Sunday, 24 May 2020

24th May 2020 Unst NW6 Overcast

I waited for the early morning rain to clear and then made the long trek out to Flubersgerdie arriving at 8.45am. Just 10 minutes later a stunning s/p White-billed Diver flew past at very close range - the only disappointment was that I'd not unpacked my camera from the rucksack and by the time I did, removed the lens cap and switched it on the Diver was flying directly away from me! It was soon followed by a blue Fulmar that was flying south and then a close Manx Shearwater that flew south at 9.36am and it or another flew north more distantly around an hour later. At 11.20am a rather distant Pomarine Skua flew north that was following by 2 Long-tailed Skuas at a similar range that flew north together at 12.15pm that were quickly followed by the only Arctic Skua that flew north at 12.23pm. I hoped the floodgates might be about to open, but sat there for just over another 2 hours, failing to see any more Skuas.

Guillemots and Razorbills passing Flubersgerdie
My earliest memory of Shetland from our family holiday back in May 1978 was being excited at seeing long lines of Auks as we looked out from the MV St. Clair as we sailed towards Shetland. Those numbers are gone now but it was good to see fair numbers of both species passing today.

Flock of Kittiwakes passing Flubersgerdie
It was good to see several flocks flying north today

White-billed Diver past Flubersgerdie
A stunning bird frustratingly photographed at what is probably its least identifiable angle! Oh what might have been - never forget to have your camera ready!

Pomarine Skua passing Flubersgerdie

Long-tailed Skuas passing Flubersgerdie