Thursday 12 April 2012

The North Wind Doth Blow.

Peregrines last nested successfully on Fair Isle in 2009, a pair this year have been seen mating, so hopefully 2012 will see some positive news for this magnificent raptor.
Stiff northerly winds slowed things down again, with the only new bird for the year being a Green Sandpiper for the last two days in Gilsetter. A (very) few migrants snuck in today, with three male Lapland Buntings at Skadan the pick of the bunch. Two Snow Buntings were also seen and a female Brambling was new, as the birds continued in a decidedly wintery manner. Thrush numbers declined, Robins briefly peaked at 20 yesterday, a Merlin and Carrion crow arrived but Wheatear counts were in single figures and, other than a new Chiffchaff, no real summer migrants arrived.
The male Green-winged Teal remained on Da Water, providing a lifer for Becki (returning for her 10th season of work at FIBO - welcome back!) and Gill and David (who were so taken with their visit to Fair Isle last spring that they are back as volunteers this year!).
Twelve Lesser Black-backed Gulls were counted, which is the highest count of the year so far, but a lingering 1st-winter Glaucous Gull brought things back to the wintery theme. The Bonxie counts showed a rapid rise to over 60 yesterday, reminding us that the summer really is coming, but with a couple more days of northerly winds forecast, it might take a while to get here.

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