17 Oct 2010

Shetland Day 2. In search of the elusive pipit.

With news coming out on RBA that the Buff-breasted Pipit at Eshaness had been relocaated and with Matt needing both this and Buff-breasted Sandpiper it seemed churlish to refuse to go so after an early breakfast we were on our way before dawn.

Needless to say the previous days news on the pipit was dodgy to say the least and events later in the week lead us to believe a case of mistaken identity was made in the reporting........................Despite a good five hours search of its new location and the area it had previously been seen there was no sign of it. Our only reward was 15 Lapland Buntings, a Black-throated Diver and two Slav Grebes.

The two Buff-breasted Sadnpipers were, as usual,  ridiculously tame at the lighthouse and gave stunning views as they moved around completely unconcerned by our presence. Makes the rapid disappearance of the bird recently reported on the Wirral even more peculiar.

Another amazing site at this northerly spot was the flock of 120+ Snow Buntings. I've never seen so many in one flock and it was quite a spectacle seeing them all flying together.

Unfortunately we werent able to hlep this Redwing although I nearly caught it twice. Sadly it had got a fishermans hook and some line stuck in its bill and couldn't close it. I doubt if it survived the day.

Returning south we checked Voe but there was very little to retain our interest and concentrations soon wandered when Mike & Damon were told about the bakery and the presence of a pub. Damo even managed a take-away pint.

With news from some other birders we'd met on the Islands of yet another lifer for Matt we headed off to Sandwick where a Radde's Warbler was eventually relocated and showed reasonably well. Leaving the Radde's we decided to head towards Helendale in Lerwick when Jase texted us again with news of an Isabelline Shrike at Scousborough. Needless to say, it being a lifer for several of the group, we headed that to find the Shrike had gone missing. A search of the area ensued before it was relocated and it eventually gave stunning views as it ate a Blackcap stored in its 'larder'.

Another successful day over and a well earned dinner of stew prepared the day before by Mr Payne and a couple of beers saw me exhausted in bed by 09.30!!


Mark said...

Damn you seem to have found the secret door to the Voe bakery! Just as well that we'll be doing our savoury hunting on Unst next year!

Phil Woollen. said...

Just a shame the beer was crap. Damon left his but the baarman insisted on pouring a fresh pint and putting it in a plastic glass for him. I beleive you guys got to the bakery begofe we did- there were only 3 pies left!!!!

Good luck on Unst next year. What dates are you thinling of going? We're planning Hoswick for the 1st week of October. Cheap flights shoudl be out by end of January.

Congrats on the forthcoming nuptials by the way!