Twitchers Revisited


Fantastic weather today, so decided to do my monthly *WeBS count. My area for the count is Papil Water and today it looked as good as it ever does.

*WeBS is wetland bird survey and the information gathered goes to the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) who use it to map population trends of the UK’s water birds - Ducks, Geese, Swans, Waders etc. It helps with conservation work and habitat management strategies.


Good count of Whooper Swans - 26 today.

The rarest bird found was the Ring-necked Duck (female) which is a rare migrant from North America (about 30 records for Shetland)

It was distant, hence the horrible record shot

(second from right)


Went to Yell today to get diesel and a few bits from the shop. On leaving the shop there was an unfamiliar sparrow sized bird drinking from a puddle. It flew immediately showing a lot of white in the wings and back. Bearing in mind that at this time of the year in Shetland, literally anything can turn up, so I was almost panicking, just in case I’d flushed (and failed to identify) a mega rarity!

Snow Bunting went through my head first, but it was wrong structurally and anyway, they invariably call when flushed and this didn’t.

Fortunately, after a brief search, I was relieved to relocate it in a nearby garden and managed to get a couple of shots before it flew again, further this time.

Panic over when I got a more prolonged look at it and its identity became obvious…

Leucistic House Sparrow :face_with_raised_eyebrow:



I had to look up leucistic :thinking:


And me, nice word though. :slightly_smiling_face:


It’s quite commonly used in birding parlance, otherwise I wouldn’t have known either.


As in Santa Maria di Leuca, the southernmost town in Puglia, named after a beautiful shining white mermaid called Leucasia (Leucos is the Greek for white) :nerd_face:



It all looks very pretty, but it’s those cunts who have almost wiped out the Houbara Bustard.


Ahh! Didn’t know that. But still some good photos though



An interesting read - thanks for posting it


The cost and consequences of substantial wealth - Saudi now also has one of the highest and fastest rising obesity rates.


indeed - have you been? I have been visiting for about 25 years on and off, and that is certainly one of the most noticeable and visible changes.


No, not Saudi but I have worked in Abu Dhabi and similarly noticeable there.


yes and Dubai, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain…not so bad in Oman


Slowly, but surely, the Northern Bald Ibis is recovering from near extinction.

It was 2006 in Morocco when I thought it would probably be my last chance to see this strange looking bird. Fortunately, we found the last remaining colony and saw at least 12 birds.

Northern Bald Ibis (aka Waldrapp) - Souss-Massa National Park, Morocco - May 2006 (it’s a crap photo, but we didn’t care at the time)




Taken three years ago today in Anglesey on the Great Ocean Road. RoRo still insists this is a rare sighting of a Strayan Christmas Birdie.



is his nickname ‘your boat’