Saturday, 20 August 2016

20th August 2016 Unst E4-5 Overcast then rain

It proved difficult birding conditions today with a strong easterly wind and rain from around midday becoming persistent as the afternoon went on. However, the easterly wind had clearly done the trick with a decent arrival of a variety of migrants worth getting wet for. Before I had left the car at Skaw I was greeted  by a Willow Warbler and soon found a Barred Warbler skulking in the nearby patch of nettles with a Common Whitethroat and another couple of Willow Warblers also present, Burrafirth was a then little disappointing with just a single Willow Warbler present along the burn. Norwick was better finding a Common Rosefinch feeding at the bottom of the ravine that soon dived into the pines. Whilst helping the Rosefinch to relocate to the crop I flushed a Grasshopper Warbler three times from the roadside vegetation. A couple of Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler and a Chiffchaff were present at Valyie. North Dale proved quiet with just a couple of Willow Warblers presumably being the same two present yesterday. A single Knot was present on Haroldswick beach. We then bumped into Mike who had seen a Pied Flycatcher at Setters Hill where it proved really active on the sheltered side of the pines as along with the Pied Flycatcher there were several Wheatears, 2 Willow Warblers, the first fresh Chiffchaff I've seen on the island this Autumn all partaking in a feeding frenzy seemingly primarily preying on micro moths and a Tree Pipit lurking in the pines.

Common Whitethroat at Skaw

Willow Warbler at Norwick

Willow Warbler and Wheatear at Setters Hill

Pied Flycatcher at Setters Hill

 Tree Pipit at Setters Hill
Whilst the image doesn't do it justice this individual had a strikingly pink lower mandible