Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Great Crested Grebe! Lifer & Island Tick!

Great Crested Grebe - North Haven
13th Fair Isle record - 1st since April 2005

White-Fronted Geese
I had done no birding today but looking out the window a Robin & Dunnock being highlights. That is until I had to head down to help unload the Good Shepherd Ferry Boat. Drive bye birding saw geese of all kinds Greylag, Pink-Footed, White-Fronted & Bean Goose. 3 skylarks 2 Reed Buntings another 3 Robins along the way. The Bird Obs is empty as the Warden & family left this morning by plane. If they had taken the boat they would of seen the birds in the Haven.

With the Good Shepherd still out to sea a bit... I took a few photos of this Grey Seal on the beach.

I Go the help unload the boat and Pat asks what was the duck in the Haven? What duck?
Back to the car for my bins... I quickly spot this Scoter? and start taking record photos...

But what is that? it is to big to be a winter phase Black Guillemot?
I watch dumbfounded as it goes into the cave and hides there for 15 min. I'm about to leave... but I was talking to the French Film Crew when the bird came back out into the North Haven. OMG it's some sort of a Grebe! and it wasn't Slavonian! I think it must be Great Crested? With the record shots I confirm my suspicions when I get home an look at my Collins Bird Guide. Not a common bird in Shetland or Fair Isle.

Great Crested Grebe - self found "Lifer" & Island Tick!
My 250th Fair Isle Tick.

As it turned out other Fair Islanders saw it in the morning loading the boat and jokingly referred to it when asking each other what it was? Calling it an "Expensive Duck" I'm glad I saw it but I don't know if the warden saw it before leaving today? and if he did why didn't anyone call me?

I can't help but think of Mickey Mouse... Cheers!


  1. A great self found! I know that GCG is an uncommon bird here- well done!

  2. Tommy - I love Grebes- and it doesn't bother me that I have seen dozens neigh hundreds of GCG they are beautiful!But a first is alays special!