Sunday, 24 January 2021

24th January 2021 Unst SW1 Clear

A nice calm and bright morning. Haroldswick was still playing host to the Slavonian Grebe, a drake Gadwall that was first seen by Robbie yesterday and the Moorhen. There were 4 Whooper Swans on Easter Loch and the 6 Mute Swans were offshore. The wintering 2cy Little Gull was present around the salmon cages off Uyeasound. The walk out to Heogland was enlivened by 2 Purple Sandpipers and an Oystercatcher on the beach and there were 4 Common Scoter among the Long-tailed Ducks and Eider offshore and 2 2cy Iceland Gulls alongside the loch. The drive home produced the surprise of the day as there was a drake Goosander on the partially frozen roadside loch just south of Watlee.

Drake Gadwall at Haroldswick

2cy Iceland Gull at Heogland

Drake Goosander just south of Watlee

Friday, 22 January 2021

22nd January 2021 Unst NNW5 Overcast

A cold hour spent seawatching from Lamba Ness produced a Great Northern Diver, 6,000 Fulmars, a 2cy Glaucous Gull and a Purple Sandpiper all flying north.

Great Northern Diver passing Lamba Ness

21st January 2021 Lerwick NE7 Rain

A visit to Lerwick proved successful with our car passing its MoT and 3 2cy Iceland Gulls seen at the Catch.

20th January 2021 Unst NE6 Overcast

A 2cy Glaucous Gull flew along the beach at Norwick.

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

19th January 2021 Unst NW2 Clear

Nice Spring-like weather today so I completed the monthly WeBs counts and covered a few nearby sites. Skaw produced a Woodcock and 3 Fieldfares. Norwick was still playing host to the male Stonechat, the Blue Tit bearing a ring, a Great Tit and 10 Chaffinches. A visit to the shop produced the surprise of the day as there was an obliging Slavonian Grebe on the sea off Haroldswick.

Slavonian Grebe off Haroldswick

Thursday, 14 January 2021

14th January 2021 Unst

The icy conditions had persisted overnight so it was good to see that the male Stonechat was still finding a living at Norwick as were 12 Chaffinches. A walk around Haroldswick produced a Great Northern Diver, a Water Rail, a Redwing and 4 Chaffinches.

Male Stonechat at Norwick

Icelandic Redwing at Haroldswick

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

13th January 2021 Unst N4 Overcast

After a couple of days of snowy conditions it was nice to see it melt today! Yesterday we saw a male Merlin from our kitchen and a walk around Norwick today produced a Red-throated Diver, a Jack Snipe, 12 Common Snipe, a Woodcock, the male Stonechat, 5 Redwings, a Blue Tit and 5 Chaffinches.


Friday, 8 January 2021

8th January 2021 Unst N6 Overcast

Another cold hour spent seawatching from Lamba Ness produced a Red-throated Diver, a Great Northern Diver, 3,000 Fulmars, 2 blue Fulmars, 160 Gannets, a 2cy Glaucous Gull, 2 Kittiwakes and 5 Guillemots all flying north. A visit to the shop combined with a quick look at the houb produced 3 Knot and 8 Dunlin.

Glaucous Gull passing Lamba Ness

Great Northern Diver passing Lamba Ness

Thursday, 7 January 2021

7th January 2021 Unst N5 Overcast

Whilst driving along Holsens road I saw 2 Moorhens. A cold hour spent seawatching from Lamba Ness produced c.1,500 Fulmars, 2 blue Fulmars, a Kittiwake, just a single Guillemot and a Black Guillemot all flying north and a Jack Snipe was flushed from a pool there. Skaw was playing host to a male Merlin but there was no sign of yesterday's White-billed Diver.

blue Fulmar passing Lamba Ness

Black Guillemot passing Lamba Ness

Jack Snipe at Lamba Ness

Male Merlin at Skaw

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

6th January 2021 Unst W2 Clear

The first hour of daylight was dominated by a steady stream of small flocks of Herring Gulls arriving in off the sea over Norwick but they were accompanied by just a single 3cy Glaucous Gull. I headed for Burrafirth where there was a single Pink-footed Goose with Greylags at the north end of Loch of Cliff and around 40 Herring Gulls and single 3cy and 4cy Glaucous Gulls on the beach and 2 Red-throated and a Great Northern Diver offshore. Haroldswick was playing host to 5 or 6 Great Northern Divers and a single female-type Common Scoter. Norwick proved quiet so as I arrived at Skaw to Spring-like blue skies, sunshine and warm temperatures I wasn't necessarily anticipating finding a monstrous White-billed Diver dwarfing a Great Northern Diver alongside! It was slowly heading towards the headland, but by the time I walked out there, it was closer to Lamba Ness by which time Mike and Margaret were scoping it from the beach.


White-billed Diver off Skaw

Sunday, 3 January 2021

3rd January 2021 Unst SE1 Clear

We took a look around Uyeasound and then walked out to Heogland seeing 3 Great Northern Divers, 2 Whooper Swans, the family party of 6 Mute Swans that includes 2 'polish' 2cy, a female Scaup, c.300 Eider, c.200 Long-tailed Ducks, a female-type Velvet Scoter, 7 female-type Common Scoter, c.25 Goldeneye, a Grey Plover, 3 Purple Sandpipers, 3 Iceland Gulls (2 2cy & 3cy), an adult Glaucous Gull and a Razorbill. The female-type Velvet Scoter was still of Skibhoul this evening.

Sun setting as we walked back from Heogland

Scaup at Heogland

Mute Swans on Easter Loch
Four of last year's juveniles still going strong that includes two 'polish' individuals (left & right)

Friday, 1 January 2021

1st January 2021 Unst N3 Showers

A Moorhen was seen along Holsens road and there was a feeling that Spring was in the air at Skaw as there were 3 Oystercatchers on the beach! I sea-watched from Lamba Ness 9.30am - 10.30am seeing 3 blue Fulmars among c.1,800 Fulmars, 8 Gannets, 7 Guillemots and a Kittiwake fly north and a 2cy Glaucous Gull fly south. I returned home to a flock of 20 Twite in our garden and a walk around Norwick added a Black Guillemot, a Robin, 2 Redwings, a Blue Tit (bearing a ring) and 3 Chaffinches.


Oystercatchers at Skaw

blue Fulmar passing Lamba Ness

Blue Tit at Valyie