Tuesday 11 October 2022

Shetland - 3rd October

Its been a long time since I posted on this blog and a recent excellent trip to Shetland has inspired me to attempt to revive it. All of my records have been going into eBird and adding photos etc takes some time particularly as I have been entering four recent foreign trips, see bar to right. But anyway, here is a revival.

I was up at 03:00 and after a clear drive to Heathrow Terminal flight I had time to relax in the lounge. My flight with British Airways left on time at 07:25 and landed in an overcast and gloomy Glasgow airport at 08:50. My 10:45 flight eventually departed at around 11:00 and landed at around 12:15. Collecting my car from Bolt Car Rentals I was heading northwards at around 12:30. My first stop was at Scord where I scanned the bay here picking up my first Black Guillemot of the year. I then doubled back a little to West Voe Beach where a Velvet Scoter had been present for a couple of days but the bird was rather distant over on the Sumburgh side of the bay. I then headed north towards Lerwick where a stop at the Burn of Sound for 'Hornemann's' Arctic Redpoll produced only distant flight fews of a small flock of Common Redpoll. I then headed north through the remote and wild Shetland landscape to Hillswick in the far north of mainland. Here a Great Grey Shrike possibly of the subspecies 'homeyeri' had been present for a few days. I spent some time looking for the Shrike with no success but a couple of birders I had been chatting to while looking for the Shrike (Jake Gearty and Drew Lyness) wandering through the marsh around the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery flushed a Pechora Pipit which they managed to see briefly on the ground and managed to get a couple of flight shots. We wandered around a bit and I flushed the bird from my feet and it flew a short distance before dropping into a Yellow Iris bed. The news went out and after a small group arrived we organised a flush and saw the bird a couple more times. We then waited for the masses to arrive before several more flushes were organised and reasonable flight views were obtained. Leaving the bird after around 1.5 hours I went back to look for the Shrike once more but with no luck. At around 17:45 I headed back south to Lerwick to check into my hotel, the Lerwick Hotel.

Pechora Pipit, Hillswick - Flight views only were obtained but, as in these 
images, most of the key features were visible

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