Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Twitching in the rain

The general plan today was to see the Spotted Sandpiper and Bonelli's Warbler first thing this morning, then work our way north and try to find something. But the weather had other ideas. It was raining heavily when we woke up this morning, and it's still raining heavily now as I type this at 18:30. In between – it rained heavily. Constantly. All day. Without a break.

What we should have done was either stay in bed or start building an ark, but we foolishly thought there might be some birds around in the south (it was also south-easterly this morning), so we had a good look around Grutness and Sumburgh Farm. Whilst getting soaked we realised that yet again nothing new had arrived. After drying out and drinking tea we went back out and headed for Ellister, between Maywick and Bigton. Despite the pouring rain, the Western Bonelli's Warbler was feeding unconcerned in the sycamores and showing well. Sort of a tick for me, as the only other one I've seen (on Bryher in 1995) was only accepted as Bonelli's Warbler sp when the two species were split.

We then drove round Loch of Spiggie, adding Moorhen to the holiday list (yes!) before walking in the rain to Burn of Garth, where we easily found the Spotted Sandpiper feeding along the burn. If it had been nice weather, and if I had had my camera with me, I would have got some award-winning photos, but as it was I had to be content with just watching it.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is for more rain, plus Rob has had a letter telling him that the electricity will be off from 9 till 3 tomorrow. I don't fancy getting soaked again before packing and going home, so I shall probably stay in bed and leave the ark building to Gary.

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