Saturday 25 November 2023

25th November 2023 Unst NNW4 Overcast

Plenty of birds and a Humpback Whale seen moving north having presumably been displaced by yesterday's strong north-westerly gales. On returning home Brenda promptly picked out a Waxwing sat in our willows.

Skaw: 2 Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Sooty Shearwater, 16 blue Fulmar, 10 Glaucous Gull (2 1cy, 1 2cy, 2 3cy & 5ad), 120 Kittiwake, 2 Black Guillemot, c.120 Guillemot & 46 Little Auk.

Millfield: Waxwing.

Great Northern Diver passing Skaw

Sooty Shearwater passing Skaw

blue Fulmar passing Skaw

Little Auks passing Skaw

Glaucous Gull passing Skaw

Wednesday 22 November 2023

22nd November 2023 Unst W6 Overcast

A steady trickle of Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls were arriving in off the sea at Norwick from 8.30am to 8.45am that included a single 1cy Glaucous Gull.

21st November 2023 Unst SW2 Overcast

Norwick: Merlin, Woodcock, Skylark, 2 Great Tit, 2 Goldcrest, 5 Redwing & Chaffinch.

18th November 2023 Unst SE5 Overcast

We completed the Icelandic Greylag Goose count for north Unst that totalled just less than 400.

Skaw: Pink-footed Goose.

NorthDale: Pink-footed Goose.

Burrafirth: Barnacle Goose.

17th November 2023 Unst NW2 Clear

Uyeasound: Bar-tailed Godwit & Grey Wagtail.

Grey Wagtail at Uyeasound

Thursday 16 November 2023

16th November 2023 Unst NNW2 Overcast

I decided to walk to Skaw where I was rewarded with a White-billed Diver sat on the sea offshore.

Norwick: 4 Woodcock, 2 Great Tit, 2 Robin, 10 Redwing & 4 Chaffinch.

Skaw: White-billed Diver, Water Rail, Robin & 5 Redwing.

White-billed Diver off Skaw

15th November 2023 Unst N3 Overcast

I teamed-up with Brydon and we covered Skaw, Norwick and a few of the sites at Baltasound.

Skaw: Siberian Chiffchaff.

Norwick: Great Spotted Woodpecker, Dunnock, Goldcrest, 3 Chaffinch & 8 Mealy Redpolls.

Baltasound: Chiffchaff.

Siberian Chiffchaff at Skaw

14th November 2023 Unst N2 Overcast

Norwick: Merlin, Woodcock, Robin, 2 Great Tit, Fieldfare, 10 Redwing, 2 Chaffinch, Greenland Redpoll, 8 Mealy Redpoll & Lesser Redpoll.

NorthDale: Reed Bunting.

12th November 2023 Unst NNW2 Overcast

Norwick: 1cy Glaucous Gull.

11th November 2023 Unst N4 Clear

Burrafirth: 2cy Glaucous Gull.

2cy Glaucous Gull at Burrafirth

Thursday 9 November 2023

9th November 2023 Unst SSW2 Clear

Norwick: Great Northern Diver, Hen Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Merlin, Woodcock, Purple Sandpiper, 3 Robin, Waxwing, 2 Song Thrush, 10 Redwing, 3 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Great Tit, 20 Mealy Redpoll, Goldfinch & 2 Chaffinch.

Skaw: Long-tailed Duck, Robin, Fieldfare, 5 Redwing & 2 Brambling.

NorthDale: Blackcap.

Burrafirth: Scaup, Jack Snipe, Robin, 15 Fieldfare & Redwing.

Hen Harrier at Norwick

8th November 2023 Unst SE4 Overcast

A Puffin was just off Norwick beach and there was a Dunnock present in our garden.

7th November 2023 Unst N1 Overcast

 I returned home to images of a Waxwing that Brenda had photographed in our garden.

6th November 2023 Unst S1 Clear

Norwick: Woodcock, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Robin, Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Great Tit, Redwing, 3 Redpoll & 7 Brambling.

5th November 2023 Unst SE3 Overcast

Norwick: Long-tailed Duck, Water Rail, 2 Woodcock, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Robin, Dunnock, Blackcap, 3 Goldcrest, Great Tit, Song Thrush, 8 Redwing, Siskin, Chaffinch, 6 Brambling & Northern Bullfinch.

Skaw: Water Rail, Woodcock & Goldcrest.

Haroldswick: Chaffinch.

Northern Bullfinch at Norwick

Friday 3 November 2023

3rd November 2023 Unst ENE4 Rain clearing

I waited for the rain to clear before heading to Skaw where it seemed very quiet albeit I did see Orca even though it wasn't the black-and-white number that I was hoping to see! A circuit of Norwick proved very quiet too.

Skaw: Merlin, 4 Woodcock & 6 Snow Bunting.

Norwick: Woodcock, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Robin, 2 Blackcap, Siskin, 25 Mealy Redpoll, 3 Chaffinch & 6 Brambling.

Thursday 2 November 2023

2nd November 2023 Unst SE4 Showers

There seemed a few more Redpolls present again today so plenty of head-scratching but the bird of the day appeared among in the form of a late autumn Little Bunting.

Norwick: Great Northern Diver, Sparrowhawk, Woodcock, 1cy Glaucous Gull, 4 Woodpigeon, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, Dunnock, Robin, Blackcap, Great Tit, 4 Waxwing, 10 Redwing, 25 Mealy Redpoll, Greenland Redpoll, Lesser Redpoll & 4 Brambling.

NorthDale: Pink-footed Goose, Hen Harrier, 25 Mealy Redpolls & Little Bunting.

Little Bunting at NorthDale

Mike's home!

Wednesday 1 November 2023

1st November 2023 Unst NE4 Showers

The highlight of the day appeared early as a Rough-legged Buzzard flew northeast over Norwick.

Norwick: Rough-legged Buzzard, Merlin, Woodcock, 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Robin, Great Tit, 3 Waxwing, Fieldfare, 6 Redwing, 20 Mealy Redpoll & 6 Brambling.

Burrafirth: Scaup.

Skaw: Merlin, 2 Jack Snipe, Water Rail, Song Thrush & 7 Snow Bunting.

NorthDale: Robin & 20 Mealy Redpoll.

Haroldswick: Robin, Chiffchaff, 6 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, Snow Bunting & Siskin.

Rough-legged Buzzard over Norwick

31st October 2023 Unst NNE5 Overcast

During the morning flocks of 7 Waxwings and 7 Mealy Redpolls visited our garden. We'd not long arrived at Graham & Mary's when Brydon phoned to say he was watching a mixed flock of Redpolls including both Hornemann's and Coues's.

Millfield: 7 Waxwings & 7 Mealy Redpoll.

Baltasound: Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll, 2 Coues's Arctic Redpoll & 10 Common Redpolls.

Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll at Baltasound

Coues's Arctic Redpoll at Baltasound

Coues's and Hornemann's Arctic Redpolls at Baltasound

Tuesday 31 October 2023

30th October 2023 Unst NE6 Clear

A strong cold wind dominated the day. A late afternoon visit to Valyie failed to produce anything new but on returning home a female Hawfinch sat in the middle of our lawn under our feeders was a nice surprise.

Norwick: Long-tailed Duck, Merlin, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, Robin, Goldcrest, Fieldfare, 6 Redwing, 3 Mealy Redpoll, 20 Brambling & female Hawfinch.

Great Spotted Woodpecker at Valyie
One of the features of the Autumn has been the influx of nominate form GSWs. I've uploaded a sound recording of one calling a few ago here.

Monday 30 October 2023

29th October 2023 Unst NE6 broken high cloud

Birding proved hard work in the windy conditions today.

Skaw: Water Rail, 4 Skylark, 15 Snow Bunting, Siskin & 6 Mealy Redpoll.

Norwick: 2 Woodcock, 3 Robin, Great Tit, Ring Ouzel, Fieldfare, 4 Redwing, Song Thrush, Siskin, Chaffinch & 20 Brambling.

Saturday 28 October 2023

28th October 2023 Unst SE2 Showers

After a circuit around Norwick we completed the monthly SOTEAG beached bird surveys and then met up with Chris R who had found a Ruff at Haroldswick.

Norwick: Merlin, 2 Woodcock, Jack Snipe, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Robin, Dunnock, 2 Waxwing, 2 Blackcap, 3 Goldcrest, Ring Ouzel, 15 Fieldfare, Redwing, Siskin, 6 Mealy Redpoll, female Northern Bullfinch & 45 Brambling.

Burrafirth: 2 Swallow, Robin, Wheatear, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, Mistle Thrush, 20 Fieldfare, 10 Redwing & Song Thrush.

Haroldswick: Ruff & 2 Yellowhammer.

Female Northern Bullfinch at Norwick

Jack Snipe at Norwick

Chiffchaff at Burrafirth

Ruff at Haroldswick

Yellowhammer at Haroldswick

Friday 27 October 2023

27th October 2023 Unst SE1 Overcast

Norwick: Pink-footed Goose, 2 Dunlin, Long-eared Owl, 5 Robin, Dunnock, 10 Waxwing, Blackcap, 2 Goldcrest, Great Tit, 13 Fieldfare, 20 Redwing, 30 Mealy Redpoll, Siskin, Chaffinch, 45 Brambling

Burrafirth: Swallow, 20 Fieldfare & 10 Redwing.

Haroldswick: Chiffchaff.

NorthDale: Wheatear.

Long-eared Owl at Norwick

Waxwings over Norwick

Swallow at Burrafirth

Wheatear at NorthDale

Thursday 26 October 2023

26th October 2023 Unst SE6 Clear

A look at the weather charts yesterday evening showed overnight southeasterly winds emanating from the Black Sea, so being very late October, it went through my mind that another Pied Wheatear might be on... but I quickly dismissed such thoughts as fanciful! It dawned clear but was combined with a rather brisk cold wind. Completing a circuit of Norwick had produced a few flocks of Waxwings flying north but I had little else to show for my morning. My lunchtime break was punctuated by 5 Waxwings briefly dropping into our garden. Early afternoon I teamed-up with Adrian Kettle for a walk around Haroldswick. I pointed out the field where Brydon, Micky & Mike had found Unst's first Pied Wheatear, but as far as we could see, it unfortunately wasn't playing host to another today. We then headed to Burrafirth to take a look for yesterday's Bluethroat but there was no sign of it. However, as we left, we were driving through Sotland when a Wheatear flew up from the road ahead of us... one look at its 'tail pattern' and we both knew that we were in, so as we exchanged excited glances and words to that effect, I jammed on the brakes... it landed on a fence-post, we both raised our bins and brilliant... there was a female Pied Wheatear! First images secured through the windscreen, we soon abandoned the car and followed it for a kilometer as it steadily headed inland. We last saw it flying into the sheltered valley leading to Quoys.

Norwick: 2 Long-tailed Duck, Knot, Dunlin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Robin, 37 Waxwing, 2 Blackcap, Goldcrest, 2 Great Tit, 4 Fieldfare, 7 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, Siskin, 2 Redpoll, 2 Chaffinch & 20 Brambling.

Haroldswick: Knot.

Burrafirth: Woodcock, Dunnock, 30 Fieldfare & Pied Wheatear.

Female Pied Wheatear at Sotland

ebird European range of Pied Wheatear

Met Office surface pressure chart