Saturday, 21 April 2012

Rockin' with Robins

With so many birds around, there’s not much time for being at the computer, so excuse the brief summary of the last two day’s sightings:

Thursday saw an obvious arrival of birds during the day, with Robin numbers in particular increasing. The arrival brought the highlight of a Corn Bunting (there are less than ten records in the last 30 years) at Taft, with an early Wryneck at Lower Stoney Brek. Notable counts included 229 Fieldfare, 4 Swallow, 4 Reed Bunting and 91 Wheatear. A Long-eared Owl was seen again and a Whooper Swan flew north.

By the time I caught up with it properly, the flighty Corn Bunting was made even harder to see by the driving rain and strong winds. A great bird though - and Jason's good run of finds continues!
The first trap round of the day on Friday set the tone, with 19 Robins caught - census revealed an impressive total of 204 of them across the island. Other good counts included 13 Ring Ouzel, 98 Song Thrush, 23 Chiffchaff, 40 Brambling, 14 Dunnock, 9 Blackcap, 4 Willow Warbler, 7 Woodpigeon, 9 Goldcrest, 7 Chaffinch, 5 Linnet and 2 Mealy Redpoll.
Although we have Twite breedig on Fair Isle, Linnets (like this male) just pass through the island.
Scarcer species included a superb male Hen Harrier, our first ‘Yellow’ Wagtail of the year, Long-eared Owl, Lapland Bunting, Black Redstart, Iceland Gull, 2 Green Sandpiper and 6 Barnacle Geese
This interesting flava wagtail looks at the darker end of the range for Blue-headed, although it doesn't appear to match any of the other races (and its call sounded typical for Yellow Wgagtail). Although it has a hint of one of the southern races about it, my first thoughts were that I wondered what a Grey-headed x Blue-headed would look like?
A great day's birding was rounded off with Tim Dalling and Malcolm Green performing their 'Shearwater' show - absolutely superb. Their tour has come to an end now, but don't miss it if you get the chance to see them performing in the future.

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