Dry again on the 27th with the marvellous, brisk, SE winds still sweeping across the island; there was a trickle of new arrivals with a few more scarcities to keep us on our toes, these included 2 Olive-backed Pipits – one at Sangar and one expertly coaxed into a Heligoland trap at the Obs, a Marsh Warbler near the pier, the Red-breasted Flycatcher again around Senness/Garso and a Common Rosefinch at Westness.
The day’s commoner migrants totals comprised a flava Wagtail at Garso, 2 Grey Wagtails, 8 Robins, 8 Redstarts, 50 Wheatears, 31 Song Thrushes, 15 Redwings, single Sedge and Reed Warblers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warblers, 8 Blackcaps, 4 Yellow-browed Warblers, 7 Chiffchaffs, 16 Willow Warblers, 5 Goldcrests, 5 Spotted Flycatchers, 10 Chaffinches, 18 Bramblings, 3 Lapland Buntings, 5 Snow Buntings and a Woodpigeon.
Other little bits included the first Woodcock of the autumn at the back of Nouster, 15 Herons, 2 Kestrels, 2 Grey Plovers, a Curlew Sandpiper, the Wood Sandpiper on Gretchen again and a single Common Tern offshore.
Redstart, Simon Davies
A long spell of rain moved across the island in the small hours of the 28th, lingering until lunchtime all the while driven through by the strong SE wind, giving us all a massive sense of anticipation and while there was a noticeable and varied arrival of common birds, the day’s scarcities largely consisted of long-staying individuals with 2 Olive-backed Pipits still (one at North Manse was probably the original bird from the 24th and the Obs bird was still present), the Ortolan Bunting re-found near Gretchen, the Red-breasted Flycatcher at Senness, a Barred Warbler at Trolla (which was probably a new bird), a Little Bunting at Lenswick (possibly a new bird as well) and the Marsh Warbler still skulking round Twingness.
The excellent array of common migrants spread over the island included the first Ring Ouzel, Fieldfare (3) and Siskin (5) of the autumn along with 4 Kestrels, 3 Jack Snipe, the Wood Sandpiper again, a Common Sandpiper (the first one since July), 2 Woodpigeons, 2 Tree Pipits, a Grey Wagtail, 31 Robins, 16 Redstarts, a Whinchat, 57 Song Thrushes, 20 Redwings, a Grasshopper Warbler, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, a Garden Warbler, 8 Blackcaps, 4 Yellow-browed Warblers, 13 Chiffchaffs, 5 Willow Warblers, 6 Goldcrest, 9 Spotted Flycatchers, 4 Chaffinch, 8 Brambling, 6 Lapland Buntings and 4 Snow Buntings.
Olive-backed Pipit, Simon Davies