Friday 29 July 2011

It's a bird eat bird world out there.

More work in the Bonxie colonies today where analysing the pellets is throwing up some interesting findings. Although there are many fish and seabirds in the remains, rabbits also feature heavily and a variety of other birds including Starling and Wheatear have turned up. A ring found in a pellet today was from a Kittiwake ringed as a chick on Fair Isle on 7th July 2000, a fascinating, if slightly gruesome, discovery. It will be interesting to find out what differences we may see in the diet of these ultimate pirates if we get a better year for breeding seabirds in 2012.

Although many of the remaining Bonxie chicks are either fledged or very close, there are still a few much younger birds like this little fella.
A few more Storm Petrels were ringed last night, although the night was cut short by the wind that was blowing much stronger in the Havens (where we have our nets) than anywhere else on the island! One of the birds from tonight was already ringed though, and it wasn't one of ours, so it will be interesting to see where that has come from.

Away from birds (sort of), I was pleased to see Fair Isle getting a mention in Birdwatch magazine. Coming hot on the heels of my mention in the blog that there are still spaces at the Obs in August, there was a snippet mentioning the plethora of scarcities that usually turn up at that time of year, not to mention the chance of rarities including Greenish, Melodious and Arctic Warblers, Woodchat Shrike, Thrush Nightingale, Citrine Wagtail, Two-barred Crossbill (all of which have been seen in the last five years, with several records of many of these choice birds) and maybe even something 'bigger' (Hudsonian Whimbrel, Semipalmated Sandpiper and  Red-necked Stint are all August finds). With some lingering seabirds, including Gannets and Fulmars still with young, Storm (and hopefully Leach's) Petrel ringing continuing and a chance of cetaceans, August is getting me excited, so I hope to see a few of you here!

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