Thursday, 9 October 2008

We've seen plenty of common and a few scarce, but no rare

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!!

6 comments:

Skev said...

Yep - The Nordagerdi Crew, aka The Drunkbirders = Fairweather Birders have already been on the phone looking to arrange a flycatcher trip.
I'm really hoping that it fucks off tonight so I don't feel obliged to make family disrupting arrangements for Saturday.

Andy Mackay said...

And they said they weren't going home because of the flycatcher! It would even better if the flycatcher fucks off and something that Andy Lawson needs (e.g. Lancy) turns up here before he would have been going home next Wednesday.

Tyrannosaurus Rex Harrison Ford said...

'Common', 'Scarce' and 'Rare' as nouns? Hmmmmmmm...

Andy Mackay said...

It was meant to be ironic, or post-ironic, or some such bollocks. See previous post 'Things that wankers (still) say' - 14th July 2008.

beast said...

Have a few 'reservations' about this empid flycatcher in Cornwall..

You can't tell wot the fucking thing is..

Having said that, it's not a bad looking bird, it's just that yer relying on some ringing twat to have got the id correct. Seems surprising to me that people who have loads of experience with these empids can't tell em apart in the hand...yet with one deft stroke of a magic cornish ruler they've proclaimed it Alder Fly. [or has that now changed]? No doubt there is some dna shit n feathers wingin their way to the nearest laboratory and in due course you can tick it off as wotever. Not very satisfactory though is it? [ok..if yer happy with that..yer happy]...
Would be much better if they just lumped willow n alder back into its former state. Really hate retrospective type ticks...waiting for someone else to tell you wot the twat is. Fuck me, reckon iberian chiffy's better..at least you can 'hang yer hat' on the call..at least thats something.

Tyrannosaurus Rex Harrison Ford said...

Thank fook for that!