Saturday, 10 October 2015

Fair Isle - Part five

After all my BRW fun it was back to the Obs for lunch. In the afternoon I headed towards Haa to look for a Corncrake that had been flushed from an Iris bed. The Iris bed was in a field with a locked gate so firstly I thought better of climbing over the gate or fence and secondly I wasn't going to walk in and start thrashing the Iris bed just to flush out a tired migrant - so Corncrake still eludes me, still on my lifelist as heard but not seen.
Anyway, one thing that was becoming clear was that there were lots of Yellow-browed Warblers all of a sudden. And I mean lots! They were everywhere, every stone wall, ditch, iris bed and croft had one (or more), they were even hopping around on the turf like wagtails. Many say that Fair Isle is an afternoon island. Birds arrive overnight and move during the day from the cliffs and geos into gardens and crofts. It seems that there had been a significant overnight arrival of YBWs and by mid-afternoon they were starting to pop up everywhere. In fact by now they were the commonest migrant, easily out-numbering Willows, Chiffs and Blackcaps. You would never call them junk birds though, how could you ever tire of these sublime little Siberian waifs! And so confiding for photos.

Conservatively I reckon I had twenty eight birds myself (I tried not to double count). At the log that night Dave Parnaby considered that the island count was fifty-three. The highest ever single day count for the species on Fair Isle.

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