Monday, 9 January 2017

9th January 2017 Unst W1

Steady light rain persisted all morning when just the odd Common Gull was seen back and forth in front of our house. Just before midday the weather suddenly cleared through leaving blue skies for the rest of the day. Almost as soon as the rain cleared a flock of 25 Herring Gulls arrived and there were 4 Glaucous Gulls among them. In the next hour or so we saw small flocks of Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls arriving in off the sea along Lamba Ness with another 5 Glaucous Gulls among them. As we drove to Skaw a Glaucous Gull was seen to land among a small assemblage and 2 were still on the beach where we also found the adult seen yesterday unfortunately dead. Whilst at Skaw another 4 Glaucous Gulls arrived in off the sea. Next stop was Burrafirth beach where 8 Glaucous Gulls were present on the beach, and perhaps more surprisingly, 3 Red-throated Divers were seen offshore. Our final Glaucous Gull of the day was seen in flight over Quoys. Virtually no Gulls were present at Westing but a Purple Sandpiper was on the beach. Easter Loch proved quiet with just 3 Whooper Swans present. Our last roll of the dice was a visit to Norwick beach where on our approach we noticed a flock of 4 Tundra Bean Geese right next to the road.

Lamba Ness stretching into the North Sea

Some of today's darker juvenile Glaucous Gulls

Juvenile argentatus Herring Gull (right)
sporting a bicoloured bill

 Tundra Bean Geese at Norwick