I then had a decent northern census route as birds included my first 2 Arctic Terns of the year already flying round with fish and displaying, a smart 1st year male Black Redstart by the lighthouse, 10 Snow Buntings (with many stunning males), a pair of Common Scoter offshore (always scarce on here) along with 3 Great-northern Divers and 10 Bonxies, 10 Barnacle Geese over, 3 Knot, 105+ Turnstone, a Merlin which caught a Starling and 14 Wheatears.
The world then went slightly mad as I heard, then saw a bird land on some gas canisters at Garso, got it in my bins and…..for the first time in many years in the UK I didn’t have a clue what I was looking at! After a bit of head scratching I made a tentative ID in my head and took loads of pictures before the bird flew off up to some wires then dropped down into the Irises, I then phoned it out; looking at the photos and talking to other people firmed up my initial conclusions that it was a female RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD – a first for the UK!!!
After a seemingly long period of time when we had lost it before we realised it was still in the thickest area of Irises, it then settled into a predictable routine of feeding unseen in the nearby Irises then, after being flushed flying back to Garso, straight back to land on the gas canisters, wait a few minutes, then fly back to exactly the same spot in the Iris bed to feed again.
Red-winged Blackbird - a first for Britain!