🏴 Sunday 1st October 2023 🌤️ 12C ~ Wind SW @ 15MPH ~ Arrived on Shetland a minute early at 11.34 on Loganair flight LM72 from Aberdeen, despite circling the airport twice. A little-known fact, Sumburgh Airport does not open until 11:30 on Sundays! Quite remarkable in this day and age.
|A very confiding Veery at Lunna.|
After collecting my rental car I drove straight to Tresta to drop off my luggage at the cottage we'd rented for the week. Dazza will be joining me on Thursday for a long weekend of twitching. My first stop today had to be Lunna for a Veery. After seeing numerous photos of the bird on social media in the last few days, I was grateful that it stayed long enough for me to finally see it in person. Although elusive for a short while the bird finally popped up on fencing for a photo opportunity. What a smart-looking bird!
|1st winter Citrine Wagtail|
From here I decided to head back south to Lerwick. It's been a good while since I've seen a Citrine Wagtail and apparently a bird at Seafield Park was still showing well after several days on site. When I arrived I was lucky enough to bump into a couple of guys who'd just photographed the bird in a nearby garden, in fact, I could see the bird with the naked eye from the carpark. Despite being in direct sunlight I managed a few snaps and enjoyed a half hour watching it feeding well on the lawn.
|A nice Wheatear was the best I managed while searching for a Bluethroat.|
What next? You have to be careful in Shetland, birds pop up on the Whatsapp group and birdguides frequently and you could find yourself chasing around everywhere and that's not in my nature. I decided to drive the 5 minutes along the sea road for a Bluethroat at Westhall Cottage. On arrival, I met a lovely local couple feeding their livestock and spent an enjoyable half-hour chatting about the island before actually looking for the bird. Another birder was also looking and once again I spent an hour chatting to a very interesting guy who's been birding in Shetland for many years. No surprise then that we both dipped on this one!
|An interesting-looking Subalpine Sp.|
My final stop of the day was at Wester Quarff for an interesting report of a Subalpine species, first reported as a possible Sardinian Warbler but later ruled out. I did manage to actually get a photo of the bird but the clincher would be the tail feathers fanned out but that was never gonna happen as the bird remained quite elusive. Let's hope the bird hangs around and someone gets a definite ID. Tesco's next and home after an excellent start to #Shetland23.