Thursday, 6 October 2016

6th October 2016 Unst SE3 Clear

Conditions felt very promising at dawn with the continuing southeasterly wind having dropped to a more comfortable level. Skaw was lively with a Wheatear, 2 Robins, a Redwing, 3 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest, a Little Bunting, 5 Goldfinch, 2 Brambling and a Chaffinch. At North Dale there was just a Yellow-browed Warbler. Back at Millfield there was a Blackcap and a Goldcrest. At Norwick a Bluethroat was showing well in a cabbage field, a Goldcrest and 7 Brambling. Burrafirth was quiet with just a Redwing seen and a Brambling heard flying over. A flock of 6 Brambling were behind the Post Office. Out a Houlland there was a Swallow, 3 Redwing, a Song Thrush, a Blackcap, 2 Goldcrest and 2 Chaffinches. A look around Uyeasound produced 10 Whooper Swans, a Pintail, a Scaup, 32 Tufted Duck, a Blackcap, a Chiffchaff and heard a Yellow-browed Warbler. At Clingera we saw a Willow Warbler, a Chiffchaff, 3 Yellow-browed Warblers, 4 Goldcrests and another brief encounter with the Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll. With no phone signal we popped round to tell Mike and just as I was leaving his telephone started ringing. On reversing from his house Mike kindly appeared waving frantically at us to say 'male Sibe Thrush at Uyeasound'!! A text arrived from Brydon to the same effect and we dashed off south. After a short wait watching 2 Yellow-browed Warblers in a back garden the Siberian Thrush flew low towards the gathering crowd and right through us with its Zoothera black-and-white underwing pattern showing vividly - stunning! It landed on open ground behind the beach but soon flew another two times before returning to the garden where it remained until dark.

First-winter Bluethroat at Norwick

Scaup with Tufted Ducks at Uyeasound

First-winter male Siberian Thrush at Uyeasound (Richard Somers Cocks)
The third Siberian Thrush I've been fortunate enough to see in the UK but no less special than the previous two!