Ring RARE BIRD ALERT with your sightings to: 01603 456789 or Hotline: 0207 0382820 or Text: 07520 634324
All Bird News & Megas via The Rare Bird Alert Website – Subscribe To RBA For Detailed News & Much More!

OVER ELEVEN MILLION VIEWS! If you would like to advertise here, please contact me at []

Monday 4 October 2021


Setter, Sandwick, Shetland
A new bird for me!

It took a while to get going this morning and I spent well over half an hour trying to find my RBA pager, which seems to have vanished – if anyone has found a pager, please let me know, thank you! Emptied the ash pan from the stove – this reminded me of my mother taking this out every morning from the Park Ray fire! It was really lovely watching the Starlings feeding on the lawn in front of the cottage I'm staying in. The sea views from here are simply breathtaking. I started the day trying to find my own birds at Levenwick, but found nothing of note apart from a Ringed Plover on the beach, the usual Starlings and House Sparrows.
Sunrise from my cottage this morning at Levenwick
I decided to follow the crowds and first of all went to Fladdabister to look for the Little Bunting. Jacquie and Dave were there with some other birders and they kindly pointed out where they had last seen the Little Bunting. It was very difficult to pin down, but myself and another birder 'Tom' did manage to see and photograph it very briefly before it vanished.

Fladdabister, Shetland
Beach at Fladdabister, Shetland
I then drove to Easter Quarff to see if I was lucky with the Western Bonelli's Warbler. My sat nav took me to Easter Quarff, but not directly to the bird's location – with help from a local man, I could see cars parked up and birders standing next to a pine copse – this had to be it! It was lovely to bump into Rebecca Nason here! I did see the Western Bonelli's Warbler and got a reasonable shot and would have stayed to try and get better pictures, but news broke that that Red-eyed Vireo that I had tried to see yesterday morning, had been refound!!!

Easter Quarff, Shetland
Walked as fast as I could across the field to my car and then drove to Brae Community Wood. On entering the wood, I was quite shocked at how many people were searching for the Red-Eyed Vireo! Long story short...... it was extremely difficult to pin down, but eventually I got incredibly lucky when approaching a bridge where a birder said he had just seen it. A short while later I and several others managed to see it perched in a pine for approximately 10m seconds, before it flew off again. No chance of even lifting the camera for a picture. I felt quite emotional, this was a new bird for me and it felt so exciting! Wow, what a fabulous second day on Shetland. I also won £125 on the Premium Bonds, so an excellent day all round and it continued with news of a SECOND Red-eyed Vireo in a garden at Setter, Sandwick, which is really close to where I am staying! Expecting it to be elusive like the one I had just seen, I didn't exactly hurry over there and in fact felt seriously tired and stopped for a little nap at a parking area and view point! I can't believe I did that, but needs must!

I arrived on site with kind directions from Jacquie and Dave Bridges and walked along the road to find a good number of birders viewing into a garden. This Red-eyed Vireo was far more obliging. I just couldn't believe I had seen two Red-eyed Vireos and now I was photographing one!!! News also broke of a THIRD one found in a plantation at an airfield at Sullom Voe! Local birders were saying that the first bird today was only the second record for Shetland and so now there has been four!
Setter, Sandwick, Shetland

I ended the day at Hoswick to check out the cliff top garden and was so excited to find a Pied Flycatcher, although I wasn't able to get any photos – it sat on a fence post and then nipped off into the trees and garden. A Swallow also flew past. I returned home late and didn't sit down. I didn't light the fire, I hadn't got time, plus I would have got too hot and fallen asleep. I went straight into making sandwiches for tomorrow, cooked dinner, did some washing and then went through all my pictures today.

1 comment:

  1. great to see yr shetland trip starting off with a bang! i stayed at Sandwick in 2015 first 2 weeks in october & regularly visited Hoswick. the grounds of the orca country inn were very good with lots of cover & also round the back