Thursday 15th - in the afternoon one of the Assistant Wardens stopped the van and told us he had trapped a Blackpoll Warbler and was taking it to Chalet to be ringed and measured.
Fortunately is was not far and so we sped off on foot.A Fair Isle twitch then took place - Holly appearing with a car full of kids and parents(hers), "who else is there on the Island who we should ring?" - "anyone staying at the South Light?" -
Tommy, Liz and Henry arrived full of enthusiasm.(I was staying with them so no surprises there!)Several crofters including an ex Warden of the Obs.Two other birders who had been on the Island for a while.Everyone excited and swept up with the moment.
Eventually the beauty was brought out so we could all see him and pics were duly taken!
Then he was taken back to the area of the trap - good sycamores and other trees and shrubs there so he could rest and feed up.
Dave asked does anyone want to go and see him released? Yes I certainly did - no tick unless he was free! "Go on then", says Dave "Go"
Tommy said "I picked up a scope, is it yours- its in the car" "Great - thanks" I said
"I'll pick it up there", then one guy got out of Tommy's car into another car - Tommy said "Hop in with us" so I did!We whizzed up to the nets, in time to see the bird released and then settle on a twig to get its bearings.
I managed a good spot to watch and when I was able I got a couple of record pics hand held through the scope.
Liz had her video camera - pic of her in action another time! Henry aged 8 desperate to get a good view!
Much photography took place!
Then the others arrived - they had walked up - oh no I hadn't realised they were coming to as they had seemed hesitant. Felt better later when I arranged for Tommy to take D back to Auld Haa when they went home.
Eventually only Dave, H and I remained.We stayed until it got so dark we couldn't see the bird anymore.45 more mins. H trying to get that perfect photo! Pretty impossible with fading light and a mobile bird who perched with twigs in front of him.
We knew that Diner would be later that evening so were happy to take our time.Everybody was happy that evening. Our last Dinner at Auld Haa that night was asdelicious as ever, but the others said the Sticky Toffee Pudding was the best desert - I not having any disagreed as I thought the Carrot Cake of the night before the best!
Slept well that night.
We refound the bird next day opposite Auld Haa - and H was able to take much better photo's- as was everyone else(not me). More pics later of people taking photos!
Eventually BW flew into the neighbouring croft field and snuck away to the Beach were it was relocated much later that afternoon feeding on insects.One top lister on mainland Shetland was unable to get on a plane that afternoon(being full) so missed seeing it having been told no sign first thing(I think he was booked on the am flight but didn't travel) until Dave relocated it while chatting to Tommy outside, while waiting for me to collect my scope from Tommy's car. Misunderstanding here - car not locked so Tommy didn't realise I was waiting for a key!Only when the cry went up "Blackpoll Warblers here" did it dawn on me that Tommy was outside and not getting the key for me! So I was happy that my delay I caused us to see the bird again otherwise it might never have been seen again!
Pics are of The BW, A happy Warden and the 2 AW's. Diagnostic back, wingbars and tail "spots".The BW - after release.