Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The one that got away ..................

.............. from me at least !

   Every so often, there is something that you see - or think you see - that 'gets away'. This happened on Saturday to me here on Unst. I was over at Valyie in Norwick at the north of the island watching the two species of Redpolls - Arctic and 'Greenland' Common Redpolls. The birds were in the burn on the way up to the croft at Valyie having a bath and preening etc. They were very approachable although not very easy to photograph due to the vegetation around where they were bathing. As I sat watching them, I saw a small bird that looked like a cross between a Redbreasted Flycatcher and a Redstart fly in and land low on the fence behind them around 50ft away. Raising the bins', I saw a small bird with very obvious orangey brown flanks. My first thoughts were that it was something special and I should gets some shots. A split second later as I carefully got it in the viewfinder, the bird took off and despite an hour and a half of searching, I couldn't relocate it. On checking my Collins book, my initial thoughts were confirmed, it was (or had been) a Redflanked Bluetail ! I phoned both Brydon and Mike P, with my thoughts and despite searching again for several hours the following day, I couldn't find it. Unfortunately for Unst birders, it was relocated today by a visiting bird tour and the 'word' didn't get out until it was almost dark. Hey ho win some, loose some. At least I know, that I saw it first :)

   I had to go over to Fetlar today to look at some work, so once done I had some time for a bit of birding. My first port of call was to Funzie to see if the Siberian Stonechat that Brydon Thomason had found yesterday. Sadly that bird had gone, but I did see a Chiffchaff and a Barred Warbler and also bumped in to a friend and his brother who are up for a few days. I then got a call from Brydon to say he'd got an Arctic Warbler down at Tresta. Arriving later, I soon saw the bird along with Goldrest, Yellow-browed Warbler, Brambling, Redwing etc.

Arctic Warbler

  From here we visited an number of other sights looking for migrants and found a number of commoner birds, probably the best (after the Arctic) was a Jack Snipe which flew up from a marshy area. It was here also that a small warbler - in flight it looked Sedge Warbler like - that could have been any one of a number of species from common to very rare. Unfortunately, the area was a large area of tall iris and sedge which made trying to find it again impossible. Hey ho.

   Returning home later, I had a fantastic sight of at least 800 - if not more - Golden Plover circling around behind our house before they landed again in the field nearby in which they're feeding.



Jason said...

Nice find Robbie. You stick to your guns and get it on that self found list. Better still submit it first!!

robbieb said...

Cheers Jason, there was no doubt in my mind on the day but only a few seconds seeing it probably won't get it through the records committee. I'll certainly think about it though - I'm sure the finder today will be shouting it from the roof tops :)