Saturday 10 October 2009


I could probably sum up today in one word: wet, but as this isn't Twitter I suppose I ought to pad it out a bit.

Taking my regular morning walk around Toabsville it was obvious that birds had arrived overnight, with Redwings everywhere and a few Goldcrests. This seemed a good sign, so we went 'down south' to do the Grutness/Sumburgh area. There were even more Redwings and Goldcrests here, most of the latter searching for food on the cliffs, but not much else. Robin was new for the holiday list, and the old faithful Bluethroat was still in exactly the same spot in the Grutness crop.

After that... um... I can't remember what we did after that – went back to the house and drank tea probably. Yes, that was it, and then round Toab again. While we were in Toab Rob had a call from Steve Minton who had seen another 'interesting' warbler just behind the beach at Scord. I had to change my trousers at this point, not because of the excitement, but because I hadn't put my waterproofs on before going out.

We arrived at Scord and proceeded to walk the area of marram grass where Steve had seen the bird. The first thing we flushed was a Long-eared Owl which jumped out of the marram and flew off across the bay towards Toab. What happened next is slightly embarassing – seven of us, including two ex Fair Isle wardens, flushed something that none of us could put a name to. Our excuse is that is was absolutely pissing with rain, combined with a strong south-south-east wind, and it was only visible for a second or two in the thistles before disappearing, never to be seen again. It looked like a dark Phyllosc, and was most likely either a Radde's or Dusky Warbler. Or it could just have been a wet Chiffchaff.

Back to the house to change clothes for the second time (my 'waterproof' trousers aren't) and put coats in the tumble dryer, after which I really couldn't be arsed to go out again. The weather of the last two days must have brought something in (White's Thrush on Fair Isle today); it's just a matter of finding it if and when the wind drops and it stops fucking raining.

Highlight of the day: stew and dumplings for tea. It's still raining, by the way.

1 comment:

beast said...

Nothing embarrassing about not being able to id a glimpse of a wet phylosc Andy....!