Thursday 30 September 2010

Surprise, Surprise

A semi lie in this morning considering the weather was crap outside, but i eventually got out just after 9. A check of the first gardens on patch produced a few Goldcrest and Bramblings then John Laurie arrived and we headed north. A check of the plantation first, hopefully for yesterdays locustella. Fortunately it was still present, though still very elusive. A call was made to Dr Marshall and he arrived to erect the mist net. For the next 90 minutes we drove the plantation for Goldcrest after Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff and a Blackbird. Then with the weather turning and the mist net becoming soggy we drove one last time. As we approached the net John Laurie made comment we had something, on asking what it was he calmly stated "its a bloody Bluetail" What!! Most surprising was that for over an hour we had no idea this bird was present, and the first time we saw it was it caught in the net. With the euphoria we decided one more time, thankfully the locustella decided enough was enough and was trapped. Unfortunately it turned out to be a bog standard Grasshopper Warbler, maybe the next one? Dr Marshall set about the process of ringing and description, then a few photos before it was released at the head of the plantation. Expecting the Bluetail to dive bomb for cover, it decided to fly straight out to sea and was lost in the sea fog that was surrounding Whalsay. Unfortunately for visiting birders they had a wasted journey, though they managed to find a Firecrest in the plantation which was seen again briefly. I suppose on that high the rest of the day was going to be somewhat anticlimactic, but there where still birds to be had. The Bluethroat was still in the tatties at Vaivoe. A Sedge Warbler was a patch tick and the rest of Brough was made up of 20+ Brambling, 5 Siskin, 10+ Chaffinch, 2 Chiffchaff, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, 8+ Goldcrest, Whinchat, 2 Redwing and 5+ Song Thrush. Tomorrow beckons.

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