I delayed packing last night, more than probably because I don't want to leave. I feel at home here, like I'm meant to be here. Woke up late due to packing late! Fed the birds for the last time – will they miss me when I depart today? no probably not, they will just return to other feeding stations in Levenwick.
Loaded the car up with 90% of my gear and then hoovered the cottage and did some washing. Had a shower, washed hair etc and then had brunch! I had completely forgotten that the clocks go back today!
Huge thanks to all the birders out here, that found some amazing birds, whilst I've been here, especially the Red-eyed Vireos and Rustic Bunting. Sadly I wasn't able to find anything good myself. Thank you also to all those that helped me with directions and advice, which was hugely appreciated – special thanks go to Norfolk birders Dave and Jacquie and to Shetland birders Paul B. and Hugh H.
Update on the ferry later, but if conditions are bad, as in rocking etc, it may get updated when I return home or tomorrow! I took my Phenergan anit-sickness tablet at 9.15am and already feeling the side effects of wanting to fall asleep.
Evening Update: the Phenergan tablets are lethal, they really are, but they do the job required! Felt doped up throughout the day and had to keeping having naps. Left the cottage neat and tidy and washed all linen I could, to help out Dale and Ash, who own the cottage. I left later than intended, as I felt so drugged up. Anyway, eventually got out of the cottage and into a very packed car. It was really sad to leave here and I felt very emotional. It had been sunny all morning and now and for the rest of the afternoon was overcast and dull conditions.
I visited and re-visited a few of my favourite places in the afternoon. I had not been to Spiggie beach this trip, so started there and it was beautiful as ever – no birds of note seen though. Whooper Swans graced Spiggie Loch along with some Wigeon. Went to the Bigton Community Shop, which I had not expected to be open on a Sunday here and bought some more cake goodies for work and others. Just before I arrived at the shop I saw and photographed 2 Siskins feeding on the edge of the verge from my car. Headed to St Ninian's Bay car park and stood awhile enjoying the view – sadly there was not enough time to walk along the tombola, but at least I had done this the other day. Families were enjoying their Sunday afternoon walks here.
Parked up at Hoswick and walked along the cliff edge to the view into the cliff top garden – this held at least 6 Blackbirds, lots of burbling Starlings and a flock of approximately 18+ Bramblings flew out. Headed to Gulberwick and parked up by the Kirk. Started to walk along the fabulous track opposite here, but felt so drugged up, I had to return to the car. Because of the clock change, it was now almost dark. I then made my way to Lerwick and was one of the first passengers to check in. Got a lovely cabin, No. 232 which is mid ship and almost next to the reception desk. I took another Phenergan anit-sickness tablet at 5.20pm (as suggested) and as last time, I shouldn't need any more. Had fish 'n' chips and a raspberry dessert. Lets hope I feel awake in the morning as intending to drive all the way back to King's Lynn and not staying anywhere on route half way, as I did on the way here. Obviously I will be stopping lots to have a break and hope to get home mid evening maybe?!
Although I STILL haven't seen an Orca, Siberian Rubythroat or a White's Thrush, it has been a fabulous trip, I have loved it. I have loved it too much and its really made me think about moving here seriously. Again, huge thanks to all those that have help to make this trip so special. The Captain has just announced "there will be some swell tonight, in the stiff south easterly wind and to make sure you hold onto hand rails when walking around ship" A good time to retire to my cabin!