Sunday, 16 October 2011


My last tour with the 'B Team' to Norway....whoops! I meant Shetland was way back in 2008 for the last week of September, prime time for Lancy etc. Our endeavours though were thwarted by the naff weather and all we got back then was Western Bonelli's, YBW, Barred Warbler and an Osprey. Pretty damn crap by any standards so this time I was hoping for a better showing and hopefully a tick or two.

Day.1 Oct 4th the team arrive...

A brief sortie out around the southern end of Mainland, Shetland got the trip list off to a good start and best of all a very obliging Citrine Wagtail performed well at Fleck Farm until the Shetland paparazzi got too close....

Day.2 Oct 5th...
The whole team...Mark'Groucho' Payne, Big Al Orton, Phil'Mr Wizzal'Woollen, Mike'Pie-eater'Stokes a bloke from Telford called Damon and Matty a chap from South Wales plus yours truly piled into our luxury 7 seater MPV and headed for Unst. First stop the mystery 'Belmont' Bunting  that was either a Black or Red headed type, we'll see what the records say at the end of the year shall we.

grotty little bugger but rather cute as well don't you think. Below the Winnington Paparazzi in action.

Having had our fill of Belmont we head up to Norwick and do the legendary birder's garden up on the hill side.  In it we see 2 YBW (finding one), 2 Pied Fly, 3 Rosefinch (finding one) and 4 Brambling fresh in from Scandinavia with a load of Redwing. The haven below full no doubt of skulking unseen Lancy's and PGTips.

scrubtastic what!

Grot Finch fest, t'other ones in next doors garden.
The trip list was growing nicely with padders such as - Long-tailed Duck, Bonxie, Black Guillemot, RT Diver and the dark chocolate brown 'Shetland' race of Wren. Onto the end of the known UK birding world at the place of last years Lancy...Skaw. The farm we think was deserted so in we went for a gander finding a YBW,  a female Blackcap with a white wing panel (most bizzare) and a very brief flight view of a lost forever never to be seen again Bunting sp...damn and double blast. The obligatory shot for the photo album had me wading into the North stop Norway!!

Thence we joined the gathering throng of fellow birders and tourists for the pipit show at the school (after hours of course no paedos in our team for sure?)
Some teams were pure 'frontier' bird spotters like this motley crew ....

we'd all come to see the cracking OBP that performs on the swamp boardwalk behind the school...nice!

With the Olive-backed Pipit well and truly bagged (not Bagnalled note!) we nipped round the corner to Uyeasound and ticked off the flighty Barred Warbler and found another YBW by the Youth Hostel.
What a great days birding rounded off with a take-away curry and a few wee bevvies.

more to follow...

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