Monday, 30 May 2016

30th May 2016 Unst & Scatness NE1 increasing

A quick early morning circuit of northeast Unst produced just a Spotted Flycatcher at North Dale. Receiving news of the continued presence of the Eastern Olivaceous Warbler at Scatness from both my parents and Matt proved too much to resist. The drake Surf Scoter was seen sat on one of the fish cages off Belmont. On arrival at Scatness Steve Minton couldn't have been more accommodating in allowing us open access to his garden. And what a garden, with plenty of varied planting to provide ample cover and shelter for migrants. Steve had seen the Warbler in his garden in the morning and had heard it call not long before we arrived, but with a freshening wind, it proved difficult to see but we were eventually rewarded with views that we wouldn't have obtained without Steve's hospitality - many thanks Steve! Steve then pointed us in the direction of the loch where a Curlew Sandpiper and a Ruff were seen prior to us making the journey back north.

Pied Wagtail 2
Chiffchaff 1

North Dale
Swallow 3
Spotted Flycatcher 1

Millfield below the fog

Drake Surf Scoter off Belmont

Fulmars in the Bluemull Sound

Ruff 1
Curlew Sandpiper 1
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler 1

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler at Scatness
Being 21 years since the last one I saw at Benacre in Suffolk this proved a very welcome refresher of this tail-dipper! It always appeared incredibly pallid being pale and eye-catching in flight. Perhaps not as large as I was anticipating and it proved really frustratingly elusive in the rosa. Greyish brown upperparts that appeared rather worn and abraded with paler narrow poorly-marked supercilium extending just beyond its eye and not bridging the base of its bill. Lores appeared pale when viewed side-on but feather arrangement gave the impression of forming an isolated dark spot when facing towards us. Pale secondary panel sometimes appeared quite obvious when the bird was facing directly away but all but disappeared when viewed side-on. Creamy wash to flanks but remaining underparts white including its under-tail coverts. Tail frequently dipped with narrow outer edges of outer tail feathers appearing white. Really quite a short primary projection, being shorter than expected appearing less than half of the tertial length. Long but broad-based bill appearing quite colourful almost orange at times. Sturdy greyish legs and feet. A very educational and great bird.