Wednesday, 27 May 2015

27th May 2015 Unst

We checked Skaw, Lamba Ness and North Dale but no migrants were seen. We then tried Baltasound but were hampered by the weather. We revisited Baltasound in the afternoon when we found a superb Rustic Bunting in the pines opposite the police station and rumbled that there were two vagrant Canada Geese present on the island – the Lesser Canada Goose B.c. parvipes at Haroldswick Bay and identifying a Todd’s Canada Goose B.c. interior at Ordaal House.

Pink-footed Goose 1
Lesser Canada Goose B.c. parvipes 1
Todd’s Canada Goose B.c. interior 1
Gadwall 4
Pintail 1
Whimbrel 1
Iceland Gull 1
Chiffchaff 1
Blackcap 1
Garden Warbler 1
Sedge Warbler h
Redwing 1
Redpoll 1
Rustic Bunting 1

Rustic Bunting in the Baltasound pines (JFC) 
JFC photographing the Rustic Bunting
Appearing nearly as large as and standing taller than the Greylags with a very long thin neck and a very long body
Its typical posture holding its neck strongly curved. Large, long and broad-billed its culmen appeared straight and formed a sharp angle with its forehead so lacking the continuous profile of the Haroldswick Lesser Canada Goose.
Not only considerably larger this bird had a completely different appearance to the Lesser Canada Goose present at Haroldswick being very lanky, rangy, large and long-billed, incredibly long-bodied and its body-plumage was a dark warm-brown
Its black neck-sock was far more extensive on the fore-neck and met a subtle brown-washed breast so very different from the typically white-breasted feral UK birds. Its brown-washed breast was virtually concolorous with its belly.
Its wing-coverts noticeably darkened sub-terminally so lacked the unform plain appearance of those of the Haroldswick Lesser Canada Goose
Todd's Canada Goose at Ordaal House, Baltasound
Videograb showing dark chin-strap/gular line
Todd's Canada Goose and Pink-footed Goose at Ordaal House, Baltasound (JFC)
It seems likely they had arrived together, a product of the endless westerly winds
Leucistic Pink-footed Goose at Ordaal House, Baltasound (JFC)