Monday, 6 May 2013

This is it! hopefully...

6th May (am)
At last, a change in the weather has seen a calmish morning, with a light southerly wind. It's brought poor visibility, but also birds, with several Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers seen already this morning and a Sedge Warbler on morning traps. After a run of birding that has seen a few dedicated migrants pushing through, but a lack of scarcities or decent numbers of birds, we might be about to see some classic Fair Isle migration, with SE winds forecast for the next couple of days. Exciting stuff? You bet.

Jumping for joy. This Black Redstart seems unable to contain its excitement!
There have been a couple of Black Redstart in recent days.

House Martin put in its first appearance on 3rd, a day that also saw the year list boosted by Common Sandpiper, Whinchat and Sedge Warbler. Further additions to the year list included Lesser Whitethroat on 2nd and Bar-tailed Godwit on 4th.

A small arrival of thrushes on 3rd/4th included up to 4 Ring Ouzel and a Mistle Thrush.
Small numbers of finches have also arrived, including a few Brambling, other birds of note in the last few days have included Sparrowhawk, Long-eared Owl, Moorhen, Collared Dove, Waxwing (3rd-4th), up to 3 Tree Pipit, 3 Goldfinch and 9 Snow and 3 Lapland Buntings.
These Carrion Crows were part of a group of 34 seen on 5th, with 23 Rooks on 2nd during a spell of corvid passage.
The wintering Greylag flock has largely dispersed now. These two birds were heading out to sea off South Light - presumably returning to Orkney to breed?
A slightly calmer morning on 4th allowed us to get some counts done, with 97 Black Guillemots counted on the east coast and whole island counts of 27 singing Fair Isle Wrens and 146 Eider.
Bonxies are back in good numbers, but Arctic Skua counts haven't yet surpassed three. At sea there was a 'blue' Fulmar on 4th off Buness. A day of gull passage on 5th included at least 49 Lesser BLack-backed Gulls, one of which was a very good candidate for 'Baltic' Gull (the fuscus subspecies of LBBG).
Noisy neighbours! Seabirds are finally starting to settle, with Shags on eggs from 2nd and good numbers of Gannets incubating. Lapwings are also on eggs.
This Fulmar has probably seen a fair few good falls on Fair Isle, will it get to witness another one today...?

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