Monday, 11 June 2012

Steensi Surprise!

Seabird work took priority today and so there was no census carried out as the spring migration starts to slow up. However, migration never actually stops and so it was probably no surprise that arguably the biggest bird of the spring would turn up during a lunch break on the beach at Steensi Geo for the wardening team counting Kittiwakes. A shout from Jason revealed a River Warbler scuttling around the seaweed. Staff, researchers, islanders and visitors were swiftly rounded up and enjoyed views from the top of the cliff, where the bird eventually made its way towards the cliff top and showed well for a while.
A great bird and confiding at times, perhaps a local cat took advantage of this as the bird was lacking several tail feathers and coverts.
There are 13 previously accepted records of River Warbler from Fair Isle (and another in circulation with the BBRC), so this is definitely the place to be if you want to find one of these creeping locos.
A male Red-backed Shrike was at the Chapel and at least two Icterine Warblers were seen (although these may have been lingering birds), so there are still a pleasant selection of birds around.
There's more seabird work to come this week, although the constant northerly winds are not helping with this, but there'll hopefully also be a few new birds to report as well.

Slightly 'off-topic', but several people have been in touch with us about the quiz at the Scottish Bird Fair. The answers were: Guillemot, Yellow-breasted Bunting, Redwing, Black Guillemot, Bluethroat, Wheatear, Fulmar, Lanceolated Warbler, Bonxie and Red-backed Shrike. Thanks for everyone who took part.

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