On Saturday (29th) I am off to Shetland with a few of the lads for a week's birding. Last time I went (2 years ago) we had it off big time. I recorded 6 ticks: Lancy, Swainson's Thrush, Sykes Warbler, Buff Bellied Pipit, Horny Redpoll and Black Headed Bunting, all of which were backed up by a cracking supporting cast of scarcities. It was particularly good to have a good mix of eastern and western birds - something I am hopeful we'll get again this year, given the current easterly gales blowing in and the western front that is on its way from next weekend.
So what would I like to see? Well I like to see all sorts of stuff like Sib Thrush, Oven Bird, Killdeer and PG Tips, I could go on for ever, but I am not greedy. I would love to see (and ideally find!) a couple of megas, birds that you may only have the opportunity to see once a decade or even once a life time, but there are still plenty of other birds (mostly from the east) that I would love to get on my list i.e. Pechora Pipit, Red Throated Pipit, Arctic Warbler and of course my bogey bird, Icky Warbler. A couple of those, perhaps with a yankee or far eatern thrush would make it yet another Shetland trip to remember.
This will be my 3rd trip and as yet I have never failed to get a tick. So watch this space for daily evening updates from Sat 29th. Surely this time we wont be so lucky to get 2 megas ticked (Sykes Warbler and Swainson's Thrush), on the day we arrive, in fact afternoon between 3pm and 6pm, before we had even taken the luggage out of the hire car! Fingers crossed. Watch this space!