Wednesday 21 November 2012

And we're off...

21st November
Just a quick one today as we’re off on holiday to visit the family and, due to tomorrow’s poor forecast, we’re trying to get out a day early - so lots of last minute panicking to get everything ready before we go. One thing that I can’t get working is the email ‘Out of Office’, so please note that we’ll be away until 17th December at least – and please pass the message on to anyone who’s trying to get in touch with us. We’ll reply to your messages as soon as possible when we return (which will be weather dependant of course…).

Being never more than a few hundred yards from the sea, all of Fair Isle is pretty much coastal habitat, so Turnstones in gardens, Fulmars in fields, Gannets over the island etc are all fairly normal. It still seemed odd seeing a Purple Sandpiper feeding on the waterfall in the Gully though!
Bird wise it’s been pretty much much of a muchness this week, with several days of strong southerly winds and a fair bit rain - Monday didn’t seem to get light at all as we stayed under thick cloud all day! With the wind getting a bit of SE in it yesterday there were a handful more thrushes, a couple extra Robins and a few Woodock (one of which ended its days in spectacular fashion over Glisetter this morning when it became a Peregrine’s breakfast). A Moorhen in the Gully today was definitely a migrant (and perhaps a sign that it isn’t a good day to be leaving the island…!), but otherwise there have been very few new birds in, with the only sign of movement in the traps being a Blackcap on 16th.
Greylags have been arriving in the last couple of days, with around 270 yesterday including several skeins that headed straight through the island and a Pink-footed Goose has joined the flock at Shirva. Half a dozen Wigeon were the only other sign of new wildfowl though.
The Great Tit has found the bird feeders on the island, so is presumably set to attempt to overwinter (for the sake of the 2013 year list, let’s hope it makes it until January 1st at least!), whilst more typical winter treats included at least 23 Snow Buntings, a juvenile Glaucous Gull (20th) and a couple of ‘blue’ Fulmars.
Right, best go do the packing: binoculars, wallet, two kids, that should do…
Bye for now.

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