Sunday, 5 October 2008

Slight improvement

Still very windy today. Mark and I had a kick around Toab & Virkie in the morning, including walking down the 'Ditch of Delights' behind Rob's house where Marcus Lawson found a Paddyfield Warbler and a Thrush Nightingale a couple of weeks ago, but for little reward. OK, no reward.

Then in the afternoon we got a message about a Red-throated Pipit down the 'Valley of Plenty' (otherwise known as Clevigarth, just north of Exnaboe). I wouldn't normally bother twitching something like this, having seen several before, but as the alternative was probably seeing fuck-all we went to have a look.

Some entertainment was provided by a halfwit thinking that a perfectly normal Meadow Pipit was the bird ("it's a very bright one!"), but we had to make do with hearing the real bird call a few times and seeing it in flight. There was further egregious stringing when several people claimed to have seen it on the ground, but all we could see was a well-marked Meadow Pipit. Eventually we gave up (although Rob still hadn't even seen the bird in flight) and went to the shop to get some food for this evening.

Thinking that it might be easier to find the bird once the crowds had gone (yes - crowds - on Shetland!!), Mark, Rob & I returned late afternoon, and immediately located it in the same general area. Without the presence of large numbers of cretins it was much easier to get close to it, and we had excellent views of it on the ground. Not the best-marked Red-throat I've seen, but still very distinctive.

The real highlight of the day, however, was the splendid four bean curry (that's four types of bean, not four individual beans) cooked for us by Mark this evening - who needs Andy Lawson?...

Finally for now, an illustration of the sort of undesirables who are coming to Shetland these days - we heard an account of some absolute cock twitching 2 Song Thrushes at Brae (fucking miles away in the north, up near Sullom Voe) because he needed it for his 'trip list'. Even funnier - he dipped!!

P.S. photos of the Red-throated Pipit on Surfbirds and the Shetland website - as you can see, it was a bit of a scrubber!


Marcus Lawson said...

Hopefully things will start picking up from now on the bird front, keep working the "Dod Burn" it will come up trumps again soon.

Did Mark use that lovely vindaloo paste that I left to fester in Rob's fridge? If so keep Ginger cat away from it as it left him in a bit of a mess last time. That'll learn him!!

Eagleseagles said...

I presume the Barred Warbler was just hanging around the other garden?
(RBA monday am!)
Are you gonna entice it into Rob's garden ...or has he already got Barred on his garden list?

Any reason why Rob's not blogged since 19th Sept?


Marcus Lawson said...

Rob added Barred Warbler to the garden list when I was up there a couple of weeks ago. My big Bruv found the one this morning, hopefully a (small) sign that things are on the up.

No 1 in South London!!!

Andy Mackay said...

Replies to the above:

We've been through Dod Burn twice today and not seen a bird in it. There is still very little around at the moment - I haven't even seen a Chiffchaff yet, let alone a Yellow-browed!

No, we didn't like the look of the vindaloo paste.

The Barred Warbler was only seen briefly by the Nordagerdi crew, then buggered off into the field.

Rob's says the reason he hasn't blogged since 19th September is a) because he can't be arsed and b) because he's got far too much else to do, including writing 7 rare bird descriptions!

Eagleseagles said...

Tell Rob fair enough - as he obviously has been having too good a time if he has to write up 7 (SEVEN) rare bird to not being arsed thats no excuse!

beast said...


Hope the birding improves soon before hallucinations set in. Wot was it Rob said you might see when u first arrived? arctic redpoll the size of a walrus? I suppose that's possible after an evening grazing on mushrooms and vast amounts of whiskey...
As you must be aware...there's feck all around here..[not counting the 'little blue heron' in Ireland which is, in reality 'a little pile of white shite'. [havin' said that, it wud look pretty good at eye the best plastic bag on legs i'd ever seen]!
Good hunting...Beast