Monday, 10 October 2011

The Shetland Isles 2011- the Sunny bit

Lesser Grey Shrike, Laxo

Lesser grey Shrike
Hen Harrier, nr. Brake

Whinchat, Brake


Black headed Bunting, Belmont House,Unst

Red backed Shrike, Unst

Monday 10th October 2011

On Thursday 29th September Julian Allen, Tom Perrins and myself set off for our now annual pilgrimage to the Shetlands. After a good flight we were soon checking out sites on the South Mainland, no sign of either of the 2 Pallid Harriers around the Loch of Hillwell so we moved north to Laxo in the hope of catching up with a Lesser Grey Shrike, although quite distant we logged our first rarity of the trip. We tried again for the Pallid Harrier but although there was still no sign we were compensated by a Short eared Owl close to the road.

30th September 2011

Late news of a Great Snipe being seen near where we were staying meant an early start the next day, as an organised search had been arranged for just after dawn. About 30 birders made it but alas there was no sign of the bird. After breakfast at the airport we returned to the Quendale/Brake area to watch a Hen Harrier and a rather less active Pallid Harrier. It was now a beautiful day and we drove North to Unst where a juvenile Black headed Bunting had taken up residence not far from the ferry terminal. The bird showed well, basking in the sunshine with local House sparrows. Despite a good search of the Northwick area we only came up with Pied Flycatcher and Red backed Shrike during the rest of our visit to Unst.

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