14/5/12  I was due to fly midday, so having captured a car I had time to explore part of the island, but the event of the morning happened right outside the Sella Ness camp. I heard a bird song that I did not recognise, but yet I did. Phrases of this bird song were familiar, I had put it down to a Wren, but I was not confident as I know a wren's song intimately and this was very different. The song was coming from overgrown grass around a container on a sub-based area, the fact I could hear this song being repeated but could not see the singer was a good clue for it being "the cave dweller", it did reveal itself on a heras fence leaning to windward next to the container, it was a wren !! a chunky looking wren at that. Maybe eating camp food  like we do, a lot. So, I very well know that birds have accents from various studies, the RSPB conceded the Scottish crossbill is a separate species from it's song, lots of birds mimic other birds and other noises too. Birds sometimes don't sing all of their song, I remember walking around Krakow and hearing the magpies, same calls but slightly different. This wren's song had phrases similar but the whole song (if it was) was most unlike a mainland bird. This raises lots of questions, was this a Shetland wren? perhaps a St Kilda wren, a known sub-species? are Shetland wrens becoming a sub-species? I need to plunder the knowledge within the Shetland bird club. The photos are labelled, there are fields of marsh marigold in Shetland with sprinklings of primroses, the oyster catcher is nesting 3/4m from the access road into the SGP site, I have never seen so many oyster catchers and indeed curlews as on Shetland. The diver was on Loch of Tingwall so were the whoopers, but I had to swing the van in reverse down a field entrance to get the whoopers, they had the last laugh (whoop) because there the van stayed for 40 minutes till a passing motorist pulled me from the too loose subbase. The ringed plover was also pictured from the van and is nesting near the Sella Ness camp. Still have not seen a swallow on the Shetlands, but inevitably the sea swallows are now returning.

One Response to “Wren song”

  1. June 21, 2012 at 8:54 am

    I plundered the knowledge within the book “a naturalist’s Shetland” and had a kind of guarded, yes, they are regarded as separate sub-species from the RSPB’s representative in Shetland. So is the starling, I read.
    I did see breeding swallows just by chance south of Lerwick, believe it or not this is a rare sighting, some Shetlanders have never seen a swallow in Shetland.

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