Monday, 16 November 2015

Lerwick - Home -5.10.15

Our last day on Shetland had arrived far too quickly so after packing the car and tidying the accommodation we went for our 4th attempt at the Lerwick OBP. But again there was no sign but suddenly I picked up the call of geese that I hadn't heard so far this trip. I looked up and through the bins were 16 Barnacle Geese heading noisily south. A Chiffchaff was in full song by the hospital and 2 Siskin flew over.

One place we had driven past a few times that looked good was Channerwick so today we paid it a visit. I walked to the far end and from a pile of rope a brown bird flew up and dropped in by the derelict buildings. After wading through long wet weeds I found a Willow Warbler but whether that was my bird I'll never know! A Yellow-Browed Warbler was heard but not seen. Dodgy guts curtailed our stay here so after a loo stop we were just about to have a look around an interesting wooded garden when news broke of a Dusky Warbler. This time though it was us who were too early as it had been found in the garden at Grutness where we had looked the day before! We arrived on site but it had disappeared. The wind that had been plaguing us from the west had swung south-easterly and the birds almost instantly started arriving. Despite no Dusky the garden was full of Goldcrest which the local moggy started to catch much to everyone's annoyance. The elderly owner even tried to hamper our viewing by walking into the garden telling us all to go get a life you sad bastards!! I decided to wander up to one of the quarries and apart from more Goldcrest I picked out a lovely pair of Brambling which were a surprise year tick. The mega alert then sounded telling us of a male Siberian Thrush on Fair Isle! So close but yet so far but even those on there dipped as only 2 people saw it. 3 more flocks of Barnacle Geese headed over totalling just over 100 birds.

The hybrid. Any guesses?!
News then broke of another OBP just up the road at Scatness so we shot up there to find nobody else! The directions were that it was on the last stone wall so we walked past the houses and out into the fields to the last stone wall. No OBP around but on a small pool 2 more trip ticks were had with a female Shoveler and a female Pintail. A third duck proved to be a weird looking hybrid! Behind the pool were nearly 200 Barnacle Geese. In amongst them were 2 yellow colour ringed birds. Once home I submitted this record and the Greylag neck collars to see where they had originated from. The Greylag had only moved a couple of miles but the Barnacles had been ringed in Svalbard in 2010 and had been seen at Caerlaverock WWT in between!

So that was that. A very enjoyable trip despite Easyjet's best efforts to screw it up. Due to that it was very frustrating birding wise as we were playing catch up and as a result missed more than we saw and the westerly wind didn't help either! But the secenery was amazing, the birds we did see were very good including 37 Yellow-Browed Warblers but the one thing that annoyed both groups was the distinct lack of information for the majority of birds. If you find something and put the news out don't just say its in a garden in a village as that's bloody pointless!

Goodbye Shetland

Fair Isle under the cloud!

No comments:

Post a Comment