Friday, 17 August 2012

Latest sightings.

A couple of days of continued easterly wind helped to bring in a few more birds, but thick fog on Thursday afternoon and heavy rain on Friday afternoon hampered birding and perhaps left a few more surprises to be discovered.

Highlights from the 16th were one lingering Citrine Wagtail, the first Red-backed Shrike of the autumn (in Wester Lother) and first Little Stint of the year at Utra. Scarcities included 2 Barred Warblers and a Wryneck, with counts of commoner migrants including 88 Willow Warbler, 15 Garden Warbler, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 4 Whinchat, 4 Pied Flycatcher, 3 Tree Pipit, 2 Redstart, 2 Green Sandpiper and singles of Wood Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Fieldfare, Spotted Flycatcher and Greenshank.
The Wryneck on 16th showed very well from the Obs lounge window before heading up to feed in the heather.
As the wind dropped on Thursday night, it became clear that it would be worth trying a Storm Petrel ringing session, so after the live music of a ‘Fair Isle Thursday’, the wardening team trouped out to set up the nets and start a somewhat different soundtrack. A successful night saw over 120 Storm Petrels trapped and many of our visitors getting their first experience of these wonderful seabirds.
Two and a half hours later and the wardening team were up again to open the nets and run the traps before heading out to census the island. It was clear that some new birds had arrived, with four Reed Warblers and two Grasshopper Warblers noted. Other new birds included Siskin, Kestrel, Swift and Sand Martin. Singles of Barred Warbler, Wryneck and Wood Warbler remained and counts of most other migrants remained similar, including 6 Ruff on Meoness.
So the birding continues to be good, the forecast continues to be promising and we’re moving towards the time when anything could turn up, any guesses what we might get this weekend?

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