Thursday 26 September 2013

One to get ready...

...two to get steady,
three to get ready to rumble.
Watch us wreck the mic,
watch us wreck the mic,
watch us wreck the mic,
There wasn't the intensity of the regular rarity fix of yesterday, but today was another good day of birding on Fair Isle. A light easterly wind was accompanied by sunny skies and warm temperatures and another small pulse of birds arriving.
The Syke's Warbler at Lower Stoneybrek was the undoubted highlight and became the third island record, (following the first two British records which were found on Fair Isle in 1959 and 1977). Although it could vanish for short periods, it seemed pretty settled and showed well for most of the afternoon.
The Nightjar in the Gully was also a good bird for Fair Isle, only the 27th record for the island.
The island's first Nightjar since 2009 (and just the 4th autumn record).
Arrival of the day though probably belonged to Yellow-browed Warblers, which have responded to the easterly winds to arrive en-masse in the UK. After some reasonable counts, Shetland seems to have been deluged today and Fair Isle added to the impressive influx with an island total of 40 today (the second highest ever day-count for the island).
1, 2, 3... Flitting from garden to garden in little roving flocks, getting a count of Yellow-browed Warblers was rather tricky (although it's a problem none of us mind having!).
Other scarcities today included a Barred Warbler, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Common Rosefinch and the long-staying Red-backed Shrike at the Obs. An intriguing record concerned a beautiful male Red-breasted Flycatcher in Steensi Geo, which was seen to already have been ringed (it was one of at least 3 Red-breasted Flycatchers on the island today). The Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll was also still present today, along with at least two North-western Common Redpoll.
Common migrants increased slightly with totals of 12 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, 3 Redstart, 3 Brambling, 9 Grey Heron, Goldcrest, Sparrowhawk and Short-eared Owl (the first record since July) all representing increases, although it's still not a massive fall by any means and counts of Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Wheatear and Snow Bunting all showed notable decreases.
The wind is set to stay in the south-east tomorrow and there seems no reason not to hope for another decent bird or two yet...
One of yesterday's highlights - the Olive-backed Pipit at the Obs (photo by David Parkin)
And another - the Lanceolated Warbler at Da Water (photo by David Parkin)

And how about this? Steve Arlow's  picture of yesterday's White's Thrush, the best picture of one of these amazing birds in the field I've seen from the UK.

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