Friday, 27 September 2019

27th September 2019 Unst SE2 Low Cloud

A murky misty dawn but with a light southeasterly wind. I saw the Iceland Gull as I approached Skaw where there was also a Kestrel, 21 Snipe, 2 Swallows, 3 Robins, 2 Redstarts, a Whinchat, a Blackcap and a Fieldfare present. I walked out to the headland where there was a Snow Bunting accompanying a flock of Turnstone. A check of a couple of geos drew a blank but whilst walking to the next I noticed an Alpine Swift around 150m offshore flying towards me - brilliant! It changed track and flew parallel to the cliffs around 100m offshore heading west before then heading for the cliff and flying low over the cliff edge and over the brow heading inland towards Saxa Vord dome. Once I reached the brow there was no sign of the Swift and the dome was shrouded in low cloud. Lamba Ness produced a flock of 6 Snipe, 16 Ringed Plover, the Short-toed Lark, a Robin, a Redstart, 3 Wheatears, 9 Song Thrushes, a Redwing, a Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Chaffinches, 13 Lapland Buntings and a Siskin. A walk to Valyie and back added a Jack Snipe, 6 Snipe, 2 Pied Wagtails, 2 Tree Pipits, 10 Swallows, 3 Song Thrushes, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Goldcrests, 12 Chaffinches and a Tree Sparrow. A quick look around Haroldswick produced a Sparrowhawk, a Dunnock, a Wheatear, 4 Redstarts, 2 Redwings, a Song Thrush, 2 Blackcaps and 2 Chiffchaffs, a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Goldcrest.

Snow Bunting at Skaw

Alpine Swift along the cliffs north of Skaw
The third record for Unst after singles over Hermaness in June 1962 & May 2014

Spotted Flycatcher at Lamba Ness

Lapland Bunting at Lamba Ness

Tree Pipit at Norwick