With the news of a Northern Parula residing on Tiree, I was itching to go. It was my last day of a set of 4 shifts and the allure was too much. My good friends Mike and Jane Malpass were guiding at Leighton Moss, but when I asked if they were interested in going, both were up for it.
I left home that night at 2300pm and arrived in Bury to pick them up. We arrived in Oban for 0500am, ready to catch the 4 hour ferry trip to Tiree at 0830am.
Within 30 minutes of leaving Oban harbour, we had news that the bird had flown. (Just my luck).
Robert Pocklington was also on the ferry, and on arrival at Tiree at 1230pm, via stops at Mull and Colonsay, we all made our way to the little wood at Carnan Mor where the Parula had last been seen.
The message had been correct, the bird had gone. There were some long faces there, but if you stay at home, you don't see the bird, so you make the best of it, and get on with it. (Still had a long face though)!
We had Greenland Redpoll to keep our eyes open, and it had real bull neck on it compared to the other Redpolls that were frequenting the nearby area.
With that, we headed towards Crossapol, where a pair of Buff Breasted Sandpipers had been seen near to a nearby football pitch.
It didnt take to long to find them, so Mike an me tried to photograph them. They were so close they were running round our feet. It helped with the disappointment of the Parula no-show.
With that, we headed back to the ferry port for the 1800 pm ferry back to Oban. We landed at Oban at 2200pm and the drive back home followed. I got back into bed at 0300am the next day.