closer to Oslo than London. With Fair Isle so far north, it is to be
expected that winter visitors might turn up earlier than further south
and there is definitely a taste of winter. Since arriving, the Snow
Bunting flock has grown, and the first Fieldfare of the autumn has
been joined by small flocks of Redwings.
|Snow Buntings by Trevor Codlin|
Summer hasn't given up quite yet though; there are still small numbers
of Whinchats, Wheatears, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers, all birds that
are making their way to Africa. These summer visitors were joined
today by a Swallow and a House Martin.
|Whinchat by Trevor Codlin|
Further south, migration is in full swing. Swallows are moving out of
the country in force, and the first Brent Geese are turning up, it
really is a great time to see summer meeting winter. It is also a
great time to see rare and scarce visitors, particularly here on Fair
Isle. Yesterday saw a record count of Yellow-browed Warblers turn up.
A remarkable 53 were found around the island, remarkable not only
because no other single site has received this many on a single day
before, but because the normal wintering area for this species is Southeast Asia.
|Yellow-browed Warbler by Trevor Codlin|
Back on the mainland, birdwatchers are reporting large numbers of Siskins on their BirdTrack lists and a ringer in Thetford reported over 400 Siskins ringed in his garden on Friday. The BirdTrack graph below shows the remarkable peak in Siskin reporting rate compared to previous years.
|Reporting rate for Siskin from www.BirdTrack.net|
The forecast high-pressure system should see migration continue apace,
with more summer visitors leaving and winter visitors arriving.
Chiffchaff should begin to outnumber Willow Warblers at coastal
watch-points and we could all see Redwings. Strong westerly winds have already brought north American landbirds to the UK in the form of a Blackpoll Warbler and a Grey-cheeked Thrush, both at St Agnes on the Isles of Scilly. With strong westerlies forecast for the next week we could see more getting blown across the Atlantic.