Here’s another quick post from Shetland, in response to Martin getting excited about redpolls. I am bereft of redpolls to blog about, so here’s a couple of birds from yesterday’s beached bird survey – carried out monthly, year-round, in Shetland by a network of (mostly) keen volunteers.
In 15 years of helping out, my highlights so far have both been dead ones – a Brunnich’s and a Great Shear – but I have long hoped to find a decent live bird while trogging round my three Shetland beaches. Yesterday morning it all came good when this little beauty materialised at the east end of Rerwick beach:
I was made up with this, all the more so after last October, when after taking Martin out birding he had the temerity to sneak off and find a Buff-bellied Pipit on the opposite site of the field from the rest of us! So that was good – and yes, in the seclusion of Rerwick beach, with only my wife looking on, I did one or two Martin Garner impressions and even said the ‘B’ word (loudly, as you do).
No prizes for identifying the pipit of course, but here’s a quick picture spin quiz to follow up on the last Frontiers one. Hardened BBS regulars would get this quickly but for the rest of you, what species is this, what age it is and why?