A few days of wintry storms, earlier in the week, brought all manner of tired and hungry migrating birds to Orkney.
Judging by the amount of text alerts, urgent emails and Facebook postings, it seemed that, during the following days, every clump of bushes in the archipelago was harbouring a rare bundle of feathers. As OTT is bereft of such habitat, I was on the wrong side of grumpy (and, no, I haven't accepted a role in 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs').
On Wednesday, just as I was about to leave for work, a pair of Robins chased each other into our garden. During the past few months, seeing even one Robin was a highlight, so two was a bit of a bonus. Then, a warbler appeared on the fence across the road, but disappeared before I could think of trying to ID it. And work beckoned :o(
By late afternoon, when I returned from the Yard, I was once more resigned to blissful ignorance of the avian diaspora occurring all around us. But as I was shutting the garage door, a movement in the garden caught my eye. Robin? Nope. Redstart? Yes!
Dashing camera-wards and returning in time to grab a few images, I was so thrilled that one of these wee birds would visit our home.
I texted Our Lass, so that she was aware of the possibilities upon her return home and then resumed watching and photographing the Redstart.
Our overgrown garden is teeming with invertebrates of all shapes and sizes, so I guess it was actually quite a good place for a pitstop.
Our Lass did indeed have the opportunity to see it, as it has hung around for four days so far. After studying the field guides and asking wiser heads than mine, it was concluded that this was actually a Black Redstart, not a Common one, so our garden list is suitably enriched by its presence. Whilst we both watched this little gem of a bird, three Chaffinches put in an appearance, along with a Song Thrush and a few Redwings. Magic :o)
And today, Our Lass spotted a male Blackcap, which I managed to set eyes on as I returned from work.
Does this mean you will be charging a twitching-fee for entry into your garden from now on?
I'm glad you managed to see some of the rarities though
It's a thought, Martin! To be fair, the terrain is so open that just walking along the road would give a reasonable chance of a view.
Aye, whilst we've not had all the warblers and pipits that other folk have seen, we're thrilled with what has visited our little patch of untidiness.
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