Well my prediction of Willet fell flat on its arse. Seems more likely that the voice in my head was actually saying Willow Tit as that was one of the 'highlights' of my Saturday morning visit to Whiston Meadows.
With the onset of autumn now upon us it's only natural (from a birding point) to get excited about the coming months offerings and perhaps get all nostalgic about previous autumns. So will this years Shetland trip come up trumps again, 2005 was reasonable, 2006 was great and 2007 blew away the previous two. Surely sooner or later things will turn bad? However perhaps the real reason that so far there has been a year on year improvement is the number of visiting birders. If you're to believe the waffle on Bird Forum then this year the Northern Isles will be awash with birders. But just how active they will be remains to be seen. New visitors unfamiliar with the islands may be unaware just how much land there is to cover and how difficult the areas are to work. What always amazes me is the amount of people who appear, as if from nowhere, the minute a 'rare' makes an appearance. In comparison when the 'rares' are absent you can wander around pretty much anywhere north and south and see no one - where do they all come from? Another important fact that might affect the productivity of this year is the absence of the 'Punks' who after a couple of very successful years have thrown in the towel and headed south west!! Like it or not they found a lot of good stuff and I'm sure they will be missed. My main worry however is the apparent influx may affect the pie supply, with this in mind I may have to pre-order my provisions!! Anyway here's a few pics from the last two years to wet the appetite which incidentally were either found by us or the 'punks'.