Tuesday, 19 October 2021

19th October 2021 Unst S2 Overcast

Overcast conditions with light winds. Good numbers of the birds that arrived yesterday were still on the island and a few odds and ends crept out of the woodwork.

Norwick: Common Redstart, 2 Robins, c.500 Redwings, 3 Fieldfares, Ring Ouzel, 5 Blackcaps, Siberian Chiffchaff, 4 Chiffchaffs, 260 Bramblings, 2 Siskins, Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll, Northwestern Redpoll, Mealy Redpoll, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting & Yellowhammer.

Skaw: Wheatear, Robin, c.200 Redwings, Song Thrush, Ring Ouzel, Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrests & 10 Bramblings.

Haroldswick: Long-tailed Duck, Long-eared Owl, c.250 Redwings, 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs & 2 Chiffchaffs.

Easter Loch: 28 Whooper Swans, Scaup, Pochard, c.100 Redwings & c.80 Bramblings.

Bramblings at Norwick

Common Redstart at Norwick



Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll at Norwick

Goldfinch at Norwick

Monday, 18 October 2021

18th October 2021 Unst SE5 Overcast

From the outset we were hearing and seeing overflying Redwings with our first decent arrival of the Autumn with many grounded flocks as the day wore on. Flocks of Brambling were also arriving and to a much lesser extent Blackbirds, Fieldfares and a Ring Ouzel. As we were driving towards Haroldswick Robbie sent a message to say a pod of Orcas were entering the wick. We arrived in time to see them heading for open water so we took a chance on Lamba Ness where we obtained some exhilarating close views of them in the heavy seas off the south cliffs. Then all too soon the weather deteriorated with the onset of heavy rain and gales.

Norwick: 3 Long-tailed Duck, Jack Snipe, juvenile Glaucous Gull, Robin, c.3,500 Redwings, c. 20 Fieldfares, c.20 Blackbirds, Ring Ouzel, Goldcrest & c.220 Brambling

Skaw: c.1,500 Redwing & c.35 Brambling.

Lamba Ness: c.750 Redwing & c.10 Brambling.

Haroldswick: c.1,000 Redwing, c.20 Blackbirds & c.10 Bramblings.


Redwings over Norwick

Redwings and Bramblings over Norwick

Ring Ouzel over Norwick


Orcas off Haroldswick




Orcas spyhopping off Lamba Ness




Orcas tail slapping off Lamba Ness


Orca swimming on its back




Orcas breaching off Lamba Ness


Orcas passing Lamba Ness

Orca underwater off Lamba Ness

Sunday, 17 October 2021

17th October 2021 Unst ESE3 Overcast

Ideal conditions for birding as it remained dry all day and with light winds but apart from the lingering Hornemann's Arctic Redpolls very little came our way until dusk when we obtained brief views of a Red-breasted Flycatcher at NorthDale thanks to Mark & Linda Sutton who had found it earlier in the afternoon. 

Norwick: 5 Long-tailed Duck, c.50 Redwings (mainly Scandinavian), Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs, Siberian Chiffchaff, 8 Chaffinches, 5 Brambling, Siskin, 3 Mealy Redpolls, 2 Northwestern Redpolls, 2 Hornemann's Arctic Redpolls.

Skaw: 6 Long-tailed Duck, Redpoll h.

Burrafirth: Long-tailed Duck & Chiffchaff.

NorthDale: Red-breasted Flycatcher.

Long-tailed Ducks off Norwick

Mealy Redpoll at Norwick

Redwings over Norwick

Hornemann's Arctic Redpolls at Norwick

Mealy Redpoll & Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll at Norwick

Saturday, 16 October 2021

16th October 2021 Unst NW3 Overcast

We seawatched from Lamba Ness for an hour but with the wind easing it soon became too tempting to commence looking for passerine migrants that predictably remain in very short supply.

Lamba Ness: 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 2 blue Fulmars, 2 Mergansers, Merlin, 2 Little Auks & Jack Snipe.

Norwick: 11 Long-tailed Ducks, Robin, Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, Chifchaff, 6 Northwestern Redpolls, 2 Hornemann's Arctic Redpolls.

NorthDale: Siberian Chiffchaff.

Burrafirth: Long-tailed Duck & Redpoll sp.

Haroldswick: Jack Snipe & Whinchat.


Northwestern Redpoll at Valyie


Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll at Norwick


Siberian Chiffchaff at NorthDale

Whinchat at Haroldswick

Friday, 15 October 2021

15th October 2021 Unst NW4 Overcast

A couple of hours seawatching from Lamba Ness lacked much variety. The wind increased so hampered our birding around Norwick and Haroldswick but it was nice to see the 2 Hornemann's Arctic Redpolls had at last found each other today.

Lamba Ness: Red-throated Diver, 12 Sooty Shearwaters, 13 blue Fulmars, 2 Bonxies & 20 Snow Buntings.

Norwick: 10 Long-tailed Ducks, Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaffs, c.10 Bramblings, c.10 Chaffinches, 2 Hornemann's Arctic Redpolls & 2 Northwestern Redpolls.

Haroldswick: 2 Northwestern Redpolls.

Sooty Shearwater passing Lamba Ness

blue Fulmar passing Lamba Ness

Snow Buntings over Lamba Ness





Hornemann's Arctic Redpolls at Valyie

Thursday, 14 October 2021

14th October 2021 Unst SW7 Showers

Yet more hostile weather so sea-watching seemed the only likely worthwhile show in town. We made two visits with 2 hours spent there in the morning and 80 minutes in the afternoon.

Norwick: 6 Long-tailed Ducks & c.10 Redwings.

Lamba Ness: Great Northern Diver S, 5 Sooty Shearwaters, 2 blue Fulmars, Long-tailed Duck, Merlin, 2 Bonxies & a Snow Bunting.

Drake Long-tailed Duck passing Lamba Ness