Sunday, 21 September 2014

21st September 2014 Out Skerries NW4 Overcast

Lerwick dawned grey, cold but dry and we were soon on our way to Vidlin where a roadside loch produced a pair of Whooper Swans and there were a few Black Guillemots in the sound. The Skerries ferry left on time and produced a blue Fulmar that circled the boat. We arrived on Out Skerries just before midday in heavily overcast conditions with a fresh northwesterly. During the afternoon there was a light shower but the cloud then broke at times but the wind remained persistently strong. Within 90 minutes we had bumped into a Little Bunting and a Rosefinch at Rocklea. We then met a welcoming Mike McGee who told us there were actually two Little Buntings and also a Red-breasted Flycatcher and Barred Warbler on the islands. Time spent around the iris beds and nearby gardens produced a nice selection of common migrants that included a good count of Tree Pipits and we eventually saw the Red-breasted Flycatcher. We met Mike again who had seen another Barred Warbler. On our way back to the east isle we flushed an impressively large broad-winged red Snipe that flew c.40m but then went to ground and we unfortunately failed to see it again. Both Little Buntings were seen together and the Rosefinch was seen again now accompanying a small flock of Chaffinch that also contained a single Brambling. A check of the pool soon produced Mike's Barred Warbler that proved an obliging individual. A Bunting was heard 'ticking' from long grass near the bay opposite but remained unseen presumably involved one of the nearby Little Buntings.  

Whooper Swan 2 near Vidlin
Greylag 2 near Vidlin
Wigeon 4 near Vidlin
Mallard 10 near Vidlin
Eider 2
Fulmar c.50 on crossing to Skerries including a single 'blue morph' Fulmar
Cormorant 2
Grey Heron 3
Kestrel 1
Ringed Plover 5
Lapwing 3 near Vidlin
Dunlin 1
Snipe 2 (one faeroeensis)
Redshank 1
Bonxie 3
Black Guillemot 5
Rock Dove c.40
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Hooded Crow c.10 mainland Shetland
Raven c.10
Goldcrest 2
Willow Warbler 2
Chiffchaff 1
Blackcap c.8
Barred Warbler 1
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Shetland Wren 1
Blackbird 3
Fieldfare 3
Song Thrush 12
Robin 1
Red-breasted Flycatcher 1
Redstart 2
Whinchat 4
Wheatear 1
Dunnock 3
Tree Pipit 10
Meadow Pipit 5
Chaffinch 10
Brambling 1
Siskin 1
Twite 10+
Common Rosefinch 1
Little Bunting 2

Ferry crossing from Vidlin to Out Skerries

Arrival on Out Skerries

the pool on Out Skerries

Chiffchaff on Out Skerries

Tree Pipit on Out Skerries

Little Bunting on Out Skerries
Common Rosefinch on Out Skerries
Goldcrest on Out Skerries

Out Skerries

Red Snipe on Out Skerries
This huge red snipe with eye-catching white leading edges to its wings is surely of the form faeroeensis. More on this form here:

Little Bunting on Out Skerries
the second individual

Barred Warbler on Out Skerries