Thursday 16 July 2015

Shetland Part II and Mainland Scotland

Well, we are now back in the sunny South West after almost a month away. Shetland was certainly a fantastic place to be in June and I very much look forward to returning, hopefully in September! If I was to sum up two of the most surprising things regarding breeding birds during my visit, it would be an obvious lack of Whimbrel and Arctic Skuas. Both species are declining dramatically and as with so many seabirds, the exact causes are not known. Whimbrel are thought to be arriving in poor condition from their wintering sites in West Africa. On a more positive note, Red-necked Phalaropes seem to be having a great breeding year!

After leaving Fetlar, we spent a few days on South Mainland and visited the RSPB Reserve on the island of Mousa as well as Sumburgh Head. Then a couple of days catching up with friends on mainland Scotland. Below are a few more pics......

Dark Phase Arctic Skua - Sumburgh Head

Light Phase Arctic Skua, Sumburgh Head

Light Phase Arctic Skua, Sumburgh Head

Sumburgh Head Lighthouse, South Mainland

Bonxie, Sumburgh Head

Fulmars, Sumburgh Head

Gannet, Sumburgh Head

Great Black-backed Gull, Sumburgh Head

Puffin, Sumburgh Head

Razorbill, Sumburgh Head

Twite, Fetlar

Wheatear, Sumburgh Head

Juvenile Wheatear, Fetlar

Whimbrel, Fetlar - this colour-ringed bird has been returning to breed on Fetlar since at least 2010

Mousa Broch, Mousa Island - a late evening visit to see the returning Storm Petrels was quite a
magical experience

Otter, Toft, North Mainland

Otter, Toft, North Mainland

Cairngorm, not far from Ben Macdui - the home of Snowy Owls!

Dotterel, Cairngorm

Common Seal, North Mainland

Grey Seal, Ythan Estuary

Ring Ouzel, Cairngorm

Fieldwork food whilst on Fetlar - you cannot beat them....

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