Monday, 27 September 2010

Sunday 26th September - Shetland Mainland

We arrived on in Lerwick at 07.30 after a calm sailing, the short wait at the ferry terminal giving us chance to have a look around the immediate vicinity which although quiet, did produce 9 Golden Plover. Our first port of call was the ferry terminal for Yell at Toft whilst waiting for our boat. Here we managed to see a small selection of birds including 9 Snow Bunting, 8 Pink footed Geese, 35 Wigeon, 2 Bonxie and lots of Black Guillemot on the crossing.
We drove straight across Yell in order to catch the next ferry to Unst where we headed to Norwick where most of the islands migrants had been seen the previous day. We spent over an hour birding the main garden and crop field here and were rewarded with the following; 1 Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll, 9 Greenland Redpoll, 6 Chiffchaff, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 12 Brambling, 1 Pied Flycatcher and 2 Blackcap.

Melodious Warbler
Moving to a differant part of the village we quickly located a Melodious Warbler which showed extremley well for all the group, pictured above. After such a brilliant start to the day we were overjoyed, however shortly our enjoyment of the Melodious Warbler was cut a little short with news of a White's Thrush which had been found on mainland Shetland about 10 miles south of Lerwick.
We arrived on the site within 3 hours of receiving news, which gave us plenty of time to hopefully locate the bird. Once out of the car we quickly discovered that there had been no sign of the bird in the past 2 hours, and it had disappeared into the thick cover of some inaccesible gardens. After an extensive search we had still not seen the bird, however when most people had left and we were beginning to give up hope one group member located the bird along the burn in which it had been originally seen. Over the next half an hour the whole team obtained good views of this stunning Siberian vagrant, and the atmosphere was electric as we left the site ecstatic. What a start to the tour; and with the weather set to get better, what might tomorrow bring?

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