Saturday, 27 August 2011

A tale of two Hippos.

A lovely day, with the wind mostly still in the east, saw a slight decrease in numbers of some of the common migrants, a few species (including Spotted Flycatcher) increased in numbers and the first Goldcrest of the autumn was seen. Scarcities were still well represented, with two Wrynecks, seven Barred Warblers, a Red-backed Shrike, Dotterel and nine Common Rosefinches. The latter may well be an underestimate as sightings from elsewhere on the island are taken as being birds dispersing from the flock of nine at Schoolton, but more individuals may be involved.
Migrants are scattered across the whole island, with birds like this Pied Flycatcher as likely to be on a beach or cliff as in a garden.
Today saw the current fall topped with a classic rarity, with Will turning up a great Booted Warbler near Burkle.
Will admiring his find (notice that it is 'birding in a t-shirt' weather).
The Booted Warbler was flighty at first and I only got distant views, although it posed down to five metres later on for folk.
Having seen the Booted Warbler fly off towards Haa we headed down there to try to refind it and found a Melodious Warbler instead! The magic of Fair Isle encapsulated in a couple of hundred yards.

Melodious Warbler at the Haa, the first on Fair Isle since 2006 and the 16th for Fair Isle.
The forecast is now for some days of strong NW winds, which may put an end to migration for a while, although perhaps Lapland Buntings may put in an appearance.
That’s all for today, just a brief summary as we’ve just come back from an aborted Storm Petrel ringing session. The wind picked up just too much to make catching any Stormies a possibility, but a Sanderling caught on the beach was a great bonus!
Fulmars are fledging, although this one only made it as far as the beach at Hjukni just below its nest before it needed a rest!

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