Tuesday 18 March 2014

16th-17th March
Another couple of soggy days, although with the wind decreasing things felt a bit better at times. We went to a very professional and rather moving film about the FairIslanders who died in World War I yesterday evening. It was mnade by the pupils and staff of Fair Isle Primary and it’s part of a Scottish-wide competition they have entered, which they really deserve to do well in (they find out later this week if they’ve been shortlisted for the prize, so best of luck to them).
There are still birds to be seen, with the Kumlien’s Gull present over both days and there were two Glaucous Gulls on both dates (involving at least three individuals) and an Iceland Gull. Lingering migrants included up to three Woodpigeon and a Goldcrest, with a female Stonechat in the south (on 16th, but present since 13th), 4 Snow Buntings at the Skadan (17th) and recent sightings of Yellowhammer and Lapland Bunting. The Twite flock at the Obs has grown to 13 (although 17 have been trapped here in the last week and several other unringed birds are around) and there was frogspawn in the pond outside the Visitor Centre for the first time (although some ‘rescued’ spawn was transplanted there last year) since it was dug in 2011.
It's been a reasonable winter for white-winged Gull sightings, with almost a guarantee that any gathering of 50+ large gulls will contain at least one Glaucous. The slopes above Johnny's Peats have proved particularly productive.
Another calmish day is forecast for Tuesday, so hopefully the Good Shepherd will sail –it’s last run before it brings in the AWs next week.  Exciting times, let’s see if they bring some birds with them…

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