Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Clams On Shetland - Pechora Pipit UTB!

Rain stopped at 8.00am and on opening the door to our lodge, a yellow-browed flew into the small bush in the corner of the garden. Great start to the day.

Up towards North Collafirth to look at a Blyth's reed warbler; stopping to look around a bush-filled valley nearby. Knocked on the door to ask permission which was duly granted by the dressing gown clad owner. No birds unfortunately but felt good looking.

Bylth's reed showed extremely briefly; actually flew out from the bushes at us, circled and disappeared into the undergrowth. Chiff, redwing and goldcrest being the other birds there.

Next stop, the surf scoter, a male easily found and seen well with its attendent flock of eider.

Back to Unst so that Captain could tick the Pechora's. Parked the car and a barred warbler was found immediately. The Arctic Redpoll flew over the thistles as we searched for the rare pipit and common redpolls tazzed around.

Captain had a long chat with Hazel, one of the local crofters and then with the owner of the fields where the Pechora pipit has spent its Shetland days.

With permission to walk the fields, Captain and Malteser Man [M & M] carefully entered the three main areas and, with a small crowd gathered on the road, the bird was seen well  by all as it briefly perched up on a couple of fence posts and then some wire before diving back into cover. With stripes, streaks and wing bars everywhere its a good candidate for the best looking pipit. Great CLAM teamwork to the fore, Olly Clam being the crowd coordinator. All thumbs up and a small donation given to the crofter who said that she was going to give it to Cancer Research.

Olly and M & M had been looking in a nearby garden and found brambling, goldcrest and blackcap; whilst snow bunting and great skuas were seen nearer the village.

Captain also had the Arctic Redpoll sitting on a post about 1 metre away. Beautiful snowball filmed and photographed.

Back to the mainland and another superb Shetland Birding Day ends with a new bird for M & M, an American Golden Plover. Not that he seemed to spend long grilling it, prefering to have a laugh with other birders. Still undoubtably the bird was what had been reported, sitting in the company of 26 other golden plover.

Lifers so far :-
M & M - 8 lifers,
Olly Clam - 5 lifers    and
Captain Clam - 4 lifers

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