Thursday, 29 October 2020

29th October 2020 Unst SW2 Clear

Another lovely calm day with plenty of warm sunshine. A walk around Norwick had produced a Sparrowhawk, a Woodcock, plenty of small flocks of Great Black-backed and Herring Gulls arriving for the first time this Autumn, 6 Blackcaps, a Siberian Chiffchaff, one of the Yellow-browed Warblers, c.10 Brambling and c.15 Chaffinch but just as I was passing the cemetery nearing home I heard Redpolls calling and turned around to see a Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll accompanied by a much smaller Redpoll sp. flying past me. Whilst watching them fly west, I heard a deep 'chet chet chet' from above me, looked up and there was a superb clean-flanked Hornemann's sat on wires virtually directly above me. On obtaining only a couple of images and I heard another series of call from behind me, turned around, and there was another 2 clean-flanked Hornemann's and a Northwestern Redpoll also sat on the overhead wires! Almost immediately the four birds on the wires flew to some nearby seeding vegetation c.70m away. But before I had reached them frustratingly they flew again, in the direction of the beach. I headed home where I was greeted by Brenda telling me she'd seen a Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll in our garden! I sat down with a coffee and she casually remarked ''it's back'' and sure enough... it then spent a while in our garden before flying off high north. I revisited Norwick but couldn't relocate any Redpolls. At Skaw I saw a Siberian Chiffchaff but on returning home managed my second garden tick of the morning - a Great Tit! We then headed for Burrafirth to complete the beached bird survey where the highlight was a large flock of lively newly-arrived Gulls that included a Glaucous Gull.

Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll at Norwick
Far from the best angle to view this beauty but ample opportunity to check its utc's!

Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll at Millfield

Great Tit bearing a Norwegian ring at Millfield
Lamba Ness was proving quiet when Brenda sent me a message to say there was a Great Tit in our garden - she had previously seen one in our garden on 30/3/17 but I was working on Yell that day so hadn't seen it. This one did the decent thing and lingered for most of the day! Mike could determine part of the words Stavanger and Norway from images of the ring.

Gulls at Burrafirth

Glaucous Gull at Burrafirth