Saturday, 11 December 2021

11th December 2021 Unst SE3 Overcast

Calmer conditions and mild so I completed the WeBS count for Norwick. 

Norwick: 2 Red-throated Diver, 2 Great Northern Diver, 3 Woodcock, Puffin, Woodpigeon, Skylark, 5 Redwing, 14 Chaffinch & 6 Brambling.

2cy+ Great Northern Divers off Norwick
one calling presumably due to my proximity

Puffin off Norwick
This one has a larger more colourful bill so a different individual to that present on the 23/11.

Thursday, 9 December 2021

9th December 2021 Unst SE6 Overcast

Storm Barra continued through the night and eased through the day.

Norwick: female-type Common Scoter & 1cy Iceland Gull

1cy Iceland Gull off Norwick

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

8th December 2021 Unst SE8 Overcast

As Unst took a battering from Storm Barra we hunkered down just taking a look at Norwick and Haroldswick.

Norwick: 3 1cy Glaucous Gulls & 5 Chaffinch.

Glaucous Gulls off Norwick

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

7th December 2021 Unst SW2 Clear

A nice day being calm, sunny and mild so we headed to Uyeasound and walked out to Heogland with the highlight being the 'other' 2cy King Eider seen distantly off Uyeasound.

Norwick: 2 Red-throated Divers, Great Northern Diver, Purple Sandpiper & 2 Redwing.

Uyeasound: 4 Whooper Swan, 2cy drake King Eider, c.350 Eider, c.350 Long-tailed Duck, 15 Goldeneye, Skylark & Redwing.

Monday, 6 December 2021

6th December 2021 Unst S7 Rain

A gathering of Gulls at Norwick disappointingly failed to include any white-wingers.

Norwick: Great Northern Diver, Redwing, 3 Chaffinch & Brambling.

Sunday, 5 December 2021

5th December 2021 Unst N6 Overcast

 Norwick: Red-throated Diver & 1cy Iceland Gull.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

4th December 2021 Unst N4 Overcast

 Norwick: 2 Great Northern Divers

Friday, 3 December 2021

3rd December 2021 Bluemull Sound WNW4 Showers

Will very kindly invited me to join the SOTEAG Bluemull seabird census with the proviso that it might be a very early return home if the poor weather worsened... As I drove to Uyeasound the rain thankfully eased and Peter was content to give it a go... It was great to be back out on the Sound with the highlight coming late in the day when Will picked out a 2cy drake King Eider among the Eider and Long-tailed Duck off Heogland. The day had one final twist, as whilst reviewing his images, Robbie picked-out a 3cy+ drake King Eider!

Bluemull: Red-throated Diver, 4 Great Northern Divers, Common Scoter, 2cy drake King Eider, c.650 Eider, c.300 Long-tailed Duck, Merlin, 5 Common Guillemots & c.60 Black Guillemots.

Great Northern Diver in Bluemull Sound

Black Guillemot in Bluemull Sound

A flock of Eider at the end of a rainbow surely a good omen...

...despite still being at considerable distance it wasn't long before sharp-eyed Will was calling 'King'!

2cy drake King Eider off Heogland

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

1st December 2021 N5 Snow

A strong northerly wind soon picked-up that combined with frequent snow showers and icy roads ensured that we remained at home.

Norwick: Great Northern Diver & 1cy Iceland Gull.

the first day of the meteorological winter!

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

30th November 2021 Unst N2 Wintry showers

The ice and snow had thawed overnight so I headed to Lamba Ness sea-watching from 9am until 10.30am. I then checked the sea off Skaw, Norwick, Haroldswick and Burrafirth but it proved quiet.

Lamba Ness: Great Northern Diver N, 4 blue Fulmar N, Jack Snipe, 7 Little Auks N, 2 Black Guillemots N & 30 Guillemots N.

Norwick: Great Northern Diver.

Haroldswick: 3 Great Northern Divers, Long-tailed Duck & Carrion Crow.

Burrafirth: Red-throated Diver.

Great Northern Diver passing Lamba Ness

Little Auk, Fulmar & blue Fulmar passing Lamba Ness

Sunday, 28 November 2021

28th November 2021 Unst N4 Snow showers

The Holsens road was covered in ice and snow preventing us seawatching from Lamba Ness so I completed the Beached Bird Surveys for Burrafirth and Norwick.

Burrafirth: 3 Red-throated Diver.

Haroldswick: Great Northern Diver, Robin & 2 Chaffinches.

Norwick: Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver & Glaucous Gull.

Something of a water spout passing Lamba Ness

Saturday, 27 November 2021

27th November 2021 Unst N5 Light snow showers

Brydon collected me and we headed to Lamba Ness where we spent 90 minutes sea-watching although hampered by the cold northerly wind constantly buffeting us, poor light and birds passing more distantly than we would have liked! I then completed the annual Greylag count for north Unst whilst Mike tackled the much larger area to the south but he was quick to note that it seemed as though many had left the island with the onset of snow - I managed 339.

Lamba Ness: blue Fulmar N (BHT), Merlin, Black Guillemot N, c.40 Guillemots N, Puffin N, 8 Little Auks N, 4 Glaucous Gulls N (3 1cy & ad) & 8 Kittiwakes. Also a Minke N (BHT) & 5+ Orcas N.

Little Auk passing Lamba Ness

Orca passing Lamba Ness

Friday, 26 November 2021

26th November 2021 Unst NE8 Overcast

The gales associated with Storm Arwen persisted all day confining us to home.

Norwick: 1cy Iceland Gull & Redwing.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

25th November 2021 Unst NNW4 Overcast

After a strong overnight northerly I met Brydon at Lamba Ness and we sea-watched from 8.30am until nearly 10.30am with the highlight being 11 Little Auks and I guess my first Shelducks of the year should qualify too! A walk around Norwick with Brenda produced a Long-eared Owl and a Goldcrest but proved rather ill-timed getting caught in a prolonged heavy snow shower!

Lamba Ness: Red-throated Diver N, 11 blue Fulmar N, 4 Shelduck N, 12 Guillemots N, 4 Puffins N, 11 Little Auks N, 4 Glaucous Gulls N & 15 Kittiwakes N.

Norwick: Long-eared Owl & Goldcrest.

1cy Glaucous Gull passing Lamba Ness

Shelduck passing Lamba Ness

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

24th November 2021 Unst WSW5 Clear

We made a tour of the lochs today but they proved quiet with 3 Scaup the best.

Uyeasound: Red-throated Diver, drake Scaup, 2 Fieldfare & Chaffinch.

Westing: 2 Red-throated Diver

Loch of Cliff: 2 Scaup (one drake). 

Norwick: Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Robin & 8 Chaffinch.

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

23rd November 2021 Unst W6 Overcast

I completed the two monthly WeBS counts for north Unst with the highlights being a 1cy Puffin and a 1cy Iceland Gull both on the sea just off Norwick beach.

Norwick: 1cy Puffin & 1 cy Iceland Gull.

Burrafirth: drake Scaup.

1cy Puffin off Norwick

Monday, 22 November 2021

22nd November 2021 Unst WNW5 Overcast

It felt like sea-watching from Lamba Ness was worth another try, but despite similar weather conditions to yesterday, there were far fewer Fulmars, Guillemots and Kittiwakes passing today.

Lamba Ness: 1N & 1S Red-throated Divers, 5 blue Fulmars N, 5N & 3S Guillemots, 2 Puffins N, 2 Little Auks N & 3 Kittiwakes N.

Scandinavian Herring Gull passing Lamba Ness
no white-wingers today but a steady trickle of argentatus

Juvenile Red-throated Diver passing Lamba Ness

blue Fulmar passing Lamba Ness

Puffins passing Lamba Ness

Sunday, 21 November 2021

21st November 2021 Unst N4 Overcast

I sea-watched from Lamba Ness for 75 minutes from 8.15am.

Lamba Ness: Great Northern Diver N, 20 blue Fulmar N, Glaucous Gull N, 1cy Iceland Gull N, 61 Kittiwakes N, 109 Guillemots N, 3 Black Guillemots N & 2 Fieldfare.

Norwick: 2 Great Northern Divers.

Guillemots passing Lamba Ness

Black Guillemot passing Lamba Ness

Glaucous Gull passing Lamba Ness

Saturday, 20 November 2021

20th November 2021 Unst WNW5 Overcast

I sea-watched from Lamba Ness from 1.30pm until 2.30pm where a Little Auk and a nice close Minke whale proved the highlights.

Lamba Ness: Great Northern Diver on sea, 4 blue Fulmars N, Eider on sea, Long-tailed Duck S, Little Auk, Purple Sandpiper N & Minke Whale.

blue Fulmar passing Lamba Ness

Minke Whale off Lamba Ness