Shetland Trip – Day 6 – 1/x/16

The first day of October dawned bright and windless, and I was ready for a full day of birding having caught up on sleep. I began by birding the observatory plantation, and was rewarded with better views of yesterdays’ redpolls, and confirming they were Lesser Redpolls albeit fairly pale ones. Slightly frustratingly these are much scarcer on the island than Mealy Redpolls, which would have been a lifer for me. A Yellow-Browed Warbler was also present and showing well on the fence above the plantation.

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I continued down, birding thoroughly around Setter and Pund, and being rewarded with a flyover Siskin, a Swallow and 5 Jack Snipe. A Garden Warbler and a Whinchat were at the Stackhoull Shop, and whilst there I heard that the Bluethroat had been seen again at Shirva. I headed up there quickly, and as I arrived the bird hopped into view in a gateway ahead of me. It showed well for several minutes feeding around a small shed, and even coughed up a pellet at one point! The head markings were bold, but with no evidence of blue or rufous in the breast this is likely to be a a 1st-winter female.

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The rest of the day was a little disappointing, with some hard birding producing relatively little. The afternoons highlights were: a showy Slavonian Grebe in North Haven, along with several waders, a few Lapland Buntings kicking about and a grey looking Whitethroat trying to look rare at Stackhoull.

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With the conditions looking very promising for new arrivals tomorrow, there was a bit of a buzz at log. Hopefully it would live up to expectations!

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