Another beautiful calm morning. At Skaw we flushed a Jack Snipe and saw a Fieldfare, 2 Redwings and the Chiffchaff. At Norwick we saw a Robin, 4 Fieldfares, 10 Redwings, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrests, the Red-backed Shrike, 2 Chaffinches, 30 Brambling, 2 Siskins and a Little Bunting. At Setters Hill there was a Robin, 3 Fieldfares, a Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Goldcrests and we were pleased to find a Red-breasted Flycatcher there. At the School a Waxwing flew past us and into a tree with berries but then unfortunately promptly disappeared. Brian Minshull then very kindly text us to say that there was a probable Arctic Warbler at the Health Centre. As we were nearby we were soon enjoying watching it alongside a Yellow-browed Warbler and Goldcrest. Houlland was quiet producing just a Chiffchaff. A return to the School coincided with a brief appearance by a Wood Sandpiper on the pool there.
Siskins at Norwick
Red-breasted Flycatcher at Setters Hill
Waxwing at the School
Arctic Warbler at the Health Centre
A yellow-suffused individual but Ticehurst states borealis can resemble xanthodryas in that respect making some inseparable based on plumage alone. It's not the first Phyllosc on Unst this year where the strength and extent of the yellow suffusion to its underparts has varied under different lighting/viewing conditions - as the above images illustrate. However, whilst we weren't present, this one responded to borealis playback. Furthermore, it always appeared very small-billed compared to xanthodryas seen in Japan.
Wood Sandpiper at the School