Just a quick note to say that we're back from holidays, but with the gale force south-easterly gales causing transport problems for the island (the Northlink ferries to and from Lerwick were cancelled last night and the Good Shepherd hasn't managed any sailings whilst we've been away) we've not made it back to Fair Isle yet. We're going to try for the start of next week, but until then we'll not be able to pick up messages, emails etc, so thanks for your patience if you're waiting for us to get back to you.
It sounds like most of the island has stood up to the worst of the weather fairly well, the Obs is still there although the Ringing Hut (which in fairness, had seen better days) has been blown away! There have been several additions to the year list (thanks to updates from Deryk and Tommy), with more regular stock inlcuding Bar-tailed Godwit, Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher and winter highlights of Waxwing (briefly at the Haa), an adult Little Gull and at least 13 Tundra Bean Geese. These latter two species join Velvet Scoter as species that failed to appear on the island in 2013 but have already made it in 2014 - could the year list record be on?!
Hopefully we'll be back soon (I might bore you with a few of my holiday photos when we make it) and hopefully I'll not miss anything big before then (Lesser White-fronted Goose, Ross's or Ivory Gull or Bittern could all be possible given the forecast...).
EDIT: I was close - Bittern turned up in Shetland later in the day I wrote this (a species still missing from the Fair Isle list). Fair Isle weighed in with some good birds as well with Coot (virtually annual in recent years, but always a good one to get) found by Deryk on Da Water and, Pochard on Tommy's garden pond. The Pochard is a rare bird on Fair Isle, with the one last year (which I thankfully jammed in on, seeing it on its last day on the day I got back from holiday - although I almost wasn't told, as nobody realised how scarce they are on Fair Isle!) being the first for about five years. There are also a few more Bean Geese, one or two Iceland Gulls and plenty more Kittiwakes. I seem to recall in the olden days, a winter influx of Kittiwakes was always thought the best chance of finding a Ross's Gull, so I'm hoping that, if it happens, it waits until Monday when I (hopefully) get back.