LAST DAY ON UNST!
Storm Ophelia hit us with massive winds and rain all night – it was so loud, I was woken up by the intensity of the rain. I have had the dormer window open every evening, but I didn't dare do this last night! I have really enjoyed being on Unst and really don't want to leave – the accommodation here is really nice and I didn't want to pack my things up! The peace here, the lack of street lights – so nice to sleep with no lights shining in the window, unlike my street where I live, which has two big street lamps and a neighbour who leaves their big outside light on opposite my house every night!
Our morning was dominated by arranging to get off Unst and back to mainland Shetland. There were ferries to Yell, but not to Unst until further updates later this morning, because of the storm. Ashley and Nick had to go off to get a phone signal to get information on our ferries, so we had plenty of time to get our gear together. Ashley booked a ferry for 1.45pm that would take us to Yell, but we may have to wait a while before we catch the next ferry to Unst, because of a back-log of vehicles/passengers that couldn't go this morning!
Long-eared Owl in Health Centre Garden, Baltasound, Unst
The Skidbladner (replica Gokstad ship) at Haroldswick, Unst
Whooper Swans on Easter Loch, on route to the ferry, Unst
Views from the Yell ferry, mainland Shetland
At 1.45pm we caught the Belmont ferry to Yell. Luckily we didn't have to wait too long at all for the Yell to Unst ferry. I had taken Stugeron tablets this morning as I presumed the crossing would be rough, but the wind had died down considerably and it all felt fairly smooth, but it was chilly! Black Guillemots and Shags were seen on route.
Arriving back on mainland Shetland, we searched the Lower Voe area for migrants. We saw Pied Wagtails and 3 Grey Wagtails (feeding on someone's lawn!), a Blackcap, Bramblings, House Sparrows. This was a very scenic area with cascading burn and bridges. After leaving here, we were lucky enough to see a Red Grouse catapult from the roadside verge, which was an unexpected bonus and woke up all those that were dozing!
House at Lower Voe, mainland Shetland
Burn at Lower Voe
House Sparrows at Lower Voe, mainland Shetland
Lower Voe, mainland Shetland
Hooded Crows at Kergord, mainland Shetland
Merlin at Kergord, mainland Shetland
Another Shetland cat!
The sickness tablets I had taken earlier, had made me feel totally drugged up – I couldn't keep awake at all for the rest of the journey to Sumburgh. We arrived back at the Sumburgh Hotel and enjoyed a lovely meal. We heard that there had been a big arrival of thrushes this evening, so we felt quite excited about tomorrow's birding!
SEE TOUR ACCOUNT OF THE DAY HERE: