7th October. Going Loco

The day dawned as most days do at dawn. We had a mission to complete which involved in flushing everything and anything out of the Virkie Willows. The reason behind this was that Rob had tantalising views of a skulking passerine as he made his way through the willows the previous evening. Despite trying several times th only things we disturbed were a Blackbird and a Phylosc warbler, that later turned out to be a Yellow-browed.
I returned for some breakfast then set about doing two laps of the crop field in the pooring rain. With just a Chaffinch to show for my troubles I decided that there wee no rares to be found, at least in the field and that it would be a good idea to catch up with some of the long staying rares. As Gary as heading to Lerwick I decided to hitch a lift.

First stop was Helendale where a least two Yellow-browed Wobblers were present. Seafield next produced the first Fieldfare of the trip and Ruff.
After getting supplies at Tesco we headed to Wester Quarf for the Arctic Warbler, which disappointingly showed in the tops of the trees making photography difficult. The Arctic Redpoll however showed extremely well.

Pagers not being much use on Shetland the local birders operate their own grapevine. Whilst at the Redpoll Rob received an interesting text from Steve M of an unidentified Locustella, possibly Lanceolated, in the Scatness area. During my five October visits here there have been claims of unidentified Locustellas every year so I wasn't getting my hopes up, however being the ever helpful bunch that we are we headed south.

Steve was already in the field when we arrived and pointed out the large area of nettle and dock that he had twice flushed the bird from. After around ten minutes of wandering we flushed the bird up off the ground. This was to continue for at least an hour where we continued to get inconclusive views. I did however, by chance, manage to get some shots of it as it landed briefly on one of the walls. By now we were all pretty convinced that we had a Lancy and checking images via Google whilst in the field strengthened our case. With this we decided to leave the bird to settle and returned to Sunnydell to peruse the photos. One hundred percent happy the news was released. Typically on returning the bird began to show off even posing on the walls for photographs - though I'd left the camera in the car.

You don't get crowds like this on the Scillies

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