Strong south-easterly winds meant that the garden was pretty much sheltered all day, and full of birds, mostly Starlings and House Sparrows (70+ of each), plus - a Garden Warbler, 2 Song Thrushes, 2 Goldcrests, a Blackcap, a Dunnock and a Long-eared Owl (flushed from the roses after I'd done the rest of Scatness). Out around Scatness there was a Robin and 6 Goldcrests in the thistles, as the wind was getting stronger (force 8) and the rain getting heavier, I gave up and went home to dry off, walking through the roses in my 'plantation' the afore mentioned Long-eared Owl was flushed and flew down towards the beach, where it landed behind a pile of rocks. As I was soaked to the skin anyway, I walked down to try for some shots, however, as I reached the gate at the bottom of the field the bird flew towards the runway. At this point a small bird flew off from next to the gate, and landed in some thistles about 40 yards away, I walked to the area and flushed it again from right next to me and flew into the small bit of dunes near Scord beach, the behaviour of the bird suggested a locustella and with a dark tail at that !
Soon got some help to try and nail the beast, with 7 of us walking through the dunes it was flushed again, and this time revealed the square tail of a phyllosc, another couple of flushes and a few more brief views, then the bird just disappeared ! The jury is still out on whether it was a Dusky, a Radde's or a soaking wet Chiffchaff. Despite another 45 mins of searching the bird couldn't be relocated.