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Thursday 12 October 2023


Hoswick, Shetland

Found by Tom Perrins and Julian Allen!


I never thought for a minute, that I would be seeing a second Yellow Warbler today – my first one was only a month ago on Foula!!! I didn't get there until early afternoon, I won't even mention this morning. The Yellow Warbler was covering a fairly big area and took a while to see – my first view was high up in a sycamore in the rain. Another vivid Yellow Warbler!!!

I had a few more fleeting views of the Yellow Warbler from the seaward side of Bayview House Garden  with others and then it seemed to vanish. So lovely to meet Bethan, a young lass who's name I only remember because she has posted some brilliantly composed bird photos on Twitter – always with lots of habitat around the bird, which is quite unusual to see. Bethan had been on Unst when the news broke, so she had only just arrived and not seen the Yellow Warbler at all. The rain became heavier and heavier. Most people eventually left. At one point there was just one other birder and myself.

Suddenly Bethan and another birder joined us and we were aghast to hear that the man in the house just near the path, had just watched the Yellow Warbler on his windowsill whilst he was boiling a kettle and then saw it fly towards us! This gave us all the kick we needed to persevere and stay longer in what was now atrocious weather. We all walked round to where the Yellow Warbler was seen and kept our eyes peeled. The man who had seen the YW, came out of his house with a flask and cups and gave us a cup of tea – how wonderfully kind he was to do that, a lovely man, thank you so much! The other birder I had been standing with a bit earlier suddenly spotted the Yellow Warbler in the top of a fuscia bush in the garden nearest to Bayview! I couldn't see it until it flew up to a scycamore above though! I was just about to put the news out, but Marcus Nash, who's ferry home was cancelled yesterday, luckily for him 👍 must have been standing on the road, as he had put the news out a couple of minutes ago. Birders returned to watch this stunning bird, some watching it for the first time today. The Yellow Warbler then seemed to have flown off somewhere else.

Bethan, myself and a couple of others returned to where we had been standing earlier at the seaward side of the Bayview garden. Arriving birders joined us. We watched it fleetingly in the top of a sycamore. All of a sudden, I spotted it coming out of a pine tree, very close to us all – so close, I hardly dare move. I knew Bethan was standing immediately to my right, so I said "don't move Bethan" its coming out right in front of us". It had flown into the closest shrub to us and was at this moment around the back and just about to come into the front for what would have been potentially my/our best pictures so far today. The majority of people were standing where we were. Shutter button's were at the ready. Suddenly with no warning, someone decided to play a tape, VERY loudly from the other side of the garden, where we had been standing. The Yellow Warbler instantly flew up and high into a sycamore and then across to where the person was playing the tape and that was the end of that. I don't think any of us standing there were very happy at all at that moment and that's an understatement! Good night!

BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER tomorrow please?! 🤞


  1. Great to meet you yesterday with Bethan. A perfect write up of our encounter of the zesty lemon! Hope to see you many times during our three week stay in this beautiful island.

  2. Really glad that you have settled up' there and getting some stunning birds. Cheers. John Norfolk