Wednesday, 9 October 2013

6th,7th, and 8th October

The first full day on Mainland Shetland was windy and damp with drizzle on and off all day. We spent the morning birding around the accommodation, finding Spotted Flycatcher, a couple of Yellow-browed Warblers, and Blackcaps. After that we headed to Voe in search of the Arctic Warbler that had been present for a few days. The Warbler wasn't present but we did find a new Red-breasted Flycatcher and a supporting cast of 2+ Yellow-browed Warblers, blackcaps, Great spotted Woodpecker, Siskin and Chiffchaff. The rest of the day was spent birding different spots around the Island but only produced more Y B Warblers and  2 Goldfinch (scarce on Shetland).
The 7th was less windy but with low cloud and almost constant light rain. We headed to Yell in search of the Buff-bellied Pipit but it failed to show in the time we were there. We did get great views of the Eastern Subalpine Warbler as the rain got heavier around late morning. We spent the rest of the day birding around Yell finding yet more Y B Warblers with every area we looked at having one. A Siberian Chiffchaff was also found and was a first for me as I have never seen one that has had enough plumage characteristic to tick with confidence. A Reed warbler gave us the run around for well over an hour at one garden before giving itself up and showing well, if only it could have been a Blyth's Reed!
The 8th was our last day as we were travelling home, and what a mad and exhausting series of events that was. We did however manage to get great views of the Short-toed Lark at Sumbrugh before we left. The journey home involved delayed flights from Shetland, plane breakdown (again on Shetland), running for plane at Stansted with minutes to spare, and problems in the car park. In all I was rather glad to make it back home at 8pm and still can't believe we made it.

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