Friday, 10 February 2017

10th February 2017 Unst SE1 Light snow

A dusting of snow displaced a few birds with a few more Golden Plover and Lapwing being in evidence, both Redwing and Fieldfare at Haroldswick where there was also a Tundra Bean Goose and a nice surprise being the 2 Woodlarks at the Millfield/Norwick junction having gone unseen for 3 months!

Woodlarks at the Millfield/Norwick junction

Tundra Bean Goose at Haroldswick

Thursday, 9 February 2017

9th February 2017 Unst SE3 Overcast

On driving home across Unst a new species for the year was seen in the form of a Blue Tit busily feeding on Frank's feeders at Baltasound, the Bean goose was seen distantly still accompanying the Greylags near Buness House and on arriving home at Millfield there was a Tundra Bean Goose and a Pink-footed Goose with the Greylags in the field viewed from the kitchen!

Monday, 6 February 2017

6th February 2017 Unst S5

A much nicer day than forecast until late afternoon when the wind suddenly increased to gale force on the onset of heavy rain. Frustratingly that coincided with driving back through Baltasound finding a field full of Geese near Buness House that included at least 3 Pinkfeet, a Bean Goose and a White-fronted Goose. Hopefully they'll stick around for the storm to subside to allow better views to be obtained of them in less challenging weather!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

5th February 2017 Unst S3 Clear

Completed the monthly WeBS counts this morning seeing the 4 Tundra Bean Geese at Norwick, an Icelandic Redwing at Valyie and the Pink-footed Goose at Lamba Ness where we also saw our first Skylark of the year. Burrafirth produced a juvenile Glaucous Gull, a Redwing and a Robin.

Skylark at Lamba Ness

Friday, 3 February 2017

3rd February 2017 Yell S5 Clear

An overcast forecast but virtually wall to wall sunshine all day albeit remaining windy. Work was enlivened by a Merlin and a really long-winged Iceland Gull parading around farmland at Mid Yell and a juvenile Glaucous Gull was seen from the ferry back to Unst.

Windover Bod, Yell
This garden has a Scops on its list but a quick check this evening failed to add Tengmalm's! 

Windhouse, Yell
Allegedly the most-haunted house in the UK but just a ghost of a superbly long-winged Iceland Gull seen haunting the nearby farmland today!

2nd February 2017 Unst S5

The first lambs of the year gave a Spring-like feel to the day. Checked the pre-roost gathering of Gulls in Norwick bay in failing light finding a juvenile Iceland Gull among them and another sign of Spring in the form of an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull.

First lambs of the Spring!

The quay at Gutcher, Yell

Lesser Black-backed Gull in Norwick Bay
An early date for Shetland with the earliest at the time of the writing of The Birds of Shetland being the 7/2

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

1st February 2017 Unst SE3 Drizzle

After an initially calm dry morning spent working on Yell low cloud and drizzle descended so I headed back to Unst. Having to drive north past Westing it seemed too good an opportunity to quickly check for any Gulls feeding on the beach there. The only Gull present was the second-winter Iceland Gull and a juvenile Iceland Gull flew past heading south. Then driving towards Baltasound 3 European White-fronted Geese and a Pink-footed Goose were seen accompanying some Greylags. A couple of juvenile Glaucous Gulls were also seen in north Unst.

Second-winter Iceland Gull
Chris Gibbins details some thoughts on 2w Iceland & Kumlien's Gulls here including a similarly dark-tailed 2w Iceland Gull here

Juvenile Iceland Gull at Westing
a rather beautifully orange-tinged individual

European White-fronted Geese at Baltasound