Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Unst revisited

Lanceolated Warbler, Skaw, Unst

Lanceolated warbler

Lanceolated warbler

Lanceolated warbler

Blyth's Reed Warbler, Fetlar

Blyth's reed warbler

I'm no good without me lunch, even if I have just ticked Lancy
Thursday 7th October 2010

The domestics had gone quite well, the accommodation was comfortable and well situated and Julian and I had similar ideas about what we wanted to see and do and how to go about it. My supply of Pork pies and Pasties was holding up well, the weather was generally good and getting better, so morale was high. It came as a bit of a surprise then on Wednesday night when Julian came into the lounge with a face like 4 pence. He looked like a bloke who'd lost a shilling and found 10p. 'They've found a Lancy..............at Skaw'. Where we'd almost been that afternoon. Somehow the thought of going to the most northerly point in the British Isles you can get to by car didnt seem to fill Julian with much excitement. Me, the chance of a lifetime opportunity to see a Lanceolated warbler, one of my must see birds and one of the reasons for going to the Shetland Isles in the first place WAS exciting. Of course it might not be there in the morning etc. etc.
We made a reasonably early start next morning and as we arrived at Skaw we could see about a douzen folk milling about. My usual pessimism kicked in, they were looking for it, it hadnt been seen. Getting out of the car my fears were alayed. Yes it had been seen that morning but was in a patch of reeds and long grass. It was just a question of waiting for it to emerge - and emerge it did, showing well on the short grass before scurrying back into cover. Wow! I've been lucky to have a few unforgettable birding moments but that ranked with the best. Quite emotional.

We moved on but not before seeing a flock of 17 Lapland Buntings and our first Fieldfare of the trip. The weather was beautiful with warm sunshine and light winds, but birds were clearly coming in with a noticable increase in numbers of Redwings and Song Thrushes.

Moving on again we popped on to Fetlar. It was only slightly out of our way and had the attraction of having a Blyth's Reed warbler. The bird had favoured a Dock plantation otherwise known as the garden of a Bod, which we were told was some kind of Hostel. Anyway it provided suitable habitat for the Blyth's reed warbler which we duly saw with the help of a local birder.Now I have to say at this point I was getting seriously dehydrated and to make matters worse there had been a cock up on catering front as my supplies of pies various, but mainly pork, had been exhausted AND, would you believe it, the only shop on Fetlar was closed on Thursdays.
Arghh! Still couldn't complain, It isnt every day you get to see Lanceolated warbler and a Blyth's Reed warbler.

1 comment:

  1. I will be back next year Bob if you'll have me! Well done for joining the Lancie club!