The westerly winds brought another American wader to Meoness, when a Pectoral Sandpiper arrived on 19th. Although initially flighty, it went on to show well today. There was also a steady increase in Lapland Buntings to 24 by 18th, at least six ‘North-western’ Redpolls lingering (with trapped birds all indicating they are rostrata) and 14 Snow Buntings.
|Lapland Buntings have included at least five feeding in the Sheep Cru.|
|The large size, dark plumage and heavy flank streaking point towards the identification of these Redpolls as 'Greenland' birds, further backed up by measurements taken when they were trapped.|
The westerly winds have not been great for movements of birds at sea, with two Sooty Shearwaters seen from the Good Shepherd on 17th and two Red-throated Divers off South Light (18th) the highlights, whilst there were also 7 Porpoise off Buness on 20th.The conditions have also mitigated against many arrivals from the east, with the few lingering migrants joined on 17th by Sedge Warbler and three Siskin, with the following day bringing four Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Garden Warbler and Woodpigeon and 5 Linnets on 20th. Skylark numbers have been building up, with a peak of 269 noted on 18th. Given the lack of migrants, it was surprising to get a locustella in the Obs mistnets today with a wing length of just 58mm. Despite the very short wing, other biometrics and plumage features showed that the bird was a Grasshopper Warbler, although an eastern origin would seem a good possibility.
Perhaps this could be the start of a few new arrivals as a couple of calmer days are hopefully due to be followed by some easterly winds, which on Fair Isle at this time of year, could prove to be rather exciting.