Wednesday 13 October 2010

A Fair Isle miscellany

This Buff-breasted Sandpiper showed well every time we walked past its favoured field at Barkland, though I never really spent enough time with it to get the shots I wanted. This one was taken just before dusk, in late afternoon sunshine, while the bird was rather dozy and even more approachable than normal!


Next up, an interesting wagtail. Clearly this is a ‘flava’ wag of some description, but it was really strikingly grey and white, the only yellow on the bird under the vent – my instant reaction was Grey Wag before it landed, and I’ve certainly not seen an autumn bird like this before. I think consensus in the obs was that it was probably a Grey-headed, race thunbergi, but I’d be interested in any comments either way.


Now, a rather dodgy photo… but a cracking little charismatic bird! This Subalpine Warbler necessitated a brisk walk down to Lower Leogh on our final afternoon, but was well worth while. Given the other birds turning up on the Northern Isles at the time, I’d speculate that this is probably an Eastern race bird, but I guess I’ll never know for sure.


Finally, a commoner migrant, but one of my favourites. For some reason, I wasn’t really expecting to see many Whinchat this far north by late September, but there was certainly no shortage for the first week of our trip – we regularly saw three or four a day.


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