Aside from petrel ringing, it’s been a quiet spell for birds on the island, so it was a surprise when a light North-west wind yesterday produced a brief Citrine Wagtail on Landberg, which quickly flew south and couldn’t be relocated before dark. There was also a Spotted Redshank, which toured the island and remained one step ahead of me for several hours until a call from Deryk just before Log saw me dashing down to Da Water at dusk and finally adding this elegant wader to my Fair Isle list. A Cuckoo that turned up on Sunday was trapped yesterday, a Reed Warbler (11th-12th), Sedge Warbler (10th) and Ruff (11th) were amongst the few other new migrants, whilst the Subalpine Warbler was still present to 11th at least and a small number of Crossbills were also still around the island.
The main point of interest though is still the presence of Swinhoe’s Petrel, which has been singing regularly in the Havens for the last three nights and has been retrapped on each occasion, delighting a plane load of twitchers who arrived last night. We’ll be ringing again tonight (provided the weather stays suitable), and possibly on Wednesday (we’re deciding on a daily basis, based on the welfare of the bird, weather and visitors), but definitely not on Thursday night (due to a forecast of heavy rain), whilst the weekend currently looks poor due to strong wind. The behaviour of the Swinhoe’s has been rather interesting, with regular loud calling from the Havens (Becki heard it from the Obs tonight!). We turned the Swinhoe’s tape off tonight after it was caught, but it continued calling for at least two more hours, adding to the enjoyment of the twitch (as did the 97 Storm Petrels that were caught and the regularly calling Leach’s Petrel).
Today has dawned bright and sunny, with little wind and the feeling of perhaps the chance of a few more migrants.
Please note: I've run out of Swinhoe's puns, today's 'Swinsational' was provided by Paul Harvey, so do feel free to send in your own suggestions!