Friday 7 June 2013

No Stinting on the Good Birds.

7th June
Slightly fresher north-westerly winds have made things a bit cooler in the last couple of days, but haven’t stopped the birds. The 6th saw the River Warbler still at Schoolton, whilst new migrants included Marsh Warbler and Common Redpoll. A calm crossing also saw the crew of the Good Shepherd pick up the year’s first Manx Shearwater and a dozen Storm Petrels.

The incredible skulk. An hour's watch of the Schoolton garden yesterday produced about ten seconds of views of the River Warbler - even then the bird didn't show particularly well, although it shows off its throat streaking here...
...and a quick glimpse of its distinctive undertail coverts as well.
The Marsh Warbler was also very skulking, this being about the closest I got to seeing the whole bird.
Today has seen fewer new arrivals, but no doubting the star bird, Fair Isle’s 18th Temminck’s Stint (although remarkably the first for the island since 1987). After first being found at Da Water, it commuted between here and Utra for the rest of the day. A male Red-backed Shrike at Schoolton was also new, although other new arrivals were limited to Song Thrush and Sanderling (apart from several of the FIBOT Directors, in for the AGM this weekend). There was no sign of the River Warbler today, although the Subalpine Warbler remained at the Obs and a Short-eared Owl was still around Da Water.
Surely the most overdue bird on the Fair Isle list, it was well appreciated by many folk and was a Fair Isle tick for no less than four FIBO Wardens past and present!
Although it showed well at times, it also flitted about quite a bit, often giving its distinctive call (like a slightly cross Waxwing).
The Subalpine Warbler still lingering in the Obs garden, although it still has some way to go to beat the long-staying bird of 2011, which arrived at the end of April and finally departed in early June.
With easterly winds set to return from Saturday night, there’s still the chance of something even better this week. Although something good is possible at any time on Fair Isle, the second week of June feels like the real make or break time for a major spring rarity, who knows what it could be this year…

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