Out Skerries – Review of the 2022 Birding Year

Western Subalpine Warbler by Nathaniel Dargue


There are no resident birders on Out Skerries, so like last year I am doing a review after the last knockings of the autumn. If there are any further notable sightings I will repost an updated version.

In the context of ever declining numbers of migrants noted by resident Shetland birders it was a relatively good year for birds on Skerries. There were good falls noted in both spring (17-18 May) and autumn (7-8 September) and a better haul of good birds than in many years.

Headline Birds

First record of Glossy Ibis*

First record of American Golden Plover

First record of Western Subalpine Warbler identified to species**

Western Subalpine Warbler by Nathaniel Dargue

Second record of River Warbler

Second record of Red Kite

Third record of Nightjar

Third record of Golden Oriole

Third or fourth record of Grey Phalarope***

Fourth record of Eastern Subalpine Warbler identified to species**

Eastern Subalpine Warbler by Mike Young-Powell

Fifth record of Hornemann’s Arctic Redpoll

Hornemann’s Arctic Redpoll by Stephen Dunstan

Seventh record of Curlew Sandpiper (involving c25 birds)

Curlew Sandpiper by Stephen Dunstan

Eighth record of Arctic Warbler

Arctic Warbler by Roger Riddington

Ninth and tenth records of Olive-backed Pipit

Olive-backed Pipit by Nick Addey

* Found long dead on hillside on Bruray in mid May

** There are a further seven records of Subalpine Warblers that were before the split into three species, or since then but not identified to species

*** One record may have been ‘at sea’


In spring there were birders on the isles from 15 May to 13 June. In autumn there were birders staying 8 to 10 September, 21 September to 6 October and 20 to 28 October. A summary of this would be that spring coverage was better than the recent average whereas autumn coverage was lower than average in terms of both days present and numbers of birders.

As ever when there were no birders staying on Skerries day trips were made by Shetland birders when conditions were good or at least not hostile to migrants.

The only Marsh Warbler recorded this year, picture in typical Skerries surroundings by Mike Young-Powell

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