Thursday 27 October 2016

Fourteen Days Away: Day 10: 5th October:

Fourteen Days Away:  Day 10: 5th October:  

It was a clearer brighter day but that south-easterly was still howling and so after a bacon buttie we headed slightly north to Sullom plantation where the Black-throated Thrush was seen briefly yesterday. We were first on site and had the wood to ourselves and it was immediately obvious that there were plenty of birds present. A few Redwings and Song Thrushes exploded out and Goldcrests were vociferous along with the first YBWs of the day. In fact they became uncountable here and a figure of ten was probably still conservative. The walk back down was enlivened by me thankfully not taking the eastern path and meeting the large cow lurking in the undergrowth that leapt ungracefully over the fence back into the field in front of David and Jono while Bob and I merely reacted to the loud twanging of wire that reverberated through the trees! 

Another epic sunrise
The rest of the day can be summed up by 'we checked lots of likely spots where migrants may be escaping from the wind and found another 25 Yellow-browed Warblers!!' Phenomenal numbers and a day count that took us to 109 for the trip. Thankfully we did see some other birds too including our first Red-breasted Flycatcher (at Lower Voe) and our fourth Little Bunting (at Wester Quarff).

Frakkafield - the last Hawk Owl was here many moons ago - we had two YBWs
Red-breasted Flycatcher - Lower Voe - Jono Lethbridge

Always amazed that this is the only defaced Passing Place sign we see...
The Rose-coloured Starling was seen again in Scalloway and dashing Sparrowhawks and Merlins were after Redwings while Golden Plover flocks were scoured for AmGoPlos but it was the magic of Sumburgh Head in the last hour of the day before depositing Jono at the airport that made the day. 

We only did the quarries but they had plenty of tired and hungry migrants in them with orange breasted Continental Robins, Blackcaps, a cold Siberian Chiffchaff, Song Thrushes, Blackbirds and a few Redwings grubbing around. 

A very rare looking Robin...

A very enormous looking Wren...

Nearly every quarry Fulmar was ringed...

However, it was the tiny little Goldcrests grovelling in the grass and thistles at our feet that stole the show as they fed around us in complete oblivion of our presence. Just how they even get here is a marvel...

Goldcrests - a real delight

Three Long-tailed Ducks were feeding in Grutness Voe as the sun finally set over the airport

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