Saturday, 21 January 2017

21st January 2017 Yell W2

Another day spent working on Yell in the unseasonably mild conditions. The highlight of the day were several flocks of fast-flying Long-tailed Ducks seen from the ferry between Belmont and Gutcher.

Long-tailed Ducks off Belmont

Friday, 20 January 2017

20th January 2017 Yell W2-3 Overcast

An overcast but very mild day at work although a quick check of Mid Yell produced a juvenile and 3w Iceland Gull.

Raven checking me or my sandwiches out!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

19th January 2017 Unst W4

No sooner do I ponder on whether most of the Glaucous Gulls have moved-on and there is a return to form today as I found a juvenile dead at Skaw, 2 juveniles and a second-winter at Burrafirth and see 2 juveniles and an Iceland Gull fly south past Westing and Brydon finds a flock of 18 Glaucous Gulls and 3 Iceland Gulls at Belmont! Otherwise the 4 Tundra Bean Geese remain at Norwick and 14 Teal were present on the floods and we saw 4 Otters playing together near Baltasound.

An image that I know my Mum will enjoy!

 Second-winter Glaucous Gull at Burrafirth
Juveniles seen thus far this winter are still appearing fresh with the pale eye and bill tip and patchy appearance of its underparts being a mixture of old and new feathers ageing this individual as a 2w.

Dead juvenile Glaucous Gull at Skaw
Sadly the second Glaucous Gull I've found dead at Skaw

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

18th January 2017 Unst W6 Overcast

Miserable weather with a strong westerly wind combined with persistent drizzly rain. Despite the weather an adult Iceland Gull and a juvenile Glaucous Gull were seen battling their way into the wind arriving in off the sea at Norwick where there was a Great Northern Diver sat offshore.

Juvenile Iceland Gull at Baltasound Pier on 15/1

Daily totals of white-wingers seen from a personal perspective over the last 10 days perhaps suggesting that most of the Glaucous Gulls have moved-on from here albeit important to note that Robbie B, Dick F, Jim N, Mike P and Brydon T have all been seeing various numbers of both species too.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

17th January 2017 Yell & Unst W2 Overcast

A day at work on Yell but did manage to see 6 Whooper Swans and a female-type Merlin and find 2 juvenile Iceland Gulls in my lunch break at Mid Yell. Literally in the last glimmers of dusk (now being gone 4pm) the 4 Tundra Bean Geese were again present at Norwick.

Whooper Swan near Gutcher on Yell

Juvenile Iceland Gull at Mid Yell

Sunday, 15 January 2017

15th January 2017 Unst SE1

The snow melted during the nice calm morning but not before finding a Jack Snipe sat beside a stream that frustratingly flew just as I reached for the camera. A total of 5 Common Snipe were also flushed and there was a Robin, Redwing and Chaffinch in our garden. A walk to Norwick added an offshore Great Northern Diver, a Water Rail and another 7 Chaffinches. A trip to buy some milk resulted in finding a juvenile Iceland Gull at Baltasound pier where a juvenile Glaucous Gull flew over and there were also 2 Great Northern Divers offshore and 5 Dunlin feeding on the houb. A drive down to Uyeasound where Easter Loch had remained partially ice-free playing host to a drake Goosander with a second drake seen just offshore.

Juvenile Iceland Gull at Baltasound Pier

Drake Goosander at Easter Loch

Sunset looking southwest from mid-Unst

Saturday, 14 January 2017

14th January 2017 Unst NW6

Awoke to a light dusting of snow. Didn't venture far with the only notable birds seen being single juvenile Glaucous and Iceland Gulls present in Norwick bay.

Norwick Bay from the warmth of our living room!