Friday, 31 August 2018

31st August 2018 Unst SW1 Clear

Very clear conditions with a few migrants evident on my early morning circuit. Skaw produced a single Willow Warbler and there were 3 along Holsen's road, the Common Rosefinch was still present at Burrafirth and a Barred Warbler at Haroldswick pool alongside my first Blackcap of the Autumn. A walk around Norwick produced a Common Crossbill that perched briefly before flying towards NorthDale and confirmed the lingering presence of the Wood Warbler, a Willow Warbler and a Common Rosefinch.

 Common Rosefinch at Burrafirth

Male Blackcap at Haroldswick

Thursday, 30 August 2018

30th August 2018 W2 Clear

A walk around Norwick was rewarded with finding my first Wood Warbler of the year as well as a Barred Warbler and a Common Rosefinch. A Black-tailed Godwit was at Haroldswick and the Common Rosefinch was still at Burrafirth. 

Wood Warbler at Norwick

Common Rosefinch at Norwick

Juvenile Black-tailed Godwit at Haroldswick

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

29th August 2018 Unst SW4 Overcast

A quick look around Norwick under overcast skies in a brisk southwesterly wind produced a Barred Warbler, a Garden Warbler, 2 Willow Warblers and 2 Common Rosefinches keeping close company together.

Barred Warbler at Norwick

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

28th August 2018 Unst SSW2 Clear

Another early morning visit to Skaw produced the juvenile Rosy Starling appearing from roost at 5.50am and departing with dispersing Common Starlings at 6.05am. Unfortunately I could not find any other migrants present and the same was true on checking Lamba Ness and Burrafirth. A late afternoon trip to the shop produced 2 Black-tailed Godwits on the houb.

Juvenile Rosy Starling at Skaw

Black-tailed Godwits on the Houb

Monday, 27 August 2018

27th August 2018 Unst NE2 Overcast clearing

After an overnight southeasterly courtesy of a Low Pressure I arrived at Skaw early but no migrants were in evidence. However, a large flock of Starlings arrived from roost that included a juvenile Rosy Starling - a nice enough result for an early start. I cranked-up the ISO but barely achieved a few record shots. I was soon joined by Al Conlin who arrived just in time as soon after the Starlings started dispersing and we soon lost it. We then tried a few sites together but disappointingly a couple of Merlins and a Willow Warbler was our only reward. Then, early afternoon, I found 3 newly-arrived Barred Warblers in quick succession at Kirkaton, Skaw and Lamba Ness and then saw a fourth that Al had found at Burrafirth (Brydon found another at Hermaness). Otherwise migrants remained decidedly thin on the ground for us with just a single Reed Warbler and c.5 Willow Warblers seen.

   Juvenile Rosy Starling and two Common Starlings

Barred Warbler at Skaw

Barred Warbler at Burrafirth

Sunday, 26 August 2018

26th August 2018 Unst WSW2 veering SSE4 Overcast with showers

It didn't seem a likely day for there to have been any arrivals and so it proved until I heard and then quickly saw a Common Rosefinch at the Shore Station, Burrafirth. Thereafter the Barred Warbler, looking rather bedraggled but no less elusive, was seen at Norwick as were 2 Willow Warblers and a Redpoll was heard calling but flew off high towards NorthDale before I'd managed a view of it perched.

Common Rosefinch at Burrafirth

Saturday, 25 August 2018

25th August 2018 Unst NNW3 Showers

A northwesterly wind gained strength after dawn with showers rattling through. I sea-watched from Lamba Ness from 9.15am to 10.15am seeing 3 Manx Shearwaters flying north. Otherwise there was a steady stream of Gannets, Fulmars and Bonxies, 10 Puffin, 2 Kittiwakes and 2 Auk sp. I returned mid-afternoon for a couple of hours seeing another Manx Shearwater and a Knot both fly north. A late afternoon look at Norwick produced a Garden Warbler and a Willow Warbler.

Bonxies and Gannets passing Lamba Ness

Manx Shearwaters passing Lamba Ness

Friday, 24 August 2018

24th August 2018 Unst NW1 Clear

A nice bright calm morning but the unhelpful westerly airflow remains although a swing to the north ensured the roads were lined with Meadow Pipits today as would be expected. I bumped into Brydon looking for Otters at Norwick and he promptly picked out a Barred Warbler sat uncharacteristically atop a line of bushes calling away. Shortly afterwards I saw a second individual in the same garden as yesterday. There were also 3 Willow Warblers at Norwick, another at Easting beach and an acredula candidate at Burrafirth.

Willow Warbler at Burrafirth
a good candidate for an acredula

Thursday, 23 August 2018

23rd August 2018 Unst SW4 Overcast drizzle then clearing

With the continuing westerly airflow a walk around Norwick was proving uneventful until we found a Barred Warbler that actually called several times being the first I can ever remember hearing. With renewed enthusiasm we then checked several more sites in improving weather but a Willow Warbler was our only reward.

Barred Warbler at Norwick

21st August 2018 Unst SSE3 Overcast

A walk around Norwick proved quiet apart from a Merlin taking a Meadow Pipit right in front of me.

Merlin at Norwick

Sunday, 19 August 2018

19th August 2018 Unst W1 Clear

A look around north Unst had produced just a single Willow Warbler when Brydon found c.15 Minke Whales feeding close inshore off Muness accompanied by c.1,000 Gannets! On arrival we enjoyed the sheer spectacle when Brydon phoned to say he'd glimpsed an Acro in the Muness iris beds. It proved incredibly elusive with the occasional glimpse of it in flight proving the norm but finally it posed long enough on a stone wall, albeit at distance, for an image to be obtained - Reed Warbler.

Brydon and film crew watching the Minke Whales off Muness

Gannets off Muness

Minke Whales off Muness

Reed Warbler at Muness

Friday, 17 August 2018

17th August 2018 Unst W2 Overcast

A quick look around Norwick produced a Sand Martin, a Reed Warbler and 2 Willow Warblers.

Willow Warbler at Norwick

Sand Martin being chased by a Swallow at Norwick

Sand Martin at Norwick

Thursday, 16 August 2018

16th August 2018 Unst SW2

An early morning visit to Skaw produced just the Common Whitethroat. Norwick added a Garden Warbler and 2 Willow Warblers. We then had a handmade Birthday present to collect from Wester Quarff that very conveniently allowed us to see the female Hooded Merganser at Pullar's Loch, Sound and the adult White-rumped Sandpiper at the Pool of Virkie followed by Frankie's Fish & Chips!

Female Common Whitethroat at Skaw

Garden Warbler at Norwick

Pullar's Loch, Sound

Female Hooded Merganser at Pullar's Loch, Sound

Adult White-rumped Sandpiper at Pool of Virkie

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

15th August 2018 Unst SW3-4 Overcast

With overnight low clouds and mist/fog and a fresh southwesterly it was something of a surprise that I couldn't find the Arctic Warbler at Valyie albeit I did obtain the briefest of flight views of the Barred Warbler diving into thick cover but otherwise just 3 Willow Warblers and the moulting Chiffchaff being present there. I failed to find any migrants at Skaw and just 2 Tree Sparrows at NorthDale. A flock of 22 Lapwings arrived high in off the sea over Norwick. I did then find a flock of c.370 Golden Plover on Clibberswick but couldn't find anything more interesting among them.

Willow Warbler at Valyie

Tree Sparrow at NorthDale

Lapwings over Norwick

Golden Plover on Clibberswick

Wheatears on Clibberswick