A Tengmalm's Owl on Shetland proved to good to resist and RR & myself made the long journey to Aberdeen and took the overnight ferry to Lerwick Shetland last Tuesday the 26th February.
We picked up the hire car from the ferry port on Wednesday morning at approx 7.30am and then drove to Tresta arriving about 8am , we made our way around to Lea gardens and started to look for the Tengmalm's Owl, which can be either seen very well , be quite elusive & well hidden or not seen at all !!!
Front view of the Tengmalm's Owl
We heard a Long eared Owl whilst looking for our main target bird , i was quite convinced the Tengmalm's Owl was in a clump of bushes just up from the pond as there was alot of birds alarm calling in that area but despite looking i could not see anything.
It was almost 10 am and we had been on site for nearly 2 hours with no sign of the Tengmalm's Owl and RR & myself were discussing staying on for an extra day, and then after walking back towards the garden after checking out another area we saw 20+ birders looking at the clump of bushes i thought the Tengmalm's Owl was in earlier.
Wow someone had located it well hidden in the tree , fantastic views through the scope were obtained (although my photos might not show that), a really stunning special bird to be lucky enough to see and made a very long journey worthwhile.
Many thanks to the garden owners for allowing access to see this fantastic bird.
From here we headed to Cunningsburgh to try and see the Common Rosefinch which had been associating with House Sparrows.
House Sparrow & Common Rosefinch
It was so great to see so many House Sparrows feeding well in this garden and of course the Common Rosefinch was a real bonus bird to see , many thanks to Jim .N. for allowing access to his garden.
Time had really flew by so we decided to head to Shetland Catch in the hope of seeing some 'white wingers' , before we headed back to catch the overnight ferry back to Aberdeen.
More or less the first bird we saw was an Iceland Gull which was very close in amongst Herring Gull, Great black backed Gull & Fulmar.
I then scanned through some large Gulls further out and picked out an adult Glaucous Gull which never came very close .
Adult Glaucous Gull
However there was some really great birds in this area that did come close enough for some photo's , such as good numbers of Black Guillemot & Long tailed Duck.
Plenty of Kittiwakes , Eider & Shag were seen to.
Long tailed Duck.
♂ & ♀ Long tailed Duck.
So that ends a 3 day adventure to Shetland , many thanks to the locals for allowing access to their gardens and many thanks to RR for arranging a fantastic trip.