Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Snowball at Unst

Arctic Redpoll, Carduelis hornemanni - Norwick, Unst

Little Bunting, Norwick Unst

Presumed 'Greenland' Redpoll

Lapland Bunting

Lapland Bunting, through the car windscreen. From this image its easy to see where the name Longspur comes from.

More Lapland Buntings

Brambling Fest. - part of a flock of eighty or so.

Wednesday 6th October 2010
A trip to one of the other islands was long overdue and with the prospect of seeing a real Arctic Redpoll we headed North for the ferry to Unst via Yell. We arrived at Norwick in the North of Unst to find a handful of birders searching some weedy strips of cultivated land. We soon found a pair of Little Buntings but the Arctic Redpoll proved to be far more difficult. As the search widened a presumed Greenland Redpoll landed on the track next to us and more Redpolls were found near the Graveyard but not the 'Snowball' we wanted. As we split up to look round the cottages I came across a Barred warbler which showed briefly in a ditch. The same ditch the Arctic Redpoll was eventually found in by another team on the case.

We had heard there were a flock of Lapland Buntings at Skaw but as we set off we found 4 Lapland Buntings on the road in front of us. So time for a long overdue coffee but not before we had checked out fields around the Heritage Centre near Baltasound where there was a small flock of Barnacle Geese. We also found a Ring Ouzel which had been in the area for a while and a large, 80+ flock of Bramblings around a potato field which held Blackcap and Yellow browed warbler. It was non-stop birding but Julian, who thinks coffee breaks are for wimps, finally relented and I got some much needed refreshment before we set off back.


  1. Cheers Max, I can always rely on you for a word of encouragement.