Monday 12 November 2012

12th November

All pretty quiet out here at the moment, with today's strengthening SE wind not producing much in the way of new birds, although there was an increase in Greylags (to 120) and 2 Red-breasted Mergansers appeared in the North Haven. A few lingerers included 3 Waxwing, Great Tit, Lesser and Mealy Redpoll, Rook, Chiffchaff, 3 Chaffinch and the Hen Harrier was seen again yesterday. Also yesterday, we did get a large, confiding green and yellow finch from the northern forests, but it was not the wished for Grosbeak but a female Crossbill instead. If you want to be extraordinarily optimistic, you could argue that it's probably come from the same place as Pine Grosbeak, so there's still the chance that one of their larger cousins makes it across the North Sea.
The traps are pretty quiet now, with not much more than a scattering of Blackbirds, Redwing and the occasional Woodcock caught recently. Most of the Redwings have been the larger, darker coburni race. Although the bird in this image was in the overlap zone for measurements, it was with other coburni and had the dark plumage that suggested it too had come from Iceland.
With few birds to talk about, there's more time to ponder other things; like how we'll keep Grace entertained on our forthcoming travels around the country as we catch up with the family (and possibly a few Sunderland matches, maybe the odd good bird as well...) and why gluten-free bread really doesn't work for dipping in gravy. We've not had a boat for around three weeks now so supplies of some foods are running low (hence raiding the freezer for the last remaining bread stocks), fuel is getting a bit scarce on the island and we could really do with the bins being emptied soon as well!
Grace and Freyja say 'hello' to everyone who visited this year and who reads the blog! I've discovered that no matter how tightly I crop pictures of my family, there always seems to be a rogue sock or some such in the background.
We'll be heading off the island for our holidays at the back end of next week, so don't worry if you can't get hold of us for a while after that. In the meantime if you're wanting to book for 2013, it's probably worth getting in touch sooner rather than later (the peak late September/eaerly October period is already fully booked, but we've still got availability in our late October discounted period if you fancy being here for the magical 23rd!).
This might be my last update for a wee while, as the dwindling number of new birds doesn't look like being reversed by the strong SW winds forecast, although you just never know...

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