So, it’s flaming June already, the month in which traditionally: spring migration winds down after a last big rare (today’s the 38th anniversary of Britain’s first Hermit Thrush being found on Fair Isle, as well as the 108th anniversary of the first Red-rumped Swallow!), the seabird season properly kicks off and we cock a snook at the working time directive. A selection of lingering birds from May include the Blyth’s Reed Warbler (which was singing from the beach at the bottom of Maver’s Geo this morning), a Marsh Warbler at the Obs (which was also singing this morning), two Red-backed Shrikes, 3 Tree Sparrow and Snow Buntings, of which 11 were scattered around the island yesterday. Amongst the variety of common migrants there were a few new birds in, with Cuckoo (31st), Goldfinch (1st-2nd) and a late flock of 7 Pink-footed Geese (30th-31st). Increases in some of the species that had been present for a while included Short-eared Owl (3 on 1st), Blackbird (5 today) and Woodpigeon (6 on 1st).
Today has also seen a couple of interesting new birds arrive, with a female-type Red-breasted Flycatcher at Stackhoull and a Reed Warbler trapped at the Plantation that showed a few features (generally duller brown plumage and prominent pale tips to some of the tail feathers) associated with the eastern race ‘fuscus’. Two Redwings and a Song Thrush were also new, whilst an Iceland Gull on Meoness was unseasonal
|Our second Red-breasted Flycatcher of the spring and a typical late-spring migrant. There are likely to be one or two more treats before the spring finally comes to a halt (and then auutumn isn't too far away...).|
More good weather to come, which could encourage a few more drifty things, hopefully including that one big rare to round off a very decent spell of spring birding.