Sykes' warbler, Channerwick
Yellow browed Warbler, Channerwick
4th and 5th October 2010
Again we spent the day checking out sites on South Mainland. The wind was still South to South East but the low cloud soon cleared. Migrants were still about but not particularly abundant. Pied and Spotted Flycatcher were seen, a few Swallows moved through, even a Turtle Dove at Grutness and the odd Arctic tern battled against the fresh Southerly winds. One Arctic tern had to contend with the attentions of a Peregrine at Voxter, but there was only ever going to be one winner. Back at Channerwick the 'Booted' warbler was officially renamed as Sykes warbler and immediately became an A list celebrity. B list birds or scarcities, included Red breasted Flycatcher and Yellow browed Warbler. At Levenwick the Leicester boys were at it again finding another A list Shetland speciality, a Pallas' Grasshopper warbler. The bird was in several Iris beds and flew from one patch to another. Various people claimed to have seen various key features of the bird in flight. In the event it emerged they hadn't, and the bird was later deemed to be a Grasshopper warbler. At least a tick for the trip list.
A visit to Grutness produced a pair of Red throated Divers, a female Eider and the memorable sight of a Northern Wheatear flying out 150 metres over the sea to take an insect and fly back to its original perch. Birds just never fail to amaze me.
We added a few more birds to the trip list with the first skeins of Pink footed Geese coming in plus Knot, Sanderling and a 1w Little Gull but generally a quite day.