Sunday, February 28, 2010

Loch of Clickimin and Sound, Lerwick

A trip up to town this afternoon to look for the Egyptian Goose, get fuel & a few other bits & bobs at Tesco's. Went all along the Sound shoreline & around the adjacent fields but no sign of the Goose. Still snowy and a nice day so took a few are some.

Ward of Bressay and Transmitters looking east from Sound.

Bressay Lighthouse and Bard Head, Bressay.

Brei Wick and Lerwick Coastguard Station on the Knab.

Looking north-east from Sound at Lerwick, Town Hall far left.

Looking south-east, Ness of Sound Farm.

Grey Seals on rocks at North Taing, Sound.

A frozen Loch of Clickimin, looking south east, Clickimin Broch far right.

North-west side of Loch, small area unfrozen at inflow.

Clickimin Broch from south side looking north.

Clickimin Broch from west side looking east, frozen loch.

Clickimin Broch looking north at entrance gate.

Back in Sandwick - Greylag Geese trying to feed in snowy field.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Couple of Hours off

Managed to secure a couple of hours freedom late this afternoon. As most of the roads are now clear of snow I headed off north taking pics as I went. Here are some...

Mousa, still with snow.

Looking North East at Helli Ness (Cunningsburgh), Bressay & Noss in distance.

Looking north at the south end of Cunningsburgh.

c.15 foot tall snownman in the Cunningsburgh Hall car park.

Shetland ponies along the Black Gaet road.

Whiteness Voe viewpoint looking south.

Looking west into the sun at Whiteness Voe.

Looking north west at Wormadale Hill from the same viewpoint.

Looking north at the viewpoint.
White house on the east side of Loch of Strom.

The Old Kirk on the west side of Loch of Strom. Ice on the Loch in foreground.
Weisdale Voe looking south from the viewpoint along the Hill of Sound road.
Looking south-east at Kalli Ness with Loch of Hellister.

On to Tresta. Looking east at Tresta from The Nev.
To crop .... or not to crop?
From the same viewpoint, looking west at Mussel lines in The Firth.
Portrait ...... or landscape?
On the way back a Common Seal 'tang fish' in Weisdale Voe. You can tell its a Common Seal as its lounging position is shaped like a banana. Grey Seals tend to lie flat. Click here for more information on seal identification (just realised i wrote that page over 10 years ago!!).

Ice on the south end of Loch of Hellister.
Back to the view point above Whiteness Voe, the sun now starting to go down.

Stopped off at the Viewpoint above Scalloway before the sun went down completely.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Its a Gippo Goose........

The first Shetland record of Egyptian Goose was seen by George Petrie at Ocraquoy (Fladdabister, south Mainland) yesterday before flying off. It is currently in category C1 and E* of the British List. Although the nearest sustainable breeding populations in Britain are in East Anglia, there is evidence of some movement by this species in January to March, especially in hard weather, while nearby Denmark and the Netherlands also have feral populations. The species is not currently on the Scottish List (except in Category E) but this bird is a candidate for Category C vagrant status. However, its origins will no doubt remain the source of debate for some time.

Today it was relocated by Paul Harvey at Seafield, Lerwick on the rocks by the sea. The text messages at 13:34 alerting us of this were as follows.....

"Gippo goose on way to Pullars Loch, Seafield. On rocks above sea 100 yds past Alan Wisharts house."

I arrived with Dave O and the goose was indeed feeding around the rocks. Unfortunately it flew off shortly thereafter heading for Sound Farm. 

Dave O & I relocated it in the snow covered fields below the Sound Farm and sent the following text message out at 13:54......

"Gippo now in field below Sound Farm."

We left it there as others started to arrive. Shortly thereafter it returned to the rocks along the shore.

"Egyptian Goose now half way between tesco and wishart house in rocks to east of road."

This is what it actually looks like - via a link to one of Jim Nicolsons excellent photos on the Nature in Shetland website.

* the British Ornithologists Union categorization of C1 is a Naturalized introduced species – species that have occurred only as a result of introduction, e.g. Egyptian Goose.
Category E Species are those that have been recorded as introductions, human-assisted transportees or escapees from captivity, and whose breeding populations (if any) are thought not to be self-sustaining. Species in Category E that have bred in the wild in Britain are designated as E. Category E species form no part of the British List (unless already included within Categories A, B or C).

Download the British List at the BOU Website and the key to the Species Categories.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Walk to the Shop in the Snow

Just because its only half a mile to the Sandwick shop doesnt mean theres nothing to see on the way - especially when its the heaviest snowfall of the year (so far) and few vehicles can get anywhere. There is apparently about a foot of snow north of Lerwick although we only had 5-6 inches around Sandwick. Here's todays trip to the Shop just as a heavy snow shower moved through with very dark skies.

Looking east from Swinister towards Stove and the Sandwick shop - this is the main Swinister road.

Snow on grass - looking north-east towards Sandwick.
Starlings on the wires.
The partially frozen Burn of Setter - looking northeast. 
Burn of Setter looking southwest. 
Heading towards Stove.
Land Rover above has this written along it.
Stove Junction.
A couple of cold-looking Shetland ponies at the junction.
Lots of snow started falling at the junction.
Looking through the falling snow towards Hoswick.
A white house - with a white snowy roof and a dark sky.
And another white house with a white roof further along the road.
On the way back - a Coo in the field.
Starlings still on the wires with some blue sky coming.
Looking east towards Sandwick - the dark sky beggining to move south.