Monday, 29 August 2016

28th August

I left you on a bit of birdy cliffhanger yesterday, so we'll get to resolving that. We arrived back at Ancum in the early hours and set up, after half an hour or so of searching the bird appeared and almost instantly went straight into the mist net, it wasn't quite what we expected, a Grasshopper Warbler, our first of the autumn and sign of things to come for the day!
It was pretty clear to see there was new birds in with noticeable amounts of Willow Warblers and Wheatears all over the place, Willow Warblers finished the day with at least 60 individuals on the island and Wheatears broke the century posting an impressive 102 birds.
A Yellow Wagtail was the first bird of note, an unraced female was present between Sjavier and Bewan for the most part of the afternoon, 3 Barred Warblers made an appearance a with one at Seness and two in the garden at Bewan, a very obliging Icterine Warbler showed almost all day at Sangar, a Rosefinch was hanging round with House Sparrows by the Nether Linnay stubble field, the Wryneck was still present at Gravity and a Wood Warbler was trapped at the obs.
The day was far from done, some new arrivals and firsts for this autumn, a Blackcap and Rock Pipit added to the days excitement.
Waders didn't fair to badly either with 6 Little Stint, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, a Curlew Sandpiper and a Grey Plover, the third of the year. Other commoner migrants included 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Chiffchaffs, 2 Tree Pipit, 11 Pied Flycatchers, a Spotted Flycatcher and 3 Redpoll.
Even cetaceans made for good viewing with 3 Risso's Dolphins and remarkably 2 Bottlenose Dolphins! A very rare site in our waters!
Now I think there was something else but I'm not sure.... Oh yeah!
A phonecall from Pete Donelly at 4pm proved to be the bird of the day, he phoned initially to say he thought he had a Booted Warbler, so off we went to meet him, on seeing the bird the decision was made that trapping it was the only way to correctly identify it. The net went up and the bird promptly disappeared, we'd all seen it fly behind the sheds at Lochend, but alas, our searches came up empty, it was dinner time by now and some of the obs staff had to leave, leaving Gavin and Sam in charge of the net.
 It's now 18:30 and the phones going again, this time though the birds in the hand. So with biometrics done, and everything taken into account, our Booted warbler....wasn't a Booted Warbler at all! It was a Syke's! High-fives and hugs ensued and a general feeling of euphoria that only comes with a bird of that magnitude was on high! The bird was released and everyone went home smiling from ear to ear! What a day!
Icterine Warbler - George Gay


(Excuse the naff photo) Syke's Warbler before it disappeared behind Lochend

It's in there somewhere! Birders looking for Syke's
Syke's Warbler - George Gay
    

1 comment:

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