Tuesday 1 October 2013

Shetland calling

Shetland is almost within touching distance. Although I've only got four days on, I'm very excited. We're going late, very late, which means one of two things. One, a big fat nothing. Or two, MONSTER! As I understand it there is very little in between once you hit the third week of October, yet that is what we are doing. I very nearly wasn't doing anything this year - I already declined a trip to Scilly with the boys as I knew I was going to be extremely busy at work, and until only a few weeks ago there were no Shetland plans either. I wasn't too bothered, I'd achieved my two birding goals already, namely surpassing the enormous total that 400 BOU is, and smashing, so far by 2, my patch record of 113. Anything else would be a bonus I figured, and indeed the Roller, Bridled Tern and Great Snipe have been exactly that. I need to be in Scotland anyway around this time of year anyway, so why not? I'll take the camera, and if there are no birds to either chase or find, then I'll go and find some Twite or something, and be perfectly content.

As I alluded to here, Shetland has gone downhill in my estimation ever since my first sublime trip. By the end of day one, I was two ticks to the good - a mega from the east, Sykes' Warbler, and one from the west, Swainson's Thrush. Another four lifers followed, and it was never as good again. Not that Shetland has stopped getting the big ones, it's just that my weeks there have stopped coinciding with them. And then of course the birds have started turning up in the South-east. I've already been to Shetland once this year, for the Pine Grosbeak, and that was so good that frankly I had made up my mind to save my cash for trips like that, rather than blow it all in the hope that I might strike it lucky. But then I realised that made me into a chequebook birder, and I can't be having that. No, I will go to Shetland and see what happens. Happily Bradders has purchased some wellies, so I am excused Iris duties this year, and will simply stand to one side and observe whilst sending him in up to his armpits.. He will then flush something and say "did you see that, it was really rare!!", and I will say "yes, what was it?" and he will say "it was a [insert name of really rare bird here]" and I will go "excellent!" and tick it off in my little notepad. Simples. What could possibly go wrong? Here's a Lancy, definitely not hoping for one of these....

1 comment:

  1. Should of saved your money and come to Dungeness, will see more birds there !!