Monday, 16 November 2015

Lerwick - Boddam - 4.10.15

Today was Brendon's last day so we chose to stay fairly close to the airport. We however headed north first of all to Lerwick for our 3rd attempt at the Olive-Backed Pipit that had proven invisible over the last two days! Again no such luck as far as the pipit was concerned but I did see one of the Barred Warblers that had been found before our arrival. 3 Robin were also noteworthy as it was the highest single group count of the trip! On the way back south we stopped to look over the harbour and along with 4 Black Guillemot and quite a few Eider I picked out 2 Long-Tailed Duck.

Fancying a cuppa we stopped of at Spiggie hoping to get served in the hotel but it wasn't open for business. No wonder its for sale! A quick walk around the farm buildings produced a Yellow-Browed Warbler that Brendon found and whilst trying to re-find it I found another Barred Warbler! I then picked up another YB Warbler just up the road. A quick scan of Loch of Spiggie from the car park added Moorhen to the trip list and 50+ Pink-Footed Geese overhead.

Neck collared Greylag Geese
Lesser Redpoll
On the loch itself were 8+ Tufted Duck, 3 Bonxie, 4 Slavonian Grebe and 11 Whooper Swan. A bit further along the road we found Lesser Redpoll, 2 neck collared Greylag Geese and I found another YB Warbler in the middle of a field hunting from a wire fence!

Pool of Virkie was our next destination hoping to claw back the Black-Tailed Godwit we missed earlier in the week. Luckily Brendon picked it out very quickly which allowed me some time to check out the famous Virkie willows. Between us we found another 2 YB Warbler! Out on the mud I also managed to find the juvenile Curlew Sandpiper which showed pretty well.

With only a few minutes before Brendon left we popped into the Sumburgh hotel garden again and immediately I picked up the Spotted Flycatcher on the wall. This was species number 100 for the trip. Species number 101 soon followed as a Fieldfare dropped out of the sky in front of me.

It was then time to take Brendon to the airport and as we said our goodbyes I joked a mega will turn up now! Steve and I got back in the car and before we'd left the car park the mega alert went off! A Swainson's Thrush had been found in the car park of the Final Checkout café on Unst (remember the name)!! If only it had been 24 hours earlier we'd have scored but with only a couple of hours of daylight left we had no chance of getting there.

Lapland Bunting
Somewhat annoyed We wondered where to head next but that question was soon answered when a Lapland Bunting had been found at Sumburgh Head. We drove down passing some people looking out to see. Thinking they were just passing the time with a seawatch we carried on past. It was only when it was too late that we realised they were looking at some Risso's Dolphin which would have been a new dolphin species for me. We pulled up in the car park and got straight onto the Lapland Bunting feeding just a few feet away.

After getting our fill we then went to Grutness to look over the garden which the year before had held a Myrtle Warbler. Today though it only held another 4 YB Warbler!! As I walked up to the pier to use the loo a Peregrine flew over chasing a pigeon and out in Grutness Voe were 2 Slavonian Grebe.

A brief visit to Toab saw us fail miserably in trying to be in the right place to view a Blyth's Reed Warbler with only fleeting glimpses being had though another YB Warbler was seen here!

The last stop of the day was at Boddam where even driving down the road we picked out 2 more YB Warbler! A 3rd was found up the road and a Goldcrest finished the day off. Just the 13 Yellow-Browed Warbler for the day!

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