Thursday, 31 March 2022

31st March 2022 Unst NE3 Wintry showers

The White-billed Diver was again present off the south cliffs of Lamba Ness at around midday but I failed to see it on making later scans of the wick. There were also 4 Great Northern Divers including the first I've seen this year in virtually full summer plumage and there were 3 Great Northern Divers of Haroldswick. Otherwise there was a noticeable increase in the number of Skylarks on the island including a few sizeable flocks.

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

30th March 2022 Unst ENE4 Wintry showers

With good numbers of White-billed Divers being found at their usual staging haunts in recent days it was beginning to feel Norwick was overdue but a late morning scan of the wick put that right with one present on the sea close to the south cliffs of Lamba Ness.

White-billed Diver off Lamba Ness
Whilst very distant from our house some phone-scoped images at maximum magnification through double-glazing proved surprisingly pleasing!

Monday, 28 March 2022

28th March 2022 Unst NE3 Overcast

An Iceland Gull was briefly present on Norwick beach before being chased-off by the local Common Gulls. I then saw a handful of Fieldfare and Redwings and a Goldcrest during a visit to Valyie. 

Second-cycle Iceland Gull at Norwick

Thursday, 24 March 2022

24th March 2022 Unst SSW4 Overcast

On walking out of the door a Goldcrest in our rosa seemed a promising start and it proved the first of four seen today. As I drove to Skaw the Common Buzzard originally found by Mike on the 14th was sat on a roadside fencepost but took flight heading off east along Lamba Ness pursued by a Raven and I subsequently saw it at Skaw. 

Millfield: Goldcrest.

Lamba Ness: Common Buzzard.

Skaw: Common Buzzard (same), Iceland Gull, Fieldfare & 3 Snow Buntings over moving high north.

NorthDale: 3 Woodpigeons & 2 Goldcrests.

Norwick: Great Northern Diver, Woodpigeon, Pied Wagtail, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest & Chaffinch.

Goldcrest at Millfield

Common Buzzard at Lamba Ness
Only the third Common Buzzard that I've seen on Unst

Fieldfare over Skaw

First-cycle Iceland Gull at Skaw

Goldcrest at NorthDale

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

23rd March 2022 Unst SW4 Sunny

After a week back with my parents in sunny Sussex where it was also good to see RB, RAB, RDME, RJF & LP at Beachy and hear from MRE, MK, SHL & TWP we arrived back to a sunny Unst just after midday when I soon found an excuse to walk to Valyie and back.

Norwick: Great Northern Diver, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Wood Pigeon, 5 Robins, 4 Pied Wagtails, Dunnock, Chiffchaff & 2 Chaffinches.

Male Pied Wagtail at Norwick

Chiffchaff at Norwick

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

16th March 2022 Beachy ESE2 Overcast

With the revised forecast suggesting the promised rain 'down Channel' would arrive later in the day we decided to give Birling another try. Despite the Saharan-sand-haze it proved an enjoyable seawatch with the highlight being 20 Garganey.

Red-throated Diver 27E, 3W
Great Crested Grebe 1W, 2 on sea
Brent Goose 147E
Shelduck 2W
Eider 1E
Common Scoter 85E
Shoveler 1E
Pintail 18E
Mallard 1E
Garganey 20E (4 at 7.25am, 12 at 7.35am & 4 at 8.40am)
Gannet 61E
Arctic Skua 1E at 6.50am
Kittiwake 24E
Mediterranean Gull 5E
Guillemot 1 on sea
Razorbill 2E, 1 on sea
alba Wagtail 3 in off sea
Stonechat 4
Raven 1

Great Crested Grebe off Birling

Red-throated Divers passing Birling

Brent (foreground) and Scoter passing Birling

Brent passing Birling

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

15th March 2022 Beachy E2 Clear but hazy

The first time that I've sea-watched from Birling for a good few years that kept us entertained from 7am to 10.30am.

Red-throated Diver 37E, 1W
Great Crested Grebe 3E, 1 on sea
Canada Goose 3
Shelduck 5E, 2W
Red-breasted Merganser 3E
Common Scoter 57E
Peregrine 1
Mediterranean Gull 4E
Black-headed Gull 38E
alba Wagtail 1 in off
Stonechat 3
Corn Bunting 1

JFC & RJF seawatching at Birling

Canada Geese passing Birling
With all of the Brent passing in recent days who would have thought that these would be the only Geese seen this morning!

Thursday, 10 March 2022

10th March 2022 Unst SSE4 Overcast

With a plume of warm air associated with the southerlies today it felt like there might be a few more signs of Spring... a visit to Skaw added my first Meadow Pipit of the year and a walk to Valyie produced my first Dunnock of the year.

Meadow Pipit at Skaw

Dunnock at Valyie

Wednesday, 9 March 2022

9th March 2022 Unst S7 Overcast

After a lengthy overnight powercut it was no surprise to awaken to high seas and inter-island ferry disruption. A tour of a few sites produced an Iceland Gull off Norwick.

Stormy seas lashing Lamba Ness

First-cycle Iceland Gull at Norwick

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

8th March 2022 Unst S6 Overcast

It all seems pretty static with the highlights of a walk to Valyie and back being the Song Thrush, the Brambling and 2 Snow Buntings.

Brambling at Norwick

7th March 2022 Unst SW3 Overcast

Highlights of a walk to Valyie and back were the lingering Kestrel and a Brambling.

Fieldfares at Norwick

Friday, 4 March 2022

4th March 2022 Unst S2 Overcast

Almost calm conditions made for a pleasant change. A look at Loch of Cliff produced the 4 Scaup and better views of the White-tailed Eagle. The 5 Common Scoter were still off Uyeasound.

White-tailed Eagle at Loch of Cliff

Thursday, 3 March 2022

3rd March 2022 Unst SSE6 Overcast

A/the 2cy Iceland Gull seen flying inland at Millfield proved our only notable sighting of the day.

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

2nd March 2022 Unst SSW3 Clear

Nice weather today but despite covering a lot of ground in the north there appeared to be very little new on offer.

Norwick: 2 Great Northern Divers, Long-tailed Duck, 2cy Glaucous Gull, Song Thrush & Brambling.

Burrafirth: 4 Scaup.

Black Guillemot off Norwick

Common Guillemot off Norwick

Fieldfare at Norwick

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

1st March 2022 Unst WSW6 Clear

The surprise of the day was a flock of 4 Rooks that were seen flying low over the sea, across the beach and continuing inland at Norwick. A walk to Valyie produced a Long-tailed Duck, a Water Rail and the 2 Woodcock. A visit to the shop added the duo of Pink-footed Geese that have been wintering in Baltasound.

Norwick: Red-throated Diver, 2 Great Northern Divers, Long-tailed Duck, Water Rail, 4 Rook, 2 Woodcock, Skylark, Chaffinch & Brambling.

Baltasound: 2 Pinkfeet, 20 Wigeon, c.200 Golden Plover & 5 Dunlin.

Female Long-tailed Duck at Norwick

Rooks arriving at Norwick
A scarce migrant on Unst that I failed to see last year.