Sunday, 11 October 2009


I took the first train to Toabsville this morning, and witnessed an interesting phenomenon. Well I thought it was interesting anyway. As I walked up the road through the village, the gardens were (relatively) leaping with birds – a couple of Yellow-browed Warblers, a Redstart and several Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Robins, Goldcrests etc. But they were all moving steadily north, feeding in a garden for a few minutes and then flitting on to the next one. And when I walked back down the road an hour or so later, they had all gone, apart from one Yellow-browed which has been in the same garden for several days.

I presume these were birds which arrived in the strong SSE wind and heavy rain yesterday and overnight, trying to find shelter and/or suitable habitat in which to feed.

After this promising start, as usual we looked in various places, and as usual we saw pretty much bugger all. Highlights were a couple of Ring Ouzels at Levenwick and this obliging Little Bunting at Sumburgh Farm:

Rare birds were once again appearing in front of other people, and around mid afternoon we attempted to twitch the Blyth's Reed Warbler at Hoswick, just so we could say we'd seen something, but there was no sign of it.

Tomorrow is the 'Glorious 12th' and once again we shall be having our 'change of scenery' day. Last year this involved seeing fuck-all at Eshaness; this year's itinerary is as yet undecided, but will probably involve seeing fuck-all in central and north Mainland. Or we might just decide to stop being whingeing martyrs and twitch all the rarities that are around.

Oh yes, I nearly forgot to have a rant about this piece of utter idiocy seen on one of the news services today: why the fuck is a pair of Cape Shelducks in Herefordshire of any interest whatsoever to anyone? They even included directions on where to park, for fuck's sake. What kind of fucking imbecile thinks that's worth reporting to the news services, and more to the point what kind of arse-witted twat is going to twitch them?! Answers on a postcard please. Unless you're the person who reported them, in which case don't bother.

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