Monday 27 May 2013

It's never too early for a rare.

27th May

Not a bad start to the day! The first bird I saw on looking out the office window at 7am was this Blyth's Reed Warbler. Only the 9th spring record for Fair Isle (there have been around 24 in the autumn as well), it went on to show well from the Dining room for all the guests. The strong SE winds today certainly delivered, although aside from this bird, there were few new migrants seen aside from four Crossbills at Gunnawark. I suspect as the wind drops over the next couple of days,more will be found.
A good run of Bluethroats recently saw three present yesterday, including two new arrivals, one of which (this female) was caught in the Obs mistnets. Two males were present today, including one new bird.
Marsh Warblers increased to 3 yesterday, with one still present today. This bird was trapped on 25th and seen again at the Chalet yesterday. Bizarrely, we've had four Marsh Warblers and a Blyth's Reed Warbler this year, but no Reed Warblers!
Four Red-backed Shrikes on 26th included this long-staying male around the crofts and a new female at the Mast.
At least 3 Red-backed Shrikes were still present today, including this interesting bird, which sported a large white primary patch.
Two of the six Tree Sparrows remain at the Obs (where this one was ringed on 25th). New migrants yesterday included an increase in Chiffchaff (to 8), two Stock Dove, the first Pied Flycatcher for a while and a small arrival of waders including Wood Sandpiper, two Black-tailed Godwits and 5 Common Sandpipers. The first Common Tern of the year arrived on 25th.
A late Lapland Bunting lingered at Da Water until 25th (thanks to Deryk Shaw for the picture)
A pair of Long-tailed Ducks are still present, often close into shore at North Haven, the male looks particularly stunning.
Too little too late? Guillemots have returned to the cliffs in the last few days, but the indications are it could be a total failure for them this year.
It's not all bad news on the breeding bird front, Gannets have chicks as do the Peregrines - the fluffy white heads of the two young Peregrinelets (and yes, I have just made that word up) can be seen here as they are fed by an adult (which is bent down and almost out of view).

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