Friday, 31 March 2017

31st March 2017 Unst E2 Fog

Dense fog this morning that partially cleared late morning so I set off for a walk around Norwick. I didn't get very far when I found a bedraggled Common Crane drying itself in the middle of the marsh. Unbeknownst to me, it transpired that a farmer had seen it at Ungirsta earlier in the morning. On viewing it with Robbie from Braeview he picked out a Goldcrest that landed briefly on the roof of the croft before continuing inland and an alba Wagtail flew north. And then the dense fog rolled-in again... Late afternoon and another partial clearance as drizzly rain commenced. A Goldcrest was sat sheltering on the handle of our front door and another alba Wagtail overflew. There was a Peregrine hunting over the marsh at Norwick, a Chiffchaff sheltering at the bus stop and 2 Goldcrests. Robbie had seen a juvenile Glaucous Gull at Haroldswick at midday and it was still there late afternoon.

Common Crane at Norwick

Goldcrest at Millfield

Chiffchaff sheltering at Norwick bus stop

Juvenile Peregrine at Norwick

Juvenile Glaucous Gull at Haroldswick

Thursday, 30 March 2017

30th March 2017 Unst SE1 Overcast

A nice calm morning but a quick look at Skaw and Lamba Ness produced just 2 Water Rails, 10 Blackbirds, 5 Redwings and 3 Snow Buntings all being lingerers from yesterday. A similar story at Norwick although there were now 3 Goldecrests present. I returned home to find I'd missed a Great Tit on our feeders - something I've not seen on Shetland! I somehow resisted the temptation not to go to work and spend the day looking for it! My route home virtually takes me past Clingera so I made my first visit of the year and was pleased to find a Chiffchaff there. Even better, on stopping to scan a flock of Skylarks in a field adjacent to the road they were accompanied by a Lapland Bunting.

Great Tit at Millfield

Chiffchaff at Clingera

 Lapland Bunting near Clingera

Robbie photographing the Lapland Bunting

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

29th March 2017 Unst NE3 Overcast

A quick tour of the northern sites revealed an arrival of Blackbirds and Redwings with 40 of each including a flock of 20 Redwings at the Brewery. There were 4 Purple Sandpipers and a Pied Wagtail on Skaw beach and the Water Rail was seen in the burn. The 5 Snow Buntings were still at Lamba Ness where there was a Lapwing at the point. At Norwick there was the Pinkfoot, 2 Pied Wagtails, my first Dunnock of the year, 3 Robins, the Goldcrest and a Chaffinch. A brown Merlin flew over our house. At Burrafirth there were 4 adult Whooper Swans in the burn, a drake Common Scoter offshore and a 3w Glaucous Gull on the beach. This evening a flock of 5 Pinkfeet were at the Heritage Centre.

Male Pied Wagtail at Skaw

Adult drake Common Scoter at Burrafirth

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

28th March 2017 Unst & Yell NE3

I seawatched for an hour from dawn but I was completely outclassed by Beachy! I saw 3 blue Fulmars, 4 Razorbills, 6 Guillemots, a Puffin and 16 Kittiwakes all fly north among the usual large numbers of Gannets and Fulmars. A single Snow Bunting was flying around at the point. On the crossing to Yell c.80 Long-tailed Ducks were seen and there was a Fieldfare at the Windhouse bod and an Iceland Gull at Mid Yell. Whilst driving north back across Unst this evening a small flock of Meadow Pipits were evident at the Heritage Centre and a small passerince caught my eye as it flew across the road and into the garden there - my first Chiffchaff of the Spring!

blue Fulmar passing Lamba Ness

Kittiwakes passing Lamba Ness

Long-tailed Duck from the ferry to Yell

Iceland Gull at Mid Yell

Chiffchaff at the Heritage Centre

Monday, 27 March 2017

27th March 2017 Unst N1

Two Pied Wagtails and the Goldcrest were seen at Norwick and a quick look at Uyeasound produced a drake Goosander and a Pink-footed Goose at Easter Loch and the drake Surf Scoter among the Eider around the offshore fish cages.

Drake Goosander at Easter Loch

Drake Surf Scoter with Eider off Uyeasound

Minke Whale off Uyeasound


26th March 2017 Unst W3 Misty

A look at Norwick produced a Goldcrest busily feeding on emerging tiny flies, 2 Meadow Pipits overflew heading inland and there were 2 Woodpigeons and a Redwing present and the Pinkfoot remains with the Greylags. Mark then kindly text to say there was a Chiffchaff in his garden so it suddenly felt like Spring had arrived! As I arrived a Skaw I saw a Water Rail and there was a Pied Wagtail on the beach there being the first I've seen this year. Lamba Ness produced a flock of 7 Meadow Pipits followed by another 2 coasting west along the southern cliffs in the company of either a Lapland or Snow Bunting that dived out of sight below the edge of the cliff. The pools played host to a small flock of 5 Snow Buntings and 6 Skylarks and there was a Redwing among the lichen-covered rocks at the point with 3 Purple Sandpipers on the rocks below. A quick check of Burrafirth revealed a petite juvenile Iceland Gull on the beach. 

Male Goldcrest at Norwick

Shetland Wren at Norwick

Snow Buntings at Lamba Ness

Redwing at Lamba Ness

Juvenile Iceland Gull at Burrafirth