Wednesday 8 May 2013

Spring gets some Swing.

8th May
The 7th saw the promising weather continue but there was little in the way of migrant action; the Osprey was seen early in the morning as it flew south-east out to sea but there was little else to report as the slow-burning spring continued to smoulder unconvincingly. The 8th saw sparks of life in the morning as there were a few more migrants about and heading back out into the census areas in the afternoon paid off as the spring was finally fully ignited by Will turning up a Thrush Nightingale at Pund, our first BB rare of the year.
The 59th Thrush Nightingale for Fair Isle, it arrived just a week shy of the 102nd anniversary of the species being added to the British list here (when one was shot at South Light). Although elusive at first, it went on to show well.
There were obviously more birds coming in and an Icterine Warbler was found at Loangie on Dronger later on. Also new for the year were an Arctic Tern on Buness this evening and 3 Spotted Flycatcher.
The sheltered cliffs around Dronger are often good for migrants, the first British Icterine Warbler this year (I think!) was the pick of the bunch today.
Three Spotted Flycatchers were in the same area.
A good day ended up with Log totals of: Woodcock, 15 Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Short-eared Owl, 9 Sand Martin, 58 Swallow (including one that appeared to be a juvenile), 8 Chiffchaff, 22 Willow Warbler, 12 Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 3 Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, 3 Black Redstart, Redstart, 2 Whinchat, ‘YellowWagtail (a male that seemed most likely to be a hybrid involving Grey-headed and something else), 11 White Wagtail, 17 Tree Pipit, 6 Common Redpoll, and a Lapland Bunting. All in all, not a bad day!
This Short-eared Owl was also on Dronger.
Grasshopper Warblers put on a good show today, with one on early traps, this one in the Kirn o'Skroo and one in the Kiln o'Skroo that also showed well (how many were skulking elsewhere around the island I wonder).
Aside from the birds, Obs life is getting busy now, with plenty of visitors (including a group from Jordan, including staff from the Aqaba Bird Observatory, here to observe life at British Bird Obs) and the breeding bird season starting to get going. We also celebrated Grace’s 4th Birthday yesterday (and a 50th Birthday down the island this week!) and have Freyja’s coming up in a couple of weeks. Surely the only thing more exciting than double birthday cake is wondering what birds will be around tomorrow...

Happy Birthday! A Thrush Nightingale was found on Freyja's birthday last year, but Grace missed out by a day on a birthday rare this year!

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