Monday, 14 January 2013

14th January
Ring-billed Gull (Deryk Shaw). The first of Fair Isle's four RBGs to be seen from Burkle!
A pleasant selection of winter birds can be found around the island at the moment, with the strong SE wind certainly taking the edge off the temperature and reminding us that it’s a while yet before we see any signs of spring.
The Ring-billed Gull remains on the island, generally floating around the fields in the south of the island (where it was added to the Burkle house list today!). A 1st-winter Glaucous Gull yesterday was joined by a second today and at least one Long-tailed Duck is still about. Given the wind direction and reports of cold weather on the continent we were hoping for some hard weather movement of wildfowl, but the juvenile Greenland White-fronted Goose at Utra rather flew in the face of that prediction.
A couple of calmer days seem set to precede some more strong SE winds, so perhaps we could yet get something on the run from colder conditions in mainland Europe. How about Fair Isle’s first Bittern or maybe the first Smew since 1985 and let’s not forget that the Great Bustard on Fair Isle in 1970 turned up in mid-January. So who knows what else we could add to the year–list in the next few days…

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