At last, a bird to write about! Auld Haa Tommy phoned to say Nick (Schoolton) had found a grebe in South Harbour he wasn't too sure about. I immediately went down with a 'scope to meet them and after a few frustrating minutes trying to find the frequently diving blighter I had it in the 'scope long enough to see it had a thick dusky neck and alot of yellow in the strong dagger-like bill - a Red-necked Grebe! I thanked Nick for finding me an island tick (its the first on the isle since 1996) and Lachlan (who happens to be home this weekend) even got out the car and braved the rain get it on his list.
Its been pretty quiet otherwise though with a couple of dark-bellied Brent Geese and a Barnacle Goose with the 200 or so Greylags. The Chiffchaff just made it into December whilst the Jackdaw is still going strong! Three Grey Herons, a scattering of Robins and thrushes and still a fair few Woodcock, c20 Skylark, Merlin and a couple of Water Rail make up the best of the rest! Despite lots of gulls taking refuge on the isle during the regular gales, white wingers are noteable by their absence!! I guess we need some really cold arctic northerlies to get them, but I am quite happy to wait a few weeks!!
Aside from birds.......the most excitement has been a weekend out in Lerwick for the whole family - Christmas (and essential clothes/shoe) Shopping! Fun!? We returned on Monday morning a good few pounds lighter in the wallet but several pounds heavier round the waist having visited the Pizzaria, the Curry House and the Chippie on consecutive nights!!
Hollie's main (mane!) birthday present eventually arrived - a couple of sets of horse jumps, which she seems to be delighted with and hasn't sent back......although she hasn't (as yet) been near them with a pony! I think that won't be 'til next summer!
The Obs is progressing - even some carpets down upstairs now but, contrary to the headline in this weeks Shetland Times (!), it will not be finished by Christmas! The workmen on site are away from 16th and really looking forward to their, well deserved, Christmas break.
I checked out my AW Jack Ashton-Booth's new blog today - great stuff, he's such a nice lad!
Okay, X-Factor time.........Ollie!..... Ollie!...... Ollie!.......