Saturday, 30 November 2019

30th November 2019 Unst N1 Overcast

Whilst completing the monthly beached bird surveys I saw 2 juvenile Glaucous Gulls at Norwick, a Skylark at Haroldswick and a female Common Scoter and a Water Rail at Burrafirth.

Female Common Scoter at Burrafirth

Friday, 29 November 2019

29th November 2019 Unst N3 Wintry showers

As forecast a bitterly cold morning with a stiff northerly wind and passing wintry showers. There were 4 juvenile Glaucous Gulls among a flock of mainly Great Black-backed Gulls near the Loch of Lamba Ness. An hour's seawatch produced 2 blue Fulmars, 8 Common Guillemots an adult and a 3w Glaucous Gull all flying north. I then took another look through the flock of Gulls at the Loch of Lamba Ness by which time there was a 2w Glaucous Gull and a diminutive juvenile Iceland Gull.

Adult Glaucous Gull passing Lamba Ness

Third-winter Glaucous Gull passing Lamba Ness

Juvenile Iceland Gull at Lamba Ness

Thursday, 28 November 2019

28th November 2019 Unst NNE5 Wintry showers

With the wind shifting to the north I headed to Lamba Ness sheltering from the squally wintry showers behind the walls there. There were a couple of juvenile Glaucous Gulls among a resting flock of Gulls near the point and an hour's seawatch produced 3 blue Fulmars, 2 Glaucous Gulls (juv & 2w) and 10 Common Guillemots all flying north. A Whooper Swan was present along the burn at Burrafirth and a Merlin was seen in Baltasound.

Juvenile Glaucous Gull passing Lamba Ness

blue Fulmar passing Lamba Ness

a very dark-billed 4w argentatus Herring Gull at Lamba Ness

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

27th November 2019 Unst NE4 Rain

There were 2 juvenile Glaucous Gulls at Norwick.

Juvenile Glaucous Gulls at Norwick

Monday, 25 November 2019

25th November 2019 Unst SE4 Light rain

A female Common Scoter was present off Norwick.

Saturday, 23 November 2019

23rd November 2019 Unst SE2 Overcast

A circuit around Norwick produced a Long-eared Owl, a Siberian Chiffchaff and a Tree Sparrow.

Siberian Chiffchaff at Norwick

Thursday, 21 November 2019

21st November 2019 Unst SE4 Overcast

A circuit around Norwick produced 2 Long-eared Owls and 2 Woodcock.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

19th November 2019 Unst NW1 Clear

Despite the virtually calm conditions I seawatched from Lamba Ness for 90 minutes seeing 10 blue Fulmars and a Little Auk fly north. Skaw was still playing host to the 2 Long-tailed Ducks and 5 Redwings and there were 4 Meadow Pipits at Braeview. The Siberian Chiffchaff was still in our garden where I also saw a Glaucous Gull and 2 Snow Buntings fly over.

freshly dug-over garden

prime Sibe Chiff habbo proving a useful excuse to leave it intact!

Monday, 18 November 2019

18th November 2019 Unst N2 Clear

Another fine calm day. The Siberian Chiffchaff was still in our garden and a walk arounad Norwick added 2 Great Northern Divers, the 2 Long-tailed Ducks, the Long-eared Owl, 2 Robins, 2 Redwings and the Goldcrest. Brydon then hastily arranged a trip out to Haaf Gruney with Peter Hunter to count the Grey Seal pups where we saw 3 Humpback Whales at close range.

leaving Uyeasound


Brydon counting Grey Seal pups on Haaf Gruney

Humpback Whales of Haaf Gruney


Sunday, 17 November 2019

17th November 2019 Unst NW1 Drizzle clearing

Early morning drizzle soon cleared into another clear, dry and calm day. The Siberian Chiffchaff was again in our garden, the Great Northern Diver was offshore and we flushed a Jack Snipe from a nearby ditch. Whilst then completing the Burrafirth WeBS count we received messages from Brydon and Connel to say that there were 2 Humpback Whales in Haroldswick. Soon there, but not before all the roadside parking places were taken, so we parked in the quarry that was playing host to a flock of 25 Snow Buntings. Back to Burrafirth where the highlights were an Iceland Gull, 2 Glaucous Gulls, a Puffin and 3 Snow Buntings.

Snow Buntings at Haroldswick

Humpback Whales in Haroldswick

Iceland and Herring Gulls at Burrafirth

Saturday, 16 November 2019

16th November 2019 Unst S1 Overcast

Another calm morning. The Siberian Chiffchaff was still in our garden. A walk to Valyie and back produced the Great Northern Diver, the 2 Long-tailed Ducks, the Siberian Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest and a Tree Sparrow. Skaw 2 Long-tailed Ducks and 2 Redwings.

Turnstone at Norwick
the commonest Wader on my WeBs count today

Siberian Chiffchaff at Norwick
Encountered in fields roughly halfway between Norwick and Leawart I assumed it would be a different individual to that in our garden but the overhanging tertials of its right wing including a rather obvious nick reveal it to be the same individual. 

Friday, 15 November 2019

15th November 2019 Unst N1 Clear

Another fine calm day. There was a Great Northern Diver off Norwick and I flushed a Woodcock at Haroldswick. Late afternoon I joined Brydon and Robbie for a look through the Eider and Long-tailed Ducks off Uyeasound where we also saw an Iceland Gull.

Eider off Uyeasound

Long-tailed Duck off Uyeasound

Black Guillemots off Uyeasound