Sunday, 24 September 2017

24th September 2017 Unst SSE6 Overcast

The windy conditions didn't make birding easy today. A walk around Norwick produced a Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warblers, a Goldcrest and 2 Mealy Redpolls and a Brambling overflew Millfield being our first for the Autumn. There were 38 Wigeon on the Houb, 5 Mealy Redpolls at Clingera and 10 Ruff, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Yellow-browed Warbler at Setters Hill. A Great Northern Diver was in Norwick bay.

Mealy Redpoll at Norwick

Saturday, 23 September 2017

23rd September 2017 Unst SSE4 Overcast

A mass departure there was! For the first 3 hours in the field we didn't see a single Warbler. Late September, a southeasterly and by lunchtime I was mowing the lawn! Toured the south of the island this afternoon seeing an Otter, 2 Whooper Swans, 30 Wigeon, 5 Tufted Duck, c.500 Golden Plover, 6 Ruff and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and my first Glaucous Gull of the Autumn.

Glaucous Gull at Belmont

Friday, 22 September 2017

22nd September 2017 Unst Calm and clear

After overnight rain a beautiful warm sunny day. A Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat had remained at Skaw and a Pied Flycatcher was a new arrival there. North Dale played host to a Barred Warbler, a Garden Warbler, a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Pied Flycatcher. Norwick added another Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Yellow-browed Warblers and the Spotted Flycatcher. A Ruff flew past Millfield where the Blackcap remained being joined by a Goldcrest. Clibberswick added another Yellow-browed Warbler and 3 were present at Hillsgarth alongside 2 Chiffchaffs. A Whinchat and a Yellow-browed Warbler was present at Houlland and another at Clingera where there was a flock of 8 Mealy Redpolls. On arriving home there was a Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat in our garden. With clear skies and a freshening southeasterly wind it will be interesting to see if there is a new arrival tomorrow or a mass departure...

Pied Flycatcher at Skaw

Garden Warbler at North Dale

Barred Warbler at North Dale

Ruff at Millfield

Yellow-browed Warbler at Clingera
our eleventh of the day

Mealy Redpoll at Clingera

 Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat at Millfield

Thursday, 21 September 2017

21st September 2017 Unst SE1 Drizzly rain

Drizzly rain persisted for virtually the whole day but at least it was virtually calm. Soon after dawn a Common Redpoll was found feeding along the road at Braehead. A flock of 6 Ruff flew over Skaw where the Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat had been joined by a second individual. Burrafirth was playing host to 2 Yellow-browed Warblers and the Gannet was still along the burn! Norwick produced a another Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Yellow-browed Warblers with 5 in a single garden, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Common Rosefinch and a Mealy Redpoll. An afternoon visit to Houlland added our tenth Yellow-browed Warbler of the day.

Common Redpoll at Braehead
We had nothing alongside to compare size but it appeared rather large, hefty and bull-necked and the solid dark tramlines along its flanks are perhaps suggestive that it is a Greenland Redpoll.

Common Rosefinch at Norwick

Mealy Redpoll at Norwick

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

20th September 2017 Unst SE1 Overcast with drizzle

Calm with light drizzle cleared with a southeasterly breeze. With such promising conditions it was disappointing that just the Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat was present at Skaw with the Whinchat again being seen at Braeview on our return. A stranded Gannet was an unexpected surprise along the burn at Burrafirth where a Kestrel was also seen. A Blackcap and Willow Warbler were new arrivals in our garden and as we drove through Baltasound a Yellow-browed Warbler flicked across the road and into the grounds of Buness House. Lund proved quiet with just a Blackcap seen. As we were leaving Westing I very kindly received both a text and voicemail from Roger R to say that Brydon had found a female Siberian Thrush at Ordaal but was having difficulty getting hold of us (no phone signal at Lund)! We raced back north and enjoyed several flight views seeing its underwing pattern on each occasion and a couple of very brief views of it on the deck - the fourth Siberian Thrush that I've been fortunate to see in the UK! There were 2 or 3 Yellow-browed Warblers in the same gardens. A flock of 4 Mealy Redpolls were then seen nearby.

A Gannet was an unexpected find along the Burrafirth burn!

Brydon enjoying reliving his brilliant find

the sycamores playing host to the Siberian Thrush

Female Siberian Thrush photographed by the finder Brydon Thomason

19th September 2017 Unst NW2 Overcast

A very quiet day with just the Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat still at Skaw, a blue Fulmar north past and10 Ruff at Lamba Ness and a Pink-footed Goose, 3 Ruff and a White Wagtail at Millfield being seen.

blue Fulmar passing Lamba Ness

Ruff at Millfield

White Wagtail at Millfield

Monday, 18 September 2017

18th September 2017 Unst N2 Rain clearing

Persistent light rain but light winds for the morning cleared for the afternoon. On the drive to Skaw a Whinchat at Braeview was encouraging and the Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat was still present at Skaw. Norwick only added a Blackcap and a Willow Warbler. North Dale was playing host to a Yellow-browed Warbler.

Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat at Skaw

Yellow-browed Warbler at North Dale