Tuesday 9 October 2012

Schoolboy error !

On our second day on Shetland my crew (myself, Monkey, Jono and Matt) took a trip up to Voe.  A lovely village harbour in beautiful surroundings, and walking along the hill side up a small farm track, myself and Matt catch glimpse of a wader resembling common sand fly around the buildings and over into a sheep Carole.  Matt carry's on and I go off in search of this bird.

Wakling through a pile of manure and into the carole, I stumble apon the bird again and fire off some picture's as its feeding on worms.  I ask myself why is this common sand feeding in here? I raise my bins and check the leg colour, they seem quite yellow to me!! mmmmm the bird then flies off and I begin to return to the car to find the guys waiting for me, "Guys why is this not a spot sand" as I show them the back of my camera.  Jono and Monkey look at me as if im talking chinese and Matt comments on that it had a strong wing bar when he saw it in flight (re:common). Oh okay then, we then drove off, headed further north before monkey spots a Otter out of the car window.  I pull over and we get out for a look but to no avail, but I do spot a distant eider flock "they could be worth checking out" but we just all got back in the car and soldiered on.

Later that afternoon whilst dipping the Izzy shrike the pager bleeps SPOTTED SANDPIPER, Voe, mainland Shetland. SHIT, FUCKIN SHIT!!!! I turn to the boys, give them the news, we then refer back to my camera and the collins guide before reeling off all the correct ID features to our bird............oh dear......

yellow legs, short tailed, two toned bill, strongly barred median coverts...
need i go on !!
even spot sand posture !!!!

So lesson learned, check every bird, as I often tell others! (thanks Shaun)
Will blame this one on the booze, and by the way the eider flock had a stunning drake Surf Scoter!!!!!!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrr........


  1. Ok fair enough, my knowledge of the finer detail of most birds is azillion years behind Mat and your good self, but in mine and Jono's defence - I seem to remember being asked - before seeing the photo - what colour legs does a spot sand have, and replying "yellow" immediately. We were all however very hung over though and this was our first stop of the morning. Poor excuse I know but hey u live and learn.

  2. Paul you can still submit a record for this bird!...