15th - 16th October
With a continuation of winds from the east, it was no surprise that some new birds came in. Although the highlights amongst the arrivals on the 15th were limited to 6 Whooper Swans, a Common Sandpiper and a Rook, the 16th saw an increase in several species and a couple of notable highlights. A flighty Olive-backed Pipit at Schoolton was the rarest bird in national terms and continues an excellent run for this species on Fair Isle, with this being the fifth in 2012, matching the five seen in 2011.
Species showing an increase in numbers today included: 9 Chiffchaff, 14 Blackcap, Garden Warbler, 24 Robin, 3 Grey Wagtail, 314 Brambling, 19 Chaffinch, 10 Greenfinch, 2 Goldfinch, Linnet, 117 Snow Bunting, 5 Jackdaws and 2 House Martins, whilst the first Little Auk of the autumn was seen by South Harbour.
So what next? With the easterly winds continuing I’m sure there’ll be more, but will it be something along the lines of Blue Tit, Treecreeper or Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (all recorded in Shetland in the last week) or something more like Eastern Crowned Warbler or Rufous-tailed Robin (both recorded in western Europe in the last couple of days)? If part of the fun of birding is never knowing what will be happen next, then there can't be many more fun places than Fair Isle in late October in easterly winds...