Already its over a week into the New Year (How time flies!) but already the year list is looking good with some early additions. Sanderling and Dunlin were added on New Years Day and a Chaffinch a day later and since then Oystercatcher and Linnet have made it. A Barnacle Goose is with the 350(!) Greylags, a Wigeon and 6 Teal and a couple of Red-breasted Mergansers are the wildfowl highlights. Up to 16 Golden Plover, a few Jack Snipe and Woodcock plus a couple of Lapwings with the usual Common Snipe (130+), Redshanks (c25) and Turnstones (c60) have been lost amongst the extraordinary record influx of Curlews.....I have logged at least 185 but they are so spread out and mobile, not remaining in any cohesive flock that the actual number may be actually over 200!
Passerines have been understandably scarce but a handful of Skylarks and Robins are toughing it out whilst Blackbirds and Redwings just about make it into double figures.
The New Years Party was held here at Burkle and following several highly entertaining guising sketches most of the isle descended just after the bells. After consuming an extraordinary amount of alcohol the last ones departed shortly after 7am!!!
Whilst the rest of the nation appears to be under a mountain of snow, here on Fair Isle we've hardly had any! We've not even given the kids their sledges we bought then for xmas - waiting for the big surprise when (if?) it does snow! Its been cold, but not as cold as elsewhere and with no wind recently its actually been very pleasant! Ice is the word and I've spent many hours gritting the roads with Iain Stout and Darren Wiseman and even spreading sand on the airstrip so the high school kids could get back to school. Lubo has been sent flying a few times as he is incapable of going anywhere slowly! The ponies are finding it tough to walk on the hard ground too, so are not moving far from the hard standing Ian Best has provided fro them, and from their haynets! Chickens slumped to a low of four eggs a week or so back but have rallied and today we got a full house (8 eggs) for the first time since 25th October (yes! we keep a record!).