Monday, 5 October 2009

The Loco - motion!

A few more Redwings and Song Thrushes and a couple of Fieldfare were indication that birds were arriving, despite the continued westerly winds and a Bluethroat, trapped in the Gully was followed with another (unringed) bird at the Havens. Things really livened up on 4th when a large Locustella was disturbed by Simon in Da Water and it promptly flew over the cliff and disappeared. It was rediscovered back in Da Water a couple of hours later by Chas Holt. It was extremely flighty and from these brief views it was thought to be a River Warbler - mainly based on upperpart colouration. However from distant views on the ground it did not appear to show any breast streaking but did have a clean white throat and noticeably bright lower mandible. Frustratingly the undertail coverts could
not be seen. Photos scrutinised later however did show some undertail coverts and these suggest it may in fact be a Savi's Warbler - another of the eastern race fusca.

Monday dawned bright and sunny with a light SW'ly and though all were itching to get out and find birds, some (Chas & Alan - Steve & Mark having left on Friday) were due to depart on the morning plane whilst others (all Obs staff) were dutifully bound to help with the Hill Sheep Caa. Alan & Chas still found time to find what they thought was a Blyths Reed Warbler before they left. I couldn't go and check it out until after the sheep gather!! Micky Maher and Richard Schofield arrived to take Chas & Alan's place and Tim Sykes arrived in the afternoon - more keen eyes to scour the isle.

After an exhausting couple of hours chasing sheep we were searching at Lower Stoneybrek for the Blyths Reed, when what should pop up on the wall but a River Warbler!!!! Standing there proudly showing its grey streaked breast and throat, it stunned us all, before dropping down into the crop and somehow vanishing! Wow - both unstreaked large Locos in as many days!!? The Blyths Reed then appeared and was duly trapped and confirmed!

So, an eventful few days and if the unconfirmed reports of Great Snipe, Citrine Wagtail, Arctic Redpoll and Little Bunting all turn out to be true then maybe our autumn is only just beginning?

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