Friday, 16 November 2012


15th November
OK, so I’d said it would be a while until the next update, but when I got a text from Assistant Warden Will yesterday saying he’d just caught Waxwing NW62620 in Aberdeen, I thought it was worth posting an update here. Our very own Waxwing Queen Becki Rosser caught him (he’s a young male) in the Obs mistnets on 4th November and eleven days later he’d made it to my recent home town. With a fat score of zero (and weight of 52.7g) when he was trapped on Fair Isle, it’s good to know that he was able to feed up and make the long sea crossing to the Granite City. He’s now colour-ringed as well, so there’s every chance of getting more sightings of him across the country. The Grampian Ringing Group are probably the UK’s top Waxwing catchers, so hopefully we’ll find out that a few more of our birds have been relocated.
On the day we got news of a travelling Waxwing, it seems fitting that we got the first Waxwing at the Obs for several days when this adult called into the garden briefly.
Back on the island, it’s mostly a mix of lingering birds (Hen Harrier, Great Tit, Rook, Water Rail), typical winter visitors (Iceland Gull on 13th, Goldeneye, a couple of Blue Fulmar) and a last little trickle of migrants with the 13th/14th seeing a bit of south-easterly wind that produced an increase in Blackbirds, Woodcock (a max count of 8), Long-eared Owl (Schoolton on 14th), Crossbill (a male on 14th) and Goldfinch 13th, with a Sparrowhawk following them on 15th.
The Rook was actually an addition to Susannah's kitchen window year list!
Aside from the birds, we're more or less sorted now for our holiday and we should last the week until we go off, as the Good Shepherd made it home on Wednesday and now the island is awash (not literally) with milk, diesel and bread. What looks like a few more days of strong SW winds and rain coming up should help us get all the office jobs done before we leave, but hopefully there'll still be one or two more birds to see before then.

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