|Two of the four young Glaucs viewable from the kitchen window as they sheltered from strong winds with around 100 Great Black-backs on the South Gavel of Buness.|
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
A spell of wintry weather didn’t deliver much on the bird front, with the year list growing by the addition of Knot (in the fields at Taft from 12th, a remarkably similar time and place to the first Knot last year) and the first returning Ringed Plover (14th). The best sighting of the period was four juvenile Glaucous Gulls together on Buness (11th) in what has been a quiet winter for white-winged gulls. A superb summery day on 18th saw temperatures soar to 11 degrees and Skylarks heard on the move (at least three were noted, but they were passing high overhead), with an increase in Ringed Plovers to eight and Oystercatchers to 12. ‘Old favourites’ lingering included the Greenland White-fronted Goose, Great Tit, Peregrine, Merlin, Water Rail and two Woodcock.
Today sees easterly winds and a drizzly fog, it’s presumably too early in the year for that to produce anything of much excitement though. However, with a birding friend currently visiting (taking a break from his normal life of island life looking at birds on the Farne Islands!) we’ll be able to cover most of the island today, so watch this space…
Sunday, 10 February 2013
|The Shetland Pine Grosbeak. Could there be anymore of these beauties lurking out there that might call into Fair Isle on their way back north? Eight points in the Prediction Competition if they do!|
|A warm welcome.|
|Mammal listers will no doubt be drooling with envy at the endemic feeding in our garden today: Fair Isle Field Mouse is slightly larger and darker than the Wood Mouse of the rest of the UK, of which it is usually considered a subspecies.|
But it’s time to start thinking of the birds that could turn up on Fair Isle this year. There’s a prize of four nights free accommodation at FIBO (for FOFI members, two nights for non-members) for the winner of the Fair Isle Prediction Competition. All you have to do is have a guess at which birds will turn up this year between 1st April and 30th November (choose 3 firsts for the UK, 5 firsts for Fair Isle, 15 spring and 15 autumn rarities) with points allocated for each species from the list of ‘predictable birds’ that are seen. The winner will be announced in December. It’s all just a bit of fun, so why not give it a go, given the ‘anything could turn up’ feeling of birding on Fair Isle, everyone stands a chance. Details on how to enter can be found here.
Saturday, 9 February 2013
Sorry it's been a while, it's been quite busy despite the Obs being closed to guests for the winter. A couple bits of news for you before a little photo montage of the last couple of weeks:
- The DirectFlight Summer Timetable is now available (it's the same as last year's summer timetable), so anyone visiting us in 2013 can now confirm their travel plans.
- Keep your eyes open for the Fair Isle prediction competition coming to this blog soon. Get your thinking caps on for what rares could turn up on Fair Isle this year...
Now, here's those photos:
|How about this for your office? Deadlines for applications for the 2013 jobs at FIBO close on 15th February.|
|In a 'mixed' period of weather, there have been several relatively mild days...|
|...and some not so mild. Lying snow is relatively unusual on Fair Isle, although the airstrip spent a couple of days with a light dusting.|
|One of our longest lived seabirds, Fulmars, have seen it all before and the odd blizzard doesn't worry them.|
|Grace and Freyja both enjoyed their first taste of haggis at the Burn's Night event in the Hall.|
|Grace has got a new Fair Isle hat (thanks Elena), which is modelled here by Freyja.|
|Whilst Grace models a different outfit at the Lerwick Museum.|
|High seas in early February saw Fair Isle battered by waves, this was the day after the big storm and things were still rather swelly on the west coast.|
|A trip to Lerwick (a very well timed dental appointment!) coincided with the Pine Grosbeak at Collafirth, which was nice. Grace added it to her list but was more excited by the fish and chips afterwards.|