Monday, 14 November 2016

14th November 2016 Unst S1 Overcast

As I walked out of the door there was a Fieldfare sat on the fence. As I drove out of Millfield a Snow Bunting was feeding along the road. As I arrived at Skaw a Woodcock flushed out of the burn, the Water Rail was skulking around and there were good numbers of Blackbirds. Driving back along Holsen's Road a Snow Bunting flushed off the road. We then visited Baltasound where the large flock of Redpolls was present opposite the Post Office. The first birds seen were a Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll sat alongside a Coue's Arctic Redpoll. The Coue's flew and joined a second Coue's among a flock of Mealy Redpolls. The Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll then flew and I quickly noticed a Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll that appeared more warmly-suffused than the original. The flock then disappeared towards the Community Hall. We took a break visiting Easter Loch seeing a female-type Scaup and 46 Goldeneye. A return to Baltasound saw us fail to refind the flock of Redpolls,

Snow Bunting at Millfield

Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll sat alongside a Coue's Arctic Redpoll at Baltasound Post Office

Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll (as above)

Coue's Arctic Redpoll flies to the ground...

joining a flock of Mealy Redpolls...

...and a second Coue's Arctic Redpoll (five right-hand birds the same five birds as above including Coue's at the far right with the next bird to the left of the flock of five the second Coue's)

second Coue's in flight

Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll at Baltasound Post Office
What appears a more richly and extensively warmly-suffused individual appearing 'tanned' or just a trick of the light!? Whilst the breast-side streaking also appears heavier and slightly blotchier and there is a streak or two visible in the centre of its breast can this be explained by changes in its pose?