Sunday 14 July 2024
 11.4°C   NNE Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

News / Tiny bird causes euphoria among twitchers

The Siberian Accentor at Mossy Hill, Shetland - Photo: Hugh Harrop

BIRD WATCHERS from across the country are on their way to Shetland to catch a rare glimpse of a Siberian accentor, the first ever recorded in Britain.

The tiny bird was discovered at Mossy Hill, near Scousburgh, on Sunday afternoon by Shetland Wildlife guides Judd Hunt and Hugh Harrop.

“We were just checking the quarry at Mossy Hill, which is good for migrants now and then, when Judd set eyes on this bird and got very excited,” Harrop described the moment they realised the “magnitude” of their discovery.

“Judd said ‘I think I got a Siberian accentor’,” Harrop continued. “It was total euphoria; we were both physically shaking.”

The news soon made its way around the bird-watching community and by Monday morning around 100 twitchers were flocking to the site.

Among them was Britain’s top bird watcher Steve Gantlett, from Norfolk, who arrived in Shetland on Monday morning after driving overnight to Aberdeen to catch the first flight north.

Harrop said the recent calm weather with steady easterly winds has been “producing lots of good birds”.

“With any rare bird there is always an element of luck and pure chance,” he said, “however the Siberian accentor is one of those birds that is on your radar as a bird watcher.

“It is a bird that has long been predicted to turn up in Britain because there have been several records in Scandinavia.

“In life these things really mean nothing unless you are a birder.”

Siberian accentors usually breed in northern Siberia and spend the winter in southeast Asia.

“Shetland has notoriety in producing good birds,” he said. |When you got weather like this and got the magnitude of bird sightings that we have had this week, then who can complain. Shetland is a special place go bird watching.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.