Sunday, 20 August 2017

20th August 2017 Unst NW4 rain clearing

An hour sea-watching at Lamba Ness produced 80 Puffins, 10 Bonxies and 2 Kittiwakes. A late afternoon walk around Norwick revealed the presence of 11 Mallard, 9 Teal, my first Common Whitethroat of the Autumn, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Reed Warbler, a Chiffchaff and 2 Willow Warblers.

Willow Warbler at Norwick

Saturday, 19 August 2017

19th August 2017 Unst E1 Clear

With the weather forecast to quickly deteriorate today I made an early start heading to Skaw for dawn with the road covered in Meadow Pipits in places and c.15 White Wagtails seen too. Nice calm sunny conditions at Skaw revealed the presence of 2 Reed Warblers, a Garden Warbler and a Willow Warbler. Burrafirth and Haroldswick both added single Willow Warblers and Norwick produced my first Lesser Whitethroat of the Autumn, another Reed Warbler and another Willow Warbler. Whilst walking back the heavy rain duly arrived and the wind increased.

Reed Warbler at Skaw

Willow Warbler at Norwick

Lesser Whitethroat at Norwick

Lamba Ness waterfalls this afternoon viewed from Millfield

Friday, 18 August 2017

18th August 2017 Unst SE1 Rain clearing

Early morning rain soon cleared to leave an overcast and virtually calm morning. Unfortunately it started raining soon after lunchtime that became heavier and more persistent. Skaw played host to a Garden Warbler, Reed Warbler and a Willow Warbler. At Lamba Ness a Greenshank was touring the various pools but despite a huge flock of Gannets attracted to a large Whalsay trawler just offshore there appeared nothing more exciting than a few Bonxies among them. At Norwick we saw a Sanderling, a White Wagtail and a Willow Warbler. Rain pretty much then stopped play.

Garden Warbler at Skaw

First-winter White Wagtail at Norwick

Thursday, 17 August 2017

17th August 2017 Unst S2 Rain clearing

Heavy rain and mist at dawn suddenly cleared at c.9.30am to blue skies with the heavy cloud associated with the front seen disappearing to the northeast. Skaw produced 2 Willow Warblers and a Reed Warbler so it felt that Autumn Warbler passage was at last underway! Norwick added a further 2 Willow Warblers and Setters Hill was playing host to 2 Mealy Redpolls.

 Willow Warbler at Skaw

Reed Warbler at Skaw

leucistic Bonxie at Norwick
rather bizarrely the entire upper surface of its hand of its left wing appeared bleached

Merlin at Baltasound

Mealy Redpoll at Setters Hill

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

16th August 2017 Unst SW4 Overcast

Opened the bedroom curtains at 5am to the sight of 22 Black-tailed Godwits in the field behind the house. Spent most of the day on Yell but on returning home there are now 27 Black-tailed Godwits and a Knot was present on Clibberswick.

Juvenile Black-tailed Godwits and Oystercatchers at Millfield

Merlin at Norwick

Al working Norwick beach
looking for his second Nearctic wader find of the year

Black-tailed Godwits at Millfield

Knot on Clibberswick

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

15th August 2017 Unst SSE4 Rain

Heavy rain at first didn't make for easy birding and all I could find at Lamba Ness were a Dunlin and the first 2 Teal of the Autumn and nothing at all at Skaw. Rain then stopped play but an afternoon drive to the Houb was uneventful as was an hour's seawatch from Lamba Ness once the rain had stopped.

Dunlin and 2 Teal at Lamba Ness

Otter risking all in the heavy seas 

Millfield in evening sunshine

Saturday, 12 August 2017

12th August 2017 Unst NW2 Clear

A seawatch from Lamba Ness produced my first Sooty Shearwater of the year flying north at 6.40am and a light northerly movement of Kittiwakes. There was also a Merlin chasing the Starlings on the headland but apart from a handful of Dunlin all of the rest of yesterday's Waders had moved-on.

Sooty Shearwater passing Lamba Ness

Merlin at Lamba Ness

Dunlin at Skaw

Friday, 11 August 2017

11th August 2017 Unst SSW6 Overcast

A lengthy seawatch from Lamba Ness produced nothing more exciting than a single Arctic Skua flying north but there were 25 Dunlin grounded there and I saw a Whimbrel and a couple of Turnstone arrive from the north. Haroldswick beach added 12 Sanderling and 12 Dunlin. It was then no great surprise that news of the 'bird of the day' should involve a Wader in the form of a dispersing/migrant juvenile Red-necked Phalarope at Skaw that showed well at point blank range busily feeding.

 Juvenile Red-necked Phalarope at Skaw

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

9th August 2017 Unst NW1 and overcast

The juvenile Common Crossbill was still present at Skaw. The School pines were still playing host to 3 Mealy Redpolls and a check of the Setters Hill produced my first Long-eared Owl of the Autumn.

 Mealy Redpoll at the School

Long-eared Owl

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

8th August 2017 Firth Voe

A trip to the dentist in Lerwick proved far more enjoyable than expected as Mark found a Common Dolphin in Firth Voe and kindly showed it to us continually surfacing.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

6th August 2017 NW4 Clear

Started at Lamba Ness where a juvenile Ruff was the first we've seen this Autumn but sea-watching again proved quiet. Skaw was still playing host to the confiding juvenile Common Crossbill. I then found an interesting-looking petite Golden Plover that unfortunately took flight with a large flock of Golden Plover almost as soon as I saw it and we then couldn't refind it - not helped by the first Merlin of the season appearing further scattering the flocks. Uyeasound added 2 Knot and on our return we jammed into the adult White-tailed Sea-Eagle showing well over Loch of Watlee. At the School there were now 4 Mealy Redpolls.

Juvenile Ruff at Lamba Ness

Juvenile Common Crossbill at Skaw



Adult White-tailed Sea-Eagle over Loch of Watlee

Juvenile Mealy Redpoll at the School

Saturday, 5 August 2017

5th August 2017 Unst NW5 Overcast

Sea-watched with Robbie for several hours this afternoon after the rain had mostly cleared through seeing a single Knot flying north, a couple of Arctic Skuas flying south and a Minke Whale close offshore that made several appearances.

Minke Whale off Lamba Ness