BTO migration blog

Spring and autumn are exciting times for anyone who watches birds. Here on this blog we will make predictions about when to expect migrant arrivals and departures, so that you know when and where to see these well-travelled birds.

Sunday 16 October 2011

Fair Isle mini-blog: Migration waxes and wanes

Even though it is mid-October and migration is at its peak, there are still days when nothing much seems to be moving at all. That was definitely the case on Fair Isle today, with generally fewer birds around, or so it seemed. The Redwings and Fieldfare were confined to the south-west of the island and had dropped in number. Despite the lack of anything moving overhead, there were lots of Blackcaps on the island and a few more Chiffchaffs. Brambling numbers have definitely increased, with Andy Clements and Rick Goater finding a flock of twenty-six birds in a oat crop in the south of the island.

New birds found today, included a tailless Barred Warbler (perhaps the result of a close escape with a local cat), a Shoveler (a rare bird here) and two Iceland Gulls. Nick Moran also added a Sooty Shearwater during a dawn seawatch.

Searching the dykes was very much the order of the day, with all of us getting very wet feet. We have been told to be careful not to get trench foot. Perhaps dyke foot might be more appropriate.

The forecast for tomorrow is for strong south-westerly winds and heavy showers, maybe the change in the weather will mean a change in the birds.

Paul Stancliffe

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