I have been fortunate to visit Shetland on a number of occasions although always in a work related roll and always with little or no birding time. Finally, I managed a weeks' dedicated autumn birding with 'Shetland nature'. Shetland is far bigger than many birders realise and can often be a daunting place in terms of transport, accommodation, remote habitat and extreme weather. To optimise my birding experience I decided to have a stress-free birding break with Brydon Thomason's 'Shetland nature' and very capable guide Chris Rodger. All my transportation and accommodation was taken care of, Chris had intimate local knowledge of when and where to find the best birds, so I could just get on and enjoy the birding with no worries! Although preceded by two weeks of easterlies the wind had veered to gale force plus from the SW the day before my arrival. Despite the initial challenging conditions I was able to connect with 3 megas! First up was the splendid Swainson's thrush at Norwick, followed a couple of days later by the double delights of White's thrush and yellow-rumped warbler!!
A supporting cast of rare and scarce birds including Rustic bunting, eastern subalpine warbler, wryneck, barred warblers, yellow-browed warblers, bluethroat, Arctic redpoll, red-breasted flycatcher, common rosefinch and Temminck's stint made the week one to remember for a very long time. Although not the scarcest bird by any means, it was fantastic to finally see a wryneck in Britain- my previous 12 dips over the last two decades have finally seen off my bogey bird! Happy days indeed and I can't wait to get back to these wonderful islands.
|wryneck- at last!!|