Sunday, 27 October 2013


 Cape May warbler, a bird of near mythical status with one record for Britain, of a singing male in a Scottish glen near Glasgow for just one day in 1977. One record until now that is!

The second came along in the form of a first winter found by Mike Pennington at Baltasound, Unst, and here it is. Worthy of a chapter from UK500: Birding in the Fast Lane (or maybe just the middle lane, as it was day two of the twitch, not day one!) it was not an easy trip - 30 hrs spent in the car was nothing short of punishing and the flight was dramatic at times - in a small plane which had to take evasive action due to the amout of helicopters in the area - we were forced to descend at more than 1,200 ft a minute (usually 500ft) which caused my head (and Dave's) almost to explode with excrutiating pain coming from my right ear canal - not pleasant!

We touched down without further indident and were soon at the site. Just 4 birders present with the main ferry crowd facing lengthy delays due to a suicide on the crossing! The bird was very elusive in blustery winds during the first hour or two but eventually we (sometimes just I!) learned to listen for its high pitched call and to work the stone walls when it left the garden as it frequently perched on them and the wire fences, making regular sojourns to the ground. As can be seen, cracking views eventually obtained!
So many rarities get discovered on Shetland these days I'm beginning to think they grow them on trees there!

No comments:

Post a Comment