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Sunday 24 September 2023

Searching for Migrants

Apart from going to try and see a Red-breasted Flycatcher in someone's garden at Sandwick and failing, I spent the entire time trying to find my own birds and also failing. It was not a productive day at all.

I had a quick look round the craft fair in "The Mareel" (cinema and arts centre) this morning, which is all part of the "Shetland Wool Week" festivities, but nothing caught my eye enough to spend any pennies. This was the first time I had been inside this building, which also has a large cafe, it has a real wow factor and makes the cinema in King's Lynn look extremely tired and outdated!

Drove to Hoswick to look for something in particular I wanted to buy in the Hoswick Visitor Centre, but it had a "Closed" sign on the door, due to a Wool Week class taking place in there! Lost my custom! Annoyed it was closed, I then went to Sandwick to see the Red-breasted Flycatcher someone had found. Parked by the church and walked back up the road to stand and look in the garden. No sign. Then a tour birding group turned up and we saw a Willow Warbler flitting around, but still no RBFly. I walked back to my car along with another birder and we both checked out the garden at the bottom of the road, which is past the church, around a corner and next to the "Noness" road sign. After chatting birds and Shetland for a while and then this man telling me he was going to Fair Isle tomorrow, I suddenly realised and said "are you Steve Arlow?" "Yes" he said. Steve found a Blackcap in the trees, which I only saw in flight briefly. Nothing else of note in here. Steve walked back to his car and I continued walking to the beach area and left towards the house called "Seascape" with the long and lovely garden. I spent ages checking this garden and fustratingly an LBJ shot into one of the Rosa bushes and I didn't see it again. Further along the road I had a massive count of Ringed Plovers – 44 of them at least, along with Turnstones and 1 Knot in a field. On route back I had 40+ House Sparrows near the beach. Retraced my steps to the car and left.

Drove to Oracoy and Fladdibister. Had another disappearing LBJ in a sycamore and that was it for the day! Drove home and off out early tomorrow!

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