May in south Shetland

White billed Divers by Lars Jonsson (from ‘Lommar’ 1992)

The first week of May has been eventful. Highlights have included a probable Savi’s Warbler (heard briefly), Osprey, male Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Hoopoe, Siberian Chiffchaff in the garden (our list has now reached 80 species), Shore Lark, White-billed Diver, and Ring-billed Gull.

The White-billed Diver was self-found at Kirkabister on 5th: always impressive, and simply magnificent in full breeding plumage. Although too distant for me to attempt a photo, this plate by the incomparable Lars Jonsson as usual captures the bird perfectly.

Amongst the commoner migrants it has been a particular pleasure to watch male Snow Buntings in breeding plumage, Whinchats, Redstarts, Pied Flycatchers, and ‘Mealy’ Redpolls. Most migrants have appeared in better condition than is sometimes the case in autumn, though this Robin at Quendale seemed simply exhausted:

Tired migrant Robin, Quendale

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