Sunday, 21 August 2016

Greenish Warbler

The last couple of days have been rather foggy with easterly winds, just the thing for a few early autumn migrants. Yesterday a female Sparrowhawk passed over our house chasing small bird, while several Gt Skua , a flock of 18 Golden Plover and a Whooper swan all seen from the house.

Today started well with two Willow Warblers in the garden with Wheatear and three Meadow Pipit. Even the sun came out for about 15 mins around 11am so we headed south arriving at Quendale at 12.30

A Greenish Warbler had been found by Gary Bell a couple of days ago and I was hoping that the poor weather had restricted its movements. Three or four birds had turned up in Orkney and mainland Scotland as well as the Shetland Greenish warbler. On arrival one other birder was present who had been searching in vain for an hour for the warbler.

It then suddenly appeared in an area of shrubs, although well down in the dark vegetation. A few minutes later two Willow Warblers flew out and joined a three near the mill. The Greenish warbler, was smaller and a colder greyer colour than the brightly coloured willow warblers. It then appeared in the open before become very active going in and out of the bushes and on more than one occasion could be seen catching flies.

For a good 10 mins it gave excellent views before eventually going down deep in the vegetation and was not seen again for 15 mins. We changed viewing points but it didn't reappear, so we went back again to the original view point and it came into view again briefly just before heavy rain started to fall. Greenish warblers migrate southeast in August and this is the best month to find them in Britain. Our last one was in June on Fetlar about 20 years ago.

With news that the Common Crane had reappeared at Hillwell a few mins away the temptation to try and see it was too much so we left and headed up the road. Arriving in rain and a strengthening wind we scanned the loch and fields, we again failed to find the bird.

We did see Green Sandpiper (2) Swallow (3) , Redshank, Snipe, Lapwing, Curlew, Mallard, Tufted, Moorhen, Blackbird, House Sparrow, Starling, Raven, Hoddie, Wheatear, Twite,

Rock Doves, Greylag, Whooper swan and lots of gulls

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