Sunday 21 October 2012

Oli, Oli, Oli .......

Made the long journey north into Fife yesterday for the now seemingly long staying Eastern Olivaceous Warbler at Kilminning. A bird that eventually showed well in brief spells throughout the morning. A good supporting cast of Radde's Warbler, Red-breasted Flycatcher and Yellow-browed Warbler put thoughts of the long drive home firmly out of mind.

A slight detour on the way home for the (elusive) Pallas's Warbler at Knott End-on-Sea was a fitting way to round off a tiring but enjoyable day.

Monday 15 October 2012

Save The Best Till Last

October 5th and it was time for my return to Shetland for 8 days. The days prior to my visit had seen a good fall of birds throughout Shetland with Whalsay alone hosting Blyth's Reed Warbler, Lanceolated Warbler and Red-flanked Bluetail, all caught so would have made very welcome ringing ticks. Maybe next year?
The Friday i arrived the weather was amazing with warm autumn sunshine and blue skies. A diversion on my way north for a lifer? Siberian Stonechat at Hoswick, as you can see it performed well. Also managed to pop in and see Lee at the Orca Inn for a catch up, chatting away whilst a Wood Warbler whizzed over our heads.

The next stop via Tesco's was to see the Adult American Golden Plover at Tingwall.Seen plenty of AGP's but never an adult, very nice as well.

Unfortunately that was going to be the best of the birds until the following Friday? NW for the next 5 days made sure migration was temporarily put on hold. A visit from Phil Woolen, Matt Meehan and Chris Griffin to isle meant a long and frustrating day in the field, with a solitary Yellow-browed Warbler the best for our efforts. We resigned ourselves to photographing the local Kittiwakes.

The SE winds arrived on Wednesday night, thankfully. Thursday morning and we were watching Blackcap, Goldcrest and Chiffchaff over breakfast. A mist net session in the plantation at Skaw produced nearly a dozen Goldcrest, 2 Blackcap and a Blackbird but still we couldn't find any rares. Friday morning saw the first arrival of Thrushes with scores of Redwing and the odd Fieldfare moving through the isle. John Lowrie, nursing a bad back decided to bird at injured pace in the south of the isle, whilst Brian and I started from the north. John's decision soon paid off? A call to say he had either a Radde's or a Dusky Warbler at Symbisiter (in the Veery garden). Seen briefly a couple of times and constantly tacking was all John had had, so we positioned ourselves at various points to view the garden and waited. I managed a decent bins view to say it was definitely a Dusky Warbler then managed to position a net in the garden with the hope of catching it. A short time later we had our bird and very nice it was too, for a small brown job! 

One of the highlights of the visit was 2 nights of the Northern Lights.