Friday 10 February 2012

  Well it's been a funny old week weather wise, some days it's been blowing a real hooly, others it has felt like the first days of an early spring. So much so, that I have had my coat off a couple of times as the temperature was a balmy 5 or 6 degrees and even driving with the car window down ! - it's amazing what you get used to. On one of the calm, still days, I went along to the pier on the off chance either the Little Auk or Little Gull were still around - and they were still there. The Little Auk was just on its way out of the harbour (it seemed to have a routine, heading out in to the sound by mid morning) and the Little Gull was also heading off to the east end. I decided to return home and have another look later on.

  Going back to the pier early afternoon, the Little Gull was back and was feeding nicely just off the pier. Little Gulls aren't particularly rare in Shetland but it's still a nice one to see.

Little Auk about to dive

1st winter Little Gull

  The Iceland Gull numbers here on Unst has now dropped dramatically and on this day there were only 3 around the pier.......

Iceland Gull

  As I was saying earlier, some days it felt like Spring wasn't too far away (in fact it's still several months away) however, the Shalders (Oystercatcher) are starting to return and the Maalies (Fulmar) are back on the cliffs and also congregating out on the water.  Up at Lamba Ness, the numbers of passing Maalies and Gannets has increased enormously and it'll only be a couple of weeks before the first Gannets appear back at Hermaness. Unfortunately for the birds, there is still plenty of time for the weather to turn colder again - and probably will - but so far this winter we've been lucky or unlucky (depending on how you look at it) not to have had any proper snow.  (looking at the Met Office local forecast, it says we are due some on Tuesday -14th)

  I now feel as though we are in a sort of limbo, it could stay mild and start an early Spring or it could also go cold and, like last year, delay spring until May. I noticed this morning (10th Feb) that the Red Currant bush in our garden is starting to show green in the buds and the Daffodils are about 3 inches above ground - but there's still a long way to go !

Rock Pipit at Lamba Ness

From Lamba Ness looking south west (taken with the camera phone)

Skaw beach


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