The last two days alone have seen the likes of Golden Oriole, Bluethroats, Red-backed Shrike and Rustic Bunting plus 'lesser' year ticks such as Cuckoo, Yellow Wagtail, Garden Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher. Pride of place however must go to the (ship-assisted or not) White-throated Sparrow which Simon discovered on 19th outside the new Obs, where it was still present today. It was an extremely obliging bird, coming to within a few feet of the admiring crowd of Obs staff, Researchers and the Shetland Wildlife Tours group. Although not of the striking black & white striped variant, it being the duller 'tan-striped' morph, it was very much appreciated by all.
The past week has also seen a Short-toed Lark, a scattering of common warblers, including Reed Warbler (15th), a Jackdaw (18th), a few Tree Pipits, hirundines and finches, including up to five Goldfinch.
There has been a flurry of activity amongst the seabirds too with much nest-building and egg laying in evidence, although perhaps not as much as we would perhaps have hoped for!
Aside from birds......Lachlan turned 17!!! and he is in the midst of his Higher exams. The weather has been fantastic for several days - light, warm, dry winds with lots of sunshine meaning Hollie and the kids and the ponies have been able to progress with handling and riding skills. Lubo however is finding it all a bit warm and returns from census each day absolutely exhausted. If only he'd walk some of the way instead of running everywhere he'd cope much, much better! Our 'new' car developed an oil leak and a brake cable leak within days of arrival!!! With help from our friendly Obs workmen, both are (fingers crossed) now sorted.
We have been busy getting the Obs ready, the boys bringing stuff out of storage and the girls cleaning and putting away and its looking great, but...........