Wednesday, 8 November 2017

2nd November 2017 Unst N2 Overcast

A strong northerly had rather petered out by dawn but tried another early morning seawatch from Lamba Ness with Al where we saw a Sooty Shearwater, 53 blue Fulmars, a Little Auk, a Bonxie and 4 Glaucous Gulls all flying north in just under 2 hours. Whilst there, 4 Snow Buntings arrived in off the sea.


Sooty Shearwater and Fulmar passing Lamba Ness

blue Fulmar passing Lamba Ness


blue Fulmar passing Lamba Ness
a more eye-catching individual by virtue of its diffuse dark breast-band

Juvenile Glaucous Gull and Fulmar passing Lamba Ness

Juvenile Glaucous Gull passing Lamba Ness

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

31st October 2017 Unst SW3

With North Ronaldsay scoring 2 Fea's Petrels yesterday another sea-watch felt in order from Lamba Ness this time with Al and Brydon from 7.45am to 9.20am seeing 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 12 Little Auks, c.200 Kittiwakes and 2 Glaucous Gulls that arrived in off the sea. A journey to an appointment at Hillswick was enlivened by a late Whinchat seen sat on a fence just north of Burravoe on Yell.

Glaucous Gull arriving in off the sea at Lamba Ness (Al Conlin)

Whinchat just north of Burravoe, Yell

Sunday, 29 October 2017

29th October 2017 Unst NNW6 Occasional heavy showers

A seawatch from Lamba Ness seemed worth a try and from 7.45am to 9am I saw a Merlin arrive in off the sea, 9 blue Fulmars, 5 Little Auks, 30 Guillemots and a juvenile Glaucous Gull all flying north.

Heavy seas off Lamba Ness






Little Auks passing Lamba Ness

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

24th October 2017 Unst S2 Overcast

The forecast was pretty dire for today for after the first couple of hours of daylight but in fact the weather, whilst raining at times, never stopped us birding today. Whilst walking to Norwick a Sparrowhawk was seen sat on a gate and then I found a Reed Warbler with a deformed bill - not what anyone hopes to find on Shetland in late October! A couple of flocks of Teal arrived in off the sea there. Robbie then kindly gave me a lift home to avoid the worst of the first downpour of the day. Two Long-eared Owls were then found rooting together sharing the garden with 2 Ring Ouzels. Skaw produced a Lesser Whitethroat, a Siberian Chiffchaff and a Little Bunting. A tour of the Baltasound sites resulting in flushing a Woodcock at both Clingera and Setters Hill where we chanced upon a flock of 6 Redpolls tantalizingly high in the pines that all appeared to be Arctic Redpolls before they flew off towards the Post Office where a Wheatear was present and the Surf Scoter remained offshore.

Reed Warbler with deformed bill at Norwick

Ring Ouzel at Norwick

Bramblings at Norwick

Juvenile Surf Scoter off Balatasound




Arctic Redpolls at Setters Hill

23rd October 2017 Unst SE5 Overcast

Another day and found another Great Grey Shrike this time in Haroldswick.


Great Grey Shrike at Haroldswick (Allan Conlin)
Showing an extensive area of white in its secondaries visible both at rest and in flight being a character associated with homeyeri  or homeyeri integrades

Sunday, 22 October 2017

22nd October 2017 Yell SE3 Overcast

Working on Yell on a Sunday was rewarded with finding a Hawfinch at Mid Yell and a Great Grey Shrike at Gutcher on my commute home.

Hawfinch at Mid Yell

Friday, 20 October 2017

20th October 2017 Unst SE4 Overcast

A gloomy drizzly and windy start to the day but good numbers of Robins, Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Redwings, Fieldfares and Brambling were immediately evident. A Hawfinch was found feeding on rose-hips at Norwick and whilst watching it a Little Bunting flew down to and briefly landed on the road! I then met Al and saw a male Ring Ouzel he'd just seen and then another along Holsen's road. A quick look at Halligarth produced a couple of Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests and the same was true of Hillsgarth and Setters Hill. Clingera produced a Yellow-browed Warbler and a drive along the foreshore at Buness resulted in distant views of Brydon's first-winter Surf Scoter alongside 2 Common Scoter and several Long-tailed Ducks.

Hawfinch at Norwick

First-winter Surf Scoter off Buness