Wednesday, 31 July 2019

31st July 2019 Unst SSE1 Misty

Whilst I again failed to find a migrant passerine, visits to Skaw and Norwick beaches revealed a noticeable arrival of Turnstone with 18 on the former and 20 on the latter. On arriving home Charlie and Jim were cutting hay in the field behind our house. A quick scan of the Gulls and there was a juvenile moulting to first-winter Mediterranean Gull - the first I've seen on Shetland! A check of a few more sites added a Green Sandpiper and a colour-ringed Whimbrel at Ungirsta mires. On returning home the Med Gull was flying along the foreshore, visiting the beach and the cut hay fields.

Juvenile moulting to first-winter Mediterranean Gull at Norwick

Green Sandpiper at Ungirsta

colour-ringed Whimbrel at Ungirsta

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

30th July 2019 Unst SE1 Fog

A clear start but thick fog soon rolled in and persisted until lunchtime. The only migrants that we saw were 2 Green Sandpipers together at Norwick.

Green Sandpipers at Norwick in thick fog
the top shot is effectively 'straight off the camera'

Saturday, 27 July 2019

27th July 2019 Unst SE2 Clear

There was a flock of 8 Sanderling at Skaw but it was disappointing not to find my first Warbler on migration for the Autumn as it was similar conditions to when I found my first on the 28th July last year being an Icterine. However, I didn't have to long to wait, and I went 'one better', finding a Great Reed Warbler in the Shore Station garden at Burrafirth. Unfortunately it proved wary, flighty and elusive. A walk around Norwick late morning added a Long-eared Owl, a Garden Warbler, a Peacock butterfly and plenty of fresh Painted Lady butterflies. In the afternoon there was a Green Sandpiper present on the beach at Haroldswick.

Great Reed Warbler at Burrafirth

Garden Warbler at Valyie

Green Sandpiper at Haroldswick

Monday, 22 July 2019

22nd July 2019 Unst S3 Overcast

A 90 minute seawatch from Lamba Ness produced my first 2 Manx Shearwaters of the year that flew south together at 6.50am.

Manx Shearwater passing Lamba Ness

Sunday, 21 July 2019

20th July 2019 Unst E3 Drizzle

Six of the seven Sanderling were still present on the beach at Skaw. A Redwing at North Dale is the first I've seen since 20th May. 

Redwing at North Dale

19th July 2019 Unst S2 Overcast

A flock of 7 Sanderling and 4 Turnstone were present on the beach at Skaw.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

18th July 2019 Unst W2 Early rain clearing

After the rain had cleared I headed south checking beaches and likely areas for grounded waders but only found a few Dunlin whereas a Tufted Duck was more of a surprise. Brydon found 3 Two-barred Crossbills at Setters Hill that included the first juvenile I've seen during this influx.

A ringed Meadow Pipit at Millfield

Juvenile Arctic Tern at Uyeasound
the first fledged juvenile that I've seen this year

Adult and first-summer Arctic Terns at Skaw

Juvenile Two-barred Crossbill at Setters Hill

Male Two-barred Crossbill at Setters Hill

17th July 2019 Unst S2 Overcast misty

A grey day that saw the return of the leucistic Oystercatcher to Skaw. Late in the afternoon I saw 2 juvenile Common Crossbills at Uyeasound.

leucistic Oystercatcher at Skaw

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

16th July 2019 Unst S1 Overcast

A half hour seawatch from Lamba Ness proved quiet apart from a flock of 4 Whimbrel arriving in off the sea.

Whimbrel arriving in off the sea at Lamba Ness

15th July 2019 Unst NW4 Overcast

I spent a couple of hours seawatching from Lamba Ness during which time I saw over 1,000 Puffins passing and my first returning Turnstone of the season flew north.

Turnstone passing Lamba Ness

14th July 2019 Unst NW2 Overcast

A look at both the School and Setters Hill failed to produce any Crossbills but seeing 3 Otters and 2 Frog Orchids was enjoyable.


Frog Orchid

Thursday, 11 July 2019

11th July 2019 Unst SE2 Overcast

The Little Egret was at Quoys this morning. A quick look at the School produced four of the five Two-barred Crossbills Brydon had seen early this morning and a male Common Crossbill. A walk around Setters Hill added two more females and c.6 Common Crossbills.

Three different male Two-barred Crossbills at Baltasound School
I'd not personally seen any of these three males before today.

Female Two-barred Crossbill at Setters Hill

Juvenile and female Common Crossbills at Setters Hill

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

10th July 2019 Unst SE3 Overcast

Two juvenile Tree Sparrows were being fed by their parents in our garden throughout the day. Skaw was quiet, but a walk around Norwick produced a Long-eared Owl and a summering Chiffchaff. Ungirsta played host to just a single male Common Crossbill. I then spent an enjoyable hour at Setters Hill looking through a mobile flock of Crossbills among which I saw three adult female Two-barred Crossbills at the same time, and one of the three males that Connel aptly described as a 'peach-coloured'. There were also around 8 Common Crossbills present. A tour of a few other Baltasound sites only added a single Collared Dove.

Juvenile Tree Sparrow at Millfield

SibeThrush of a Starling at Millfield

Chiffchaff at Norwick

Long-eared Owl at Norwick

Adult female Two-barred Crossbill at Setters Hill

Male Two-barred Crossbill at Setters Hill
superb utc's

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

9th July 2019 Unst

An early morning walk around some thrift-covered headlands failed to produce any Crossbills. On then leaving the house to walk around Norwick the female Two-barred Crossbill was back in our rosa. It didn't linger long before flying off towards Norwick again. I soon relocated it on call but it then flew off to Holsen's road. I then again teamed-up with Brydon and Conrad and we headed for Ungirsta where there was a flock of 6 Common Crossbills - my first of the year. Whilst watching them we saw a female Two-barred Crossbill drop out of the sky into the plantation. A quick check of our photos suggested it was the very same individual from yesterday! It suddenly started calling and we became aware of a high-flying flock of 5 Crossbills approaching from the north, at least a couple of which, were heard trumpeting! Despite the females apparent best attempt at attracting them they continued high south. We then toured a number of sites we thought might deliver but without further success.

First-summer female Two-barred Crossbill at Millfield

Male Common Crossbill at Ungirsta

Juvenile Common Crossbill at Ungirsta

 First-summer female Two-barred Crossbill at Ungirsta