Veery, Pechora Pipit, Chiffchaff…

Spent most of the day out birding, mainly with a Shetland Wildlife group who’d come into Whalsay to see the still-present Veery and Pechora Pipit, and latterly with another fresh batch of twitchers here for the same reason. The Veery remains extremely elusive, though with patience it shows well intermittently. You really have to be in the right place at the right time to get views of it out in the open – it spends most of its time skulking in the heavily vegetated flower borders. I came within a whisker of catching it when it flew into a fruit cage – not knowing which end of the cage was open, I had to choose at random which way to try to get in – and chose the wrong end, so watched the bird fly past mere inches away and out into the garden. BM therefore missed an immense ringing tick. Got a couple more photos – the flight one a record shot of the underwing, the others just gratuitous Veery porn.

Veery underwing blogsize

091004 Veery blogsize

091004 Veery blogsize2

The Pechora was still lobbing around in its favoured damp ditches and vegetable yard, though evidently not as confiding as in previous days. Maybe a reflection of the close attention it has been given. Today’s twitchers were to a man well-behaved, and a complete pleasure to meet and get onto the birds. Shame they’re not all like that!


The only other migrant species I saw all day was a solitary Chiffchaff. With yet more individuals found today, I think Pechora Pipit remains the commonest migrant currently in Shetland.

Later. Just been outside to check the hens were shut away for the night – it’s cold, clear, still, and a full moon. Odds any of these birds will still be here in the morning?


5 Responses

  1. Jon, come on me old pal, where’s this write up of the Veery and Pechora? Some of us stuck in less rare-birdy-blessed locations are waiting.


  2. Ah… coming shortly, Tom me old mucker.

  3. Many thanks Jon, for all your help yesterday(Sunday). Truely a pleasure to met you and enjoy Whalsay and its birds!

    I will be establishing a link from my blog to your so people can enjoy your photos and the tales you have to tell!

    The Veery was a cracker and the P Pipit so much enormous pleasure seeing all the important id features so close up!

    The coffeee and fruit cake were a bonus!


    • Nice to meet you too, Corinna. Hope you get to see more birds of the calibre of the Veery and Pechora during the rest of your stay here in Shetland. In Dave you’ve got an awesome guide, so if anyone can deliver those rarities, he can!

  4. Tom?

    Is that you?

    Oh, hi !!

    What’s that you say?
    Are you complaining? You, of all the bloggers in the world??

    And I think that’s an abberant nightingale and a bleached red-throated pipit.
    That’s my way of dealing with it.
    You see, I watch Blackbirds, and Kestrels, and Greenfinches, and rejoice whenever a Blue Tit shows up.
    Biogeography is unfair.

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