Saturday, 30 September 2017

30th September 2017 Unst SE2 Overcast

A good selection of migrants seen at Skaw including a Kestrel, a Whinchat, a Robin, 5 Song Thrush, a Reed Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs and Reed Bunting with Paul E and Nick C finding an obliging Red-throated Pipit. Norwick added 2 Robins, a Redstart, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Tree Pipits, a Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs, a Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Mealy Redpolls and a Brambling. the Heritage Centre played host to a Robin and a Whinchat and Burrafirth held a Redstart, a Whinchat, 3 Chiffchaffs and a Spotted Flycatcher. Setters Hill delivered a nice surprise in the form of a Wryneck as well as a Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Robins, 2 Blackcaps, 1 Chiffchaff, 12 Brambling and 2 Mealy Redpolls. Hillsgarth was also active with a Kestrel, a Redwing, a Song Thrush, 6 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher, a Reed Bunting, a Chaffinch and a Brambling but the School proved quiet with just a Robin, 3 Redwing and a Fieldfare. We made a late afternoon visit to Clibberswick, Haroldswick and Feall seeing 2 Merlin, a Redstart, a Whinchat and a Chiffchaff.

Reed Bunting at Skaw
my first of the Autumn and it's bill appeared to show some pink!

 Red-throated Pipit at Skaw (all JFC)

Lesser Whitethroat at Skaw

Lesser Whitethroat at Norwick

Mealy Redpoll at Norwick

Common Redstart at Norwick

Juvenile Spotted Flycatcher at Burrafirth

 Wryneck at Setters Hill

Kestrel at Baltasound

Pied Flycatcatcher at Baltasound

Thursday, 28 September 2017

28th September 2017 Unst SE7 Overcast

The wind had strengthened overnight making birding even more difficult. Skaw held a Robin, the Reed Warbler, a Blackcap, a Chiffchaff, a Siskin and Frank & Dave found a Red-breasted Flycatcher. At Setters Hill we just saw a single Siskin. 

Streams flowing uphill in the wind today at Lamba Ness

Reed Warbler and Red-breasted Flycatcher at Skaw

Reed Warbler at Skaw

Siskin at Setters Hill

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

27th September 2017 Unst SE5 Overcast

Another windy day with Skaw producing a Lesser Whitethroat, a Blackcap, a Reed Warbler and a Chiffchaff. Norwick proved better as we flushed a Long-eared Owl that obligingly flew to a pine where it remained on view for most of the day. We also saw a Redwing, a Song Thrush, a Robin, a Blackcap, a Yellow-browed Warbler and 4 Chaffinches. Setters Hill added a Tree Pipit, a Song Thrush, a Garden Warbler, a Chiffchaff and a Siskin. Hillgarth added 2 Brambling and Clingera a Lesser Whitethroat, a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Chiffchaff. Paul F found a Bluethroat at Hagdale Quarry so we took a look this afternoon also seeing 2 Grey Wagtails there.

Long-eared Owl at Norwick

Tree Pipit at Setters Hill

Song Thrush dropping into the Setters Hill pines

Chiffchaff at Setters Hill

Bluethroat at Hagdale Quarry

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

26th September 2017 Unst SE5 Overcast

A walk around Skaw produced just a single Blackcap. Norwick added the Purple Sandpiper, a Common Redstart, a Blackcap, 2-3 Yellow-browed Warblers, 2 Goldcrests and my first Chaffinch of the Autumn. A flock of 4 Grey Herons arrived in off the sea at Millfield where the Robin remained that had been joined by a Blackcap. A tour of Baltasound added a Ruff, 2 Robins, a Blackcap, a Garden Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warblers and 2 Yellow-browed Warblers.

Grey Herons arriving over Millfield

Blackcap at Millfield

Willow Warbler at Baltasound

Monday, 25 September 2017

25th September 2017 Unst SE3 Rain arriving

Despite what felt promising conditions, at Skaw, the only migrants seen were 4 Ruff. A walk around Norwick produced a Purple Sandpiper on the beach, the Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat and a single Yellow-browed Warbler heard calling. We took a look at a Snow Bunting in a quarry near the Quoys junction and then saw a Yellow-browed Warbler at Burrafirth. We then heard the news that a drake American Wigeon had been found at Easter Loch so we made our way there and our arrival coincided with Al finding a Little Bunting nearby. Rain then set in for the rest of the day with a Robin in our garden being the first we've seen this Autumn.

Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat at Norwick

Snow Bunting near Quoys

Drake American Wigeon on Easter Loch

Little Bunting at Uyeasound

Sunday, 24 September 2017

24th September 2017 Unst SSE6 Overcast

The windy conditions didn't make birding easy today. A walk around Norwick produced a Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warblers, a Goldcrest and 2 Mealy Redpolls and a Brambling overflew Millfield being our first for the Autumn. There were 38 Wigeon on the Houb, 5 Mealy Redpolls at Clingera and 10 Ruff, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Yellow-browed Warbler at Setters Hill. A Great Northern Diver was in Norwick bay.

Mealy Redpoll at Norwick

Saturday, 23 September 2017

23rd September 2017 Unst SSE4 Overcast

A mass departure there was! For the first 3 hours in the field we didn't see a single Warbler. Late September, a southeasterly and by lunchtime I was mowing the lawn! Toured the south of the island this afternoon seeing an Otter, 2 Whooper Swans, 30 Wigeon, 5 Tufted Duck, c.500 Golden Plover, 6 Ruff and 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and my first Glaucous Gull of the Autumn.

Glaucous Gull at Belmont

Friday, 22 September 2017

22nd September 2017 Unst Calm and clear

After overnight rain a beautiful warm sunny day. A Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat had remained at Skaw and a Pied Flycatcher was a new arrival there. North Dale played host to a Barred Warbler, a Garden Warbler, a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Pied Flycatcher. Norwick added another Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Yellow-browed Warblers and the Spotted Flycatcher. A Ruff flew past Millfield where the Blackcap remained being joined by a Goldcrest. Clibberswick added another Yellow-browed Warbler and 3 were present at Hillsgarth alongside 2 Chiffchaffs. A Whinchat and a Yellow-browed Warbler was present at Houlland and another at Clingera where there was a flock of 8 Mealy Redpolls. On arriving home there was a Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat in our garden. With clear skies and a freshening southeasterly wind it will be interesting to see if there is a new arrival tomorrow or a mass departure...

Pied Flycatcher at Skaw

Garden Warbler at North Dale

Barred Warbler at North Dale

Ruff at Millfield

Yellow-browed Warbler at Clingera
our eleventh of the day

Mealy Redpoll at Clingera

 Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat at Millfield

Thursday, 21 September 2017

21st September 2017 Unst SE1 Drizzly rain

Drizzly rain persisted for virtually the whole day but at least it was virtually calm. Soon after dawn a Common Redpoll was found feeding along the road at Braehead. A flock of 6 Ruff flew over Skaw where the Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat had been joined by a second individual. Burrafirth was playing host to 2 Yellow-browed Warblers and the Gannet was still along the burn! Norwick produced a another Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Yellow-browed Warblers with 5 in a single garden, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Common Rosefinch and a Mealy Redpoll. An afternoon visit to Houlland added our tenth Yellow-browed Warbler of the day.

Common Redpoll at Braehead
We had nothing alongside to compare size but it appeared rather large, hefty and bull-necked and the solid dark tramlines along its flanks are perhaps suggestive that it is a Greenland Redpoll.

Common Rosefinch at Norwick

Mealy Redpoll at Norwick