be many days when the two best birds on Fair Isle both share their monikers with
a Tragopan, but Temminck’s and Blyth’s both managed one of their namesakes (admittedly
their slightly less colourful ones) on the island today.
The 26 year wait for a Temminck’s Stint was broken in 2013 when Richard found one on Da
Water in spring last year, so you’d presumably have got quite good odds on Richard
repeating the trick this year by finding the island’s 19th Temminck’s
Stint on Da Water; but that’s exactly what happened. Unfortunately it didn't hang around to be admired by many people and had vanished by the afternoon (living up to the old 'Ten-minute Stint' nickname).
It was already proving to
be quite a good day, with a light to fresh SE wind bringing in a few common
migrants and the Stint was a real bonus, but things got better (in a national
sense at least – the Stint was by far the rarest Fair Isle bird to be found
today) with a Blyth’s Reed Warbler on the Hill Dyke, found just after lunch.
showing increases included 10 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Garden Warbler, 12
Whitethroat (all highest counts of the year so far), 10 Chiffchaff, 7 Willow
Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Blackbird, 2 Pied Flycatcher, 4 Tree Pipit, 4
Siskin and 4 flava Wagtails.
interesting array of scarcities may have included more new birds arriving with an
Icterine Warbler and Bluethroat (both at Quoy), Common Rosefinch (at Hesti Geo)
and Short-toed Lark (Malcolm’s Head) all potentially lingering birds on the
move, but all perhaps as likely to be new migrants. Less equivocal were the long-staying
Caspian Stonechat, Kumlien’s Gull and female Western Subalpine Warbler and a
new Red-backed Shrike at Burkle.