Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Twa Yell Men in Unst

On the 20th of September (2014) I left Mid Yell at 8:20 with Jim Nangle (of Cullivoe) to head to Unst for a bit of birding.
We'd planned for this trip a week before so it was good to get out for some proper birding after a quiet summer (for me).

We headed north on the 8:40 to Unst and had our first stop in Uyeasound, we got out at the Gardiesfauld Hostel and had a rummage among the bushes.
Between us we managed to turn up two Barred Warblers (my first on Unst) and maybe a third but we were debating whether it was one of the same birds, also a flock of 25 Twite flew over and nine Tufted Ducks.
The next stop for us was the Haroldswick Pools (quite good this spring for rarities), the north end of Baltasound had a good flock of 85+ Curlews which deserve a mention.
The Snipe numbers there were pretty good I would say, 30+ from what we flushed (and that might of been a small proportion of what was actually lurking around) but also we had 40 Golden Plovers, 1 Swallow, 1 Garden Warbler (Unst Tick), 1 female Blackcap, a party of House Sparrows and a couple of Alba Wags.
We also met Rob Brookes who was out, he hadn't had much though but still it was early and there was birds to be found!

Kestrel by the Saxa Vord Camp Site, the second of the day following one at Basta Voe, Yell.

The northerly Skaw was next and we managed to pull up four Sanderlings, a Bar-tailed Godwit (Unst Tick), a couple of Willow Warblers, a male Blackcap, a Kestrel and I spotted a Common Whitethroat which disappered before we could find it again.

Female Dunter (Eider) against the incoming surf

 Sleepy Sanderling

The Unst Sea Kale, 2nd for Shetland and looking a bit worse for wear (found over a month ago by Barbra Priest)

A comparison with my hand

Norwick was our next destination, we managed to get a Kestrel before getting out the car by the beach. There was a few Sanderlings knocking around (2) and a quick look in a nearby garden pulled up our first Robin of the Autumn, two Willow Warbs and a Chiffchaff.
We decided to have a comb around a nearby rig and four Chaffinches flew up into some nearby Firs (another first of the Autumn).
Jim decided we should have a check at Valyie (the garden which the 2012 Red-eyed Vireo inhabited, Shetland's first).
It had a couple of birds but this was only early on! there was a Goldcrest (first of the Autumn), a Blackcap, a Willow Warb and a couple of Blackbirds.
We'd got all the nearby places and so we decided to head to Burrafirth in hope of a Little Bunting seen an hour ago by Brydon Thomason and Mike Pennington but to no luck so Halligarth was next.

 Four Chaffinches sitting it a tree

Goldcrest! year tick!

AT Halligarth we were on the hunt for a Rustic Bunting, it had been knocking around Halligarth for over a month but a look through the small garden was to no avail! so Jim took me to the leeward side of the woodland and there were lots of warblers! Gardens, Yellow-broweds (Year Tick), Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs.
We watched them for a good few minutes but they were too fast for any photos, there is also a pool 100 metres south of Halligarth and there we pulled up a few Tufted Ducks.
So really that was the end of our day, we popped into Westing before the 1:45 ferry but that pulled up nothing so we headed back to Yell after a ok days birding.

Give it to the end of October and we'll be back! hopefully scoring more birds as we do

No comments:

Post a Comment