Tuesday, 18 June 2013


When I think of visiting Shetland, a trip to Unst is a must and certainly onto Skaw the most northerly inhabited place in the UK.

Although we have seen some great birds at Skaw we haven't seen many people which is always a bonus. The stream down to the beach always seem to hold migrants. On a previous trip we watched Moltoni's    Subalpine Warbler(First for Britain) collecting nest material and building a nest in the spearmint patch beside the stream, with no other birders around.

This month we were treated to sightings of Little Bunting just beyond the little bridge, sea side. It flew up from the bank and headed down towards the coast where we saw it again before it was lost from sight.

Meanwhile back at the spearmint patch a noisy starling had made a nest in the rocks and the pair constantly returned with food for the young. At the bridge a wren called which drew our attention to another warbler, this time a Chiffchaff. Then a Lesser Whitethroat jumped up on the fence post and allowed close views before it made its way along the bank.

A few feet further on, a female Red backed Shrike appeared carrying food, then flew onto a fence post before disappearing behind the house. A Marsh warbler sang from another fence post further up stream and a Common Redpoll also put in an appearance close by.

Heading down to the beach Ringed Plovers ran along the beach calling, a pair of Artic Terns rested on the beach, then started to preen, others passed hunting over the sea. A large flock of 78 Oystercatchers , could also be seen at the northern end of the beach, presumably non breeding birds.

Just off the beach a party of male and female eider ducks splashed about in a courtship ritual, calling all the time and occasionally a Gannet made an appearance.

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