🏴 Friday 6th October 2023 🌦️ 💨 9C ~ Wind N @ 30MPH ~ Dazza arrived in the late afternoon yesterday an hour late due to a flight delay and with the galeforce winds and heavy rain at first light, we decided to sleep in and enjoy a proper breakfast before departing the cottage at 10am.
Our first stop was to search for a 1st-winter Amur Stonechat at Loch of Norby, which was spotted yesterday. The location is around a 20-minute drive northwest of the cottage. We did stop on several occasions to check a number of birds darting around in the wind, all Redwings and it was apparent that there'd be a large fall overnight.
|One of many Redwings that arrived overnight.|
We eventually arrived on site to find a dozen or so birders searching for the bird in what can only be described as very challenging conditions. Among them four Warwickshire lads, well one now lives in Cromer who I used to meet on many occasions when birding back at Brandon Marsh. Dazza sensibly remained in the car while I joined the others on the search. Unfortunately, we were unable to find it, although a few observers reported seeing the bird briefly on the west side of the loch before it flew across to the south.
|Close views of a Barred Warbler at the Orca Country Inn, Hoswick|
Although the rain had now cleared conditions were still appalling for any descent birding so a leisurely drive back to Lerwick for a coffee and a wander. The wind did drop sufficiently in the mid-afternoon so we ended up in Hoswick, a place Dazza really enjoys walking. We completed a walk along the now-flooded burn and along the shoreline before spending an hour birding around the village. At the now-closed Orca Country Inn we spent a good while searching the trees and shrubs and while I was watching a Yellow-browed Warbler Dazza suddenly pointed out that there was a Barred Warbler literally within touching distance. It was good to finish on a high after a very frustrating day but the weather looks a whole lot better tomorrow.