Thursday, 6 August 2020

6th August 2020 Unst W2 Overcast

Yesterday evening the BBC weather forecast showed a large air mass arriving over Shetland originating from far to the southeast, and although it wasn't associated with southeasterly winds as such, it appeared interesting enough for me to decide not to head to work on Yell this morning. Talking with JFC he mentioned the possibility of it producing a Rosy Starling being something, that surprisingly, hadn't (knowingly) made an appearance on Unst yet this Summer despite the nationwide influx. It was a nice calm overcast morning so I headed to Skaw hoping for a common migrant or two but was then disappointed not to find any! What to do, walk out to the headland or head back to Norwick. The latter seemed preferable but I felt like a walk after 3 consecutive days at work. Just as I reached Forn Geo, an adult Rosy Starling flew past me, and landed at the edge of the tiny lochan and started to bathe! If only all scarcity-hunting was so predictable!  I obtained a few distant record shots before it flew to a nearby bank of thrift and began to preen. All too soon it flew again and joined a small flock of Starlings that were frequenting the geo to the west. A walk around Norwick produced an unseasonable Long-tailed Duck, an overflying Green Sandpiper and a Tree Sparrow.

Adult Rosy Starling at Skaw