Mark and I won the race to be first to the lighthouse this morning, but it didn't do us any good - all we saw was a Reed Bunting. Heading down to the Sumburgh Hotel garden was a much better idea, as there was a Great Grey Shrike in it! It was very flighty and difficult to get close to (as many birds seem to be here when they first arrive), but I managed to get this record shot:
Also in the hotel garden a possible Blyth's Reed Warbler got pulses racing until we got closer and noticed the diagnostic Fyffes sticker on it:
After a veritable pie drought at the Toab shop recently, we weren't optimistic, but today's visit brought the welcome sight of no less than SIX Lasagne Pies on the shelf! This number was rapidly reduced to two, making Mark in particular very happy. Also in the Toab area was a Yellow-browed Warbler; always nice to see, even if they don't even rate as scarce these days.
The rest of the day was spent flogging South Mainland as usual - a Jack Snipe at Sumburgh Farm was new for the holiday list, and this Red-breasted Flycatcher kept up my run of seeing this species at the lighthouse every time I've been to Shetland in the autumn:
Mid-afternoon we heard the surprising news that the Nordagerdi crew had all decided to go home today - Andy Lawson to twitch the Alder Flycatcher in Cornwall (will it be there tomorrow?...), and John and Dave because they'd decided the weather looked shit for the next few days. Almost immediately it looked as if they might regret this decision, as a Lanceolated Warbler was reported at Toab, but predictably we couldn't find it when we went to look for it.
Personally, I don't think the weather looks at all shit, and I fully expect to see a rare before I go home next Wednesday. There was a positive side to this strange decision though - on hearing the news Mark and I immediately raided their kitchen, and carried off a fine selection of provisions, including chicken breasts, several bottles of beer and the ingredients for an apple crumble (plus a tin of custard). Thanks guys - we shan't have to do any more shopping for a few days!
Mark is currently in the kitchen making a chilli, and singing 'Ring of Fire', which hopefully isn't a prediction for tomorrow!!