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Sunday 27 October 2019


Leebiton, Sandwick Shetland

I spent a long time watching the cracking Stejneger's Stonechat at Leebiton (Sandwick) in diverse weather and the best rainbow I have ever witnessed! I have seen more rainbows in Shetland than I have in my entire life I think! Got some decent pictures of the Stonechat in the end after much patience. Had to dive into the car several times to avoid a drenching. Turnstones and Starlings feeding amongst the seaweed – sea crashing into the boulders and stones, a beautiful scene and place to be. There were four of us watching the Stonechat – which is hard to take in, as in Norfolk there would have been loads! Also saw House Sparrows, Robins and Wrens amongst the boulders. A Robin chased the Stonechat off more than a few times!

Mega alert bleeped up! Swainson's Thrush in garden at Lerwick! Being as I have never seen one, I didn't hang about! I was so excited as I drove along the road! Got on site asap to find a handful of local birders peering into the back of a garden from a school playing field. Sadly they had only seen a Song Thrush in here and they all left. I stayed a bit longer and then also left! There was a cat in the middle of a shrub in the garden – I wonder?! So that was the end of that! How disappointing, oh well.

The light was dwindling and there wasn't time to go far now. I returned to the Burn of Sound to see if I could find anything there and was surprised when I didn't find a single bird in there, no Red-flanked Bluetail, no Robins, no Redpolls, nothing at all. As I returned to my car a man started talking to me – I don't know what his nationality was, but he was very, very difficult to understand – when I tried to explain I was a birder, he said asked if I was a wildlife rescue lady!!! I made a quick get-away, as I could tell by his constant quizzing etc that I would have been there a while!

Had a drive around Lerwick to see what I could find and headed north along a road signposted Gremista – several Redwings on the verges of the road. Found the college and also saw a sign for a Textile Museum (I have a DATEC in Textiles) which would be good to visit another time. There were huge ships along this industrial area of Lerwick. I retraced my journey and parked up along Commercial Road. Had a little walk round and found myself in the Market Cross and had a brilliant idea! I phoned Vivien up and told her to google Shetland Web Cams on her phone, which she did and then I told her to open up the Market Cross webcam and waved at her – she found this very amusing that she could see me live in Shetland!

I didn't feel like cooking later, so bought fish 'n' chips and ate them in my car on the quayside in pouring rain (again). Purchased a mint chocolate slice from the Fjara Cafe and then cruised back to Levenwick. Only a few days left now to see an Orca or a mega – either will do! Both would be excellent – I'll keep my fingers crossed! I felt a little sad when my email came through from Loganair this evening, to check in on-line and select my seats for Thursday's flight😢

Exciting news!!! I have booked to come back next year for THREE WHOLE WEEKS!!! Earlier this time though, from 26th September! I had to phone work to get permission, as anything over two weeks can't just be booked automatically. I love the diverse weather, the skies, the sea, the people, the tranquility, the wildlife, the landscape, the darkness at night, everything here! Plus the apartment I'm in is so beautiful, I couldn't not come back to the same place!

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