Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Unst, Shetland Isles

Continue the trip report.

Day 5 13th May, 2015.

Woke to a near gale force N wind so we decided to try a pre-breakfast sea-watch from Skaw, but other than lots of Gannets with 5 Puffins and plenty of Bonxies little else was seen. After breakfast, we returned to Skaw for a further sea-watch but again just large numbers of Gannets, Bonxies and about 15 Puffins.
During the afternoon we covered many of the usual sites and also visited Baltasound checking several sites in this area.

Great-northern Diver 2 (Norwick Bay) (1 in full s/p )
Barnacle Geese 5 (North Dale)
Greenshank 1
Tree Pipit 2
Blackcap 2
Common Whitethroat 1
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Willow Warbler 4
Chiffchaff 2
Pied Flycatcher 2 (pair at Helligarth)

Tree Sparrow 3 (Baltasound School clump)

Male Pied Flycatcher giving good views at Halligarth

Chiffchaff posing for the camera at the entrance to Halligarth

Tree Sparrows in the School clump

Greenshank flying over callling at Baltasound

Great Northern Diver in summer plumage in Norwick Bay
(Digi-scoped by DC)

Day 6 14th May, 2015.

Pre-breakfast walk covering Millfield, Skaw, Lamba Ness and Norwick Beach. After breakfast, as there were very few migrants around, we decided to walk Hermaness Nature Reserve and a very enjoyable walk with large numbers of Gannets, Bonxies and a few Puffins. On our way back we briefly called into Ungirsta. 
During the late afternoon we again visited Haroldswick and Baltasound sites, but the area generally appeared quiet. David and Brenda visited North Dale during the evening and saw a Grasshopper Warbler.

Great Northern Diver 2 (Norwick Bay)
Iceland Gull 1
Sparrowhawk 1 (Ungirsta)
White Wagtail 3
Grasshopper Warbler 1 (North Dale) (DC)
Blackcap 7
Common Whitethroat 1
Willow Warbler 5 (1 showing characters of the race acredula)
Chiffchaff 1


Arctic Skuas at Lamba Ness

Dunlin at Skaw

Red-throated Diver at Lamba Ness

Various Bonxies at Hermaness

View looking south over Hermaness Nature Reserve


Superb coastal views

Gannet colony


DC checking his pics.


Doreen and Brenda enjoying the spectacular views.

Bonxies everywhere on Hermaness

Male Wheatear

Time to walk back

Another view looking south over Hermaness

Doreen enjoying the walk

Still a way to go

More coastal views

Doreen on her way back

Still more great views

Doreen and David arriving back

Back at the start

Willow Warbler (showing characters of the race acredula ) at Baltasound

Day 7 15th May, 2015.

Our early morning visit to the Skaw, Lamba Ness and North Dale. Again not too many migrants seen, but an Otter showed well by a small pool at the end of Lamba Ness.
After breakfast  we visited Vaylie and then birded around Baltasound before moving onto Uyeasound but this area was very quiet and no migrants seen at all. We then stopped off at Halligarth where the male Pied Flycatcher was still in residence. During the evening we visited the Airport Pool.

Great Northern Diver 1
Wigeon 4 NE
Sparrowhawk 1 (Millfield)
Black-tailed Godwit (Airport Pool)
Golden Plover 2
Iceland Gull 1
Tree Pipit 1
Redwing 1
Swallow 20
House Martin 1
Blackcap 4
Common Whitethroat 1
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Willow Warbler 8 (several acredula types)
Chiffchaff 3
Pied Flycatcher 1 male
Carrion Crow 5
Twite 8+
Linnet 3 (including 1 male)
Siskin 5 (2 males)

Otter 1 Lamba Ness
Hedgehog 1

Another acredula type Willow Warbler this time at Norwick

Twite at Vaylie

Common Whitethroat at Vaylie

Norwick Meadows

Male Siskin in the Pine clump


Golden Plover at Baltasound

Day 8 16th May, 2015.

Woke to a fine sunny morning but with a cool Westerly wind. Drove Lamba Ness and visited Skaw but only a single Willow Warbler seen. After breakfast visited several sites around Baltasound including the Airport Pool, School Clump, Pine Clump and Helligarth. After lunch we visited Norwick area and then a short sea-watch from Lamba Ness which produced hundreds of Fulmars and 12 Puffins.

Kestrel 1
Black-tailed Godwit 1 
Iceland Gull 1
House Martin 1
Swallow 4
Redwing 1
Blackcap 8
Willow Warbler 3
Chiffchaff 4 (1 showing characters of abietinus)
Tree Sparrow 8
Twite 2

Doreen on a dawn Otter watch at Skaw




Icelandic race of Black-tailed Godwit on the Airport pool


Abietinus type Chiffchaff at the School clump