Saturday 30 September 2023

30th September 2023 Unst WNW5 Overcast

Norwick: Wheatear, 2 Common Redstart, 4 Robin, 2 Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, 2 Common Rosefinch, Chaffinch, Mealy Redpoll & 3 Little Bunting.

Skaw: Merlin, Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Wheatear, Common Redstart, Robin, Goldcrest, 5 Mealy Redpoll & 11 Snow Bunting.

Little Buntings at Norwick

Common Redstart at Norwick

Mealy Redpoll at Skaw

Friday 29 September 2023

29th September 2023 Unst SSW5 Overcast

Norwick: Merlin, 9 Knot, 3 Sanderling, Collared Dove, 2 Pied Wagtail, 2 Tree Pipit, 2 Wheatear, 2 Robin, Common Redstart, 6 Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Pied Flycatcher, Common Rosefinch, Chaffinch, Brambling, Siskin, Little Bunting & c.25 Snow Bunting. 

Burrafirth: Robin, Blackcap & 'Northwestern' Common Redpoll.

Haroldswick: 2 Chaffinch.

Common Rosefinch at Norwick

Northwestern Redpoll at Burrafirth

28th September 2023 Unst SSE5 Rain clearing

A day spent successfully Otter guiding for Shetland Nature with the only birds of note seen being the Little Egret at Loch of Snarravoe and the Long-tailed Duck on Easter Loch.

Wednesday 27 September 2023

27th September 2023 Unst SW4 Clear

After all of yesterday's excitement it was unfortunately back to reality today. I was hoping that a drop in wind would encourage a few more migrants to reveal themselves but that wasn't the case. Eddie asked if I'd take a look at the latest near-monochrome Wagtail to grace Unst but that proved a rather frustrating experience. Clive saw it dropping into the cattle field but it then remained invisible in the long grass. It flew off again and took a while to return, but whilst then on view it remained distant and against the light! In the hour that I spent watching it I only heard it call the once. Eddie mentioned that thankfully Scott has obtained some good recordings, so the resultant sonograms will hopefully reveal from where in presumably the range of thunbergi/plexa/tschutschensis it has likely originated...

Norwick: 2 Grey Heron in off, 4 Knot, 4 Sanderling, Collared Dove, Pied Wagtail, 2 Tree Pipit, 2 Robin, Wheatear, Common Redstart, Barred Warbler, 9 Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, 5 Mealy Redpoll, 9 Siskin & 2 Common Rosefinch.


Tuesday 26 September 2023

26th September 2023 Unst & mainland S5 Clear

After seeing a familiar roll-call of species whilst walking around Norwick, I'd literally just left the 'black hole' of mobile coverage and arrived home, to receive a message very kindly sent by my parents to say there was a Blackburnian Warbler at Geosetter! We set off immediately and made the next ferry off Unst alongside Adrian & Rose Morgan and 2 hours later we were being treated to some superb 'Shetland fence-line views' at one of our favourite south mainland sites. We simply enjoyed the next couple of hours just soaking it in, attempting to photograph it and catching-up with plenty of friends.

Norwick: 6 Knot, 2 Sanderling, Collared Dove, 2 Pied Wagtail, 2 Robin, 8 Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Brambling & 2 Common Rosefinch.

Geosetter: Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler at Geosetter

A nice relaxed twitch!

Monday 25 September 2023

25th September 2023 Unst SW7 broken cloud

A selection of lingering migrants remain. A Barred Warbler was hopping around on our lawn. We last saw one here on the 17th September so presumably today's was a different individual but who knows?  

Norwick: Collared Dove, 6 Knot, 2 Sanderling, 3 Pied Wagtail, Wheatear, Barred Warbler, 2 Blackcap, Pied Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Little Bunting & Common Rosefinch.

Haroldswick: Grey Heron & Common Redstart.

Skaw: Wheatear, Lesser Whitethroat & 2 Goldcrest.

Little Bunting at Norwick

Barred Warbler in our garden

Sunday 24 September 2023

24th September 2023 Unst SSE5 Light rain

A wet and windy start to the day was enlivened by seeing my first Little Bunting of the Autumn. The heaviest of the rain eventually cleared through mid-afternoon but a subsequent walk around Skaw proved quiet.

Norwick: Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Tree Pipit, Robin, 2 Whinchat, 2 Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, 2 Pied Flycatcher & Little Bunting

Skaw: Redwing, Common Redstart, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler & Siskin.

Little Bunting at Norwick

Redwing at Skaw

23rd September 2023 Unst NW4 Overcast

A switch to a cooler northwesterly airflow.

Norwick: Knot, 2 Sanderling, Kestrel, Collared Dove, 2 Robin, Whinchat, Wheatear, 3 Tree Pipit, 2 Blackcap, Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Song Thrush, 2 Common Rosefinch & Brambling.

Haroldswick: Robin & 2 Chaffinch.

Whinchat at Norwick

Friday 22 September 2023

22nd September 2023 Unst SW5 Occasional light rain

Mainly lingerers but also my first Brambling and 3 Snow Buntings of the autumn.

Norwick: Grey Heron, Merlin, Kestrel, Collared Dove, Pied Wagtail, 2 Tree Pipit, 2 Robin, 2 Common Redstart, 2 Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Yellow-browed Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Brambling, Siskin, 2 Common Rosefinch & Hawfinch.

Skaw: Knot, 5 Wheatear, Whinchat,  Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Goldcrest, Siskin & 3 Snow Bunting.

Common Rosefinch at Norwick

Snow Buntings at Skaw

Thursday 21 September 2023

21st September 2023 Unst S6 Light rain on & off

Having teamed-up with Chris & Geoff, I spent most of the day in complete awe of the events unfolding elsewhere in the British Isles as the unprecedented arrival of North American landbirds continued! In comparison, it's fair to say that our results were a little more modest!!

Norwick: Sparrowhawk, 11 Knot, 9 Sanderling, Water Rail, Swallow, 3 Pied Wagtail, 3 Robin, 6 Blackcap, 2 Willow Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, 3 Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher & Chaffinch.

Holsens road: Whinchat, Sedge Warbler & 2 Willow Warbler.

Baltasound: Blackcap, Chiffchaff & Goldcrest.

acredula Willow Warbler along Holsens road

Wednesday 20 September 2023

20th September 2023 Unst ENE5 Overcast

Having covered Norwick I teamed-up with Chris to cover Skaw and Holsens road before the rain became heavy around 1pm. The rain cleared late afternoon so I took a look at NorthDale and Haroldswick. 

Norwick: 1 Swallow, Tree Pipit, 5 Robin, 5 Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, 4 Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Song Thrush & 3 Common Rosefinch

Skaw: Robin, Lesser Whitethroat & Siskin

Holsens road: Sedge Warbler & Willow Warbler.

Haroldswick: Chiffchaff & 2 Chaffinch.

Red-breasted Flycatcher at Norwick

Siskin at Skaw

Sedge Warbler along Holsens road

Tuesday 19 September 2023

19th September 2023 Unst SW4 scattered cloud

Having covered some of both Skaw and Norwick it was evident that most of yesterday's migrants had remained in situ and a few more common migrants were showing in the better weather. I therefore soon elected to revert to Locustella-hunting in the hope of a 'British find tick'... today we ventured to south Unst... thistles, irises, nettles, dry stone dykes but sadly all to no avail... that's now 43k steps... they're rare!

Skaw: 4 Wheatear, 2 Blackcap, 2 Lesser Whitethroat & Willow Warbler.

Norwick: juv. Peregrine, Tree Pipit, 5 Robin, Barred Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler, 7 Blackcap, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, 4 Common Rosefinch, 2 Common Crossbill & Hawfinch.

south Unst: Robin, Redstart, Goldcrest & Pied Flycatcher.

6.45pm... walking my final dry stone dyke of the day!

Monday 18 September 2023

18th September 2023 Unst SE4 Light rain

In what felt like promising conditions all day, let alone rare Locustellas elsewhere, after a hard day's slog in sometimes not-so-light rain it proved a disappointing result compared to the 'premier league' islands!

Skaw: 40 Skylark, Robin, Lesser Whitethroat & Willow Warbler.

Norwick: 2 Wheatear, 2 Whinchat, Common Redstart, Robin, 2 Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Yellow-browed Warbler, Willow Warbler, 2 Goldcrest, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Common Crossbill, Common Rosefinch & Hawfinch.

Haroldswick: Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wheatear, 2 Common Redstart, 3 Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Goldcrest & Spotted Flycatcher.

Yellow-browed Warbler at Skaw
... another makes landfall!

Red-breasted Flycatcher at Norwick

Spotted Flycatcher at Haroldswick

Sunday 17 September 2023

17th September 2023 Unst SSE2 broken cloud

Given the wind direction it proved quieter than hoped albeit I saw a couple each of new Barred Warbler and Yellow-browed Warbler.

Skaw: Common Snipe, Wheatear, Lesser Whitethroat & Willow Warbler.

Norwick: Knot, 2 Sanderling, Pied Wagtail, Wheatear, 3 Barred Warbler, 4 Blackcap, 3 Yellow-browed Warbler & Hawfinch

Haroldswick: Redstart, Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler & Yellow-browed Warbler.

Watlee: Peregrine.

Hawfinch at Norwick
the scaled flanks presumably age it as a 1cy and the head colour sex it as a male

Blackcap at Norwick

Barred Warbler in our garden - day 18

Saturday 16 September 2023

16th September 2023 Unst NNW4 Overcast clearing

Being a northwesterly airflow it was a surprise that it produced my first two Yellow-browed Warblers of the year. 

Skaw: blue Fulmar, 7 Snipe, 1cy Common Tern, 2 Wheatear, Robin, Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Yellow-browed Warbler, 

Norwick: Knot, 2 Sanderling, Collared Dove, 3 Pied Wagtail, Tree Pipit, 2 Wheatear, Barred Warbler, 2 Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Common Crossbill, 4+Common Rosefinch & Hawfinch

NorthDale: 2 Blackcap.

Burrafirth: Snipe & Common Rosefinch.

Haroldswick: Collared Dove.

Yellow-browed Warbler at Skaw

Lesser Whitethroat at Skaw

Robin at Skaw

1cy Common Tern off Skaw

Barred Warbler in our garden - day 17

Common Rosefinch at Burrafirth

Collared Dove at Haroldswick

Yellow-browed Warbler at Norwick

Friday 15 September 2023

15th September 2023 Unst WSW6 Drizzly rain clearing

Another wet and windy start to the day with the worst of the weather clearing late morning. A walk around Norwick produced a surprise Hawfinch.

Norwick: Pink-footed Goose, 2 Knot, 4 Sanderling, 6 Snipe, Common Tern, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 5 Pied Wagtail, 2 Tree Pipit, 3 Wheatear, Barred Warbler, Blackcap, 3 Common Rosefinch & Hawfinch.

Burrafirth: Grey Heron & Common Rosefinch.

Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker at Norwick

Hawfinch at Norwick

Greylag & Pink-footed Goose at Norwick

Tree Pipit at Norwick