Saturday, 21 April 2012

Birds, birds, birds.

Light easterlies, drizzle, spring migration - a good combination. Excuse the brevity of this post, it's late, there's been a lot of ground covered today and a lot of birds tallied and hopefully we'll have to do exactly the same tomorrow.
It was clear from the outset that there were more birds in and not long after the start of census, Jason (him again, he really is on form!) found a Crane that showed well behind the airstrip and was popuar with several of the islanders (as well as all the Obs staff obviously). Right at the end of the day Quoy Stewart had a Hoopoe fly across the road at Setter, a mad dash and frantic search by the Obs team failed to produce any further sighting, but they are notoriously elusive when they visit Fair Isle and hopefully it will still be lurking somewhere... A Wryneck was also added to Susannah's 'found from the van' list as it emerged briefly from a ditch in Gilsetter.

It was perhaps the common birds that stole the show today though with some great numbers around, the cliffs were covered in flitting migrants, making the kind of day that every birder wishes for. Counts included 407 Robins, 76 Dunnock, 23 Ring Ouzel (making them commoner on the island today than Blackbird!), 112 Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush, 72 Fieldfare, 43 Chiffchaff, 13 Blackcap, 3 Tree Pipit, 44 Brambling, 12 Chaffinch and 4 Mealy Redpoll.
Other highlights included: long-staying Green-winged Teal, Corn Bunting putting in another appearance at Taft, the Blue-headed (type) Wagtail and male Hen Harrier both still present, Lapland Bunting, Moorhen (a year tick!), Jack Snipe, Black Redstart and one each of Long-eared and Short-eared Owls.
The garden is full of birds, with several Bramblings adding a splash of colour.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring...


  1. I had a Brambling in my garden in Lerwick today so I was chuffed too

  2. They're ace! We caught six more in the spiral trap in the garden today, a few of the males are looking really smart now.


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