Saturday, 24 October 2015

Shetland phase II

Back to Shetland for some more quality birding. This autumn has been fairly quiet by Shetland's usual high standards. Weather systems were largely benign, with no predominant airflow from either the east or west- just big lumps of high pressure sitting over the Northern isles- beautiful conditions for being in the field but not great for bringing in migrants. The priority for me and my fellow birders was to work habitat in the hope of finding our own birds. Although we worked very hard for a considerable number of days, our 'self-founds' were limited to a bluethroat, a Richard's pipit and a little bunting. The quality of birding was still very good however, and I have to remind myself that seeing Great grey shrikes, Red-backed shrikes, Richard's pipits, OBP and Dusky warbler in addition to heaps of YBW's is not to be sniffed at- especially now that I am back home in the birding 'black hole' of the NW highlands! We cut our Shetland time a day early to dash south for the little yellow gem found by birding friend Tony Marr on Lewis...........  of course that meant missing a red-flanked bluetail and a cattle egret- but I'm sure there will be further opportunities to catch up with those!..........

Barnacle geese over Lamda Ness, Unst.
Bluethroat, Quendale (not found by us!)
Little bunting, Toab
Red- backed shrike, Burrafirth

Dusky warbler, Sandwick

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