Wednesday, 15 June 2011

How much wood could a woodchat chat, if a woodchat could chat wood.

Inner Stack from the North, how many Gannet nests can you count?
A busy time with seabird work continuing in between bouts of ferocious weather (lashing NE winds and rain can't be good for the nesting birds). Various productivity counts and population plots are continuing but the Gannet count is more or less over for the year, with the 4,000 pair barrier being broken for the first time on Fair Isle.
A happy twitch.
The easterly winds have also meant that we've been trying to make sure we get birding as much as possible in the hope of some more late migrants. The Blyth's Reed wasn't seen again, although three Marsh Warblers have put in an appearance during the last few days (including a ringed bird at the Obs that was presumably the one we'd trapped a few days earlier but had remained hidden in between appearances).
Star bird though was found this afternoon, when Will discovered a Woodchat Shrike at Chalet just before dinner. After disappearing for a while and disrupting the meal whilst it was searched for, it then reappeared just in time to disrupt Log as well - not that anybody was complaining as everyone enjoyed good views at Field.
Another new species was added to the year list when a Shoveler was seen at Utra scrapes although a Bar-headed Goose nearby failed to pass the test as a wild vagrant. The wind is back in the east tomorrow, hopefully not enough to stop the Good Shepherd sailing (we need the food order to come in!), but perhaps enough for a few more birds. Will the spring migration have time to stop before the autumn migration starts this year?!

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