Despite having few resident or breeding species for Shetland it’s a case of quality and quantity… quality in terms of species such as Red-necked Phalarope that do breed and quantity in terms of rare vagrants that pitch up on the islands. The year list for 2010 was 263 species, 10 above the nine year average. There is also quantity in terms of ‘rare’ and ‘scarce’ with three Sykes’s Warbler (the total for Britain as a whole is only 14) and around 150 Yellow-browed Warbler tells you all you need to know.
This years report is a fantastic 144 pages that is chock full of information. It’s not all rarities, though that’s what attracts more and more birders each autumn, so breeding is discussed along with the regular WeBS counts. Following a seasonal summary we are into the systematic list which makes up the bulk of the report. The editorial team have done a great job as it is readable and informative and enlivened by some excellent photographs. Shetland is blessed with some brilliant bird photographers so that is only to be expected.
At the back of the report are five articles ranging from breeding expansions and colonisation by Leach’s Petrel and Storm Petrel to a first for Scotland – Egyptian Goose and a first for Shetland – Water Pipit! This amply illustrates the enigma that is Shetland Birding… Coal Tit is a description species whereas Yellow-browed Warbler can, on some days, be the most common warbler.
The report can be purchased for £10 from Rob Fray, Sunnydell, East Shore, Virkie, Shetland ZE3 9JS
Membership enquiries should be addressed to Russ Haywood, Lamnaberg, Wester Quarff, Shetland ZE2 9EZ this includes complimentary membership of the Shetland Bird Club that comes with a purchased Bird Report for one year.