Thursday, 21 September 2017

21st September 2017 Unst SE1 Drizzly rain

Drizzly rain persisted for virtually the whole day but at least it was virtually calm. Soon after dawn a Common Redpoll was found feeding along the road at Braehead. A flock of 6 Ruff flew over Skaw where the Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat had been joined by a second individual. Burrafirth was playing host to 2 Yellow-browed Warblers and the Gannet was still along the burn! Norwick produced a another Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Yellow-browed Warblers with 5 in a single garden, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Common Rosefinch and a Mealy Redpoll. An afternoon visit to Houlland added our tenth Yellow-browed Warbler of the day.

Common Redpoll at Braehead
We had nothing alongside to compare size but it appeared rather large, hefty and bull-necked and the solid dark tramlines along its flanks are perhaps suggestive that it is a Greenland Redpoll.

Common Rosefinch at Norwick

Mealy Redpoll at Norwick

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

20th September 2017 Unst SE1 Overcast with drizzle

Calm with light drizzle cleared with a southeasterly breeze. With such promising conditions it was disappointing that just the Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat was present at Skaw with the Whinchat again being seen at Braeview on our return. A stranded Gannet was an unexpected surprise along the burn at Burrafirth where a Kestrel was also seen. A Blackcap and Willow Warbler were new arrivals in our garden and as we drove through Baltasound a Yellow-browed Warbler flicked across the road and into the grounds of Buness House. Lund proved quiet with just a Blackcap seen. As we were leaving Westing I very kindly received both a text and voicemail from Roger R to say that Brydon had found a female Siberian Thrush at Ordaal but was having difficulty getting hold of us (no phone signal at Lund)! We raced back north and enjoyed several flight views seeing its underwing pattern on each occasion and a couple of very brief views of it on the deck - the fourth Siberian Thrush that I've been fortunate to see in the UK! There were 2 or 3 Yellow-browed Warblers in the same gardens. A flock of 4 Mealy Redpolls were then seen nearby.

A Gannet was an unexpected find along the Burrafirth burn!

Brydon enjoying reliving his brilliant find

the sycamores playing host to the Siberian Thrush

Female Siberian Thrush photographed by the finder Brydon Thomason

19th September 2017 Unst NW2 Overcast

A very quiet day with just the Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat still at Skaw, a blue Fulmar north past and10 Ruff at Lamba Ness and a Pink-footed Goose, 3 Ruff and a White Wagtail at Millfield being seen.

blue Fulmar passing Lamba Ness

Ruff at Millfield

White Wagtail at Millfield

Monday, 18 September 2017

18th September 2017 Unst N2 Rain clearing

Persistent light rain but light winds for the morning cleared for the afternoon. On the drive to Skaw a Whinchat at Braeview was encouraging and the Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat was still present at Skaw. Norwick only added a Blackcap and a Willow Warbler. North Dale was playing host to a Yellow-browed Warbler.

Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat at Skaw

Yellow-browed Warbler at North Dale

Sunday, 17 September 2017

17th September 2017 Unst NE3 Overcast

More overcast and windier than forecast but from a helpful direction. Our first Blyth's Lesser Whitethroat of the Autumn was at Skaw and as we were leaving 3 Ruff overflew. Whilst driving to Burrafirth we saw 3 Pintail and 3 Wigeon. Burrafirth produced a flock of 4 Herons overhead and a Blackcap and Willow Warbler. Haroldswick added another 3 Ruff and Millfield another 2 Ruff. A walk around Norwick added another overflying Heron, a Garden Warbler, a Willow Warbler and a Yellow-browed Warbler. A tour of the Baltasound sites produced a juvenile Cuckoo, a Willow Warbler and a further 4 Yellow-browed Warblers.

Juvenile hepatic morph Cuckoo at Baltasound

Yellow-browed Warbler at Baltasound

Saturday, 16 September 2017

16th September 2017 Unst NNE6 Overcast clearing

A windy and cloudy start to the day that soon cleared to blue skies. The male Ortolan Bunting was still present at Norwick and a Redpoll overflew. A Pink-footed Goose arrived over Millfield where 14 Ruff and a White Wagtail were also present. A Willow Warbler was seen at North Dale.

Male Ortolan Bunting at Norwick

Pink-footed Goose over Millfield

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

13th September 2017 Unst NE2 Overcast

The first bird I saw at Skaw was a Yellow-browed Warbler in the sheep pens that felt a promising start to the day. I also saw my first Water Rail of the Autumn and a Garden Warbler there. Norwick had held onto the male Ortolan Bunting with an overflying flock of 20 Snipe, a Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Blackcaps also seen. A Great Northern Diver had returned to Burrafirth. A tour of the Baltasound sides proved extremely quiet although the juvenile Cuckoo was still present at Houlland.

Yellow-browed Warbler at Skaw

Male Ortolan Bunting at Norwick

Juvenile hepatic morph Cuckoo at Houlland