Thursday 29th September
‘of Eastern Origin’ got applied twice today as our group scoured Britain’s northernmost isle. one to our delight a fascinating Lesser Whitethroat; the other to our chagrin (who uses that word anymore!) a grey and white flava wagtail. I have cut and pasted from Shetland top news sight the log as written out for this day (most likely by Mssrs Pennington or Fray). We saw all of these apart from that pesky ‘Eastern Yellow Wagtail’. The Red-backed Shrike was great, the Yellow-browed Warblers starlit the day as ever and the Black-headed Bunting performed admirable. Gripped though by the wagtail!
Unst: Black-headed Bunting at Belmont, Lesser Whitethroat of eastern origin, Yellow-browed Warbler and Common Rosefinch at Uyeasound, Yellow Wagtail of eastern origin at Baltasound, Red-backed Shrike at Haroldswick, 4 Yellow-browed Warblers at Norwick and Northdale, Bluethroat at Northdale and Sparrowhawk at Burrafirth.
This bird below landed on Robbie Brookes driveway as the daylight was ebbing away. Its raspy call and grey/white plumage made Robbie think of Citrine (Robbie’s account). Being keenest on his photos he rattles off a few shots. Then upon inspection was unsure. The bird was right opposite (other side of Baltasound) from our hotel. What a belter. Unfortunately it was a no-show for my pre-dawn stake-out, and never seen again. Michael McKee also had one which stayed on the Out Skerries (photo). His recording of the call clearly shows it to be an ‘eastern’,
Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Baltasound, Unst 29.9.11 © Robbie Brookes