3 here as they have been seen roosting communally in the north of the island. After a brief view of one across the sound from the garden last week, I had one fly across the field and north over the sound at 6pm this evening (as I was talking to the BT guy) presumably on its way to roost somewhere.

         Robbie

1 comment:

Graham said...

Loving the video's Robbie - so jealous that you've Otters in the garden regulary.....have a Jura for me ;-)