Monday, October 5, 2015

Shetland day 6 - many non-sibe thrushes

Woke up early in the morning and the weather conditions were ideal. Walked out with Pierre and immediately we had a flock of Redwings overhead. We both said: today is a day for a Sibe Thrush. We were so right and so wrong. 
We headed off to spend the day on Whalsay. In the morning the weather was quite nice - sunny with a moderate easterly wind, but during the day the wind picked up considerably (now there is a gale outside). We first checked the famous plantation - it had a few Redwings, a Brambling and little else. When we returned there around noon it was packed full with fresh migrants - several yellow-brows, many Goldcrests, Pied Fly and a few others.

Redwings - when it was still sunny

The plantation

During my week on Shetland I probably saw more than 100 birds but I just cannot have enough of these stunning little sibes:

Yellow-browed Warbler


We then continued checking iris beds, crop fields and gardens all around the garden. The wind made birding more difficult. We came up with nothing of real interest. Another Pied Fly, Whinchat, Lesser Whitethroat etc. I had three flyover Redpoll thingies and a flock of about 30 Twite: 

'Shetland' Wren

Hedgehog - introduced like all mammals on Shetland. Rather sinister-looking.


Around noon news broke of a Siberian Thrush on Fair Isle. Classic. Pierre immediately started calculating how to get there on time before the winds were too strong, and to get off on time for his connections to Corvo. After a few phone calls we figured out that flights for the day were cancelled because of the wind, and anyway the bird wasn't really playing ball over there. So we gave up the idea and continued birding in more leisure. We finished up on Whalsay and went on to check some sites on the east coast. More thrushes, yellow-brows etc. but that's it.
Today was my last full day on Shetland. It was a good day despite not seeing anything rare. By the sound of the wind outside I doubt if I get any birding done tomorrow morning before I head back home. We'll see. Good night.

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