Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Birds at last!

Well, it’s been quiet. Thankfully today (Tuesday 10th) saw the wind in the east and some rather pleasant conditions that brought in a few migrants at last. Pick of the bunch were our first Willow Warbler of the year (on the same date as 2011) and a superb Long-eared Owl on a fencepost at Springfield. The first small thrush fall of the spring saw counts rise to 39 Song Thrush, 37 Redwing, 25 Blackbird, 14 Fieldfare and singles of Mistle Thrush and Ring Ouzel (with Will scoring a full house of thrushes on North census!) and associated with this were 13 Robin, 10 Wheatears, four Woodpigeon and single Brambling and Woodcock.

Bramblings are always nice birds, especially in the spring
Lingering birds included the Green-winged Teal (back on Da Water after an absence of two days, will it hang on for Becki’s arrival tomorrow?!), three Common Scoter, two Pink-footed Geese and a White-front (amongst the flock of Greylag which is remaining unseasonably high at around 160 birds).
Other sightings today saw Bonxie arrive in numbers for the first time (with 44 counted), 66 Common Gulls moving north and one each of Glaucous and Iceland Gull.
A Reed Bunting has been wandering around the island for at least a week, showing a particular fondness for the Obs garden.
Pick of a quiet week prior to today included our first Greenfinch (9th, with the same day also producing Shelduck, Merlin, Sanderling, Woodock, Collared Dove, Dunnock and two Linnet). There were also a Mealy Redpoll (5th – 7th), a smart male Black Redstart (until 7th), Short-eared Owl (6th), Sparrowhawk (8th) and the 7th produced a few birds with four Goldcrest, five Chiffchaff and six Snow Buntings. The 7th was also the first Fair Isle Wren survey of the year, although the dawn start had to be delayed a short while as we waited for the snow to stop! A total of 31 singing Fair Isle Wrens were counted, about the same as last year’s early surveys. The survey also produced 100 Eiders offshore, the first Puffins on land, two Iceland Gulls and the pair of Peregrines that have been lingering on the west cliffs were seen copulating!
With snow forecast for the end of the week, it might be a little while before there’s much else to report, but who knows – it’s spring and this is Fair Isle after all.

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