Friday, 10 September 2010

Win some, loose some.

10th September

After almost a day of rain yesterday and the wind still in the south east, it was thought that today would produce some migrants. Even doing the school run, I could see that there were small birds around that weren't visible yesterday. By 9.30 I was 'up north' and could again see that birds had arrived over night. On the way to Skaw there were a couple of Whinchats and a Fieldfare and dropping over the hill and down to Skaw, I saw another Whinchat. Parking up, I soon saw 3 Blackcaps, Sand Martin, Dunnock and a flyover of a Redstart. Just up from the beach on a wire fence at least 80 Twite were then joined briefly by a calling Lapland Bunting. This was brief however as one of the Kestrels present started trying in vain to catch a Twite, this was thwarted as they all took to the air - it then flew around amongst them seemingly confused by the number of birds.

Heading up to near the sheep pens, a large warbler which was probably a Barred, took off at great speed and flew north and out of sight over the hill. It was a this point things went a bit 'pear-shaped'. I had a very brief view of another warbler as it appeared for a split second in front of me. All I can recall was seeing a rather large billed bird, with a head/bill profile similar to an Icterine Warbler. Despite a thorough search by me and also with Rory later, it wasn't seen again. There was then another fly over, this time of a Siskin. While searching some long grass at the back of the croft, I came across a small brown warbler; it turned out to be very elusive and in 2 hours I only saw it twice. It was probably only a Reed, but who knows it could have been something else.

Later, we called in briefly to 'Valyie' in Norwick and got several Spot Fly's, a Pied Fly' and Garden and Willow Warblers.

Rory then went back to work and I decided to have a quick look at Northdale. Parking at the bridge, instead of walking up the road to the crofts, I walked north up the burn from the small conifer there. Two Willow Warblers flew up the ditch in front of me and a Spot Fly' took off from the fence line and headed up the field towards the crofts, I turned right and went in the same direction. Reaching the gate from the field onto the road, I noticed two warblers feeding in a bush 50yds away. One was a Willow Warbler, but the other I wasn't sure about. It's feeding action was much quicker and 'flitting' than the Willow, it was also duller (the Willow looked like a canary by comparison). My thought was - 'probably a Chiffchaff , I'll take a look in a minute'. To my left was another small line of bushes and in them were also several birds. One was a Pied Flycatcher and the other was a Dunnock. Going to look at these birds turned out to be a big mistake, as, on going back along to where the other birds were, both warblers had gone and had been replaced by a Spotted Flycatcher. No, I hadn't been mistaken and am now thinking that one of the birds wasn't just a Chiffchaff. Despite extensive searching again, I couldn't find the unidentified bird, I found the Spot Fly' and several Willow Warblers and also saw two more Whinchats and that was that. Maybe tomorrow ?


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