Wednesday, 6 November 2013
Shetland day 4: Citrine showing smartly in Shetland shit heap
Don't worry, not many more to come.
Now with an added Lethbridge things were getting tight in the back seat of the car, and extra pressure was needed in the tyres. We chose to keep close to the south of mainland, just in case Jono's bags managed to make it on to the island. First up was Maywick and the big gardens there. The wind had gone up a notch or two, so what ever was about was not for showing too well.
Next Geosetter, where I contributed Garden Warbler to the burgeoning trip list, which was getting more like Wanstead in September by the day. A quick excursion round by Loch Spiggie: Slav Grebes, Black-tailed Godwit, a group of Whooper and a Pink-footed Goose, which I managed to flush in putting my scope up.
Then back to Quendale for the reported Little Bunting (can't go to Shetland without seeing one of these, just not done!) and, when we got round to the far side of the crop field that appeared to hold most of the birds on Shetland, we scored. Yay! A quick jaunt up the valley produced nothing more than a few Redwing and more Blackcap, hooray!
Then it all went a bit quiet. Of course there were Blackcap. Always Blackcap. We ended up wandering around Scalloway for some reason, and just as that was getting really boring, Marco got a message on his phone: Citrine Wagtail, Boddam. Game on!
A bit of a run around that was too. The directions given were not the best and so it took us longer than it should to track down the farm where it was showing well and when we did arrive it's first act of showing well was to fly off into a cow field, calling. Not good. Even worse it was milking time and the herd was being brought in by the farmer, and the chances were that this would either flush the bird miles or stop it from coming back to its favourite slurry pit.
The cows collected and happily the bird came back too. What a little stunner, and showing ridiculously well. A lifer for myself, Marco and Matt, and so much better for all that, though now I want to see an adult male in summer plumage. There too were the most birders we had seen in our travels, including one Hugh Harrop (who told Marco to stop "fucking" scraping his feet, as he tried to clean some cow by-product of his boots): his usual pleasant and welcoming self.
So while the wind wasn't quite living up to the expectations we had placed on it, Shetland had delivered for us at the last knockings again.