A nice start with a Red-breasted Flycatcher in the iris beds at Quendale:
Pied Flycatcher, catching flies, Hoswick:
The first of two Greenish Warblers, this one at Levenwick without tail feathers:
Little Bunting at Sumburgh Lighthouse:
The superb Turkestan Shrike around gardens and fields at Levenwick:
Arctic Tern with Sand Eel at Grutness:
The Semipalmated Sandpiper, a long-stayer at Gutcher beach:
A Snowy Owl had been reported in the north Mainland area of Ronas Hill (the highest point in Shetland). The target bird for one day required a trek into a huge area of boulders and bogs and lochs.
Setting off from the radio mast around Ronas Hill:
The area the Snowy Owl had previously been seen:
After a fair bit of searching the bird was located distantly tucked into a hole on a small hillside on the far side of the summit:
Closer views of the Owl:
After a long walk back to the car, it was time to go from the Arctic to the Tropics with a nearby Bee-eater only a few miles away at Ollaberry:
Red-backed Shrike picking insects from the side of the road at Gott:
Orcas had been reported regularly around the islands, and towards the end of the week I was in Lerwick when news cam out that a pod was in the south around St. Ninian's Island. 30 minutes later I was there but they had already headed north. The only option was to drive ahead of them which wasn't easy as there were few roads to get down to the west coast where the whales were likely to be. I took the decision to drive all the way up to Scalloway and down the Burra peninsula to hopefully intercept them. After a few wrong turns, I got lucky and ended up on East Burra where a few people were gathered as they headed towards us.
A bull and calf Orca heading past us north in Clift Sound:
Two of the pod of 8 surfacing as they pass the waiting crowds at Wester Quarff:
Later nearby in Scalloway a couple of Waxwings were located in one of the gardens.
The highlight of the following day was another Greenish Warbler, this one showing well at Cunningsburgh:
The last couple of days were relatively quiet, with no new rarities being found.
A Garden Warbler and Redpolls at Quendale:
One of several Yellow-browed Warblers also at Quendale:
A nice Short-toed Lark was found nearby south of Quendale:
A Merlin terrorising the Meadow Pipits at Quendale Mill:
The final day was spent watching the SemiP Sandpiper again at Gutcher, awaiting the time to head to the ferry. There was still time for some final excitement though, as news came through of a Bonelli's Warbler on Burra. As this was almost on the way to the ferry in Lerwick a mad dash ensued to get to the location. There were at least 50 people looking into a dense area of hedgerow, and the warbler was soon located again, giving brief but close views before another dash to the ferry for the long journey home:
Leaving Lerwick, Shetland, October 2019:
Thanks for looking!