Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Shetland ..... 5th to 12th October 2019 Part 1

                                                      Shetland : Part One  

                                                              5th October


Western Bonelli's Warbler (?)

So a week on Shetland in October with RR & PG started of very well with distant views of the Semipalmated Sandpiper on the Loch of Virkie and a bit later in the morning our first Yellow browed Warbler was seen near the water mill at Quendale.

We had lunch and spent quite a bit of time in the afternoon trudging through varies habitat to try and find something ourselves, then news broke of a Bonelli's Warbler species at Papil West Burra.

We headed straight there as this would be a lifer for both RR & PG which ever race it was  , and if it was an Eastern it would be new for me to !!!

Western Bonelli's Warbler (?)

We had really great views of this delightful warbler but sadly never heard it call (which would clinch id), however it seems others heard it when it was first found and it sounded Western to them plus it also responded to Western Bonelli's  call.

Western Bonelli's Warbler (?)

 6th October

Today we headed to Ollaberry in the hope of seeing the European Bee-eater , with bad weather forecast on the 7th we thought this might be our only  chance to see it (which proved to be right), before we headed to Ollaberry we checked out our local area to near where we were staying and found a single Yellow Browed Warbler which showed well. plus Redwing, 2 Blackcap & a single Chiffchaff all seen near Vidlin Cemetary.

European Bee-eater.

The European Bee-eater gave us abit of a run around at first but great views were obtained eventually.

European Bee-eater.

From here we headed to Kergold and saw a distant Great Grey Shrike which at one point caught a small ish bird and took it back to it's larder for consummation.

Distant Great grey Shrike.

Then a drive over to Califf for a Red backed Shrike was well worth the trip as this 1st winter bird showed very well indeed.

Red Backed Shrike 1st winter

7th October

The weather forecast for today was strong gale force winds and heavy rain by the afternoon, we did our usual local area search not really turning up much other then a noticeable increase in both Redwings & Blackbirds.

We decided to head south and to try our luck with checking the Quendale area and also hopefully connect with the Short toed Lark.

Well other then more Thrushes and Goldcrest we didn't add anything at Quendale near the mill, so we carried onto the area the Short toed Lark had been seen, it didn't take long before it flew into view !!!

Short toed Lark.

Other birds seen here were : Skylark, Meadow & Rock Pipit.

We headed from here to Grutness to have lunch in the car as the wind was really blowing and the rain was beginning to become heavy.

Whilst having lunch we were treated to some great views of an Otter which had just caught a crab.

Otter with a large Crab.

8th October

We checked Vidlin Cemetery  this morning on our way out and there were now 2 Yellow Browed Warblers plus Blackcap, Chiffchaff & several Redwing , also 2 Twite flew overhead.

Another Yellow Browed Warbler & 5+ Goldcrest were seen at Sweening and 5+ Red breasted Mergansers were seen on the nearby Loch.

A trip to Loch of Spiggie produced good numbers of Whooper Swan.

Whooper Swan.

News of an OBP at Sandwick got our hopes up only by the time we got there it had done a bunk , i did have a wander and had great views of Wheatear & Twite.


We cut our loses and headed to the Burn of Valayre and we had great views of a Red breasted Flycatcher and a very bright Yellow browed Warbler.

Red Breasted Flycatcher

We watched the Flycatcher feeding along the fence line for quite sometime and the Yellow browed Warbler was often seen nearby.

A walk through the Brae community gardens produced a brief view of the Wood Warbler but little else.

The final destination today was Michael's Wood at Aith, we saw a superb Waxwing here plus 15+ Brambling, i also heard a Yellow browed Warbler.


Well that's the end of part one , thanks for sticking with it , in part two i see my only Lifer of the trip plus a couple of bonus birds on the last day. 

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