The Sea Eagle from the previous day, was seen again on Saturday although I was 'down south' in Lerwick with the children and didn't see it again. While there, I had a call again from Brydon to say that there were two Common Cranes at Belmont on Unst, typical ! We returned mid afternoon and as we boarded the ferry, one of the ferrymen came over to tell me that the 'storks' were still there - maybe I'm still in luck ? As we approached the terminal at Belmont, he said ' they're still there look', looking in the direction he was looking, all I could find was a couple of bits of plastic 'resting' up against the wall ! Maybe they'll turn up again.
Sunday morning saw me working at Burrafirth shore station again and as I arrived I was greeted by the site of another cracking male Snow Bunting, this bird however was a little less obliging and didn't hang around.
After lunch, I stopped off at Haroldswick by some bushes that seemed to be heaving with small warblers - it's funny that half a dozen small warblers moving around can seem like dozens. As it turned out, there were only 4 or 5 Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff and two Reed Buntings (one a male). It seemed as though they had come in over night on the front of fine weather despite the northerly air flow.
A short while later I was in the 'Final Checkout' and asked a crofter from the south of the island I knew if the cranes were still about and he said they had been around all day and gave me directions to where they had been feeding. I drew a blank and decided to check the spot where they'd been the day before, while on the way, I met the same chap coming the other way and as he stopped he had a big smile on his face and asked if I'd found them. Replying 'no', he laughed and said I should have looked over the wall. Driving back, with in moments of leaving the car, two large, long necked and long legged birds came around in a semi circle, legs down and gliding in to land but unfortunately it was out of sight. A short walk and using a dyke as cover and I could see the two birds (albeit a few hundred yards way) starting to feed in a grass field. I don't know why, but the last three good species I've seen in the last two weeks have all been in to the light when they've been closest. Actually, I do know why, it is time. Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to spend to get around the subjects to get a better position - something that can and often does take an hour or more and then, something like a Bonxie flies over and spooks the subject and it flies off, oh such fun.
I was back at Burrafirth again today for a few hours. I really thought I'd gone through a time machine of sorts - back to February ! Snow showers came through around every 15 minutes or so, sometimes obliterating the view across to Saxa Vord (not a bad thing if you could see what was on top - radar domes) Fortunately for us it doesn't settle for long before it melts or we would have 6 inches of snow by now.
This afternoon brightened up a bit - still rather cool though and I found the warblers again at Haroldswick darting out of cover to pick up a small insect and then retreating back to the shelter of the bushes afterwards. Up near the school, a light shape caught my eye moving in some conifers which turned out to be a lovely female Pied Flycatcher. I watched it for 15 minutes as it fed in the sunshine on the sheltered side of the bushes before I had to resume my 'school run duties'
Female Pied Fly'