|Butterfish, butterfish, ra ra ra.|
We thought that today could bring more birds, and when 40 Brambling erupted from the garden in the morning and 8 Mealy Redpolls were at the feeders, it looked like we were right! Census in a moderate easterly breeze and fairly regular drizzle was certainly producing the goods, with several migrants scattered around the island. As the skies finally cleared just before lunch, it seemed that we could be in for a good afternoon and that prediction was swiftly realised when Ciaran found a pair of Garganey on Da Water. Not only were these just the 22nd and 23rd individuals of this delightful duck to make it to Fair Isle, but they were also a Fair Isle tick for me (which you may well remember meant I could have a pint for the first time since 4th March!).
|Quack! The first Fair Isle Garganeys since 2010 and the first multiple record since 2000.|
Other highlights from the morning included year ticks in the form of Pied Flycatcher and Whitethroat (with three of each seen), whilst Great Grey Shrikes were at Gilsetter and the Mast (presumably the same bird, although I suspect that more than one may have been involved in recent sightings) and Wrynecks were at Linni Geo and Roskillie.
|The Great Grey Shrike near the Mast, with an accompaniment of Meadow Pipits and Wheatear.|
Not a bad day all in all, but things got even better when the nets, which had been opened in the hope of ringing some of the many finches around, produced a hitherto unseen male Eastern Subalpine Warbler late in the evening.
The final totals of a very impressive day were:
Eastern Subalpine Warbler, 2 Garganey, Great Grey Shrike, 3 Wryneck, Blue-headed Wagtail, 285 Brambling, 44 Ring Ouzel, 321 Fieldfare, 57 Song Thrush, 11 Redstart, 4 Black Redstart, 7 Tree Pipit, 25 White Wagtail, 7 Crossbill, 10 Common Redpoll, 3 Pied Flycatcher, 3 Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, 22 Chiffchaff, 17 Willow Warbler, 15 Blackcap, 19 Swallow, 3 House Martin, Red-throated Diver, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Kestrel, 2 Arctic Skua, Common Sandpiper, Short-eared Owl, 15 Teal, 64 Snipe, 95 Common Gulls, Iceland Gull and 12 Black-headed Gulls.
|House Martin. It's almost art, but mostly it's just out of focus. I must try to take some better pictures tomorrow.|