Sunday, 15 September 2013

The Twitch of the Black and White Warbler (The 7th)

On the 6th of September a small black and white bird was found on some willow trees at the Funzie hide on Fetlar by Jim Nangle and was later seen flying by Andy Cook.
The bird was later identified as a Black and White Warbler! the last one in Shetland was seen in 1936 at Tingwall!
The news quickly spread, but it was too late in the day for anyone to go looking for it.
I myself was trying to get travel into Fetlar, luckily I had texted Dougie that night and by the next morning we had arranged for him to pick me up on his way to Fetlar.
When we arrived at the Gutcher ferry terminal several of the mainland Shetland birders came up in a car behind us.
After a few minutes we went into the Gutcher cafe to have a bite to eat while waiting for the ferry.
At 10.10 we headed on the ferry to Fetlar to try and find this rarity while 5 more birders were already on the island hunting for it.
On arriving at Fetlar we headed straight to Funzie to check the willows incase the bird was still there.
When the car stopped at Funzie, all of us unloaded our gear and went straight to the hide, sadly after searching in and around the willows there was no sign of the bird at all so the search of the island began.
Our first check was Everland which came out with 11 snipe, lots of Meadow Pipits and several Blackbirds.
The next shop was a croft at Aith where we dropped George off before heading into Houbie for a look around (and a quick visit to the Shop).
A quick look around the shop turned up with several wet Hooded Crows, so we turned around to pick up George.
We found him at the Fetlar Hall so we all had a look around the trees there which turned up with nothing. So we turned round to go to Tresta.
Tresta looked like a better place to find the bird since it had the most trees in Fetlar, a quick look in the trees produced a Wren while several more were heard singing.
We all  headed back to Funzie for a quick look in the willows, on the way we saw Paul, Roger and Rory sitting outside the interpretive centre, they told us that there was two Common Rosefinches in some trees up the Houbie burn and a Chiffchaff was in a garden 100 metres to the east of us, so on our way back from Funzie (only a Snipe was seen) we headed to look for the Rosefinches.
The five of us got out the car to look for the birds and after ten minutes there was no sign, there was a few Meadow Pipits and a dead Blackbird but that was it.
Another look in the trees at Tresta produced nothing but there was a Blackbird and several Meadow Pipits at the graveyard.
Everyone's final destination of the day was the Brough Lodge, on our arrival we flushed a Snipe from the side of the path, there was several Wrens about and finally and I quote from Dougie "The best bird of the day" a Willow Warbler which was in some segs in a park on front of the lodge.
So we all left Fetlar at around half past four.

We might not of seen the Black and White Warbler, but that's birding for you, you win some you lose some. if you saw them all it wouldn't be fun, but the best thing about I'd say is getting to meet all the different people and hear their stories of birds they have seen.

(No photos I'm afraid, the weather was rubbish!)

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