Western olivaceous warbler: First for Britain found in Whalsay

A Western olivaceous warbler has been discovered in Britain for the first time in Whalsay by birdwatcher John Lowrie Irvine.

This warbler breeds in Iberia and north Africa and is a rare vagrant to northern Europe.

The vagrant was found at Skibberhoull yesterday in a small plantation known locally as Frankie’s.

Initially, there was uncertainty as to whether this was a western or eastern olivaceous warbler, as they are very close to being identical.

However, after being caught this morning, it was confirmed as western on slight differences in measurements. 

Mr Irvine, 58, who has been birdwatching in Whalsay since pre-school age, had an ambition of finding a first for Britain in the isle.

“Like all hunters of rare birds, pretty much everyone’s goal is to find a first for Britain, but I never seriously thought I would, it’s surreal.” 

Read the full story in next week’s Shetland Times. 


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.