Sunday, 28 August 2011

Summer Storms.

After the excitement of Friday's birds, the weekend has been rather quiet, with gale force winds from the North-west and some very heavy rain. A Sooty Shearwater was seen from South Light today and Barred Warbler, Red-backed Shrike and Wryneck all put in an appearance, whilst the Short-toed Lark was on the airstrip again yesterday, but generally things were keeping their heads down. The Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper were both still around yesterday and there seem to be reasonable numbers of waders present, with little groups of Ringed Plover, Knot, Sanderling and Ruff scattered across the island.
With Gannet chicks just starting to fledge, the storm has hit at a bad time. Most of the colonies are on the NW of the island, right in the teeth of the gale.
With the weather hampering attempts at getting much done, it was the perfect time for the 'Games Night' on Saturday that saw a good turn out from the islanders. A keen competition ensued between the two teams (the 'Fairies' and 'Dinosaurs', nothing personal in the names, they were just the only sticker books we had), with the activities continuing well into the night and everyone enjoying themselves. We had a few islanders visit for tea and cakes on the terrace today, although given the weather, we had to make do with ‘tea and cakes with a view of the terrace’ from the lounge.
So, after the rush of birds last week, a quiet weekend has helped recharge the batteries ready for whatever next week will bring. The forecast doesn’t look that promising for bringing in many birds, but this is Fair Isle, where I’m quickly learning that anything is possible.

Whatever the weather, Fair Isle is a beautiful place. This is the view from Malcolm's Head, which is best appreciated when the wind is not blowing you off your feet and the island isn't shrouded in low cloud.

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