Sunday, 26 August 2012

Latest Sightings.

Despite the lack of suitable fall conditions, the 24th went on to produce a good variety of migrants after the excitement of the morning trap round (see previous post). Highlights were the Thrush Nightingale (which lingered at the Obs, occasionally showing well), 4 Barred Warblers (2 at the Obs and singles at Chalet and Stackhoull), 2 Icterine Warblers (the bird at the Obs and another at Midway), a Red-backed Shrike (at the Haa), 5 Crossbill and the first Black Redstart of the autumn. Other migrants included: 6 Goldcrest, 20 Willow Warbler, 9 Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, 4 Reed Warbler, Redstart, 6 Whinchat, 152 Wheatear , 4 Pied Flycatcher and the first Song Thrush of the autumn.
The Shoveler lingered on the Obs scrape until 25th.
Interestingly, many of the migrants trapped on 24th had high fat scores, perhaps suggesting they may not have travelled far to get here – could the calm weather have encouraged a ‘trickle down’ of birds from Shetland?

The 25th was a whole new kettle of weather fish, with strong northerly winds bringing the first really autumnal feeling day to the island and knocking migration on the head somewhat. There were obviously fewer migrants around (and those that were present were harder to see), which made the discovery of a flighty and vocal Citrine Wagtail (our 3rd of the autumn) at Easter Lother Water all the more surprising (although perhaps we should have expected something as any change in wind direction at this time of the year often delivers a decent bird). Very few other new migrants were noted, although there was the first Yellow Wagtail of the autumn and 2 Crossbills were seen.
One of the Crossbills recorded on the 25th was this fine male trapped in the Gully.
The 26th was pleasant and sunny, with the northerly winds decreasing and a general clear out of migrants. However, if birds are clearing out of Fair Isle, there’s always a chance that they could ‘clear in’ to us from somewhere else and a few new birds were indeed recorded, with a Common Rosefinch at Taft, a Red-backed Shrike at Boini Mire and a Sparrowhawk all noted, Meadow Pipits increased from 196 the previous day to 325 and at least 12 White Wagtails were amongst the 69 alba wags recorded. There were some birds that did linger, including the Thrush Nightingale, an Icterine and 2 Barred Warblers.
This flighty Red-backed Shrike only allowed for 'atmospheric' photos to be taken! With the entourage of Twite and Meadow Pipit, hay meadow, baling in the background and backdrop of the cliffs of Malcolm's Head, it hopefully gives an impression of the pleasant experience that is birding on Fair Isle in early autumn.
So a good few days, especially considering the weather, but with raging SE and rain headed our way and a mini-invasion of Greenish Warblers on the English east coast today, could we hope for something better tomorrow.
There are still plenty of seabirds lingering. Although the breeding season is over for many of them, there are still a few Bonxie chicks yet to fledge, most of the Gannet and Fulmar chicks are still in their nests and a few Shag chicks still have a way to go. Although overall numbers are not great, it looks like productivity will be quite good for the monitored Shag nests this year.

1 comment:

  1. You show the environment of Shetlands in very good and beautiful way. Greetings from Poland.


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