Unst. Day 16 , Spotted Sandpiper

A still, bright day with light Northerly winds. I’d decided to abandon the car and Dave H dropped me at Skaw first thing as I intended to do the northern sites on foot. Lamba Ness hosted a flock of c30 Lapland Buntings and a Single Snow Bunting. A walk along the cliffs proved fruitless and the only bird of note really was a Barred Warbler in a bit of cover all the way over at Saxa Vord old army Barracks, My third of the Trip.

Just as I was coming back home into Haroldswick at around 12.30 I decided to walk the vegetation on the northern end of the beach and this stunning juv Spotted Sandpiper flew in front of me at the waters edge of me as I walked.

At first views were into the light but I’d seen the short tail and wingbar cut off before the greater coverts in flight, the bird was also calling an ‘un-common sandpiper’ like ‘Peeteet’ and flushing out into the bay only to return to the same spot, I wanted to see some plumage features and had to get on the good side of the light, eventually it came and fed on the seaweed affording good views.

What a beauty and one of my favourite waders! Sadly it flew out into the bay again and was lost. Hopefully it will turn up again tomorrow, I’m very pleased with the find but I’d love some local birders to see it.

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