Return of the Pechora

Strong south-easterlies all last night, so I hurried home late this afternoon and straight over to my vegetable yards to see if I could add Yellow-browed Warbler to the house yearlist. JLI had seen several around at this end of the isle in the course of the day, so I had reasonable cause to be optimistic. The wind’s swung around into the south-west again this evening, and the yards are none too sheltered – certainly not calm enough for a Yellow-browed amongst the cabbages, anyway.

The tattie yard was even less likely to harbour a warbler, as the constant September westerlies did for the green potato foliage some time ago, but I went to check it anyway. Good job I did, as the first bird I clapped eyes on was a Pechora Pipit feeding between 2 furrows, ducking underneath the burnt and brown potato haulms as it went. Result! Watched it for a few minutes before flushing it accidentally as I tried to sneak away from the pallet wall to go and get the camera. It flew into the field beside the yard and vanished into the long grass. I waited about 10 minutes with the camera, and it came back into the yard. Too dark then for photos, but I can’t imagine it’ll go far tonight as it’s a filthy night out there.

48 hours have elapsed since the bird was last seen, so it must have been lurking somewhere here that nobody’s been checking.  Also at least 10 Snow Buntings flew over into the wind as the light faded – presumably the flock seen by a dog walker on the golf course this morning. Another 3 Snow Buntings this afternoon on the road across the hill beside West Loch as I drove home. Assuming Long-tailed Duck is a dead cert in the winter, I just need 2 more species to see me home and dry to 100 for the house yearlist. I’d hate to stall on 99 at the end of the year! From tomorrow onwards am going to start seeding heavily around the house every day and see if I can’t attract me some hot bunting action.

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