Wednesday 6 October 2010

Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler, Fair Isle

Let’s start with my highlight of the trip – PGTips to its friends!

We arrived on Fair Isle a day late, after spending eight hours kicking our heels in Tingwall airport the day before. Regular updates of a Pallas’s Grasshopped Warbler showing well didn’t help our mood! So, when we finally touched down, there was no doubt about where to get dropped off – straight to Upper Leogh, please…

The warbler had been showing on and off in a small vegetable garden, and along the adjacent stone walls and ditches, including just ten minutes before we got there. However, it took 45 minutes of patient (and nerve-wracking) searching before it re-appeared. Initially, we only got the briefest of views as it pinged from place to place… until it ended up in a tiny walled enclosure, and showed superbly. Here’s the results.

pgtips1 pgtips2 pgtips3

This appears to be a rather worn individual, with the white tail tips entirely worn off, and those on the tertials heading the same way. Even so, the warm toned rump, yellow throat and creamy supercilium contrasting with a darker cap made the ID relatively obvious – and what a great way to see this much-wanted Fair Isle speciality!

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