Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Spring comes early, ruffly speaking.

The strong SW winds seem to have moved things about a bit, with an interesting selection of birds about the island. Pick of the bunch was a Ruff at Barkland, only the second spring record in the last 12 years and the earliest Fair Isle record by nine days. Amongst the other common waders a Jack Snipe at Da Water was also notable.
The Ruff (despite being seen with Starlings here) was generally with waders (Lapwing, Redshank and Ringed Plovers) in the fields at Barkland.
As well as the Ruff, the year list got a boost from two Bean Geese opposite Stackhoull, the first here since 14th December and the first description species of the year!
One with a long-looking dark bill and one with a very orange bill, but overall size and structure (particularly the dumpy necks and head shapes) seems to identify these as Tundra Beans. The poor picture quality here obvioulsy doesn't help.
There were very few passage migrants, although the stiff wind may have been keeping some stuff hidden, and it appears that a lot of the wintering thrushes have cleared out (although a small group of Fieldfares were at Barkland). Three Siskins were still at their usual feeders (two at the Obs, one at Haa), a Woodpigeon roamed the south of the island and Pied Wagtails and Meadow Pipits are lightly scattered around, although Skylarks are on the move in reasonable numbers, with over 120 noted today (which is likely to be only a proportion of the total present). Small numbers of Common and Black-headed Gulls were around and an adult (or near adult) Glaucous Gull was off Finnequoy, the first white-winger to be seen for a while.

With Assistant Wardens returning soon and some south-easterlies forecast, I'm hoping there'll be a few more birds to report soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment

My Blog List