Monday 11 May 2009

Not as bad as it sounds ?

The chain of events :
Thursday 7th May.
19.00 - Depart Lerwick.
Friday 8th May.
07.00 - Arrive Aberdeen.
19.00 - Arrive Cheshire via Pallid Swift.
Saturday 9th May.
10.30 - Depart Cheshire.
15.30 - Arrive Aberdeen.
17.00 - Depart Aberdeen.
Sunday 10th May.
07.30 - Arrive Lerwick refreshed.
09.05 - Arrive home.
10.30 - Depart home.
12.30 - Depart Grutness on board the Good Shepard.
15.30 - Arrive Fair Isle.

A bit rushed to say the least but bloody worth it. A frantic search/wait for 90 minutes was forgotten when i received a call off Deryk Shaw (cheers, hope the donation helps) the bird was back in his garden. A quick sprint come jog (last time i did that was for the Caspian Plover) was rewarded with excellent views of the Brown-headed Cowbird for the next 4 1/2 hours. I didn't really have time to read up on the bird and was only armed with a photo on my mobile that i received a day earlier for id purposes, and with brown & cow in its name, it suggests maybe its not the most impressive of birds but, in full sun it is actually quite stunning. Plumage colour wise similar to a starling vivid black with hints of green and blue and a powder brown head. We were also treated to its peculiar 'bubble & squeak' song ! The day ended with diner at South Light and a good nights sleep at Schoolton B&B which brought an end to a frantic few days. Up at 5am for a quick check before the 6am departure proved fruitless, and subsequent messages throughout the day were all negative and so its seems i managed once again, to get the bird by the skin of my teeth.

Once back on dry land called in at Scatness for the 2 Black Ducks then caught up with the 'wing tagged' White-tailed Eagle soaring over Fitful Head. Late news concerning a summer plumaged Adult Franklins Gull at Scatsta nearly had me off isle, but will leave that for tomorrow. Hopefully.


Phil Woollen. said...

Great pics Jase and well done on a superb lifer. If Jan hadn't been away this weekend I'd have driven up Friday night!!!!

Phil Bishop said...

Unfortunately not in a position to twitch Fair Isle myself (had an enjoyable time with the Swift though).
The Cowbird is a lot better looking than some have suggested, and your images are superb

Jason said...

Cheers Phil & Phil, i was gutted for you and Jonno as well as some Shetland birders who never got the chance to see it.
Like Al says "there will be another ?"