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.



Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Fair Isle mini blog: Resplendent Great Northern Diver

This, our fifth day on the island has had the feel of the quietest day so far. The thrushes that arrived on Friday have largely moved off, continuing their migration further south. Brambling numbers have also fallen and there seemed to be little evidence of migration. However, between us we have pretty much covered the whole of the island, and even though it is approximately three miles long by one-and-a-half miles wide it is no mean feat.

Despite there being no real indication of migration, the Hen Harrier have doubled from two to four, along with the Short-eared Owls, rising from four to eight. A small flock of Barnacle Geese headed south and four Whooper Swans visited the island briefly.

The surprise of the day was a full summer plumaged Great Northern Diver giving close views in the harbour by the observatory.

So what of the mystery warbler from yesterday? Despite extensive searching, it has not been seen again. Unless it pops up again over the next day or so it will be the one that got away.

The forecast for tomorrow is for gale force north-westerly winds with some snow and hail. We will have to don several more layers and go in search of any arctic waifs that might get blown this way.

Andy Clements

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