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.

Friday 21 October 2011

Fair Isle mini blog: a great way to end the week

Our last day on Shetland saw dawn break under leaden skies and heavy rain. However, during breakfast the weather improved and by the time we were out in the field the rain had stopped and the even tried to come out. There was really only one thing we all wanted to do; to go back and see more of the Siberian Rubythroat.

So by 08.30 we back at the wonderful garden in Gulberwick that this mythical bird has chosen as a temporary home, again we were not disappointed but the bird was much harder to see today, this did however, give us time to check out the local area for migrants. It has to be said that by this time the wind had picked up and was blowing strongly from the south-west, ensuring that there was going to be no overhead migration. It did mean that there ought to be grounded migrants though and sure enough there was three Chiffchaff and half-a-dozen Goldcrest in the rubythroat garden that weren't there yesterday, and as we began to search it became clear that Redwings, Fieldfares and Blackbirds had also arrived in the light overnight wind and were unable to continue south in the now gale force southerlies.

We also heard that the situation was the same on Fair Isle, where there were no thrushes yesterday there were lots today. It also became clear that had we waited for our afternoon flight off the island today, we would still be there this evening, the wind had increased to such a strength it grounded the Fair Isle flights too.

We rounded off the day with a seawatch and were rewarded with the arrival of Little Auks and a small movement of Long-tailed Ducks, a great way to end a great week.

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