Friday, 26 April 2013

Northern Block

26th April

A calm start to the day brought some promise (and even a brief spell of 't-shirt weather'), but a freshening northerly wind and brisk showers (some of which feel like they're trying to snow) has meant it's pretty much 'business as usual' today on the bird front. The start of my census brought Chiffchaff and Robin on Hill Dyke then a fine male Ring Ouzel in Gunnawark, which was a good start, but that was about it. A Snow Bunting on Ward Hill was about the only other bird I saw in the North that may have been new and word from the rest of the team wasn’t much better, with just a thin scattering of migrants (including another Ring Ouzel at the Obs), although Will did have an immature Iceland Gull in Hjukni geo. Henry and Raven saw an owl on their way to school, but that wasn’t relocated, whilst an intriguing skulking bird in Schoolton evaded Nick’s best attempts at pinning down its identification, although the whistling ‘rosefinch-like’ song certainly sounds promising. Hopefully whatever it was will reappear somewhere on the island tomorrow.
The Great Spotted Woodpecker, Waxwing and Great Tit all remained and given the forecast for strong westerly and north-westerly winds for the next few days, we may not have many new things to report. This is Fair Isle though, so you never know!
Even when migration is slow, there is plenty to see, like the Fair Isle Wrens, which  are starting to slowly get into singing mood. Plenty of auks returned to the cliffs today, with Puffins starting to look more at home after their winter at sea. We've also had a couple of sightings of colour-ringed Rock Pipits recently - more on those later.

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