Thursday, 27 October 2016

Rare Wheatear

Rare Migrants seemed to prefer Unst these last few days with another Siberian Accentor (3rd for Shetland in as many weeks) , Little Bunting, Waxwing, Wood Sandpiper, Icterine warbler, Arctic Redpoll, Red backed Shrike

Down in the South mainland i was hoping to catch up with another two rare Wheatears. First stop was Scousborough beach. No one else in sight as i entered the beach making my way down to the eastern side where a Desert Wheatear had been present for a few days.

With most of the visiting birders having left Shetland it was good get out and find birds , however a dog walker had found this rare Wheatear.

The bird soon showed a 100 yards or so away near the sea. Sand here is like the desert and with the sun shining and a good warm day why would the Desert Wheatear want to leave.

It is normally found in North Africa or the Middle east. This cracking male bird was very confiding coming within 6 feet, too close to focus. It spent time down near the sea, up on a rocky area and into the dunes.

Males are  a warm sandy colour, with a jet black throat and wing. It stayed 4 days

The second was an Isabelline Wheatear just a short distance up the road at Noss, this bird never showed despite an hour wait. It favoured a stubble field for a 6 day period. Some people tried several times without success others saw it well on their first visit. I did see the Pied Wheatear still down at Scatness and a Greenland Wheatear, still not bad 3 species of Wheatear all within 8 miles or so.

News came in that a Pine Bunting had been found with an Arctic Redpoll in the Ortolan field. I arrive with three others and could find no trace. The stubble field held a couple of Lapland Bunting , 150 House sparrow in two flocks, around 50 Twite as well as Skylark, Meadow Pipit,Starling and Rock Dove. Despite a long search no sign of either bird

At Maywick only a couple of Robin, Goldcrest and Blackcap. Ireland neat Bigton, had a Jack Snipe a couple of Brent Geese, 20 Pinkfeet flew over and 85 Curlew fed in a grassy field. On the sea 38 Mallard as well as Shag and a couple of Grey Seal.

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