11 Oct 2016

Cosmic mind blowing accentor.

When the RBA mega alert went off a few days ago I was busy up to my elbows in concrete so I didn't pay it more than a passing glance - 'Alpine Accentor, Shetland...'  At least thats what I read it as. It was only when Fred texted me to see if  I was interested in flying up with him that I realised what it actually said was SIBERIAN ACCENTOR! A first for Britain no less but widely prophesied by the wisemen and keyboard warriors. This was one bird  I really wanted to see so rapid arrangements were formalised and  I met up with Fred, Malc and Simon in a dodgy lay-by just off the M6 at 05.00 and drove us to the airfield.

With a clear night forecast on Shetland none of us were really confident the bird would still be there but 'who dares wins Rodney' and all that - we had to try! At least we didn't have to get on the plane if the bird wasn't still there. We'd stopped for a pee and a brew when the news came through just after daylight the bird was, against all expectations, still there so we phoned through for a hire car at Sumburgh airport and boarded our plane.......... For those who know me well I'll tell you the story of the flight when we meet up but suffice to say it was reasonably 'eventful'.

On the way up we had spectacular views of the British countryside and passed close to Fair Isle where I'll be taking up temporary residence for a week in the not to distant future.

Landing safely and somewhat relieved at Sumburgh we all dashed to the loo and then picked up our hire car for the short drive to where the star of the trip had taken up temporary residence. As we drove up we saw people moving towards us and it had transpired the bird had flown from one quarry to the one we were right next to. A quick reverse into a parking spot by Fred and we were soon watching this stunning little Siberian gem from the edge of its favoured quarry as it fed on insects in the sunshine.

What a fabulous spot and a fabulous bird.

Now some pics of the star of the show:

With time pressing we reluctantly left and headed back to the airport via a Buff-breasted Sandpiper that had turned up in a field with a flock of Golden Plover. The journey home wasn't as eventful as the outward journey and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset. I eventually got home, knackered but happy, around 8.30 pm.

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