It felt promising conditions today from the outset but they failed to deliver the hoped-for March Wheatear. The 4 Whooper Swans were still present at the Loch of Cliff and 2 Great Northern Divers were feeding close to the beach at Haroldswick. A walk around Norwick produced 2 Snipe, my second Woodpigeon of the year and a Redwing and there were 2 Redwings at Skaw. A few Auks and Kittiwakes were flying north past Lamba Ness and my first Bonxie of the year overflew also heading north.
Tuesday, 30 March 2021
Monday, 29 March 2021
Beautifully clear blue skies but unfortunately it was very windy with it! The 2cy Iceland Gull was still off Norwick and a visit to Westing produced a 2cy Iceland Gull, a 2cy Glaucous Gull and 2 Purple Sandpipers. A tour of Uyeasound produced a Redwing and a Chaffinch. On returning home a female Merin was seen hunting around our house.
Sunday, 28 March 2021
A cold strong wind persisted for most of the day. The 2 Blue Tits were still present in our garden early this morning but disappeared thereafter. I saw an Iceland Gull off Norwick from our kitchen window but by time I made my way there it had departed leaving 25 Black-headed Gulls feeding along the shoreline.
We awoke to a thin covering of snow that was a surprise! There was no sign of the 3 Great Tits in our garden but they had been replaced by 2 Blue Tits. Skaw was playing host to a Great Northern Diver and the Long-tailed Duck. On a walk around Norwick there were 3 Meadow Pipits in the dunes including one displaying but otherwise I just saw the Collared Dove this time at Valyie, heard a Blue Tit in the pines and saw the Pied Wagtail. We headed to Burrafirth to complete the monthly beached bird survey seeing the Moorhen, Purple Sandpiper and 6 Rock Pipits en route at Haroldswick. Much to the consternation of the island's Geese, Gulls and Corvids a stratospheric Peregrine appeared over our house early afternoon drifting off towards Haroldswick.
Friday, 26 March 2021
Our garden was still playing host to the 3 Great Tits that remained all day. The Collared Dove also made a brief visit but I also saw it at Leawart and Saxa Vord camp. At least one of the Blue Tits was still present in the pines at Norwick. A flock of 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were present on the beach at Burrafirth, 2 Meadow Pipits overflew Ungirsta and a Purple Sandpiper was present among the Turnstone on Haroldswick beach.
Thursday, 25 March 2021
A much better than forecast morning initially being blue skies and relatively calm although all too soon it clouded over and the cold wind increased in strength. Two Blue Tits were on our feeders, there was a Long-tailed Duck off Skaw, a Meadow Pipit on Lamba Ness, 2 Pied Wagtails on Norwick beach, 2 Blue Tits in the same pines at Norwick as yesterday and a Collared Dove was present around Saxa Vord camp. Loch of Cliff was still playing host to 4 Whooper Swans and 2 Mute Swans and whilst the Shore Station proved quiet in the early morning shade producing just a single Redwing, just as I was about to leave, 3 Great Tits arrived from the north and flew through the garden only pausing briefly in the willows and then on the telegraph wires before continuing south. A quick look at Stove added a smart Snow Bunting. On arriving home the 2 Blue Tits had been replaced by 3 Great Tits that spent the remainder of the day in our garden.
Wednesday, 24 March 2021
Tuesday, 23 March 2021
A tour of Yell produced little more than the female Scaup at Kirk Loch, 3 Redwings and West Sandwick and 2 Fieldfares at Hamnavoe. Back home a Collared Dove arrived in our garden this evening.
A very quiet spell since I last updated my blog with a bleached 2cy Iceland Gull making an appearance at Norwick most days and 2 Iceland Gulls (a different 2cy and a 3cy) and 2 Glaucous Gulls (a 2cy and 4cy) on the beach at Burrafirth this morning.
Friday, 12 March 2021
The wind had eased a little overnight and the sea swell had disappeared from Norwick as had virtually all of the Gulls although an adult Glaucous Gull flew ashore. Westing was playing host to a horde of Herring Gulls but surprisingly I could only see a single 2cy Iceland Gull among them and there were 2 Purple Sandpipers on the beach. A Scandinavian Rock Pipit attaining its summer plumage was feeding on beached seaweed at Uyeasound and on my return through Haroldswick the female Pintail and 3 2cy Iceland Gulls were feeding together along the shoreline. I then headed to work on Yell where the female Scaup was still present on Kirk Loch, Cullivoe and there was a flock of 7 Snow Buntings at Ulsta.
Thursday, 11 March 2021
Very similar weather to yesterday with a similar heavy swell on the sea saw me heading back to look through the flock of Gulls at Norwick that now included 4 (3 2cy & 3cy) Iceland Gulls and 2 2cy Glaucous Gulls. There were also 2 Great Northern Divers, a Teal, a Long-tailed Duck, a Guillemot and a few Razorbills on the sea. A look off Haroldswick revealed the continued presence of the female Pintail.
Wednesday, 10 March 2021
Tuesday, 9 March 2021
With the wind from the south and overcast conditions I was hopeful that there'd be a few signs of Spring but it wasn't to be - Burrafirth produced a 2cy Iceland Gull and the male Merlin was still hunting around our house. However, all was not lost as Mike had seen Brydon's drake Green-winged Teal on Loch of Snarravoe early in the morning and Phil was soon there to confirm that it was still present. I joined Rob watching it, albeit rather distantly, and spent the next 90 minutes hoping that it would come closer. Despite making a few short flights it unfortunately seemed content to remain along the far bank of the loch.
Sunday, 7 March 2021
Saturday, 6 March 2021
Friday, 5 March 2021
Thursday, 4 March 2021
A cold northerly wind dominated the day. The 2 Iceland Gulls at Burrafirth were accompanied by a Glaucous Gull this morning and a 2cy Glaucous Gull flew through Haroldswick. A cold hour spent seawatching from Lamba Ness produced a northerly movement of 330 Kittiwakes but otherwise a Merlin zipped through and just 20 Guillemots were seen of which somewhat unusually the majority were seen flying south.