Monday, 18 March 2013

Things are falling into place.

Last week’s easterlies largely originated from the Arctic, so didn’t bring very much at all with them except cold temperatures and wintry showers. However, another batch of easterlies at the weekend were more productive and brought the first small fall of the season.
The count of Lapwings on 17th was the largest on the island since 2007!
The most obvious feature of the fall were Lapwings, with 61 on 16th increasing to 112 the next day and there was also a noticeable arrival of thrushes, with counts (largely reached by combining a southern census on 16th and northern one on 17th) of around 100 Blackbirds, 25 Fieldfare, 20 Redwing, 10 Song Thrush and five Mistle Thrush (the first of the year arrived on 9th). Other additions to the year list were a north bound Grey Heron high overhead on 15th, Goldcrest in North Raeva on 16th, Meadow Pipit on Dronger (17th) and at least 6 Black-headed Gulls scattered around the island (17th). Other species arriving included Woodcock (with at least 5 on 17th), Woodpigeon (ten on 16th), Dunlin (16th), up to three Snow Buntings and an increase in Skylarks and Rock Pipits, whilst up to nine Ravens on Malcolm’s Head may well also have been migrants. ‘Old favourites’ that must be thinking of leaving soon included Great Tit, Moorhen and Water Rail, whilst Merlin, Peregrine and Robin also lingered.
A few windy nights have been good for catching waders, with this Oystercatcher one of the birds caught.
This Snipe turned up in the Vaadal after a cold snap, although whether it was a cold weather immigrant or had just moved from elsewhere to the island was unknown.
Preparations for the imminent return of the rest of the staff and opening of the Obs to guests (19th April is rapidly approaching!) are taking up a lot of time at the moment. A nice distraction from the office work was a Bistro night at the Obs on Saturday. Organised by Angela from Barkland, with help from lots of other folk, most of the island turned up to enjoy a night of superb food and wonderful entertainment from the Fair Isle Choir.
Also this week, the new Fair Isle Fire Station was officially opened (next to the School for those of you who know the island), whilst work on the new nurse's surgery at the Chalet is progressing well (a few of the roses had to be dug up but have found a new home at the Obs).
 It looks like we could be due another week of easterly winds, which may well bring more common migrants and perhaps the first scarcity, although I hope we're not using up all of our easterlies before we reach the main migration season!

No comments:

Post a Comment

My Blog List