Sunday, 21 October 2018

21st October 2018 Unst SW5 Overcast

The westerly winds continue and not surprisingly it feels migration is at a complete standstill with a walk to Valyie producing a Long-eared Owl, a Robin, the Dunnock, a Song Thrush, 15 Redwings, 4 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest, the Mealy Redpoll and a Chaffinch. Late this afternoon a Jackdaw flew past our house.

Long-eared Owl at Norwick

Saturday, 20 October 2018

20th October 2018 Unst SW4 Overcast

Skaw proved incredibly quiet with just a Chaffinch seen. A walk to Valyie produced a Peregrine, a Merlin, 2 Robins, the Dunnock, a Song Thrush, 25 Redwings, a Fieldfare, 3 Blackcaps, the Barred Warbler, the Yellow-browed Warbler, a Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest, a Mealy Redpoll, 3 Chaffinches and 20 Brambling.

Mealy Redpoll at Norwick

Peregrine & Merlin at Norwick

Friday, 19 October 2018

19th October 2018 Unst SW4-5 Clear

Light intensity remained poor until nearly 9am this morning so the days are shortening fast. A walk to Valyie and back produced a now familiar line-up of species as I saw a Long-eared Owl, 2 Robins, the Whinchat, 25 Redwing, a Fieldfare, 5 Blackcaps, the Barred Warbler, a Yellow-browed Warbler, 5 Goldcrests, a Chaffinch and 55 Brambling. NorthDale added a Robin, Goldcrest, 5 Chaffinches and 15 Brambling. At Haroldswick I saw a Blackcap and 20 Brambling. Easter Loch was playing host to 31 Whooper Swans, a single Mute Swan and 15 Goldeneye.

Yellow-browed Warbler at Valyie

Whinchat at Norwick

Thursday, 18 October 2018

18th October 2018 Unst W4 Clear

A less windy start to the day was an improvement albeit the wind remains from an unhelpful direction. A walk to Valyie and back produced a Merlin, a Long-eared Owl, 3 Robins, 3 Song Thrushes, 20 Redwings, 5 Fieldfares, the Barred Warbler, 5 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, 2 Goldfinches, 10 Chaffinches and 50 Bramblings. A look around Haroldswick added a Dunnock, a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Reed Bunting and a Yellowhammer.

Reed Bunting at Haroldswick

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

17th October 2018 Unst SW5 Clear

On stepping out of the front door it immediately felt both colder and windier than forecast. A walk to Valyie and back produced 18 Whooper Swans being a flock of 13 adults followed an hour and a quarter later by a family party of 5 arriving in off the sea, 2 Long-eared Owls, 2 Robins, the Whinchat, a Song Thrush, 50 Redwing, a Fieldfare, 15 Blackbirds, the Barred Warbler, 4 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrest, 60 Brambling and 5 Chaffinches. All I saw at Skaw was a Robin, a Chiffchaff, a Brambling and a Chaffinch and at Lamba Ness just a Chiffchaff. Burrafirth added a Brambling. Setters Hill was playing host to 5 Goldcrest and a Jackdaw. A look around Uyeasound added a female Common Redstart.

Whooper Swans arriving in off the sea over Norwick
a fine sound and sight to start the day

Long-eared Owl at Norwick

Family of Whooper Swans arriving in off the sea at Norwick

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

16th October 2018 S6 Overcast

A walk around Valyie suggested there had been an overnight departure of migrants with just single Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest still present. Skaw played host to a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Goldcrest and there was a Yellow-browed Warbler at Braeview. Rain then stopped play but on returning home from the shop late afternoon coincided with the cloud clearing and a walk to Norwick produced a Waxwing and a Barred Warbler.

Barred Warbler at Norwick

Monday, 15 October 2018

15th October 2018 Unst SW3 Clear

After a very clear and virtually calm night it was a considerable surprise that so many migrants had remained on the island. Early morning at Valyie produced 3 Robin, my first Dunnock of the Autumn, the Great Grey Shrike that had been found yesterday morning, 50 Redwing, 20 Blackbirds, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Goldcrests and 50 Brambling. Skaw was also productive with my first Woodcock of the Autumn, 3 Robin, 200 Redwing, a Blackcap, a Chiffchaff, a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Goldcrest. A trip to the shop in Baltasound ensured we checked a few sites there but it seemed generally quiet apart from several fields full of Golden Plover, Redwings and a single Goldcrest at Clingera and 5 Common Crossbills at Setters Hill.

Sunrise at Norwick

First-winter Great Grey Shrike at Valyie

Silver Y moth at Valyie

House Sparrows at Skaw
I infrequently see House Sparrows at Skaw and never a flock this size. They flew off high to the northeast(!) but were seen to return a few minutes later.

Common Crossbills at Setters Hill