Saturday, 3 October 2020

Shetland or Scilly that is the question

This year would have seen me making my first pilgrimage to either Shetland or Scilly. The current pandemic has saved me from making that difficult choice for another year but I thought it would be interesting to review the birds that both sets of islands have attracted this year. I've only included birds that would be life ticks for me so most mega's and a few rares.

I've grouped the Scottish Islands together too for simplicity

So Scilly first...........

Nearly forgot the Zino's !

And the Scottish Islands.......

Lot's of Islands but a decent return thus far for 2020

Lundy wouldn't have been a bad place to be either with  three lifers possible on that tiny island this year...

Killdeer on 17th March
Bridled Tern on 27th August 
and the 
Sora on 12th September

As for the mainland I've missed a few life ticks mostly due to distance or the virus or both and some just didn't hang around long enough to connect if I'd wanted to push the boundary.

I would really love to see that Siberian Thrush 

I'm sure I could easily have missed a couple of reports but it was interesting putting this together on a cold wet day when I should have been out birding and finding my own rare.

Pandemic aside I realise I would have struggled to connect with most of these but I think it shows that thus far the Scottish Islands have the edge this year but will the next few weeks see Scilly start to claw back a few?

Hats off to all the dedicated patch workers that are digging out these great finds for everybody.
Your effort is appreciated.

oh breaking news of a Masked Shrike in Hartlepool today so another strike to the mainland and I believe only three previous records. 
and late late news the earlier reported Arctic Warbler is now being considered to be a Pale-legged leaf Warbler, third for Britain I think and one of the previous two was found dead so yet another strike for the mainland and I'm sure will have many heading to Northumberland tomorrow if its there and confirmed. Let's hope people manage their own social responsibility if it does result in a big twitch. 

I also wonder what has been delivered on todays easterlies and is still waiting to be found, plenty I reckon. Best of luck looking guys, I might even get out looking myself if I can.

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