Wednesday, 30 September 2020

30th September 2020 Unst SSE5 Overcast

An unpleasant windy day that hampered birding. I saw just a single Fieldfare in a very brief visit to Skaw. Norwick added 2 Stonechats, a Ring Ouzel, a Song Thrush, 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Goldcrest, a Reed Bunting, 5 Chaffinches, 10 Bramblings and 3 Greenland Redpolls. At Haroldswick there was another 2 Stonechats. I then met Brydon at Burrafirth where we saw 2 Redwings, a Blackcap, a Yellow-browed Warbler and Jamie's Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll.

Greenland Redpolls at Norwick

Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll at Burrafirth

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

29th September 2020 Yell NW3 Overcast

A very eventful day working on Yell managing to see an Arctic Warbler at Cullivoe and then Dougie Preston's latest brilliant find being a first-winter Tennessee Warbler at Burravoe! During the course of the day I also saw a Fieldfare, a Redwing, 3 Blackcaps, a Willow Warbler, a Chiffchaff, 15 Yellow-browed Warblers, 3 Chaffinches and a Brambling.

Arctic Warbler at Cullivoe

Tennessee Warbler at Burravoe
The eleventh species of American Warbler that I've been fortunate enough to see in Britain & Ireland.

Monday, 28 September 2020

28th September 2020 Unst S5 Overcast

A cold windy and rather unpleasant day to be birding and my first Glaucous Gull of the Autumn at Lamba Ness only added to the rather wintry feel! A look around Norwick added 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, my first Siberian Chiffchaff of the Autumn, 2 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 2 Goldcrests, Jamie picked out my first Hawfinch of the Autumn, a Chaffinch, 6 Bramblings, 2 Linnets and 2 Greenland Redpolls. At Haroldswick I saw 2 Redwings, 2 Yellow-browed Warblers and a Siskin and at Burrafirth I saw a Redwing, 2 Yellow-browed Warblers and a Reed Bunting.

Glaucous Gull at Lamba Ness

Hawfinch at Norwick

Linnets at Norwick

Reed Bunting at Burrafirth

Sunday, 27 September 2020

27th September 2020 Unst NE4 Overcast

With 2 Hornemann's Arctic Redpolls on Fair Isle and 1 on Foula yesterday I wasn't too surprised when shortly after I arrived at Skaw this morning I flushed one from bathing in the burn. It obligingly sat on a fence preening and drying but the light was so poor I had to resort to the highest ISO to obtain a few images. All too soon it took flight but landed on the hillside towards Lamba Ness before flying higher up the hillside. I headed off to the headland but by the time I returned to the farm it had just been relocated but rather distantly. Lamba Ness produced a juvenile Pale-bellied Brent, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Brambling and 5 Snow Buntings. Haroldswick added 2 Willow Warblers and 7 Yellow-browed Warblers, Burrafirth another 3 Yellow-browed Warblers and Norwick 3 more, 5 Pinkfeet and a Brambling.

Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll at Skaw

Snow Bunting at Lamba Ness

Pale-bellied Brent at Lamba Ness

Yellow-browed Warbler at Haroldswick

Saturday, 26 September 2020

26th September 2020 Yell & Unst NE6 Clear

A day spent working on Yell where I saw a Yellow-browed Warbler in the first garden I checked at Camb and a Chiffchaff at another garden. I returned to Unst seeing a Peregrine at Snarravoe and then having just enough time to have a look at Norwick where I saw 10 Pinkfeet, my first Common Redstart of the Autumn, a Blackcap, a Garden Warbler, a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Chiffchaff and a Brambling.

Merlin on Yell

Peregrine at Snarravoe

Redstart at Norwick

Yellow-browed Warbler at Norwick

Friday, 25 September 2020

25th September 2020 Unst N2 Overcast

A cool grey morning with some light rain at times that proved very quiet with just 13 Pinkfeet seen flying north and 2 Knot at Skaw and a flyover Snow Bunting at Lamba Ness. Norwick added a Blackcap, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Yellow-browed Warbler and my first Goldcrest of the Autumn. We then completed our monthly Beached Bird Surveys but also dropped in to see Andrew & Logan's Turtle Dove at Saxa Vord and Al's Bluethroat that Mike had conveniently relocated at Haroldswick beach just prior to our arrival.

Turtle Dove at Saxa Vord

Bluethroat at Haroldswick

Thursday, 24 September 2020

24th September 2020 Unst N5 Overcast

A cool, grey morning and much windier than forecast. I failed to see a migrant passerine at Skaw so decided to walk the headland where at long last I found a Buff-breasted Sandpiper having walked it so many times hoping to do exactly that! It had chosen the windy side of the hill so it was difficult to hold the camera still but kneeling and then laying on the wet turf helped - as did it then slowly walking towards me! Having exchanged a couple of messages with my parents it was subsequently then a shock to hear that my Dad was being admitted to hospital by ambulance. Nearly as bad, was the news that my Mum was not allowed to travel to hospital with him at the most worrying of times due to the Covid restrictions - literally the first time they have been apart through shielding and the subsequent easing of restrictions. Needless to say that my mind was then elsewhere so I didn't do much more birding with a Stonechat at Burrafirth being my only other notable sighting. Thankfully my Dad's back home this evening and I hope enjoying the following images... of a species we've enjoyed watching together on several occasions... with me stood at his side when he found one on an equally windswept headland in Ireland on one memorable occasion!

Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Skaw

Stonechat at Burrafirth

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

23rd September 2020 Unst NW2 Clear

A cool, clear and calm morning at last that turned into a calm warm day with plenty of sunshine. Skaw produced a Pied Flycatcher and a look around Norwick added the Slavonian Grebe, a Pink-footed Goose, a Wigeon, the Stonechat, a Reed Warbler, 2 Garden Warblers, 3 Blackcaps, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher and 5 Tree Sparrows. Brydon then found a superb Booted Warbler in Baltasound that was performing alongside 2 Willow Warblers. I returned north seeing 2 Chiffchaffs at Burrafirth and a Whinchat and a Merlin and 3 Lesser Whitethroats at Haroldswick.

Slavonian Grebe at Norwick

Reed Warbler at Norwick

Booted Warbler at Baltasound

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

22nd September 2020 Unst NE4 Rain

It was another breezy day with rain persisting for most of it. I didn't venture far with my highlights being my first Slavonian Grebe of the Autumn and 14 Pale-bellied Brents of the year on the sea off Norwick.

Pale-bellied Brents off Norwick
it was good to see the flock included some juveniles

Monday, 21 September 2020

21st September 2020 Unst W6 Light Rain

A predominantly wet and windy day where I just made my usual circuit around Norwick hearing a Yellow-browed Warbler and seeing a single Chiffchaff so falling a long way short of my parents seeing 145 Chiffchaffs at Beachy today! On my way home late afternoon whilst getting drenched in the heaviest of the rain a flock of 72 Pinkfeet arrived struggling against the wind and immediately landed on Clibberswick hill. Around 10 minutes later a further flock of 41 arrived and landed with the original flock.

Pinkfeet over Norwick