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Friday 20 October 2023

Searching for MY Siberian Rubythroat!

Very chilly today and still very windy! Trip to the dentist first thing, so couldn't go anywhere early. First time I had to put a hat and gloves on. I could see why the Northlink didn't sail again today, looking at the state of the sea and may not be sailing on Saturday either. Went to Toners Garage at Quarff on route south to get my car tyres checked and was advised that I really do need to swop my tyres for Winter ones soon.

Please take time to read THIS – my goodness, they all deserve medals! The Shetland RNLI Lifeboat was 18 hours at sea rescuing a fishing boat! All involved must be completely shattered. Incredible bravery.

I spent a long time in the area around Wick House in Gulberwick. At least a couple of hundred Redwings here and 100+ Blackbirds, Goldcrests and Robins. It was a real spectacle! Chatted to the lady of the house as she was driving past me, who said they had taken their property off the market! I can't understand why a rich birder has not bought this amazing property (come on Steve, Sue wants this house!), with probably one of the best and largest birding gardens in Shetland! They have their own meandering path and woodland stream, loads of mature trees and shrubs, lawn etc. There was a Siberian Rubythroat here 18th-30th October 2011 – what a garden tick!

I leaned over the private gate that overlooks the path and stream for ages, willing something colourful to emerge on the path. Lots of Blackbirds, Redwings, a Goldcrest and Robins seen at this idyllic spot, but no Siberian Rubythroat yet. Checked lots of gardens around Gulberwick, more thrushes, but nothing else found.

Being as someone had found a Coal Tit (scarce here) at The Orca Inn, Hoswick (one of several found on Shetland today), I stopped off there next. No Coal Tits to be seen or anything else of note. I decided I would go and check the cliff top garden whilst I was here and just before I got there, a message came out that the Yellow Warbler was still here! Wow! I was wondering if it had survived or not over the last few days of atrocious weather. I walked down along the cliff edge to view the garden, it was insanely windy here and no sign of the Yellow Warbler. Matt Bruce had put the news out and he had been watching it from the road I found out. I met up with him a short while later and just after he left, I saw the Yellow Warbler twice in the sycamores, approximatly 10 minutes apart, just behind the scaffolding of Bayfield House (from the road).

Anne arrived and also a lady called Natasha, who for work reasons had still not seen this amazing bird. There was a Siberian Chiffchaff by the scaffolding, which was an added bonus. I left Anne and Natasha and walked a little way along the road to view the rosa bushes and seconds later, the Yellow Warbler appeared in a sycamore in front of me – I immediately left my spot and beckoned Anne and Natasha towards me. Natasha ran and she got to see her Yellow Warbler before it melted away again! Brilliant! No pictures from me, it wasn't hanging about for photos today, far too busy feeding.

Joined others by the fire station at Sandwick to see a Coal Tit that a local birder had found. No sign of it now, but it was late in the day. Whilst searching by myself, I was delighted to find two Waxwings gorging on Rosa berries in someone's garden – fabulous and gregarious birds! Lovely end to a day, that ended far too quickly! Two days left and then back to work on Monday.

1 comment:

  1. Curious that Sibe Rubythroat is the bird I'd like to see. Nearly went with Naturetrek in the 1990s to Lake Baikal where they & R-F Bluetails abound but the trip was cancelled because of the Russian Mafia hazards in Moscow for foreign travellers.

    Robin P