Saturday 14 May 2011

How time flies.

Almost a week since my last update and there has been so much to report it's hard to know where to start, there certainly doesn't seem to have been time to get the blog updated! A brief summary: migrants have been coming in daily, although generally in small numbers. A few scarcities have included a Corncrake (today at Lower Leogh, which is where I'll be heading after getting through the office work), Short-toed Lark (yesterday at the airstrip), Hawfinch, Bullfinch, Quail, Wood Warbler and Canada Goose (quite rare here). The male 'Eastern' Subalpine Warbler remains in the garden, where it is often feeding on the ground and showing well, after over a fortnight here we're beginning to wonder whether it will ever leave. Although a few showers have passed through today, the weather has been quite good with a few birds tempted into song earlier in the week including a Cuckoo and several Chiffchaffs.
A few bird bits:

Tree Sparrow - up to five were seen in the garden, but they seem to have headed off now.

This male Bullfinch did a tour of the crofts (Burkle, Schoolton and Stackhoull) as it headed north through the island.

Daily census has revealed counts of 40-50 Twite every day around the island.

Honk! Fair Isle rarity (ish).

The third Wood Warbler of the spring appeared at Haa.

A few raptors passing through included this tired looking female.

Not the best ever view of a Hawfinch, but a great bird none the less. The third of the spring, it was at Utra then Schoolton, Houll and Quoy. 
My parents have headed south after a week on the island, I think they enjoyed themselves, although I didn't get many chances to speak to them as it's been a typically busy time. Dad contributed a few birds at Log, so I think he got quite into the Observatory life and they both had fun playing with Grace. Guests have been coming and going and we've had several compliments about the new building and how much people have enjoyed themselves, which is always good to hear.

Will had a few days off the island to take his powerboat training course and was quite relieved to not have missed any majorly rare birds, he passed his course as well, so I think we have to call him Captain Miles now. In his abscence David Steel, head warden of the Farne Islands, deputised on census - and he thought he was coming up for a holiday! Typically, Will returned and found Corncrake on his first census back, which reminds me, I'm off to have a look for that now...


  1. Great to see the blog back...I've missed it!

  2. Hi
    Sorry - I got a bit busy with my parents visiting! I'll try to post more regularly from now (although things will get very hectic when the seabird work really gets going).
    I didn't see the Corncrake by the way, but might go and have a listen out there now.


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