To HellUnst and Back

Pay little attention to the previous two posts, they were written in the half light of a candle and uploaded using only a couple of rusty cans and a bit of string that I found discarded on a beach - that however doesn't excuse the content being crap.

So how was Unstd? In one word - windy. Never have I experienced such prolonged westerly winds whilst staying on Shetland. Consequently birds were few and far between and any hope of a Yank (sorry) was shattered by the amazing statistics quoted by my friend the Llama, who informed me that only three American land birds have ever been recorded on Unst.

Anyway technological difficulties aside Unst was challenging but mostly enjoyable. Lots of cracking rare bird habitat, but without the err rare birds - or in the case of some sites any birds. We managed to find a few minor scarce namely Rosefinch and Barred and Yellow-browed Warblers but that really was it. Unst is very nice, the people are very nice and welcoming some openly inviting you into their gardens.

We did see a couple of other people's rare finds.

A couple of trips to Fetlar - to relieve the tedium produced very little, though we did have cracking views of the juv Pallid Harrier as it hunted around Loch of Funzie (apparently pronounced finnie).

So as I said in an earlier post Unst will either be a triumph or a disaster, or something like that. Personally I don't think it was either just somewhere in between.

Still four days of this Hell trip to endure go and the weather is looking f***@ng awful isn't looking too favourable.

On the plus side some pastry delights were to be found, firstly en-route at Yell and on display in the Baltasound shop. The appearance of a Lasagne Pie in Brae raised moral, but like the rarities in south Mainland it had been around for a while!

Dr Llama being all optimistic on the way north

Though that all turned to rat shit when the wind set in!
Unst survival kit


MIkeP said...

Yellowthroat, 2 Swainson's, Veery White-throated Sparrow, Tree Swallow, Baltimeore Oriole (in the 19th century) and Yellow-headed Blackbird (Cat D). That's more than 3. Don't believe the Llama.

Mark said...

To be fair to Dr Llama he did say 3 autumn records - but I forgot.

Thank for letting us use your island Mike, it was good to meet you again (even if you couldn't remember the first time) ;-)