1 field: 3 rare waders

Fetlar- never fails

A day trip to Fetlar as part of our Shetland Nature experience, so far, has not failed. With previous strikes such as Taiga Flycatcher, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, White-billed Diver, Sykes’s Warbler and Grey-cheeked Thrush, its hard not to go with a little anticipation. With conditions still windy and uncompromising on Thursday 6th October, we caught the early boat. We were not disappointed. Peter Stronach had scored a Dotterel the previous day. Before our arrival  he added American Golden Plover and we chipped in with a Pectoral Sandpiper. Not a bad day out! These guys too were great company being the only others birders on that day, and alerted us to a smaller wader (the Pec Sand) in the flock.

first winter Dotterel, Fetar, 6th October 2011 © Peter Stronach

first winter Dotterel, Fetar, 6th October 2011 © Martin Garner

At different times all 3 rarer species appeared in the same field with the roving Golden Plover flocks.

juvenile American Golden Plover, Fetar, 6th October 2011 © Martin Garner

.juvenile American Golden Plover Fetar, 6th October 2011 © Peter Stronach

juvenile American Golden Plover, (below) with European Golden Plover showing difference in underwing pattern. Fetar, 6th October 2011 © Martin Garner

juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper, Fetar, 6th October 2011 © Martin Garner. The third of the rare baby waders.

Otter, Fetar, 6th October 2011 © Andrew Dodds. This large (dog) Otter was photographed from the van as it hurried back to its holt at very close range. All adding up to an excellent day on Fetlar.

Catching the late boat back to Unst just gave us enough time to head for the second night running to Northdale. Up to 3 juvenile Hen Harriers had been coming to roost for the last couple of nights an unusually high number for Shetland. I was keen to see if a rather orange and somewhat hooded bird would appear. This indivdual had given our group several very brief views. Well I think this is it (photo below), somewhat orangey, somewhat hooded but still a European bird. Glad I could finally put it to rest and stop harping on about it!

juvenile Hen Harrier, Unst, 6th October 2011 © Martin Garner

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