The day started early as it was still light enough a few minutes after midnight for a Wheatear to be hopping around our garden! A Glaucous Gull overflew Norwick where a Sanderling and Siskin were both still present but there was no sign of the Black-headed Bunting today.
A good start to the day was provided by seeing a Killer Whale from our garden thanks to a tip off from Brydon that offshore fishermen had seen a couple heading in the direction of northeast Unst. Whilst I normally walk to Norwick and back as I was on my way to work we drove down to the bus shelter. We'd only walked c.50m when I heard an unfamiliar call and soon located a male Black-headed Bunting! Whilst it's the fourth I've now been fortunate enough to find in the UK it's the first 'Spring' male. On getting home at around 5pm I took a walk down to Norwick and was pleased to find it still present now feeding alongside a Siskin.
George Rogers had seen a Rosy Starling in his garden at Baliasta yesterday so we headed across there during my lunchbreak to see it being pursued by a Common Gull that clearly had intentions on taking it! Fortunately the Rosy Starling survived the pursuit and joined a flock of Starlings at the sunken garden before briefly sharing an adjacent field with a juvenile Iceland Gull. We had to leave all too soon but nice to have seen a Rosy Starling during the current influx.
Rosy Starling with Common Gull in pursuit at Baliasta
You always hope that by being out conducting breeding bird surveys it might produce the odd surprise, but being June, you don't expect that to be two species of Geese with firstly a pair of Barnacle Geese with a pair of Greylags and then an overflying flock of 5 Pinkfeet (my first of the year) accompanied by another Barnacle Goose at Lamba Ness this morning.
Barnacle, Greylag and Pink-footed Geese at Lamba Ness
A Pied Flycatcher present in our garden at 4.15am soon moved to Norwick but proved to be virtually the only migrant seen all day. However, an Otter in the fog and then a pod of c.8 Risso's Dolphins in calm seas off Ramnageo were memorable.
An early morning walk around Norwick produced two singing Marsh Warblers. This evening I caught-up with a summer-plumaged Black-throated Diver off Norwick but it was probably closer to the tip of Lamba Ness.