Little Bunting

Double Points for Shetland Nature team

Day Two 2nd October 2010

Quick update. First 2 days of leading on Shetland Nature Autumn Birding Break. 6 of us and a great team. Yesterday Bluethroat, Red-breasted Flycatcher and team-found Yellow-browed Warbler at Quendale. Soon followed by Buff-bellied Pipit (a real cracker!), 2 juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper and plenty of sundries. Today began in rare-bird hunting in earnest on Unst. Straight in for the team with a double! Found not one but 2 Little Buntings! Also superb point blank range views of Hornemann’s Arctic Redpoll, up t 20 Greenland Redpolls (‘rostratas’), a couple of Reed Warblers to spice things up and Common Rosefinch at days end – plus plenty of commoner nice stuff to look at including  c 70 Brambling (new in) and juvenile Glaucous Gull on Lamba Ness.

Team begins hunting. Soon after this photo taken, first of 2 Little Bunting finds flew in to the crop at Valyie, Unst

70 Brambling heralded new birds in.

Picked up by Paul ” What’s this smaller bird flying with 2 Brambling”. Lands in potato crop. LITTLE BUNTING.

Little Bunting. Norwick, Unst. 2nd October 2010.

Not really counted as rare on the Shetland birders ‘grapevine’ Looks good and rare to me! Would you complain if you found one in Britain?

We found a second Little Bunting later in the day at nearby Haroldswick. The next day 2 Little Buntings were in the Valyie crop. The first bright bird and this second slightly duller and more brown backed individual. Present right through to early on last morning (8th October). They often called to one another when apart and could be seen together scratting around on the road.

This juvenile Glaucous Gull was a nice find at Lamba Ness

First full day on Unst also included great Redpoll action, with up to 20 superb Greenland Redpolls. Some sat in the same bush adjacent to Brambling and appeared almost the same size. And this fella below. My personal bird of the week – even bigger and fluffier than the Greenland Redpolls. Not a bad first full day on Unst!

Hornemann’s Redpoll. Norwick. Unst. October 2010

More photos and comment on Giant Redpolls to follow



About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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