Tuesday, 14 August 2018

14th August 2018 Unst SE1 Overcast with drizzle in afternoon

With a southeasterly breeze overnight it was disappointing that there were no migrants in our garden and just a Common Whitethroat at Skaw. Burrafirth failed to add any migrants but a trip to Baltasound did provide a glimmer of hope with 2 Willow Warblers seen at both Setters Hill and at the School. Drizzle arrived at lunchtime that only made the conditions feel even more promising. However, a walk to Valyie hadn't produced anything, and the rain was getting heavier, so I was fearing I'd made the wrong decision when I saw the briefest of glimpses of an interesting looking Phyllosc literally at the same time my first Barred Warbler of the Autumn flew into view in front of me before it dived into the thick cover. Whilst trying to see the Barred Warbler again I only saw a Willow Warbler in the process. As I entered the sycamores I noticed a movement in the canopy and there was an Arctic Warbler - brilliant! It took a fair while to obtain a few images, as whilst it was often sluggish, it rarely descended from the thick canopy of the sycamores. We checked a few more sites that failed to produce any more surprises. We returned to Valyie late afternoon where the Arctic Warbler was calling more frequently but unfortunately proved no more obliging.

Barred Warbler at Valyie

Arctic Warbler at Valyie
The third consecutive year I've been fortunate enough to find an Arctic Warbler on Unst being the second I've found at Valyie. Try here for a short sound recording of it calling.