Tuesday, 26 May 2015

26th May 2015 Unst W5

We visited Skaw, Lamba Ness and North Dale but not a single migrant seen! We then tried the usual Baltasound sites but saw very little before rain started. Late afternoon we revisited Baltasound, and on our return at 5pm, JFC found a Lesser Canada Goose B.c. parvipes on Haroldswick beach where a first-summer male Blue-headed Wagtail and 4 Gadwall were also present.

Whooper Swan 4
Lesser Canada Goose B.c. parvipes 1
Gadwall 4
Teal 1
Iceland Gull 1
Collared Dove 2
Chiffchaff 4
Tree Sparrow 7
Blue-headed Wagtail 1 first-summer male
White Wagtail 1

Tree Sparrows at Skaw
they didn't linger long, possibly because there are no trees at Skaw

First-summer male Blue-headed Wagtail at Haroldswick (JFC)
On a lone bird it is difficult for images to convey a true sense of size but these being some of JFC's initial images perhaps best portray its diminutive size in comparison to its surroundings as well as its compact and short-bodied thickset shape.
A Rock Dove helpfully appeared to put the Lesser Canada Goose's small size in perspective. It appeared so small that most of the discussion was whether it was a Lesser or Richardson's Canada Goose B.h. hutchinsii
No dark chin-strap/gular line dividing its white cheek patches
Its pale-breast blends to slightly darker flanks and belly
When relaxed it looked short-necked with a very restricted dark neck-sock especially on the fore-neck. Its neck appeared very short bulging at its base. It appeared rather plump-bodied and very short-winged.
It typically appeared short-legged
When alert its neck was extended to its full extent when its upper neck covered by its black neck-sock appears noticeably thin but it still showed a characteristic bulge at its base
Showing its bill shape and size to good effect as well as its rather uniform plain wing-coverts. Its culmen appears slightly concave and continuous with its gently sloping and rounded forehead to its crown. Its rear-crown also appears rounded.
Lesser Canada Goose B.c. parvipes at Haroldswick (JFC)
Gadwall at Haroldswick