Thursday, 30 May 2013

29th May

In a moderate north-westerly the mornings rounds were fairly quiet but at lunchtime a few birds started to arrive. Remarkably there were now 2 Pectoral Sandpipers present together on Ancum Loch in the afternoon-the first multiple occurrence for the Island in the spring! With news of rarities all over Shetland, an evening scramble turned up a male Bluethroat near Scotsha and another couple of Red-backed Shrikes were found, with new birds at Antabreck (male) and at Holland House (female) while the lingering female was still at Ancum. Other notable passerines recorded were a Sand Martin, 9 Sedge Warblers, 5 Garden Warblers, a Spotted Flycatcher, the 7 Tree Sparrows, a Common Redpoll and 14 Snow Buntings. A few Waders seemed to be on the move with 36 Bar-tailed Godwits the first for a while, and included 31 heading north, plus 9 Whimbrels and 16 Knot were seen.

After just a single Bluethroat in the last 2 springs, its been a decent year so far with 4 recorded. Many must  undoubtedly go undetected here though, with the Islands vast Iris beds largely unchecked each spring due to the breeding birds. This male showed for just a few minutes on the walls near Scotsha before disappearing into the aforementioned Irises at Hooking.

Red-backed Shrike

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