Paddyfield Warbler

Paddyfield Warbler on Unst. First Shetland Rarity, Autumn 2010

Gripper! Brydon Thomason rang my mobile at 7:22 am t’other morning to say that he had just woken up at Alison’s (his mother-in law), looked out of the  window with bleary-eyed haze and espied a pale warblery thing in the nearby willows. Thinking it might be a previously seen Lesser Whitethroat he casually raised the ‘window bins’ to find a Paddyfield Warbler in view. OK,  the garden is next to Halligarth on Unst, Shetland – where the likes of Iberian Chiffchaf, Syke’s Warbler and a variety of wing-barred phylloscs have visited. It is the first ‘BB rarity’ of the autumn on Shetland. There will be more- many more!

Queue the shameless plug:

This autumn from 1st -8th October Shetland Nature will run its first full week of rare bird hunting – and I get to be one of the leaders! The week includes visiting prime Shetland sites, input from some of the UK’s top bird finders, master class in some aspects of ID and the unrivalled opportunity to bein a story- what kind of story? A real team-rare-bird-finding kind of story. We trialled the idea last autumn and struck gold. Taiga Flycatcher gold. The third British record was identified on the same kind of  autumn rarity hunting trip I am encouraging you (if you are reading this) to be part of. See the Shetland pages  for more info on this blog:

see the ‘BIRDWATCH’ magazine special reader offer:


or go direct to the Shetland Nature website:

Meanwhile here’s the Paddyfield from 6th August 2010. Photo by Brydon Thomason. Wonder what we will be talking about from October 2010?!

see Brydon’s fuller account with another photo now here:


About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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