Sunday, 12 October 2014

A private audience with a Siberian Rubythroat

With news of the adult male Siberian Rubythroat at Levenwick still showing as we arrived on Shetland for the week, it was a case of picking up the hire care from the airport, dumping our luggage at the accommodation and driving straight to the location. Already swelled with birders views were always going to be difficult but after a couple of hours frustration circling the garden we gave up the ghost and headed back to Sumburgh with thoughts of returning the following day for another crack.

We had received no early morning news on the bird and thoughts were turning into what might have been! Birding the the quarries and fields around Sumburgh farm news soon reached us that the bird was still at Levenwick and had relocated to another garden just down the road. We were there within twenty minutes but so were the 50+ other birders and again the bird was giving us all the run around with just fleeting glimpse's between hedges, that was until I managed to get a great face on view of the bird briefly below a Sycamore tree high on the home owners drive way - that ruby coloured throat shining brightly in the evening light.

The following couple of days the weather had turned for the worse with 60mph gusts and heavy rain to contend with, we did our best to bird some of the sheltered spots in and around the south of the Island. Driving past Levenwick we decided to stop by to see if anyone was still looking for the bird and to our amazement there wasn't another birder on site, deciding to pull the car up along side the driveway we sat in the car sheltering from the weather and then BOOM within a few minutes the Siberian Rubythroat popped out of the hedge and started to hop along the driveway towards us!

Adult, male, Shetland, Levenwick

Adult, male, Shetland, Levenwick

Adult, male, Shetland, Levenwick

Adult, male, Shetland, Levenwick

Adult, male, Shetland, Levenwick

Adult, male, Shetland, Levenwick

Adult, male, Shetland, Levenwick

Adult, male, Shetland, Levinwick

Holding our breath...Myself, Paul Hawkins, Martin Blow & Nick Croft couldn't believe our luck as we enjoyed crippling views and a private audience with this holy grail of birds for most British birders. As soon as it disappeared into the hedge we were all high-fiving and punching the air with delight, pinching ourselves at experiencing such an amazing bird, and just the four of us as well.




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