Wednesday, 20 September 2017

20th September 2017 Unst SE1 Overcast with drizzle

Calm with light drizzle cleared with a southeasterly breeze. With such promising conditions it was disappointing that just the Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat was present at Skaw with the Whinchat again being seen at Braeview on our return. A stranded Gannet was an unexpected surprise along the burn at Burrafirth where a Kestrel was also seen. A Blackcap and Willow Warbler were new arrivals in our garden and as we drove through Baltasound a Yellow-browed Warbler flicked across the road and into the grounds of Buness House. Lund proved quiet with just a Blackcap seen. As we were leaving Westing I very kindly received both a text and voicemail from Roger R to say that Brydon had found a female Siberian Thrush at Ordaal but was having difficulty getting hold of us (no phone signal at Lund)! We raced back north and enjoyed several flight views seeing its underwing pattern on each occasion and a couple of very brief views of it on the deck - the fourth Siberian Thrush that I've been fortunate to see in the UK! There were 2 or 3 Yellow-browed Warblers in the same gardens. A flock of 4 Mealy Redpolls were then seen nearby.

A Gannet was an unexpected find along the Burrafirth burn!

Brydon enjoying reliving his brilliant find

the sycamores playing host to the Siberian Thrush

Female Siberian Thrush photographed by the finder Brydon Thomason

19th September 2017 Unst NW2 Overcast

A very quiet day with just the Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat still at Skaw, a blue Fulmar north past and10 Ruff at Lamba Ness and a Pink-footed Goose, 3 Ruff and a White Wagtail at Millfield being seen.

blue Fulmar passing Lamba Ness

Ruff at Millfield

White Wagtail at Millfield

Monday, 18 September 2017

18th September 2017 Unst N2 Rain clearing

Persistent light rain but light winds for the morning cleared for the afternoon. On the drive to Skaw a Whinchat at Braeview was encouraging and the Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat was still present at Skaw. Norwick only added a Blackcap and a Willow Warbler. North Dale was playing host to a Yellow-browed Warbler.

Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat at Skaw

Yellow-browed Warbler at North Dale

Sunday, 17 September 2017

17th September 2017 Unst NE3 Overcast

More overcast and windier than forecast but from a helpful direction. Our first Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat of the Autumn was at Skaw and as we were leaving 3 Ruff overflew. Whilst driving to Burrafirth we saw 3 Pintail and 3 Wigeon. Burrafirth produced a flock of 4 Herons overhead and a Blackcap and Willow Warbler. Haroldswick added another 3 Ruff and Millfield another 2 Ruff. A walk around Norwick added another overflying Heron, a Garden Warbler, a Willow Warbler and a Yellow-browed Warbler. A tour of the Baltasound sites produced a juvenile Cuckoo, a Willow Warbler and a further 4 Yellow-browed Warblers.

Juvenile hepatic morph Cuckoo at Baltasound

Yellow-browed Warbler at Baltasound

Saturday, 16 September 2017

16th September 2017 Unst NNE6 Overcast clearing

A windy and cloudy start to the day that soon cleared to blue skies. The male Ortolan Bunting was still present at Norwick and a Redpoll overflew. A Pink-footed Goose arrived over Millfield where 14 Ruff and a White Wagtail were also present. A Willow Warbler was seen at North Dale.

Male Ortolan Bunting at Norwick

Pink-footed Goose over Millfield

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

13th September 2017 Unst NE2 Overcast

The first bird I saw at Skaw was a Yellow-browed Warbler in the sheep pens that felt a promising start to the day. I also saw my first Water Rail of the Autumn and a Garden Warbler there. Norwick had held onto the male Ortolan Bunting with an overflying flock of 20 Snipe, a Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Blackcaps also seen. A Great Northern Diver had returned to Burrafirth. A tour of the Baltasound sides proved extremely quiet although the juvenile Cuckoo was still present at Houlland.

Yellow-browed Warbler at Skaw

Male Ortolan Bunting at Norwick

Juvenile hepatic morph Cuckoo at Houlland

Goldie - same or different?

Is it time to stop keeping half an eye out for my 'interesting GP' as it appears that it might now be on Whalsay...?

John Lowrie Irvine's image of the American Golden Plover on Whalsay (right) 13th September 2017

Monday, 11 September 2017

11th September 2017 Unst E3 Rain during morning

A wet and windy start to the day cleared into calm, sunny and warm conditions. A walk around Norwick produced 60 Ruff, a Sparrowhawk, a female Redstart, 2 Blackcap, 2 Garden Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Goldcrest, a Pied Fly and best of all a male Ortolan that I picked out in flight just as I was leaving that conveniently pitched down in a 'hedgerow'. Baltasound seemed quiet with just a 4 Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff and the Spotted Flycatcher still at the School. Haroldswick produced a female Redstart, a Garden Warbler and a Willow Warbler and just a Whinchat was seen at Burrafirth. 

 Pied Wagtail at Millfield
the 'additional' black on the rear ear-coverts caused me a double-take

Goldcrest at Norwick

Common Redstart at Norwick

Pied Flycatcher at Norwick

 Male Ortolan Bunting at Norwick

Sunday, 10 September 2017

10th September 2017 Unst W1 Overcast

Walked out of the house to a flock of 10 Ruff in an adjoining field. A single Ruff was also seen on Lamba Ness. A walk around Norwick produced 5 Ruff, a female Common Redstart, a Pied Flycatcher, a Fieldfare, a Blackcap, 2 Yellow-browed Warblers and c.5 Willow Warblers including a couple of nice acredula.

Ruff at Lamba Ness

 acredula Willow Warbler at Skaw

acredula Willow Warbler at Norwick

Common Redstart at Norwick

 Yellow-browed Warbler at Norwick

Saturday, 9 September 2017

9th September 2017 Unst NE2 Overcast

Another promising day with a northeasterly wind and being overcast. The highlight was finding a Yellow-browed Warbler at Norwick being the first for the UK this Autumn and seeing the Arctic Warbler again today in the company of a Wood Warbler and a scatter of common migrants.

Ruff 15 Norwick
Greenshank 1 Loch of Cliff
Cuckoo 1 juvenile Houlland
Common Redstart 1 female Haroldswick
Lesser Whitethroat 2 Norwick
Garden Warbler 3
Reed Warbler 1 Norwick
Wood Warbler 1 Setters Hill
Arctic Warbler 1 Setters Hill
Yellow-browed Warbler 1 Norwick
Willow Warbler 7
Chiffchaff 3
Pied Flycatcher 2 Norwick & Setters Hill
Spotted Flycatcher 1 School

Yellow-browed Warbler at Norwick
I've never seen a yellower one!

Lesser Whitethroat at Norwick

Garden Warbler at the Heritage Centre

Willow Warbler at the Heritage Centre

acredula Willow Warbler at North Dale

Whinchat at the Houb

Spotted Flycatcher at the School

Cuckoo at Houlland

Pied Flycatcher at Setters Hill

Wood Warbler at Setters Hill

Arctic Warbler at Setters Hill