Sunday, 28 November 2010

Jack Snipe Photography

Heaven knows how many Jack Snipe winter here in Shetland but one thing we have learned in the 20 years of living here is that they are best found when the ground starts to freeze and when we get lots of snow - which is exactly what has happened here in the last few days. We are currently keeping an small lead of water flowing for both Jack Snipes and Common Snipes and we have a hide up for photography / filming. The hide will remain up for the duration of this cold snap so get in touch if you'd like to use it.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Twite Recording

A large flock of Twite are currently using the wild bird seed crop. The birds are incredibly vocal, allowing for great sound recordings - this bird was even singing away in the snow!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Coues's Arctic Redpoll

Found this stunning Coues's Arctic Redpoll in the valley this afternoon with a mobile flock of Mealy Redpolls...

The Mealy Redpolls also gave great photographic opportunities...

Friday, 19 November 2010

Shetland Photo Competition - RESULTS!

The winners of the Promote Shetland 2010 Photo Competition sponsored by Shetland Wildlife have now been selected and announced:

WINNER - Bonxie & photographer by Juan Sola

2nd Place - Killer Whales by Josie Jamieson
3rd Place - Puffin by Anthony Marston

The winning photographs and Hugh's reasons for selecting them can be viewed here. The competition attracted some stunning and highly creative photographs and selecting winners was not easy! Hearty congratulations from all at Shetland Wildlife to all three and we look forward to welcoming Juan back to Shetland to accept his winning prize - a Focus on Shetland photography holiday with Shetland Wildlife. Josie wins a day out for two with John Campbell of Shetland Otters and Anthony wins a a signed copy of Simon King's 'Shetland Nature Diaries' book.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Waxwings III

Waxwings have pretty much moved out of Shetland now but we still have a couple of birds coming to feed on rose hips in the garden or feast on the Cotoneaster berries in Bigton. They were particularly vocal towards dusk which made for some more really nice sound recording opportunities...

Waxwing Recording #1

Waxwing Recording #2

Monday, 15 November 2010

Snow Goose II

The Snow Goose that was on Burra in late October did the decent thing and flew the 5 miles or so south to spend ten days here in the Maywick Valley with the Greylags - before heading back to Burra! I even managed to get it on our garden list as it flew to the Vatsetter Loch for a wash & brush up!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Waxwing Video

A video of one of the Waxwings enjoying the sun in Bigton / Ireland!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

'Central Asian' Lesser Whitethroat

After a fairly quiet sea-watch, I found this 'Central Asian' Lesser Whitethroat (ssp. minula or halimodendri) in the quarry at Sumburgh Head early on Tuesday morning. Given the complexities of sub specific Lesser Whitethroat ID (eg. the 1999 Fair Isle bird - see Birding World 12: 281- 283), the bird was later trapped for ringing by Roger and a full set of biometric data / photos of the tail pattern were taken. More info as it becomes available...

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Pine Grosbeak: Happy 10th Anniversary!

10 years ago today, we were enjoying this superb young male Pine Grosbeak in the Maywick Valley, just down the road from our house. It represented only the 11th record for Britain & Ireland and is still the best bird on our 'valley list' (with the Baillon's Crake coming second!). This picture is a scan from a Fujichrome 400 slide and I used a Canon EOS1 body and a Canon 500mm f4. How photography as changed since then!

Monday, 8 November 2010

More Waxwings!

Still a few Waxwings here in Shetland, which are proving irresistible to photograph and sound record! These recordings were made in Lerwick on Sunday morning. Special thanks to Ramsay Napier for cooperation!

Waxwing Recording #1

Waxwing Recording #2

One of three Waxwings present today in Bigton:

Saturday, 6 November 2010

'Queen' Eider

Took time out from BTO Atlas work to see this female King Eider at West Voe...

Friday, 5 November 2010

More Waxwing Recordings

I recorded these Waxwings at Sandgarth earlier in the week. Thanks to Tony & Beth Gerrard for their kind cooperation!

The recording was made with the Nagra Ares PII and a Sennheiser ME66 microphone (& a 20 dB booster). A wind jammer was also used - essential in a force 8 gale!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Winter Photours - 2011 SOLD OUT!

Our exclusive photour to the far north from Saturday 12 - Saturday 19 March 2011 has now SOLD OUT so we added an additional departure to run from Saturday 19 - Saturday 26 March 2011. This has now also SOLD OUT so please email us to register interest for 2012. For details of this unique itinerary, click here. To gauge what photo-prospects this superb trip offers, please click here

Monday, 1 November 2010

Whooper Swan Dawn Chorus

With a forecast for still conditions at dawn this morning, I headed to Loch of Spiggie to sound record Whooper Swans. There were several family parties, all of which were in good voice. What a magical hour!

Whooper Swan Recording #1

Whooper Swan Recording #2