Saturday, 12 November 2011

Bean there...

The winds continued to blow from the south-east and the birds are still here, with new ones still coming in. Tommy called this afternoon to say a Great Grey Shrike had just left his garden at Haa carrying a freshly-caught bird (Chaffinch or Brambling he thought), on my way down to look for it I found it had come up the island and was perched on the Plantation trap briefly, before it pelted off down the island again. It’s been a good year for this dramatic butcher bird on Fair Isle with one in the spring and at least four in the autumn.
Sadly the shrike remained on the wrong side of the wire for trapping and photography!
The other highlight was an addition to the year list, with a Bean Goose amongst the Greylags at Lower Stoneybrek (which very shortly after being found left the flock and headed off across the island).
Smaller than accompanying Greylags, with a rounded head and slightly bulging lower mandible, field views suggested 'Tundra' Bean Goose, although the photos give the impression of a long-billed bird.

 No sign of the OBPs today and not many other headline species to report, although the birding remains good, albeit slightly more challenging today in a stronger, more blustery (and colder) wind.

Only single figures of Jackdaws remain after last months large influx.
The weather has also affected our travel plans as Susannah, Grace and I were meant to be leaving the island today to get to my sister’s wedding in Sunderland, but it will now be Monday at the earliest before we can get off. Thankfully, we’ve given ourselves plenty of slack in the itinerary so we should still get there without any bother. In the meantime, there are worse places to be stuck in SE winds with a continued arrival of birds than Fair Isle and anything I see over the weekend can be considered a bonus!

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