Fair Isle Bird Observatory & Guesthouse

Fair Isle Bird Observatory & Guesthouse

1st-3rd November 2022
Weather:
showers throughout with a force 5-8 mainly southerly based wind
A few nice highlights and year ticks from our last few days on the isle, despite the strong winds and at times persistent heavy rain. A Great Grey Shrike was reported at Shirva on 1st, only to be swiftly chased off by a second bird! Just one stayed however, present on both 2nd and 3rd and observed eating a Snow Bunting in the Auld Haa garden on 3rd - probably not a prey species it comes across very often!


Great Grey Shrike at Utra - such a smart bird! (photo by AW Alex Penn)

A male Goosander was in North Haven on 2nd, a good bird to get for the year list, but the real highlight of the day was trapping a Firecrest in Plantation - the 11th Fair Isle record of this species and just the 4th to be ringed here.


Firecrest in the hand at Plantation (photo by AW Alex Penn)

That's a wrap for the 2022 season! It has been a fairly mixed year with the nationwide Avian Influenza outbreak putting a stop to our practical seabird work, but the observation-based work was still carried out, with productivity figures for most species obtained for another year. Spring and autumn migration have been brilliant to witness, a highlight being the early autumn fall of common species such as Willow Warbler, Redstart and Whinchat, along with the spectacle of 17 Sparrowhawk roaming the isle on 4th September. A nice scattering of scarcities and rarities have been in amongst the common migrants, such as a smart male Collared Flycatcher in the spring, an influx of Great Snipe in the early autumn and a long staying Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler at the end of September. It has also been a good year for uncommonly breeding species, with a pair of Rosefinch successfully fledging one chick at the Obs, a newly fledged cuckoo observed at School Brae and the resident pair of Peregrines fledging three chicks on the north-west cliffs. Overall a very enjoyable season, with the added bonus of the Observatory building starting construction - let's see what next year brings!



Willow Warbler in wild angelica, a classic early autumn scene (photo by AW Georgia Platt)

HIGHLIGHTS:
Goosander: male in North Haven on 2nd (first of the year)
Slavonian Grebe: one in North Haven on 1st and 2nd
Great Grey Shrike: two on 1st at Shirva and one on 2nd and 3rd between Shirva and the Haa (first of the year)
Firecrest: one trapped in Plantation on 2nd (first of the year)
Yellowhammer: one at North Shirva on 2nd

Sightings of note: 7 Barnacle Goose, 3 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 1 Shelduck, 4 Wigeon, 2 Teal, 4 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Goldeneye, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Water Rail, 1 Moorhen, 12 Lapwing, 1 Dunlin, 6 Woodcock, 3 Jack Snipe, 63 Common Gull, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Redwing, Song Thrush (all present in good numbers), 1 Mistle Thrush, Robin (present in good numbers), 1 Tree Sparrow, 6 Brambling, 1 Goldfinch, Snow Bunting (flock of up to 30 present throughout)

Year List: 204

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31st October 2022
Weather:
Bright sun and a force 6-8 southerly wind
Gorgeous weather for the last census of the season. It was quieter today with far fewer thrushes, but a highlight was a Yellowhammer at Shirva - the second of the year and first since early spring! There are still a couple of Short-eared Owls around Gilsetter, and at least four Merlin scattered about the isle. Seawatching this morning was also a success, with 143 Kittiwake, 13 Little Auk, 11 Guillemot and a Blue Fulmar past South Lighthouse. There are now quite a number of seal pups on beaches in deep, inaccessible geos, including a very new (and cute) one in Kroga Geo.


Newborn Grey Seal in Kroga Geo with its mother, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
Yellowhammer: At Shirva

Sightings of note: 7 Barnacle Goose, 257 Greylag Goose, 4 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 1 Shelduck, 10 Wigeon, 4 Teal, 5 Long-tailed Duck, 2 Woodpigeon, 3 Water Rail, 10 Lapwing, 11 Curlew, 114 Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, 9 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Woodcock, 5 Jack Snipe, 39 Snipe, 37 Redshank, 143 Kittiwake , 2 Black-headed Gull, 32 Common Gull, 13 Little Auk , 11 Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 2 Red-throated Diver, 2 Great Northern Diver, 1 Blue Fulmar , 1 Cormorant, 1 Long-eared Owl, 2 Short-eared Owl, 4 Merlin, 1 Jackdaw, 2 Carrion Crow, 40 Skylark, 4 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Ring Ouzel, 109 Blackbird, 248 Fieldfare, 569 Redwing, 15 Song Thrush, 11 Robin, 2 Stonechat, 1 Dunnock, 1 Pied Wagtail, 53 Meadow Pipit, 53 Rock Pipit, 2 Chaffinch, 22 Brambling, 49 Twite, 2 Mealy Redpoll, 3 Goldfinch, 48 Snow Bunting

Year List: 201


Short-eared Owl over Gilsetter, by Ranger Holly Pickettt

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30th October 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells and a force 5-7 southerly wind
Highlights today included a Glaucous Gull at South Harbour and the Hoopoe last seen on the 28th, which has reappeared at the Chapel cattle grid. A strong southerly wind appears to have brought more thrushes in again, with a large increase in Fieldfare numbers and a fair few more Redwing.


Fieldfare over Barkland, by AW Alex Penn

The most intriguing sighting of the day was a pair of unusual Bar-tailed Godwit at Meadow Burn, and later Skadan. Both birds show extensively dark backs and uppertails, lacking the clean white ‘wedge’ shown by European lapponica, as well as well-marked underwings, suggestive of birds from the baueri group of subspecies, birds that breed in eastern Siberia and Alaska, and winter in SE Asia and Australasia.


Bar-tailed Godwits on Skadan, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Glaucous Gull: 1cy at South Harbour
Hoopoe: Now at the Chapel
'Siberian Chiffchaff': One at Utra

Sightings of note: 7 Barnacle Goose, 268 Greylag Goose, 2 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 1 Shelduck, 4 Wigeon, 8 Teal, 2 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Water Rail, 1 Moorhen, 12 Lapwing, 8 Curlew, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit , 132 Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, 12 Purple Sandpiper, 4 Woodcock, 1 Jack Snipe, 39 Snipe, 82 Redshank, 68 Kittiwake, 1 Black-headed Gull, 12 Common Gull, 1 Little Auk, 4 Guillemot, 4 Razorbill, 3 Great Northern Diver, 2 Short-eared Owl, 2 Merlin, 1 Jackdaw, 2 Carrion Crow, 65 Skylark, 4 Chiffchaff, 8 Blackcap, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Ring Ouzel, 164 Blackbird, 486 Fieldfare, 862 Redwing, 23 Song Thrush, 9 Robin, 1 Whinchat, 1 Stonechat, 1 Dunnock, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 Alba wagtail sp., 56 Meadow Pipit, 47 Rock Pipit, 1 Chaffinch, 9 Brambling, 27 Twite, 2 Linnet, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 1 redpoll sp., 1 Goldfinch, 63 Snow Bunting, 3 Reed Bunting

Year List: 201

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29th October 2022
Weather:
Force 4-5 south-westerly wind with some drizzle showers
Still lots of thrushes about, with a couple of Ring Ouzel mixed in. Presumably the same Bluethroat has reappeared now at Kenaby, and a Jackdaw was new at North Light.


Ring Ouzel on Hoini, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
Tundra Bean Goose: Still at Shirva
Bluethroat: At Kenaby
'Siberian Chiffchaff': Four around the south-west crofts

Sightings of note: 7 Barnacle Goose, 71 Greylag Goose, 7 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 12 Wigeon, 3 Teal, 3 Long-tailed Duck, 3 Woodpigeon, 4 Water Rail, 2 Lapwing, 2 Golden Plover, 6 Curlew, 113 Turnstone, 2 Purple Sandpiper, 5 Woodcock, 1 Jack Snipe, 71 Snipe, 26 Redshank, 11 Common Gull, 1 Black-headed Gull, 1 Puffin, 1 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Short-eared Owl, 1 Merlin, 2 Peregrine, 1 Jackdaw, 3 Carrion Crow, 50 Skylark, 5 Chiffchaff, 13 Blackcap, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Ring Ouzel, 220 Blackbird, 131 Fieldfare, 359 Redwing, 11 Song Thrush, 22 Robin, 2 Whinchat, 2 Stonechat, 2 Pied Wagtail, 66 Meadow Pipit, 77 Rock Pipit, 5 Chaffinch, 5 Brambling, 52 Twite, 1 'North-western Redpoll', 1 Lesser Redpoll, 2 redpoll sp., 3 Goldfinch, 3 Siskin, 1 Lapland Bunting, 45 Snow Bunting, 2 Reed Bunting

Year List: 201

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28th October 2022
Weather: Showers and a force 4-7 south-easterly wind, moving to WSW by evening
A quieter census today, but still lots to keep us busy with a scattering of thrushes and Robins about the isle. The Hoopoe has reappeared on Skadan after evading us since the 24th, and a Moorhen was a nice surprise at the Haa having also disappeared for a couple of days.


Waxwing looking stunning against the bracken at Pietron, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Tundra Bean Goose: At Shirva
Hoopoe: Back on Skadan
Waxwing: One in the south, one at Pietron
'Siberian Chiffchaff': Two - Obs and Lower Leogh

Sightings of note: 139 Greylag Goose, 10 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 1 Shelduck, 10 Wigeon, 13 Teal, 4 Long-tailed Duck, 2 Woodpigeon, 1 Water Rail, 1 Moorhen, 11 Lapwing, 2 Golden Plover, 15 Curlew, 96 Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 10 Woodcock, 3 Jack Snipe, 57 Redshank, 30 Snipe, 5 Kittiwake, 1 Black-headed Gull, 4 Common Gull, 2 Common Guillemot, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk, 4 Short-eared Owl, 2 Carrion Crow, 44 Skylark, 5 Chiffchaff, 11 Blackcap, 5 Goldcrest, 220 Blackbird, 92 Fieldfare, 334 Redwing, 16 Song Thrush, 24 Robin, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Dunnock, 2 Pied Wagtail, 78 Meadow Pipit, 64 Rock Pipit, 4 Chaffinch, 16 Brambling, 3 Greenfinch, 41 Twite, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 redpoll sp., 5 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 1 Lapland Bunting, 37 Snow Bunting, 3 Reed Bunting

Year List:: 201

Other Wildlife: Eel (dead) at Utra Scrape

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27th October 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells and a force 4-6 southerly wind
Another gorgeous autumnal day with a handful of birds new in, including a Shoveler and Shelduck on Da Water, a couple of Pintail heading down the north-east coast, and a Black Redstart at Easter Lother. The vast majority of thrushes had cleared out by the morning, and no sign of the 'Black-bellied Dipper'. The Tundra Bean Goose has returned to Shirva, and a Waxwing is still gorging on apples at the Haa. There was some Guillemot and Kittiwake movement east past South Light, as well as a distant Sooty Shearwater heading west.


Short-eared Owl peering through the grass at Pund, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Tundra Bean Goose: At Shirva
Waxwing: One at the Haa
'Siberian Chiffchaff': Three in the crofts

Sightings of note: 123 Greylag Goose, 10 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 1 Shelduck, 1 Shoveler, 17 Wigeon, 2 Pintail, 2 Teal, 3 Long-tailed Duck, 5 Woodpigeon, 3 Water Rail, 20 Lapwing, 9 Curlew, 187 Turnstone, 3 Purple Sandpiper, 7 Woodcock, 4 Jack Snipe, 49 Redshank, 28 Snipe, 74 Kittiwake, 24 Common Gull, 33 Common Guillemot, 3 Great Northern Diver, 2 Blue Fulmar, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Long-eared Owl, 4 Short-eared Owl, 2 Carrion Crow, 43 Skylark, 6 Chiffchaff, 9 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 3 Goldcrest, 250 Blackbird, 184 Fieldfare, 343 Redwing, 10 Song Thrush, 19 Robin, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Dunnock, 1 Pied Wagtail, 70 Meadow Pipit, 58 Rock Pipit, 2 Chaffinch, 3 Brambling, 39 Twite, 3 Mealy Redpoll, 1 'North-western Redpoll', 1 Lesser Redpoll, 2 redpoll sp., 7 Goldfinch, 4 Siskin, 1 Lapland Bunting, 33 Snow Bunting, 1 Reed Bunting

Year List: 201

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26th October 2022
Weather:
Rain all morning and a force 6-8 southerly wind
Grim weather all morning until 3pm, so we started on some admin and end-of-season chores. It brightened considerably later and turned out to be a stunning evening. A lot of thrushes had cleared out over night, with tens rather than hundreds of Redwing and Blackbird scattered around the fields. Seawatching proved fruitful with a good count of nine Blue Fulmar and two Little Auk. There is still one Waxwing, now very at home at the Haa. The Tundra Bean Goose remained around in Shirva in the daytime. AW Alex Penn went out dazzling after dark, and successfully trapped it at Da Water - just the second 'bean goose' to be ringed on the isle.


Tundra Bean Goose at South Light - noticably dark compared to Pink-footed Geese, by AW Georgia Platt


Waxwing enjoying an apple at the Haa, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
Tundra Bean Goose: Now at Shirva
Waxwing: One at the Haa
'Siberian Chiffchaff': One at Midway

Sightings of note: 117 Greylag Goose, 9 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 7 Wigeon, 6 Teal, 4 Long-tailed Duck, 5 Woodpigeon, 2 Water Rail, 18 Lapwing, 9 Curlew, 6 Purple Sandpiper, 3 Woodcock, 2 Jack Snipe, 37 Redshank, 5 Kittiwake, 19 Common Gull, 2 Little Auk, 5 Common Guillemot, 9 Blue Fulmar, 2 Carrion Crow, 4 Chiffchaff, 8 Blackcap, 1 Goldcrest, 8 Robin, 2 Whinchat, 2 Stonechat, 1 Pied Wagtail, 3 Brambling, 2 Linnet, 2 Mealy Redpoll, 2 'North-western Redpoll', 5 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin, 31 Snow Bunting, 1 Reed Bunting

Year List: 201


Sheep Rock after the rain by Ranger Holly Pickett

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25th October 2022
Weather:
Clear skies and a force 2-3 SSW breeze
A lovely autumn day brought an increase in thrushes, with numbers of Blackbird and Fieldfare visibly up. A Ring Ouzel and a Mistle Thrush amongst over a thousand Redwing and a few Song Thrush made for a 'six-thrush' day, while a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a couple of late Swallows were also new in. There are at least two Waxwings about the isle, as one was trapped at Burkle then retrapped in Gully, and another seen at the Obs. After dusk, we set a net in Gilsetter and trapped both a Long-eared and a Short-eared Owl. What stunners to see in the hand!


Short-eared owl (L) and Long-eared Owl (R) in the hand, by AW Georgia Platt


Waxwing posing at Single Dyke, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
'BLACK-BELLIED DIPPER': Lower section of Wirvie Burn
Tundra Bean Goose: Now at Shirva
Great Spotted Woodpecker: At North Shirva
Waxwing: Two - one at Obs and one ringed at Burkle then mobile
'Siberian Chiffchaff': 7 around the isle
Bluethroat: Now at the Haa


Woodcock at Klingers Geo, by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 6 Barnacle Goose, 71 Greylag Goose, 2 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 16 Wigeon, 4 Teal, 2 Long-tailed Duck, 3 Woodpigeon, 4 Water Rail, 17 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 4 Curlew, 62 Turnstone, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 26 Woodcock, 4 Jack Snipe, 41 Snipe, 25 Redshank, 20 Kittiwake, 1 Black-headed Gull, 10 Common Gull, 1 Little Auk, 1 Common Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 3 Great Northern Diver, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk, 4 Long-eared Owl, 2 Short-eared Owl, 2 Carrion Crow, 49 Skylark, 2 Swallow, 6 Chiffchaff, 22 Blackcap, 29 Goldcrest, 1 Ring Ouzel, 657 Blackbird, 663 Fieldfare, 1199 Redwing, 31 Song Thrush, 1 Mistle Thrush, 43 Robin, 1 Redstart, 2 Whinchat, 1 Stonechat, 1 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Pied Wagtail, 72 Meadow Pipit, 76 Rock Pipit, 4 Chaffinch, 13 Brambling, 1 Greenfinch, 43 Twite, 2 Linnet, 3 Mealy Redpoll, 3 'North-western Redpoll', 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 redpoll sp., 14 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin, 38 Snow Bunting, 3 Reed Bunting

Year List: 201


A very late Swallow at Schoolton, by AW Alex Penn

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24th October 2022
Weather:
Strengthening drizzle in the morning then turned to fog, with a force 6-7 easterly wind
Yet more difficult conditions to bird in today, with wind and heavy drizzle all morning followed by a couple of clear hours then heavy fog. Despite this, there were a few nice birds clearly new in, including a late (and very soggy) Hoopoe at South Light. A Waxwing feeding on apples with Starlings at Burkle was new for the year, and reappearances were made by both the Hen Harrier and 'Black-bellied Dipper'. A handful of scarcities included the Bluethroat still with a 'Siberian Chiffchaff' at Quoy, and a 'Siberian Lesser Whitethroat' at the Obs. Thrush numbers were similar to yesterday, but all counts were partial as the full census routes could not be covered due to the weather.


Waxwing feasting on an apple at Burkle, by AW Alex Penn


Slightly miserable looking Hoopoe at South Light, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
'BLACK-BELLIED DIPPER': Lower section of Wirvie Burn
Hen Harrier: Over Gilsetter
Hoopoe: At South Light
Waxwing: At Burkle with Starlings
'Siberian Chiffchaff': At Quoy
'Siberian Lesser Whitethroat': One at Obs
Bluethroat: One still at Quoy

Sightings of note: 168 Greylag Goose, 2 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 13 Wigeon, 7 Teal, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 5 Woodpigeon, 2 Water Rail, 9 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 3 Curlew, 71 Turnstone, 2 Purple Sandpiper, 18 Woodcock, 6 Jack Snipe, 39 Redshank, 3 Kittiwake, 4 Common Gull, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk, 5 Long-eared Owl, 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 2 Chiffchaff, 14 Blackcap, 5 Goldcrest, 284 Blackbird, 74 Fieldfare, 312 Redwing, 9 Song Thrush, 1 Mistle Thrush, 18 Robin, 1 Whinchat, 4 Stonechat, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 Chaffinch, 5 Brambling, 1 Greenfinch, 2 'North-western Redpoll', 9 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 33 Snow Bunting, 2 Reed Bunting

Year List: 201

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23rd October 2022
Weather:
Fog and a force 2-4 south-easterly wind
South-easterly winds brought fog, so we were consigned to birding our census areas in momentary clearings in the mist. A good addition to the year list was a Tundra Bean Goose around Stackhoull. Other than this, there were seven 'Siberian Chiffchaffs' around the south, a good number of Woodcock, and presumably the same Jackdaw was seen again.


Tundra Bean Goose, by AW Alex Penn


A couple of 'Siberian Chiffchaffs' at Lower Stoneybrek, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Tundra Bean Goose: Near Stackhoull
'Siberian Chiffchaff': Seven around the south

Sightings of note: 7 Barnacle Goose, 209 Greylag Goose, 8 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 6 Teal, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 3 Woodpigeon, 1 Water Rail, 1 Golden Plover, 2 Curlew, 78 Turnstone, 20 Woodcock, 6 Jack Snipe, 36 Redshank, 1 Kittiwake, 2 Common Gull, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk, 5 Long-eared Owl, 2 Short-eared Owl, 1 Merlin, 1 Jackdaw, 3 Carrion Crow, 3 Chiffchaff, 22 Blackcap, 7 Goldcrest, 23 Robin, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 3 Whinchat, 4 Stonechat, 2 Chaffinch, 4 Brambling, 1 Greenfinch, 3 Mealy Redpoll, 2 'North-western Redpoll', 12 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 19 Snow Bunting, 3 Reed Bunting

Year List: 200

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22nd October 2022
Weather:
Low cloud and a force 4-7 easterly wind
Despite fog on the hilltops and afternoon drizzle, we fit in a full census and it really paid off. A Red-throated Pipit on Dronger was the second of the year, and the 'Black-bellied Dipper' has moved to Upper Wirvie Burn. A ringtail Hen Harrier was atmospheric silhouetted in the fog over the top of Hill Dyke. Other scarcities included a Bluethroat at Quoy and a couple of 'Siberian Chiffchaffs'. Thrush numbers remained high, with a Blackbird in every crevice and croft garden, and there was a clear arrival of owls.


Red-throated Pipit on Dronger, by AW Georgia Platt


Jack Snipe hiding in the grass in North Park, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
'HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL': Still at School Brae
RED-THROATED PIPIT: Dronger
'BLACK-BELLIED DIPPER': Now Upper Wirvie Burn
Hen Harrier: Over Hill Dyke
'Siberian Chiffchaff': Two - one Burkle, one Guidicum
Bluethroat: At Quoy

Sightings of note: 7 Barnacle Goose, 116 Greylag Goose, 8 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 18 Wigeon, 4 Teal, 3 Long-tailed Duck, 3 Woodpigeon, 3 Water Rail, 19 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 6 Curlew, 94 Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 18 Woodcock, 6 Jack Snipe, 70 Snipe, 34 Redshank, 1 Kittiwake, 3 Common Gull, 1 Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk, 6 Long-eared Owl, 3 Short-eared Owl, 2 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 57 Skylark, 6 Chiffchaff, 13 Blackcap, 17 Goldcrest, 458 Blackbird, 244 Fieldfare, 1208 Redwing, 34 Song Thrush, 1 Mistle Thrush, 33 Robin, 1 Redstart, 2 Whinchat, 3 Stonechat, 2 Pied Wagtail, 85 Meadow Pipit, 61 Rock Pipit, 2 Chaffinch, 14 Brambling, 18 Twite, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 8 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 1 Lapland Bunting, 34 Snow Bunting, 2 Reed Bunting

Year List: 199


Long-eared Owls sheltering at Schoolton, by AW Alex Penn

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21st October 2022
Weather:
Rain all day and a force 4-6 SE wind
A very miserable day made birding almost impossible. Similar numbers of Blackbird and Redwing (possibly a slight drop) to yesterday, and the 'Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll' is still about sheltering under the solar panels.


A rather bedraggled Long-eared Owl at Setter, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
'HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL': Still at School Brae

Sightings of note: 11 Whooper Swan, 3 Wigeon, 2 Teal, 1 Common Scoter , 1 Long-tailed Duck, 15 Purple Sandpiper, 4 Woodcock, 2 Kittiwake, 9 Common Gull, 1 Blue Fulmar , 1 Long-eared Owl, 1 Carrion Crow, 2 Blackcap, 4 Robin, 1 Stonechat, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Brambling, 2 Greenfinch, 3 Goldfinch, 25 Snow Bunting, 2 Reed Bunting

Year List: 199

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20th October 2022
Weather:
Overcast and a force 5-8 south-easterly wind
At long last some more south-easterlies came our way, and with them 4 year-ticks. We began the day with no mobile signal (so no internet either), which made the thought of finding something slightly stressful! Once signal returned, Alex reported a 'Black-bellied Dipper' in Wirvie Burn, as well as a Gadwall and 16 'Greenland White-fronted Geese'. Georgia followed this with the first Little Auk of the year from South Light. Other autumn classics were another influx of thrushes, and a scattering of Woodcock and Robin around the Isle. A last-minute Jackdaw at sunset was also nice, although we did have one in spring so not a year-tick.


A very smart 'Black-bellied Dipper' enjoying Wirvie Burn, by AW Alex Penn


Gadwall with Wigeon at Easter Lother, by AW Alex Penn


Large flock of 'Greenland White-fronted Geese' by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
'HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL': Still at School Brae
'BLACK-BELLIED DIPPER': At Wirvie Burn (41st Fair Isle record of Dipper, first since 2019)
Greenland White-fronted Goose: 16 heading south down west coast
Gadwall: On Easter Lother Water
Little Auk: Off South Light
Siberian Chifchaff: Three - one trapped in Vaadal and two around the south

Sightings of note: 107 Greylag Goose, 8 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 10 Wigeon, 9 Teal, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Goldeneye, 1 Woodpigeon, 3 Water Rail, 18 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 8 Curlew, 61 Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, 22 Woodcock, 11 Jack Snipe, 27 Snipe, 35 Redshank, 8 Kittiwake, 1 Common Gull, 2 Bonxie, 4 Common Guillemot, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Cormorant, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Long-eared Owl, 2 Short-eared Owl, 2 Merlin, 2 Peregrine, 1 Jackdaw, 3 Carrion Crow, 40 Skylark, 1 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 34 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 60 Goldcrest, 453 Blackbird, 290 Fieldfare, 1008 Redwing, 36 Song Thrush, 19 Robin, 3 Whinchat, 1 Stonechat, 2 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 2 Dunnock, 3 Grey Wagtail, 2 Pied Wagtail, 58 Meadow Pipit, 37 Rock Pipit, 32 Brambling, 20 Twite, 1 'North-western Redpoll', 3 Mealy Redpoll, 22 Goldfinch, 1 Lapland Bunting, 4 Snow Bunting, 2 Reed Bunting

Year List: 199

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19th October 2022
Weather:
Overcast and a force 2-3 northerly breeze switching to south-easterly
The big excitement of the day was the first six modules of the new Observatory arriving by barge early this morning! Work is now underway to get them and the cranes all unloaded to begin piecing the building together. The birding highlight was a Little Bunting at Pund Ditch, surprisingly the first of the year. Other than that, there was a good count of Stonechat, some late Whinchat, and both 'Siberian Chiffchaff' and 'Siberian Lesser Whitethroats' were trapped.


The Observatory Modules arriving by barge, by AW Alex Penn


Little Bunting at Pund Ditch, by AW Alex Penn


Part of a small arrival of Reed Bunting, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
'HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL': Still at School Brae
White-tailed Eagle: Still over Malcolm's Head then towards Orkney
'Siberian Chiffchaff': Lower Stoneybrek
'Siberian Lesser Whitethroat' (blythi): Trapped in Vaadal
Little Bunting: Pund Ditch

Sightings of note: 7 Barnacle Goose, 133 Greylag Goose, 10 Pink-footed Goose, 3 Whooper Swan, 2 Wigeon, 1 Pintail, 1 Teal, 2 Long-tailed Duck, 2 Goldeneye, 2 Water Rail, 1 Golden Plover, 1 Curlew, 19 Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, 4 Woodcock, 1 Jack Snipe, 30 Snipe, 32 Redshank, 18 Kittiwake, 3 Common Gull, 1 Common Guillemot, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Blue Fulmar, 2 Cormorant, 4 Merlin, 2 Rook, 2 Carrion Crow, 76 Skylark, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 21 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Goldcrest, 58 Blackbird, 33 Fieldfare, 350 Redwing, 15 Song Thrush, 4 Robin, 4 Whinchat, 6 Stonechat, 1 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Pied Wagtail, 2 Alba wagtail sp., 152 Meadow Pipit, 24 Rock Pipit, 8 Brambling, 75 Twite, 3 Mealy Redpoll, 16 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 1 Lapland Bunting, 30 Snow Bunting, 5 Reed Bunting

Year List: 195

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18th October 2022
Weather:
Sunny and a force 4 northerly wind
An absolutely stunning day of deep blue skies and autumn sun. The wind switched to a northerly, which seemed to bring with it an arrival of Blackcap and a few more Blackbirds. In terms of highlights, a White-tailed Eagle lingered above Malcolm's Head and the west cliffs, at least the 10th individual this year! A Black Redstart at the School was the first for a while, and a 'Siberian Chiffchaff' was trapped in Plantation this evening.


Looking south from Ward Hill, by AW Georgia Platt


White-tailed Eagle above Hoini, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
'HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL': Still at School Brae
White-tailed Eagle: Over Malcom's head and Hoini
'Siberian Chiffchaff': 2 - Trapped in Plantation and Burkle

Sightings of note: 8 Barnacle Goose, 85 Greylag Goose, 52 Pink-footed Goose, 7 Whooper Swan, 3 Teal, 61 Eider, 8 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Goldeneye, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Woodpigeon, 3 Water Rail, 11 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 1 Ringed Plover, 9 Curlew, 95 Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, 3 Purple Sandpiper, 2 Woodcock, 5 Jack Snipe, 19 Snipe, 58 Redshank, 1 Kittiwake, 1 Black-headed Gull, 3 Common Gull, 2 Common Guillemot, 2 Great Northern Diver, 2 Red-throated Diver, 1 Blue Fulmar, 2 Cormorant, 6 Grey Heron, 1 Kestrel, 4 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 2 Rook, 1 Carrion Crow, 50 Skylark, 2 Swallow, 5 Chiffchaff, 41 Blackcap, 3 Goldcrest, 16 Blackbird, 8 Fieldfare, 339 Redwing, 21 Song Thrush, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Robin, 1 Whinchat, 3 Wheatear, 4 Stonechat, 1 Tree Sparrow, 2 Pied Wagtail, 2 Alba wagtail sp., 122 Meadow Pipit, 37 Rock Pipit, 2 Chaffinch, 53 Twite, 3 Linnet, 3 Mealy Redpoll, 2 'North-western Redpoll', 4 Goldfinch, 2 Lapland Bunting, 67 Snow Bunting, 3 Reed Bunting

Year List: 194


Rainbow over Shalstane, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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17th October 2022
Weather:
Heavy rain in the morning and a force 5-7 ESE wind
More rain but finally a proper south-easterly, and we did manage to cover a fair bit of ground once it dried out towards the afternoon. Highlights included a Grey Phalarope past South Light and a Glaucous Gull on South Green. There are two Yellow-browed Warblers about including what is presumably a new one at Vaila's Trees. A flock of 16 Goldfinch tinkling away at Barkland was also really nice to see. The 'Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll' remains at School Brae.


Goldfinch feeding on Spear Thistle at Barkland, by Ranger Holly Pickett


Goldfinch against autumn fields at Barkland, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
'HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL': Still at School Brae
Grey Phalarope : Past South Light
Yellow-browed Warbler : Two in the south
Glaucous Gull : 1cy in gull flock on South Green

Sightings of note: 11 Barnacle Goose, 173 Greylag Goose, 9 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 3 Wigeon, 1 Pintail, 3 Teal, 8 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Goldeneye, 3 Woodpigeon, 3 Water Rail, 1 Oystercatcher, 6 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 2 Ringed Plover, 12 Curlew, 160 Turnstone, 4 Purple Sandpiper, 2 Woodcock, 15 Jack Snipe, 28 Snipe, 59 Redshank, 36 Kittiwake, 5 Black-headed Gull, 11 Common Gull, 2 Bonxie, 1 Arctic Skua, 4 Common Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 1 Red-throated Diver, 3 Great Northern Diver, 5 Blue Fulmar, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 2 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 3 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 4 Chiffchaff, 12 Blackcap, 2 Goldcrest, 10 Blackbird, 5 Fieldfare, 322 Redwing, 7 Song Thrush,1 Robin, 2 Whinchat, 2 Stonechat, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Grey Wagtail, 4 Pied Wagtail, 2 Alba wagtail sp., 40 Brambling, 3 Linnet, 3 'North-western Redpoll', 18 Goldfinch, 1 Lapland Bunting, 23 Snow Bunting, 2 Reed Bunting

Year List: 194

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16th October 2022
Weather:
Showers and a force 4-6 WSW wind
A second Merlin trapped in Gully first thing had the day off to a good start. Despite a broken census due to rain showers, it was a busy day for migration. An arrival of Redwing had brought with them a few more Blackbird and Fieldfare, while a couple of Goldfinch and a Stonechat were also new in. 24 Long-tailed Duck was a good count for the Isle, some of which milled around in South Harbour providing great views. It wasn't a bad day for seawatching with a late Arctic Skua, a 'Blue' Fulmar, a Great Northern Diver, and 45 Kittiwakes off South Light. At least 119 Barnacle Geese, 5 Grey Heron and 4 Rook, as well as some Carrion Crows over the sea made for a full page in log.


Stunning photo of Long-tailed Ducks in South Harbour, by AW Georgia Platt


Redwing near the Chapel, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
'HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL': Still at School Brae
Yellow-browed Warbler : Still at Chalet

Sightings of note: 119 Barnacle Goose, 115 Greylag Goose, 10 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 6 Wigeon, 21 Teal, 24 Long-tailed Duck, 2 Goldeneye, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 5 Oystercatcher, 6 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 1 Ringed Plover, 2 Curlew, 212 Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, 1 Woodcock, 2 Jack Snipe, 33 Snipe, 21 Redshank, 45 Kittiwake, 11 Black-headed Gull, 34 Common Gull, 5 Bonxie, 1 Arctic Skua, 5 Common Guillemot, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Blue Fulmar, 4 Cormorant, 5 Grey Heron, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Kestrel, 3 Merlin, 4 Rook, 4 Carrion Crow, 4 Blackcap, 7 Blackbird, 21 Fieldfare, 1037 Redwing, 10 Song Thrush, 1 Whinchat, 2 Stonechat, 1 Wheatear, 4 Grey Wagtail, 3 Alba wagtail sp., 3 Chaffinch, 7 Brambling, 3 Linnet, 2 'North-western Redpoll', 1 redpoll sp., 4 Goldfinch, 14 Snow Bunting

Year List: 194

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15th October 2022
Weather:
A dry morning then rain all afternoon and a force 5 south-easterly wind
Unsettled weather with a hint of south-easterly in the wind turned to heavy rain all afternoon. Census was fairly quiet, though the 'Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll' seen at Pund and the traps is now at School Brae, and a few more Greylag Geese have made an arrival.


'Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll' tend to be very tame, and this one is no exception, by AW Alex Penn


Long-tailed Ducks passing South Light, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
'HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL': Now at School Brae

Sightings of note: 58 Greylag Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 15 Wigeon, on, 5 Teal, 13 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Water Rail, 6 Lapwing, 9 Golden Plover, 4 Curlew, 239 Turnstone, 4 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Woodcock, 3 Jack Snipe, 20 Snipe, 44 Redshank, 19 Kittiwake, 1 Black-headed Gull, 4 Common Gull, 6 Bonxie, 4 Common Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 1 Great Northern Diver, 3 Blue Fulmar, 5 Cormorant, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 4 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 53 Skylark, 2 Blackcap, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Blackbird, 7 Fieldfare, 310 Redwing, 10 Song Thrush, 1 Robin, 1 Stonechat, 1 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Pied Wagtail, 131 Meadow Pipit, 42 Rock Pipit, 1 Chaffinch, 13 Brambling, 49 Twite, 1 redpoll sp., 2 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 2 Lapland Bunting, 26 Snow Bunting

Year List: 194

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14th October 2022
Weather:
Showers and a force 5 south-westerly wind
A showery morning brightened substantially towards the afternoon, though more south-westerly winds meant little new on the migration front. The highlight of the day was a young Merlin caught in Gully. This was a large female bird, but still appeared tiny in the hand. What a treat to see up close!


Merlin in the hand, by AW Alex Penn


Starlings can be easily overlooked but are stunning when shining in the sun, by AW Georgia Platt


Freshly moulted male Eiders at Mid Geo, by AW Georgia Platt

Sightings of note: 12 Barnacle Goose, 3 Greylag Goose, 9 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 3 Wigeon, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Water Rail, 7 Golden Plover, 2 Ringed Plover, 3 Curlew, 70 Turnstone, 1 Woodcock, 5 Jack Snipe, 66 Snipe, 39 Redshank, 7 Black-headed Gull, 1 Common Gull, 2 Bonxie, 2 Common Guillemot, 1 Great Northern Diver,2 Cormorant, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 2 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 2 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Goldcrest, 2 Blackbird, 969 Redwing, 15 Song Thrush, 1 Robin, 1 Whinchat, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Tree Sparrow, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 Alba wagtail sp., 11 Brambling, 1 'North-western Redpoll', 15 Snow Bunting

Year List: 194

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13th October 2022
Weather:
Mostly dry with a force 4 southerly wind
New in today was another 'Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll' found at Pund, and a couple of Goldfinch over Chalet. The single Yellow-browed Warbler from yesterday is now at Chalet, and presumably the same Iceland Gull was around South Harbour. After a fairly quiet census (especially given Redwing have cleared out a bit), AWs Georgia and Alex took down the Oyster Plant fence for the season, while Ranger Holly caught up on some Biosecurity monitoring work.


Chaffinch in the hand, by AW Georgia Platt


North-western Redpoll at Vaadal - note the heavier build and bold streaking, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
'HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL': New at Pund
Iceland Gull: Now South Harbour
Yellow-browed Warbler : Now at Chalet

Sightings of note: 71 Greylag Goose, 8 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 5 Wigeon, 2 Teal, 10 Golden Plover, 2 Ringed Plover, 7 Curlew, 112 Turnstone, 38 Snipe, 48 Redshank, 15 Kittiwake, 3 Black-headed Gull, 3 Common Gull, 2 Bonxie, 3 Common Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 3 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 83 Skylark, 2 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Goldcrest, 3 Blackbird, 337 Redwing, 18 Song Thrush, 1 Robin, 2 Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Pied Wagtail, 3 Alba wagtail sp., 130 Meadow Pipit, 60 Rock Pipit, 4 Chaffinch, 15 Brambling, 139 Twite, 1 Linnet, 2 'North-western Redpoll', 2 Goldfinch, 17 Snow Bunting

Year List: 194

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12th October 2022
Weather:
Mostly dry with a force 5 southerly wind switching to WNW later on
A bright morning was filled with the sounds of Greylag Geese and Redwing. The first Iceland Gull of the autumn was on Buness, and yesterday's 'Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll' was still at Easter Lother. By the end of census Redwing numbers had increased to a bit of a fall in the south with a census count of 2050. Several Merlin were seen all around the Isle today, probably having arrived with the Redwing.


Pristine juv Iceland Gull, by AW Georgia Platt


Redwing at Lower Leogh, by Ranger Holly Pickett


Merlin at South Light, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
'HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL': Still at Easter Lother
Slavonian Grebe : North Haven
Iceland Gull: 1cy on Buness
Yellow-browed Warbler : Still at Pund

Sightings of note: 1 Barnacle Goose, 296 Greylag Goose, 3 Pink-footed Goose, 10 Whooper Swan, 4 Wigeon, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Woodpigeon, 6 Golden Plover, 1 Ringed Plover, 8 Curlew, 236 Turnstone, 3 Jack Snipe, 17 Snipe, 48 Redshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 3 Common Gull, 1 Bonxie, 3 Common Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Blue Fulmar , 1 Sooty Shearwater, 2 Cormorant, 1 Kestrel, 4 Merlin, 2 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 118 Skylark, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Blackbird, 4 Fieldfare, 2050 Redwing, 20 Song Thrush, 1 Robin, 3 Wheatear, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 Alba wagtail sp., 126 Meadow Pipit, 49 Rock Pipit, 53 Brambling, 221 Twite, 1 Linnet, 1 'North-western Redpoll', 2 Lapland Bunting, 17 Snow Bunting, 1 Reed Bunting

Year List: 194

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11th October 2022
Weather:
Force 4 westerly wind dropping through the day
Finally a lull in the wind allowed for a full census! A new 'Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll' at Easter Lother was a treat, and the first Goldeneye of the autumn was a nice surprise on Golden Water. Other than that, not huge numbers of migrants in other than a giant flock of Greylag Geese on Hoini and around the south-west, and a flock of 6 Rook flying south.


Greylag Geese filled the air on Hoini, by AW Georgia Platt


Goldeneye at Golden Water, by AW Alex Penn


Yesterday's Bluethroat now at Lower Leogh, by Steve Arlow

HIGHLIGHTS:
'HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL': At Easter Lother
Yellow-browed Warbler : At Pund
Bluethroat: Now at Lower Leogh

Sightings of note: 574 Greylag Goose, 6 Pink-footed Goose, 8 Whooper Swan, 6 Teal, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Goldeneye, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Woodpigeon, 11 Golden Plover, 3 Ringed Plover, 12 Curlew, 208 Turnstone, 18 Snipe, 46 Redshank, 5 Black-headed Gull, 1 Common Gull, 4 Bonxie, 1 Common Guillemot, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Cormorant, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 2 Merlin, 2 Peregrine, 6 Rook, 3 Carrion Crow, 94 Skylark, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 2 Blackbird, 2 Fieldfare, 216 Redwing, 5 Song Thrush, 1 Robin, 1 Tree Sparrow, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Pied Wagtail, 177 Meadow Pipit, 66 Rock Pipit, 3 Chaffinch, 29 Brambling, 117 Twite, 3 Linnet, 2 'North-western Redpoll', 2 redpoll sp., 1 Lapland Bunting, 14 Snow Bunting, 1 Reed Bunting

Year List: 194

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10th October 2022
Weather:
Heavy showers and a force 7-9 westerly wind
Yet another broken census due to high winds and heavy rain showers. A different Bluethroat now at Kenaby was the best sighting, amongst a few geese struggling against the wind and a Whooper Swan still on Da Water.


A flock of geese navigate wild seas, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
Bluethroat: New at Kenaby

Sightings of note: 1 Barnacle Goose, 47 Greylag Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 1 Woodpigeon, 3 Ringed Plover, 6 Curlew, 1 Jack Snipe, 1 Kittiwake, 32 Black-headed Gull, 4 Common Gull, 1 Bonxie, 3 Common Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Cormorant, 1 Kestrel, 2 Merlin, 1 Carrion Crow, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Blackbird, 5 Song Thrush, 70 Redwing, 2 Wheatear, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 5 Brambling, 1 Snow Bunting

Year List: 194

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9th October 2022
Weather:
Showers with heavy rain in the afternoon, and a force 7-9 southerly wind
We squeezed in a census before the rain truly set in for the afternoon. A mixed bag of sightings with few passerines, but a handful of Long-tailed Duck, a Whooper Swan and a Red-breasted Merganser plus some goose passage made it worthwhile. A trickle of Redwings were coming in-off in the north, with them a couple of Short-eared Owls.


Portrait of a slightly ruffled-looking Long-tailed Duck at Utra Scrape, by AW Alex Penn


Whooper Swan on Da Water, by AW Georgia Platt

Sightings of note: 2 Barnacle Goose, 37 Greylag Goose, 2 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 1 Wigeon, 3 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Woodpigeon, 2 Lapwing, 16 Golden Plover, 16 Curlew, 251 Turnstone, 2 Purple Sandpiper, 3 Jack Snipe, 12 Snipe, 26 Redshank, 2 Kittiwake, 1 Black-headed Gull, 9 Common Gull, 5 Bonxie, 1 Common Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Cormorant, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Short-eared Owl, 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 3 Carrion Crow, 101 Skylark, 2 Blackcap, 1 Blackbird, 3 Song Thrush, 173 Redwing, 1 Whinchat, 4 Wheatear, 1 Pied Wagtail, 70 Meadow Pipit, 26 Rock Pipit, 31 Twite, 1 Brambling, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 1 'North-western Redpoll', 1 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Lapland Bunting, 54 Snow Bunting

Year List: 194

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8th October 2022
Weather:
Showers and a force 4-6 WSW wind
The team helped round up the hill sheep in the morning, making for an afternoon census. It was the eBird Global Big Day, so we tried our best to keep the totals up, ending with a respectable 60 species. The Olive-backed Pipit is still at Chalet, being very elusive. One Yellow-browed Warbler is sharing the Lower Leogh Rosa with a Lesser Whitethroat, and the first Reed Bunting of the autumn was possibly the highlight of a quiet day.


Reed Bunting at Quoy, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Yellow-browed Warbler : At Lower Leogh
Olive-backed Pipit: Still at Chalet

Sightings of note: 24 Barnacle Goose, 47 Greylag Goose, 2 Pink-footed Goose, 4 Whooper Swan, 5 Wigeon, 3 Teal, 2 Water Rail, 19 Golden Plover, 5 Ringed Plover, 14 Curlew, 24 Turnstone, 4 Jack Snipe, 14 Snipe, 29 Redshank, 3 Black-headed Gull, 6 Bonxie, 3 Common Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Blue Fulmar, 1 Cormorant, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Short-eared Owl, 3 Kestrel, 3 Merlin, 3 Carrion Crow, 115 Skylark, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Blackbird, 9 Song Thrush, 53 Redwing, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Whinchat, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 Alba wagtail sp., 145 Meadow Pipit, 22 Rock Pipit, 50 Twite, 1 Brambling, 1 'North-western Redpoll', 2 Lapland Bunting, 50 Snow Bunting, 1 Reed Bunting

Year List: 194

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7th October 2022
Weather:
Showers and a force 7-9 WSW wind
Heavy rain showers punctuated by glowing sunshine made for a rather broken census, only venturing out between squalls. A selection of nice birds about, including the now long-staying American Golden Plover at Byerwalls, and the same Bluethroat around Kenaby. A real highlight was an Olive-backed Pipit at Chalet found by visiting birder Steve Arlow. Meanwhile there were good numbers of geese passing over, and a day count of at least 60 Whooper Swans at Leogh and Da Water.


A flock of Barnacle and Pink-footed Geese passing South Light, by AW Alex Penn


A smart Long-tailed Duck in the Haven, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
'Pale-bellied Brent Goose' : Still Muckle Uri Geo
American Golden Plover : Still present - at Byerwalls
Bluethroat: Now at Kenaby
Olive-backed Pipit: At Chalet

Sightings of note: 54 Barnacle Goose, 159 Greylag Goose, 108 Pink-footed Goose, 60 Whooper Swan, 1 Wigeon, 3 Teal, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 6 Lapwing, 32 Golden Plover, 2 Ringed Plover, 7 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Jack Snipe, 27 Kittiwake, 31 Black-headed Gull, 2 Common Gull, 3 Bonxie, 1 Common Guillemot, 5 Razorbill, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Blue Fulmar , 1 Cormorant, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Merlin, 3 Carrion Crow, 2 Blackcap, 1 Blackbird, 1 Fieldfare, 3 Song Thrush, Redwing (Similar numbers to yesterday), 2 Wheatear, 2 Whinchat, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Pied Wagtail, 2 Alba wagtail sp., 33 Snow Bunting

Year List: 194


Turnstone at Stackhoull, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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6th October 2022
Weather:
Showers and a force 7-10 WSW wind
Rain all morning cleared and we headed out on census only for the wind to pick up to the point it was difficult to stand at some high points, so census was once again cut short. Despite the weather, goose passage is on the rise, with groups of Barnacle, Greylag and Pink-footed Geese passing over, along with a single 'Pale-bellied Brent Goose' and several flocks of Whooper Swans. The American Golden Plover is still around, and spent the afternoon on its own at the airstrip.

HIGHLIGHTS:
'Pale-bellied Brent Goose' : Muckle Uri Geo
American Golden Plover : Still present - at Airstrip

Sightings of note: 86 Barnacle Goose, 16 Greyag Goose, 47 Pink-footed Goose, 16 Whooper Swan, 5 Wigeon, 1 Oystercatcher, 3 Ringed Plover, 8 Curlew, 5 Kittiwake, 29 Black-headed Gull, 5 Common Gull, 3 Bonxie, 3 Common Guillemot, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Cormorant, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 2 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Fieldfare, 311 Redwing, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Wheatear, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Alba wagtail sp., 16 Snow Bunting

Year List: 194

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5th October 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells and a force 5 -6 south-westerly wind
A rainy start cleared earlier than expected and we were able to spend most of the day out in crisp autumn sunshine. The American Golden Plover has remained around Vaasetter with other European Golden Plovers, and the Bluethroat has moved to the Busta Rig. There's been a clear out of yesterday's Redwing, although there are still good numbers and their calls can be heard all over the Isle. Only one Yellow-browed Warbler seems to still be here, this time seen around Stoneybrek.


Great Spotted Woodpecker peering through the fence at Setter, by AW Alex Penn


Big seas and autumn sunshine off South Light, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
American Golden Plover : Still present - at Vaasetter
Great Spotted Woodpecker : At Setter
Yellow-browed Warbler: One at Upper Stoneybrek
Bluethroat : Now at Busta

Sightings of note: 1 Pink-footed Goose, 4 Whooper Swan, 1 Wigeon, 1 Pintail , 1 Teal, 5 Lapwing, 9 Golden Plover, 1 Ringed Plover, 8 Curlew, 194 Turnstone, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Woodcock, 31 Snipe, 48 Redshank, 1 Common Gull, 1 Black-headed Gull, 6 Bonxie, 1 Common Guillemot, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Cormorant, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Short-eared Owl, 2 Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 139 Skylark, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Willow Warbler, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Fieldfare, 476 Redwing, 24 Song Thrush, 2 Whinchat,1 Spotted Flycatcher, 6 Wheatear, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Pied Wagtail,5 Alba wagtail sp. , 277 Meadow Pipit, 66 Rock Pipit, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Brambling, 138 Twite,6 Linnet, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Siskin, 1 Lapland Bunting, 67 Snow Bunting

Year List: 194

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4th October 2022
Weather:
Rain in the morning, brightening later on and a force 5 south-westerly wind
A proper autumn day today, with a nice arrival of Redwing (day count of 3611), with some Song Thrush and a couple of Ring Ouzel mixed in. After a considerable effort over the last couple of days, the American Golden Plover was finally relocated on Vaasetter with a flock of five European Golden Plover. It then moved to the southern end of the Airstrip, where it was quite confiding and fed happily while being photographed in beautiful evening sunlight. A Little Grebe in North Haven was another unexpected year-tick, bringing the list to 194, and a late Corncrake was flushed from near the Kirk.


American Golden Plover near the Airstrip, by AW Alex Penn


American Golden Plover with European Golden Plovers at Vaasetter, by Steve Arlow


Redwing swirled in huge flocks across most of the Isle, by AW Georgia Platt


Little Grebe in North Haven, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
American Golden Plover : Relocated at Vaasetter and then south end of Airstrip
Little Grebe: At North Haven (44th Fair Isle record)
Corncrake : At the Kirk
Great Spotted Woodpecker : One around the south
Yellow-browed Warbler: Two - Schoolton and the Cru
Bluethroat : Still at Quoy

Sightings of note: 6 Pink-footed Goose, 8 Whooper Swan, 1 Wigeon, 7 Teal, 7 Lapwing, 8 Golden Plover, 3 Ringed Plover, 8 Curlew, 178 Turnstone, 1 Woodcock, 4 Jack Snipe, 42 Snipe, 40 Redshank, 1 Common Gull, 1 Black-headed Gull, 15 Bonxie, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 97 Skylark, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Ring Ouzel, 3611 Redwing, 52 Song Thrush, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Whinchat, 3 Wheatear, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Pied Wagtail, 177 Meadow Pipit, 45 Rock Pipit, 2 Chaffinch, 3 Brambling, 89 Twite, 2 Linnet, 1 'North-western Redpoll', 2 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Siskin, 1 Lapland Bunting, 39 Snow Bunting

Year List: 194

Other Wildlife First Grey Seal pup of the season (in Steensi Geo)


A newborn Grey Seal pup in the seaweed at Steensi Geo, by AW Georgia Platt

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3rd October 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells, showers, and a force 5 south-westerly wind
Not a lot new in, but the first Red-breasted Merganser of the autumn, a Spotted Flycatcher and a juv Long-tailed Duck added some interest, and the Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler reappeared at Quoy. There was a probable sighting of yesterday's American Golden Plover reported around Hill Dyke and Setter, but despite further effort it couldn't be nailed down.


Song Thrush at Stoneybrek, by AW Alex Penn


Spotted Flycatcher at North Restensgeo, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
PALLAS'S GRASSHOPPER WARBLER : Reappeared, still at Quoy
Great Spotted Woodpecker : One around the south
Yellow-browed Warbler: Two around the south and one at the traps

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 21 Pink-footed Goose, 6 Whooper Swan, 1 Wigeon, 3 Teal, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 8 Lapwing, 8 Golden Plover, 4 Ringed Plover, 9 Curlew, 160 Turnstone, 1 Sanderling, 4 Jack Snipe, 36 Snipe, 53 Redshank, 2 Kittiwake, 1 Black-headed Gull, 13 Bonxie, 7 Common Guillemot, 2 Razorbill, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Blue Fulmar , 2 Cormorant, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Merlin, 2 Peregrine, 3 Carrion Crow, 119 Skylark, 3 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Goldcrest, 5 Blackbird, 80 Redwing, 28 Song Thrush, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Robin, 1 Redstart, 4 Whinchat, 7 Wheatear, 1 Grey Wagtail, 5 Pied Wagtail, 2 Alba wagtail sp., 188 Meadow Pipit, 70 Rock Pipit, 2 Chaffinch, 3 Brambling, 105 Twite, 1 'North-western Redpoll', 4 Lesser Redpoll, 2 redpoll sp., 1 Siskin, 2 Lapland Bunting, 9 Snow Bunting

Year List: 193


Juvenile Long-tailed Duck on the road at the Obs, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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2nd October 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells and a force 5 south-westerly wind
An American Golden Plover found by AW Georgia near the end of census was the highlight of an otherwise quiet day. This is only the 12th record for the Isle and the first since 2013. She got some stunning photos of it showing well at the airstrip before it flew towards Vaasetter. Despite a good effort by everyone, it wasn't relocated - eyes will be peeled tomorrow!


American Golden Plover at the Airstrip, by AW Georgia Platt


Another photo of today's American Golden Plover, what a beauty! by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
American Golden Plover : At the Airstrip (12th for Fair Isle and first since 2013)
Great Spotted Woodpecker : Two - at Vaila's Trees and Setter
Yellow-browed Warbler: Two - at Schoolton and the Cru
Barred Warbler : One at Vaila's Trees
Bluethroat : Now at Quoy

Sightings of note: 3 Pink-footed Goose, 5 Wigeon, 7 Teal, 2 Oystercatcher, 6 Lapwing, 2 Golden Plover, 7 Ringed Plover, 5 Curlew, 169 Turnstone, 1 Sanderling, 3 Purple Sandpiper, 7 Jack Snipe, 39 Snipe, 27 Redshank, 3 Black-headed Gull, 10 Common Gull, 5 Bonxie, 3 Common Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Kestrel, 2 Merlin, 3 Carrion Crow, 81 Skylark, 5 Swallow, 2 Blackcap, 3 Goldcrest, 141 Redwing, 32 Song Thrush, 3 Robin, 2 Whinchat, 5 Wheatear, 1 Grey Wagtail, 3 Pied Wagtail, 3 Alba wagtail sp., 182 Meadow Pipit, 45 Rock Pipit, 3 Chaffinch, 4 Brambling, 82 Twite, 1 'North-western Redpoll', 2 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Siskin, 2 Lapland Bunting, 39 Snow Bunting

Year List: 193

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1st October 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells and a force 5 south-westerly wind
Nice to get out properly again after yesterday's wild weather. The list of highlights was quite long by the end of the day, albeit mostly birds which have weathered the storm and hung around. Still at Quoy, the Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler is now Fair Isle's longest staying at 5 days. The best bird of the day was, without a doubt, a Corncrake which AW Alex amazingly caught by hand in one of the Mast buildings. What an incredible bird to see up close!


The intricate patterning on a Corncrake's plumage really stands out in the hand, by AW Georgia Platt


Portrait of Corncrake at the Ringing Hut, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
PALLAS'S GRASSHOPPER WARBLER: Still at Quoy
'HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL': Now at Furse
Corncrake : Trapped by hand in Mast building, first since 2019 of this once annual species
Great Spotted Woodpecker : Around the shop
Yellow-browed Warbler: Three about the south and traps
'Siberian Chiffchaff' : At the Haa
Barred Warbler : One on Dronger
Bluethroat : At Lower Stoneybrek
Red-flanked Bluetail: Still at Burkle

Sightings of note: 5 Greylag Goose, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 4 Wigeon, 7 Teal, 3 Ringed Plover, 8 Curlew, 285 Turnstone, 1 Golden Plover, 1 Sanderling, 1 Dunlin, 1 Woodcock, 4 Jack Snipe, 30 Snipe, 46 Redshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 1 Common Gull, 11 Bonxie, 2 Common Guillemot, 7 Razorbill, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 2 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 148 Skylark, 1 Swallow, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 5 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Goldcrest, 3 Blackbird, 148 Redwing, 47 Song Thrush, 1 Robin, 5 Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 2 Grey Wagtail, 3 Pied Wagtail, 3 White Wagtail, 2 Alba wagtail sp., 193 Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 65 Rock Pipit, 3 Chaffinch, 7 Brambling, 141 Twite, 4 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Siskin, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Lapland Bunting, 4 Snow Bunting

Year List: 192

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30th September 2022
Weather:
Force 10-11 winds dropping by evening
Very high winds and constant rain meant birding was impossible for most of the day. The storm had calmed somewhat by the evening and we were able to get out for a bit just before the sun set. The Red-flanked Bluetail is still at Burkle, with a couple of Robins. A single Swallow was also around the south-east, and decent numbers of Redwing were counted on the north and west cliffs.


The view from North Light after the storm had calmed, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Great Spotted Woodpecker : In Plantation
Yellow-browed Warbler: Four about the Isle
Red-flanked Bluetail: Still at Burkle

Sightings of note: 1 Wigeon, 4 Teal, 7 Lapwing, 7 Curlew, 2 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Kestrel, 1 Swallow, 1 Blackbird, 296 Redwing, 3 Song Thrush, 3 Robin, 2 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear, 2 Tree Pipit, 1 Brambling, 1 Lapland Bunting, 8 Snow Bunting

Year List: 191

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29th September 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells with a force 1-2 southerly breeze by the afternoon
Today turned out to be a very busy one! First the text came through from Georgia who had found a Red-flanked Bluetail at Burkle, closely followed by visiting birder Kevin Kelly finding a Radde's Warbler in the School Rosa. After these brilliant highlights, a handful of other scarcities were also around the crofts, including two Barred Warblers, lots of Yellow-browed Warblers, and a 'Siberian Chiffchaff'. There has also been a small arrival of Goldcrests to the cliffs and crofts later on. The Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler is still at Quoy, while the 'Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll' has moved north to Jivvi Geo.


Radde's Warbler at the School, by Kevin Kelly


Red-flanked Bluetail at Burkle, by AW Georgia Platt


Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler showing well in the Shoolton log pile near Quoy, by Steve Arlow

HIGHLIGHTS:
PALLAS'S GRASSHOPPER WARBLER: Still at Quoy
'HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL': Now at Jivvi Geo
Great Spotted Woodpecker: 3 mobile around the island
'Siberian Chiffchaff' : Trapped at Plantation
Radde's Warbler : In School Rosa
Yellow-browed Warbler: 20 all around the Isle
Red-flanked Bluetail: At Burkle

Sightings of note:4 Greylag Goose, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 7 Teal, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Oystercatcher, 8 Lapwing, 4 Ringed Plover, 3 Curlew, 65 Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, 2 Jack Snipe, 18 Common Snipe, 39 Redshank, 1 Water Rail, 2 Kittiwake, 11 Bonxie, 1 Common Gull, 2 Guillemot, 2 Razorbill, 1 Puffin, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Sooty Shearwater, 4 Cormorant, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Carrion Crow, 100 Skylark, 4 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 37 Goldcrest , 2 Blackbird, 1 Fieldfare, 20 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Mistle Thrush, 2 Robin, 5 Whinchat, 6 Wheatear, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Pied Wagtail, 13 Alba Wagtail, 222 Meadow Pipit, 5 Tree Pipit, 67 Rock Pipit, 175 Twite, 4 Brambling, 2 Linnet, 3 Mealy Redpoll, 3 Lesser Redpoll, 1 redpoll sp., 3 Lapland Bunting, 59 Snow Bunting

Year List: 191

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28th September 2022
Weather:
Overcast with a force 4 northerly wind

A quieter day after yesterday's excitement. New in were a handful of Goldcrest, Redwing, and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. The Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler is still at Quoy, and day-tripping twitchers were able to get some decent views. The 'Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll' also remains. It spent the day with Twite and a couple of Lesser Redpoll around the traps. Despite being incredibly tame, it never ventured into Plantation to be trapped. The Darvic-ringed Glaucous Gull has made a reappearance, so can't have gone far over the last weeks.


Glaucous Gull at Guidicum, by AW Georgia Platt


This smart Great Northern Diver has been a regular in the Haven recently, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
PALLAS'S GRASSHOPPER WARBLER: Still in Quoy Reeds
'HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL': At the Ringing Hut and around the traps
Glaucous Gull: 1cy at Hoini then Guidicum
Great Spotted Woodpecker: At Busta
Yellow-browed Warbler: 5 around the south and 1 at North Restengeo

Sightings of note: 2 Greylag Goose, 3 Pink-footed Goose, 3 Whooper Swan, 3 Wigeon, 2 Teal, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Water Rail, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Golden Plover, 8 Lapwing, 4 Ringed Plover, 11 Curlew, 156 Turnstone, 1 Sanderling, 2 Dunlin, 6 Jack Snipe, 29 Common Snipe, 27 Redshank, 1 Kittiwake, 12 Bonxie, 1 Common Gull, 3 Guillemot, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Kestrel, 2 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 78 Skylark, 1 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 8 Goldcrest, 1 Blackbird, 38 Redwing, 2 Robin, 2 Whinchat, 1 Stonechat, 5 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Pied Wagtail, 9 Alba Wagtail, 200 Meadow Pipit, 71 Rock Pipit, 2 Brambling, 139 Twite, 1 Linnet, 4 Lesser Redpoll, 1 redpoll sp., 1 Lapland Bunting, 68 Snow Bunting

Year List: 189


Lapland Bunting at Meadow Burn, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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27th September 2022
Weather:
Overcast with a force 4-5 north-easterly wind
The wind dropped overnight and we woke to an abslutely cracking autumn day. Visiting birder Brendan Doe had only been in the isle about 20 minutes when he found the star bird of the day - a Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler (aka PG Tips), in the Quoy Reeds. This is the 26th record for Fair Isle and the first since 2017. A net was set along the road edge, and the bird (which had made itself at home skulking amongst the Quoy broccoli) neatly flushed into it.


Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler at Quoy - a very dark bird with the faintest tips to the tertials but clear tips to the tail feathers - what a stunner! by AW Georgia Platt

Large numbers of Snow Bunting were also moving through, making for an impressive day count of 51 along with a handful of Lapland Bunting. Another highlight of the day was an absolutely pristine 'Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll' with Twite at the Ringing Hut.


Perfect snowball of a 'Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll', by AW Georgia Platt


A group of Whooper Swans flew the length of the Isle, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
PALLAS'S GRASSHOPPER WARBLER: Trapped at Quoy Reedbed (26th for Fair Isle and first since 2017)
'HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL': At the Ringing Hut
Slavonian Grebe: 2 At South Haven
Yellow-browed Warbler: 9 around the south
Common Rosefinch: 2 - Burkle and Setter

Sightings of note: 30 Greylag Goose, 28 Pink-footed Goose, 6 Whooper Swan, 12 Wigeon, 1 Pintail, 5 Teal, 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 8 Lapwing, 2 Golden Plover, 5 Ringed Plover, 9 Curlew, 155 Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, 9 Jack Snipe, 23 Common Snipe, 39 Redshank, 14 Bonxie, 1 Common Gull, 3 Guillemot, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 141 Skylark, 1 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 8 Blackcap, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird, 8 Redwing, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 6 Whinchat, 1 Stonechat, 4 Wheatear, 2 Tree Sparrow, 1 Pied Wagtail, 11 Alba wagtail sp., 200 Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 83 Rock Pipit, 85 Twite, 2 Linnet, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Siskin, 3 Lapland Bunting, 51 Snow Bunting

Year List: 189


Large numbers of Turnstone are currently inland after the high winds, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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26th September 2022
Weather:
Overcast with a force 7-9 north-westerly wind
High winds made for some dramatic waves but challenging birding. Some Whooper Swan passage was a nice highlight, with a total of 7 seen going South over Buness. Other than that, much of the day was spent catching up on admin and making trips out to watch the waves!


Great Black-backed Gull against a wild backdrop off South Light, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
'Pale-bellied Brent Goose': Still North Haven
Common Rosefinch: At Shirva

Sightings of note: 7 Pink-footed Goose, 7 Whooper Swan , 7 Wigeon, 4 Teal, 83 Eider, 2 Oystercatcher, 8 Lapwing, 3 Ringed Plover, 5 Curlew, 141 Turnstone, 2 Sanderling, 1 Dunlin, 4 Purple Sandpiper, 29 Redshank, 10 Kittiwake, 1 Black-headed Gull, 4 Common Gull, 7 Guillemot, 3 Razorbill, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Cormorant, 2 Carrion Crow, 4 Redwing, 1 Stonechat , 1 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Snow Bunting

Year List: 188

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25th September 2022
Weather:
Overcast with a force 7 south-westerly wind
A very windy day with not much new in. Increasing numbers of Kittiwakes seen on seawatches passing South Light.

HIGHLIGHTS:
'Pale-bellied Brent Goose': Still North Haven

Sightings of note: 2 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Oystercatcher, 8 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 2 Ringed Plover, 7 Curlew, 127 Turnstone, 2 Sanderling, 1 Dunlin, 27 Snipe, 40 Redshank, 18 Bonxie, 33 Kittiwake, 3 Common Gull, 19 Bonxie, 2 Razorbill, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Cormorant, 2 Carrion Crow, 93 Skylark, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Blackbird, 3 Wheatear, 7 Alba wagtail sp., 111 Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 48 Rock Pipit, 1 Brambling, 40 Twite, 5 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Lapland Bunting, 1 Snow Bunting

Year List: 188

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24th September 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells with a force 4 WNW wind
Not much new in today, the Long-billed Dowitcher is still here, feeding around Walli Burn this morning. Meanwhile, there has been a small arrival of Redwing. These are all quite dark-looking, and probably Icelandic given the wind direction.

HIGHLIGHTS:
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER: Around Walli Burn
'Pale-bellied Brent Goose': Still North Haven
Yellow-browed Warbler: Two - Chalet and Setter
Common Rosefinch: At Field
Lapland Bunting: Two on Dronger, one over Chatham's Land

Sitings of note: 7 Wigeon, 9 Teal, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Water Rail, 3 Oystercatcher, 8 Lapwing, 6 Golden Plover, 16 Ringed Plover, 13 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel, 65 Turnstone, 1 Sanderling, 1 Dunlin, 1 Jack Snipe, 40 Snipe, 23 Redshank, 18 Bonxie, 5 Common Guillemot, 1 Cormorant, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 149 Skylark, 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Common Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird, 18 Redwing, 1 Robin, 5 Whinchat, 7 Wheatear, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Pied Wagtail, 7 Alba wagtail sp., 307 Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 50 Rock Pipit, 116 Twite, 5 Linnet, 2 Lesser Redpoll, 1 redpoll sp., 1 Siskin, 3 Snow Bunting

Year List: 188


Common Rosefinch at Field, by AW Alex Penn

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23rd September 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells and showers with a force 2-3 WSW wind
A wintry selection of birds today, including a flock of 20 Pink-footed Geese, a Brambling and a Robin. The Long-billed Dowitcher reappeared this afternoon on the north side of Skadan, and there are still a handful of Yellow-browed Warblers around the crofts. A group of 2 bull Orca and a female were sighted heading south from Buness in the late afternoon. Though fairly distant, we got good views in the bright evening sunshine, and caught up with them again off Da Burrian and Meoness.

HIGHLIGHTS:
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER: Still on Skadan
'Pale-bellied Brent Goose': Still North Haven
Yellow-browed Warbler: 7 around the crofts in the south
Bluethroat: At Barkland
Lapland Bunting: Top of North Park towards ringing hut

Sightings of note: 20 Pink-footed Goose, 2 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 8 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 7 Ringed Plover, 13 Curlew, 123 Turnstone, 1 Sanderling, 6 Dunlin, 2 Jack Snipe, 48 Snipe, 49 Redshank, 21 Bonxie, 1 Common Guillemot, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Cormorant, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 3 Merlin , 2 Carrion Crow, 140 Skylark, 1 Swallow, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 9 Blackcap, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Common Whitethroat, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Robin, 2 Redstart, 7 Whinchat, 16 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Grey Wagtail, 3 Pied Wagtail, 11 Alba wagtail sp., 283 Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 81 Rock Pipit, 1 Brambling, 197 Twite, 1 Snow Bunting

Year List: 188

Other Wildlife: 2 Red Admiral, 3 Orca


Very smart Brambling posing on a post, by AW Georgia Platt


Yellow-browed Warbler at Shirva, by AW Georgia Platt

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22nd September 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells with a force 3-4 WSW wind
A beautiful day with a couple of new bits. New in were a Rosefinch heading south over Chalet, a Shoveler past South Light, and a flock of Barnacle Geese heading north. The Long-billed Dowitcher is still active and vocal around Skadan. Meanwhile, the Bluethroat is still about - this time at Barkland and the Brent Goose is still happily feeding on Sea Lettuce in the Haven.

HIGHLIGHTS:
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER: Still on Skadan
'Pale-bellied Brent Goose': Still North Haven
Yellow-browed Warbler: 7 around the crofts in the south
Bluethroat: At Barkland
Common Rosefinch:South over Chalet

Sightings of note: 7 Barnacle Goose, 1 Shoveler, 4 Wigeon, 8 Teal, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 2 Water Rail, 3 Oystercatcher, 5 Golden Plover, 2 Ringed Plover, 7 Curlew, 72 Turnstone, 1 Ruff, 1 Sanderling, 9 Dunlin, 4 Jack Snipe, 83 Snipe, 77 Redshank, 2 Common Gull, 27 Bonxie, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Cormorant, 2 Grey Heron, 3 Sparrowhawk, 1 Short-eared Owl, 2 Kestrel, 2 Carrion Crow, 181 Skylark, 4 Swallow, 6 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Reed Warbler, 5 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Blackbird, 3 Song Thrush, 1 Robin, 4 Redstart, 11 Whinchat, 41 Wheatear, 2 Pied Wagtail, 13 Alba wagtail sp., 268 Meadow Pipit, 4 Tree Pipit, 58 Rock Pipit, 1 Brambling, 143 Twite, 3 Lesser Redpoll, 1 redpoll sp.

Year List: 188


Another great shot of the Long-billed Dowitcher at Muckle Uri, by AW Alex Penn


Portrait of a Golden Plover, by AW Georgia Platt

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21st September 2022
Weather:
Overcast with a force 3-4 southerly wind
Visiting birder Pete Gordon is on a roll at the moment - after Arctic Warbler and Rose-coloured Starling yesterday, he has out-done himself today finding a Long-billed Dowitcher. This is Fair Isle's third record, and the first since 1990. It was found on Skadan, before briefly flying to Meoness then returning to happily feed on the grass above Mid Geo. Well done Pete! Otherwise, not a lot new in today and just a few lingering scarcities from the past week.


Everyone got stunning views of the Long-billed Dowitcher, by AW Alex Penn


Redstart at the Haa, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER: On Skadan, 3rd for Fair Isle (1st since 1990)
GREAT SNIPE: In Boini Mire
'Pale-bellied Brent Goose': Still North Haven
Grey Plover: Over Skadan
Glaucous Gull: Over South Green
Yellow-browed Warbler: 12 mostly around the crofts in the south
Arctic Warbler: Yesterday's ringed bird now at Obs
Bluethroat: At Burkle, then the Haa
Lapland Bunting: Over Da Water

Sightings of note: 3 Wigeon, 1 Pintail, 14 Teal, 8 Lapwing, 12 Golden Plover, 6 Ringed Plover, 9 Curlew, 42 Turnstone, 1 Sanderling, 13 Dunlin, 4 Jack Snipe, 112 Snipe, 49 Redshank, 3 Common Gull, 21 Bonxie, 1 Common Guillemot, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 146 Skylark, 4 Swallow, 8 Willow Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 5 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Whitethroat, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Redstart, 6 Whinchat, 10 Wheatear, 2 Pied Wagtail, 13 Alba wagtail sp., 308 Meadow Pipit, 3 Tree Pipit, 80 Rock Pipit, 154 Twite, 2 Lesser Redpoll

Other Wildlife: 2 Red Admiral

Year List: 188

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20th September 2022
Weather:
Overcast with a force 2 southerly wind
A good day for some classic autumn scarcities, including a juvenile Rose-coloured Starling making it onto the year list. An elusive 'wing-barred' Phyllosc gave us a run for our money until it was netted at Chalet, and confirmed as an Arctic Warbler. Yesterday's influx of Yellow-browed Warblers has continued, with no fewer than 18. These are mostly scattered around the crofts in the south, with a couple more in the traps and one at the Obs. After the Pink-footed Geese of a few days ago, a flock of 8 Barnacle Geese showed autumn goose passage must be on the way. Other highlights included a Bluethroat at Shirva early on, which was later spotted briefly at Quoy, and a Barred Warbler also at Shirva.


Barnacle Geese at South Light, by AW Georgia Platt


Yellow-browed Warbler at Upper Stoneybrek, by AW Georgia Platt


Arctic Warbler in the hand at Chalet, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
GREAT SNIPE: At Kirki Mire
'Pale-bellied Brent Goose': Still North Haven
Yellow-browed Warbler: 18 mostly around the crofts in the south
Arctic Warbler: Trapped at Chalet
Barred Warbler: At Shirva
Rose-coloured Starling: 1cy At Burkle
Bluethroat: At Shirva
Lapland Bunting: At Meadow Burn

Sightings of note: 8 Barnacle Goose, 4 Wigeon, 4 Teal, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Water Rail, 2 Oystercatcher, 8 Lapwing, 12 Ringed Plover, 8 Curlew, 61 Turnstone, 1 Ruff, 11 Dunlin, 4 Jack Snipe, 29 Snipe, 26 Redshank, 1 Common Gull, 24 Bonxie, 3 Common Guillemot, 5 Razorbill, 1 Great Northern Diver, 4 Cormorant, 4 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Short-eared Owl, 2 Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 151 Skylark, 11 Swallow, 8 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 6 Blackcap, 2 Garden Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Whitethroat, 2 Blackbird, 2 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Redstart, 5 Whinchat, 24 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Pied Wagtail, 17 Alba wagtail sp., 278 Meadow Pipit, 5 Tree Pipit, 79 Rock Pipit, 180 Twite, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 redpoll sp.

Other Wildlife: 1 Red Admiral

Year List: 187

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19th September 2022
Weather:
Sunny and a force 2 northerly wind
The first calm day in a while was perfect for an arrival of Yellow-browed Warblers around the crofts, while a Fieldfare and a Dunnock were also firsts of the autumn. The biggest highlight of the day came in the evening, when a Basking Shark was reported on the mirror-calm sea at Ditfield. We headed up and watched it slowly drift south past Sheep Rock, followed by a cloud of Fulmars. It was fairly close in and a large animal of 7-8 metres! At least two Minke Whales were also milling around between Hesswalls and Klingers.


Fieldfare at Gilly Burn, by AW Alex Penn


Basking Shark off the east coast, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
'Pale-bellied Brent Goose': Still North Haven
Yellow-browed Warbler: 9 around the crofts in the south
Lapland Bunting: Gilsetter

Sightings of note: 4 Wigeon, 8 Teal, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Oystercatcher, 8 Lapwing, 5 Golden Plover, 16 Ringed Plover, 9 Curlew, 64 Turnstone, 2 Sanderling, 12 Dunlin, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 2 Jack Snipe, 41 Snipe, 6 Redshank, 6 Kittiwake, 5 Common Gull, 28 Bonxie, 4 Common Guillemot, 3 Razorbill, 10 Blue Fulmar , 1 Cormorant, 4 Grey Heron, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 3 Carrion Crow, 137 Skylark, 6 Swallow, 10 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Reed Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 8 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird, 1 Fieldfare, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Robin, 5 Redstart, 10 Whinchat, 24 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Dunnock, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Pied Wagtail, 10 Alba wagtail sp., 293 Meadow Pipit, 8 Tree Pipit, 66 Rock Pipit, 155 Twite, 2 Siskin

Other Wildlife: 5 Shetland Bee, 1 Painted Lady, 2 Minke Whale, 1 Basking Shark (Ditfield moving South)

Year List: 186

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18th September 2022
Weather:
Sunny and a force 4 northerly wind
A quiet day for migration but the wind made for some good seawatching with a handful of Blue Fulmars past both Buness and South Light. The first couple of autumn Snow Bunting and a Lapland Bunting along with a chill north wind gave census a wintry feel.


Snow Bunting on Ward Hill, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
'Pale-bellied Brent Goose': Still North Haven
Lapland Bunting: Over Schoolton

Sightings of note: 4 Wigeon, 8 Teal, 2 Oystercatcher, 8 Lapwing, 5 Golden Plover, 15 Ringed Plover, 3 Curlew, 66 Turnstone, 1 Sanderling, 12 Dunlin, 29 Snipe, 20 Redshank, 3 Kittiwake, 2 Common Gull, 25 Bonxie, 6 Common Guillemot, 1 Red-throated Diver, 10 Blue Fulmar , 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 157 Skylark, 6 Swallow, 4 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, 3 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Redstart, 4 Whinchat, 20 Wheatear, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Pied Wagtail, 13 Alba wagtail sp. , 323 Meadow Pipit, 6 Tree Pipit, 74 Rock Pipit, 28 Twite, 1 redpoll sp., 4 Siskin, 2 Snow Bunting

Year List: 186

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17th September 2022
Weather:
Overcast with a force 5-7 north-westerly wind
The highlight of a blustery census today was a 1CY Glaucous Gull on Easter Lother Water, ringed with a Darvic from Svalbard. Visiting ringer Phil Harris has been busy, catching three different Great Snipe in the last two nights with the aid of a thermal imager. While census counts have seen no more than a single bird flushed daily since the 11th, this shows that a minimum of three birds are still present on the isle, favouring the area around North Shirva. It has also presented a rare opportunity to see this difficult species up close, with an extra bonus of some flat-flies collected from them as part of a national project. Just 10 Great Snipe have now been ringed in the UK, with 5 of these caught on Fair Isle.


Glaucous Gull at Easter Lother Water, by AW Alex Penn


Great Snipe in the hand at North Shirva, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
'Pale-bellied Brent Goose': North Haven
Glaucous Gull: 1CY on Easter Lother Water

Sightings of note: 3 Pink-footed Goose, 9 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 1 Collared Dove, 8 Lapwing, 4 Golden Plover, 10 Ringed Plover, 9 Curlew, 48 Turnstone, 1 Knot, 1 Sanderling, 10 Dunlin, 15 Snipe, 15 Redshank, 4 Kittiwake, 2 Black-headed Gull, 2 Common Gull, 23 Bonxie, 5 Common Guillemot, 2 Razorbill, 10 Blue Fulmar , 6 Sooty Shearwater , 1 Grey Heron, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 2 Merlin, 1 Carrion Crow, 119 Skylark, 2 Swallow, 5 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Blackbird, 1 Redstart, 3 Whinchat, 19 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 3 Pied Wagtail, 12 Alba wagtail sp., 309 Meadow Pipit, 3 Tree Pipit, 66 Rock Pipit, 126 Twite, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Siskin

Year List: 186

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16th September 2022
Weather:
Overcast with a force 7-8 north-westerly wind
Gale-force winds meant census had to be called off as it was hard to stand up at the clifftops, nevermind count anything! Not much new in but it was great to see the first Pink-footed Geese of the autumn.


Guess which way the wind was blowing! by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
GREAT SNIPE : Two still at North Shirva
'Pale-bellied Brent Goose': Still in South Harbour

Sightings of note: 3 Pink-footed Goose, 9 Wigeon, 3 Teal, 1 Oystercatcher, 6 Lapwing, 6 Curlew, 2 Ruff, 1 Sanderling, 14 Dunlin, 2 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Jack Snipe, 1 Kittiwake, 2 Common Guillemot, 1 Red-throated Diver, 2 Great Northern Diver, 4 Grey Heron, 3 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 2 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Robin, 2 Redstart, 7 Whinchat, 3 Tree Pipit.

Year List: 186

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15th September 2022
Weather:
Overcast with a force 6-7 north-westerly wind
Continued strong north-westerlies paid off today, bringing us a White-tailed Eagle and a couple of Lapland Bunting. The Spotted Redshank is still doing the rounds of the isle, and a Great Snipe was still around North Shirva!


Lapland Bunting at Hill Dyke, by AW Alex Penn


A VERY tatty White-tailed Eagle being harassed by a Bonxie and a Raven, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
GREAT SNIPE : At North Shirva
'Pale-bellied Brent Goose': Still in South Harbour
Spotted Redshank: South Light then north to Pool of Troila
White-tailed Eagle: Over Shirva then out to sea off east coast
Common Rosefinch : One at Field
Lapland Bunting : One at Hill Dyke and one at Pund Ditch


Spotted Redshank at South Light, by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 9 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Oystercatcher, 8 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 18 Ringed Plover, 5 Curlew, 30 Turnstone, 2 Ruff, 1 Sanderling, 6 Dunlin, 1 Jack Snipe, 10 Snipe, 40 Redshank, 1 Kittiwake, 1 Black-headed Gull, 5 Common Gull, 34 Bonxie, 4 Common Guillemot, 2 Cormorant, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 65 Skylark, 5 Swallow, 8 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 7 Blackcap, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Whitethroat, 2 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Redstart, 3 Whinchat, 13 Wheatear, 2 Pied Wagtail, 18 Alba wagtail sp., 295 Meadow Pipit, 7 Tree Pipit, 83 Rock Pipit, 111 Twite, 1 redpoll sp., 1 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Siskin

Year List: 186


Dunlin dozing on the slipway, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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14th September 2022
Weather:
Overcast with a force 6-7 north-westerly wind
Highlights on a blustery day included a 'Pale-bellied Brent Goose' in South Harbour to add to the year list. A Great Snipe is still lingering between North Shirva and the Raevas, while a Spotted Redshank worked its way down the island throughout the day.


Brent Goose snacking on Sea Lettuce, by AW Alex Penn


Ruff at Burkle, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
GREAT SNIPE : At North Shirva
'Pale-bellied Brent Goose': One in south Harbour
Spotted Redshank: At Obs Scrape then flew South
Common Rosefinch : One at Field

Sightings of note: 15 Wigeon, 2 Collared Dove, 1 Oystercatcher, 7 Lapwing, 11 Golden Plover, 29 Ringed Plover, 8 Curlew, 23 Turnstone, 1 Knot, 8 Ruff, 13 Dunlin, 49 Snipe, 16 Redshank, 6 Common Gull, 5 Common Guillemot, 1 Cormorant, 4 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 3 Carrion Crow, 89 Skylark, 17 Swallow, 13 Willow Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 10 Blackcap, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Redstart, 8 Whinchat, 19 Wheatear, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Pied Wagtail, 15 Alba wagtail sp., 341 Meadow Pipit, 8 Tree Pipit, 71 Rock Pipit, 196 Twite, 2 redpoll sp. 1 Lesser Redpoll, 15 Siskin

Year List: 186

Other Wildlife: 1 Silver Y

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13th September 2022
Weather:
Overcast and some drizzle with a force 6-7 north-westerly wind
Another windy but quiet census with a few scarcities left over from the last week.


Redstart in the hand at Plantation, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Wryneck: At Upper Leogh
Red-backed Shrike : Still at Obs Garden
Common Rosefinch : One at Skerryholm

Sightings of note: 7 Greylag, 14 Wigeon, 9 Teal, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Oystercatcher, 3 Golden Plover, 11 Ringed Plover, 8 Curlew, 77 Turnstone, 2 Ruff, 1 Sanderling, 4 Dunlin, 68 Snipe, 19 Redshank, 3 Kittiwake, 4 Common Gull, 3 Common Guillemot, 2 Cormorant, 1 Short-eared Owl, 2 Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, 2 Carrion Crow, 62 Skylark, 6 Swallow, 15 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 8 Blackcap, 3 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Blackbird, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 2 Redstart, 7 Whinchat, 27 Wheatear, 2 Pied Wagtail, 17 Alba wagtail sp., 298 Meadow Pipit, 6 Tree Pipit, 110 Rock Pipit, 154 Twite, 24 Siskin

Year List: 185

Other Wildlife: 2 Risso's Dolphin

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12th September 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells and a force 5 westerly wind
A quieter day after the recent flush of easterlies. A highlight was catching a stunning juvenile female Kestrel in Gully, as well as an impressive Sparrowhawk in Vaadal.


Kestrel in the hand, by AW Georgia Platt


Sparrowhawk in the hand, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
Little Stint: Now Muckle Uri Geo
Red-backed Shrike : At Obs Garden
Yellow-browed Warbler : At Meadow Burn
Common Rosefinch : One at Chalet

Sightings of note: 14 Wigeon, 7 Teal, 1 Oystercatcher, 6 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 20 Ringed Plover, 7 Curlew, 42 Turnstone, 1 Ruff, 1 Sanderling, 31 Dunlin, 52 Snipe, 23 Redshank, 1 Kittiwake, 19 Common Gull, 2 Common Guillemot, 2 Razorbill, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 3 Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 51 Skylark, 15 Swallow, 40 Willow Warbler, 7 Blackcap, 2 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Whitethroat, 3 Song Thrush, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 5 Redstart, 8 Whinchat, 43 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 4 Flava wagtail sp., 2 1 Pied Wagtail, 21 Alba wagtail sp., 298 Meadow Pipit, 24 Tree Pipit, 63 Rock Pipit, 128 Twite, 64 Siskin

Year List: 185

Other Wildlife: 1 Red Admiral, 2 Shetland Bee


Yellow-browed Warbler at Meadow Burn, by AW Alex Penn

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11th September 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells and a force 4 SSE wind
Another busy day. Despite not much new in, there are still large numbers of lingering warblers and finches in the South. At least two Great Snipe are still around, with both flushed from North Shirva in the morning and one (presumed not different), flushed at Springfield later on.


The piercing glare of a Short-eared Owl at Gilsetter, by AW Alex Penn


Pristine Little Stint at Da Water, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
GREAT SNIPE : Two at North Shirva, one at Springfield in afternoon (Pres. not different)
Slavonian Grebe: Hesti Geo
Little Stint: Still at Da Water
Red-backed Shrike : At Obs Garden
Yellow-browed Warbler : At Shirva
'Blue-headed Wagtail' : Three in Walli Burn
Olive-backed Pipit : At Steensi Geo
Common Rosefinch : One at the Haa and one at Da Water

Sightings of note: 9 Wigeon, 6 Teal, 1 Oystercatcher, 20 Lapwing, 6 Golden Plover, 13 Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 10 Curlew, 41 Turnstone, 3 Ruff, 3 Sanderling, 10 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper, 45 Snipe, 17 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 3 Common Gull, 1 Common Guillemot, 2 Cormorant, 5 Sparrowhawk, 2 Short-eared Owl, 5 Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 75 Skylark, 19 Swallow, 52 Willow Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 3 Reed Warbler, 12 Blackcap, 7 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Blackbird, 3 Song Thrush, 6 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Pied Flycatcher, 11 Redstart, 15 Whinchat, 49 Wheatear, 1 Flava wagtail sp., 2 1 Pied Wagtail, 29 Alba wagtail sp., 314 Meadow Pipit, 16 Tree Pipit, 106 Rock Pipit, 41 Twite, 1 redpoll sp., 100 Siskin

Year List: 185

Other Wildlife: 1 Painted Lady, 2 Silver Y, 8 Shetland Bee

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10th September 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells and a force 2 north-westerly win
More sunny weather and a drop in the wind made for another busy census. There is still a Willow Warbler on every second Angelica stalk, and a Redstart or Whinchat on every fenceline, and the first Yellow-browed Warbler signalled that autumn is in full swing. Just when we thought two Great Snipe was astounding, AW Georgia messaged to say she'd flushed THREE from the same spot at North Shirva! The Blyth's Reed Warbler from yesterday is still at Schoolton, showing very well and being chased by Reed Warblers. No sign of the Paddyfield Warbler or Lanceolated Warbler today, though the latter could easily be in some wall crevice peering out at us!



Most Red-throated Diver sightings are fly-overs so two in North Naven Haven were a treat!, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
GREAT SNIPE : THREE at North Shirva
Slavonian Grebe: Hesti Geo
Little Stint: Still at Da Water
Wryneck : One at Stackhoull
Red-backed Shrike : Trapped Obs Garden
Yellow-browed Warbler : At Stackhoull
'Blue-headed Wagtail' : Skadan
Blyth's Reed Warbler : Still at Schoolton
Common Rosefinch : Boini Mire and the Haa


Common Rosefinch at the Haa, by Ranger Holly Pickett

Sightings of note: 12 Wigeon, 17 Teal, 5 Oystercatcher, 18 Lapwing, 25 Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew, 62 Turnstone, 7 Ruff, 1 Sanderling, 19 Dunlin, 21 Snipe, 5 Redshank, 3 Common Gull, 1 Common Guillemot, 2 Red-throated Diver, 1 Cormorant, 2 Grey Heron, 7 Sparrowhawk, 10 Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 81 Skylark, 2 Sand Martin, 19 Swallow, 93 Willow Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 5 Reed Warbler, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 18 Blackcap, 8 Garden Warbler, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Blackbird, 9 Song Thrush, 12 Spotted Flycatcher, 6 Pied Flycatcher, 28 Redstart, 13 Whinchat, 51 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Flava wagtail sp., 2 Pied Wagtail, 29 Alba wagtail sp., 352 Meadow Pipit, 19 Tree Pipit, 108 Rock Pipit, 191 Twite, 1 redpoll sp., 93 Siskin

Year List: 185

Other Wildlife: 1 Red Admiral, 1 Silver Y, 6 Shetland Bee


Starlings cutting shapes on the roof of Barkland, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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9th September 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells and a force 4 north-easterly wind
A change in the wind made for what has been one of the best days of the year. The crofts were absolutely bouncing with Willow Warblers (Census count of 91!), as well as impressive numbers of Redstart, Whinchat and other common migrants. The first rarity came in the form of two Great Snipe flushed together at North Shirva. One of these remained in the area long enough for those keen to twitch it, and even showed its head briefly from the ditch opposite Stackhoull.


Fantastic shot of a Great Snipe, by AW Georgia Platt

After census, which turned up a variety of other rarities and scarcities including Blyth's Reed Warbler, Wryneck, Little Stint, 'Blue-headed Wagtail' (to name a few), the text came again reporting a Lanceolated Warbler at Walli Burn. This is the 99th Fair Isle record and what a bird! It demonstrated classic mouse-like tendancies, creeping along, and through, the dry-stone wall within a metre of us before returning to the cover of the irises in Walli Burn.


Lanceolated Warbler near the Haa, By AW Georgia Platt

An Olive-backed Pipit was also great addition to the year list, amongst impressive numbers of Tree Pipits. Opening the Obs nets in the evening, we only caught a handful of migrants, but were kept on our toes till dusk! What a day!

HIGHLIGHTS:
LANCEOLATED WARBLER : At Walli Burn - 99th for Fair Isle and first since 2019
GREAT SNIPE : Two at North Shirva
PADDYFIELD WARBLER : Still in Walli Burn iris bed
Little Stint: At Da Water
Turtle Dove : Utra
Wryneck : One at Lower Leogh and one at Single Dyke
Red-backed Shrike : Still Obs Garden this morning
'Blue-headed Wagtail' : Setter
Olive-backed Pipit : At Stackhoull
Blyth's Reed Warbler : At Schoolton
Common Rosefinch : North Shirva and Lower Leogh


Little Stint at Da Water, by AW Georgia Platt

Sightings of note: 17 Wigeon, 1 Pintail , 11 Teal, 2 Swift, 1 Water Rail, 18 Oystercatcher, 15 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 23 Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 10 Curlew, 56 Turnstone, 5 Ruff, 11 Dunlin, 9 Purple Sandpiper, 36 Snipe, 3 Common Sandpiper, 15 Redshank, 1 Razorbill, 5 Grey Heron, 12 Sparrowhawk, 11 Kestrel , 1 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 71 Skylark, 6 Sand Martin, 11 Swallow, 91 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 7 Reed Warbler, 4 Sedge Warbler, 14 Blackcap, 19 Garden Warbler, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Whitethroat, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Blackbird, 11 Song Thrush, 11 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Robin, 14 Pied Flycatcher, 32 Redstart, 25 Whinchat, 73 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 2 Flava wagtail sp., 17 Pied Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 43 Alba wagtail sp., 411 Meadow Pipit, 37 Tree Pipit, 112 Rock Pipit, 164 Twite, 1 redpoll sp., 65 Siskin

Year List: 184

Other Wildlife: 6 Painted Lady, 2 Silver Y, 9 Shetland Bee


Spotted Flycatcher posing in the sun at Schoolton, by AW Georgia Platt

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8th September 2022
Weather:
Cloudy and a force 6 ESE wind
An exciting day of migrants on the cliffs, including an influx of Willow Warblers, Redstarts and Pied Flycatchers. Tree Pipits could be heard all the way around census amongst hoards of Meadow Pipits. 14 Kestrel and 14 Sparrowhawk kept them all in the air, making counting a challenging task!


Grey-headed Wagtail on Malcolm's Head, by Ranger Holly Pickett


One of 6 Kestrels visible at once from the mast buildings! By AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
PADDYFIELD WARBLER : Still in Walli Burn iris bed
Slavonian Grebe: New at South Haven
Turtle Dove : South Raeva
Wryneck : South of Shirva
Great Spotted Woodpecker : North Felsigeo
Red-backed Shrike : Still Obs Garden
'Grey-headed Wagtail' : Malcolm's Head
Common Rosefinch : Burkle

Sightings of note: 23 Wigeon, 1 Pintail, 17 Teal, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Water Rail, 3 Oystercatcher, 14 Lapwing, 3 Golden Plover, 46 Ringed Plover, 13 Curlew, 40 Turnstone, 6 Ruff, 10 Dunlin, 43 Snipe, 2 Common Sandpiper, 23 Redshank, 1 Kittiwake, 19 Common Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 1 Red-throated Diver, 2 Cormorant, 6 Grey Heron, 14 Sparrowhawk, 1 Short-eared Owl, 14 Kestrel , 1 Merlin, 2 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 6 Swallow, 43 Skylark, 4 Swallow, 43 Willow Warbler, 5 Reed Warbler, 14 Blackcap, 5 Garden Warbler, 6 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 1 Song Thrush, 4 Spotted Flycatcher, 9 Pied Flycatcher, 18 Redstart, 10 Whinchat, 58 Wheatear, 1 Flava wagtail sp., 3 Pied Wagtail, 40 Alba wagtail sp., 395 Meadow Pipit, 19 Tree Pipit, 103 Rock Pipit, 74 Twite, 1 redpoll sp., 70 Siskin

Year List: 181

Other Wildlife: 10 Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, 4 Silver Y, 3 Shetland Bee


Whinchat in the hand, by AW Alex Penn

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7th September 2022
Weather:
Rain showers and a force 6 ESE wind
Another productive day of birding between showers, although the rain did hold off in the afternoon. A host of common migrants are in, including increased numbers of Tree Pipits, Willow Warblers and Redstarts. New highlights include a Barred Warbler trapped in Plantation and a Wryneck at Midway.


Sparrowhawk at Gully, by AW Alex Penn


Kestrel near the Chapel, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
PADDYFIELD WARBLER : Still in Walli Burn iris bed
Slavonian Grebe: Now at Linni Geo
Wryneck : North Shirva
Red-backed Shrike : Obs Garden
Barred Warbler : Trapped in Plantation

Sightings of note: 2 Greylag, 15 Wigeon, 1 Pintail, 20 Teal, 2 Woodpigeon, 4 Oystercatcher, 1 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 34 Ringed Plover, 7 Curlew, 79 Turnstone, 4 Ruff, 13 Dunlin, 58 Purple Sandpiper, 14 Snipe, 3 Common Sandpiper, 23 Redshank, 2 Kittiwake, 2 Black-headed Gull, 46 Common Gull, 6 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Guillemot, 1 Cormorant, 4 Grey Heron, 14 Sparrowhawk, 8 Kestrel , 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 6 Swallow, 30 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 5 Garden Warbler, 6 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Pied Flycatcher, 13 Redstart, 16 Whinchat, 23 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Pied Wagtail, 37 Alba wagtail sp., 13 Tree Pipit, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 redpoll sp., 45 Siskin

Year List: 180

Other Wildlife: 3 Red Admiral, 3 Shetland Bee


Grey Herons behind the Holms, by AW Georgia Platt

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6th September 2022
Weather:
Overcast, rain showers and a force 6-7 south-easterly wind
Horizontal rain brought census to a stand-still until the afternoon, but not before it became clear that the weather had brought down lots of new birds. A Red-backed Shrike started off a flurry of scarcities, followed by 'Grey-headed Wagtail' at the airstrip and a new Wood Warbler at Burkle. The Paddyfield Warbler is at Walli Burn for a third day in a row! It seemed as though birds were still arriving throughout the day, so who knows what tomorrow might hold...


Red-backed Shrike at the Obs Garden, by Ranger Holly Pickett


Sparrowhawk at Vaila's Trees, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
PADDYFIELD WARBLER : Still in Walli Burn iris bed
Slavonian Grebe : Now in mouth of North Haven
Red-backed Shrike : Obs Garden
Wood Warbler : One at Burkle
'Grey-headed Wagtail' : At Airstrip

Sightings of note: 17 Wigeon, 1 Pintail, 36 Teal, 1 Woodpigeon, 7 Oystercatcher, 12 Lapwing, 6 Golden Plover, 17 Ringed Plover, 9 Curlew, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 51 Turnstone, 3 Knot, 5 Dunlin, 71 Snipe, 1 Common Sandpiper, 45 Redshank, 17 Common Gull, 7 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 1 Cormorant, 7 Grey Heron, 16 Sparrowhawk, 1 Short-eared Owl, 3 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 3 Swallow, 25 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 4 Garden Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 6 Song Thrush, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 3 Redstart, 10 Whinchat, 16 Alba wagtail sp., 7 Tree Pipit, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 redpoll sp., 39 Siskin

Year List: 180

Other Wildlife: 3 Red Admiral


Tree Pipit at Vaila's Trees, by AW Alex Penn

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5th September 2022
Weather:
Overcast and a force 6-7 south-easterly wind
High winds made birding the crofts difficult today, but both the Paddyfield Warbler and Blyth's Reed Warbler are still here. There are still high numbers of Sparrowhawks dotted around the Isle, with one even catching the first Hawfinch of the autumn! A year tick came from Stewart Thomson in the form of a Slavonian Grebe rafting amongst Eiders off Roskillie.


Siskin on Dronger, by AW Georgia Platt


Song Thrush at Guidicum, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
PADDYFIELD WARBLER : Still in Walli Burn iris bed
Quail : One on Dronger
Slavonian Grebe : With Eiders off Roskillie
Blyth's Reed Warbler : At North Shirva
Hawfinch : Taken by Sparrowhawk in Vaadal

Sightings of note: 14 Wigeon, 1 Pintail, 19 Teal, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Water Rail, 6 Oystercatcher, 1 Golden Plover, 28 Ringed Plover, 14 Curlew, 57 Turnstone, 1 Knot, 1 Ruff, 7 Dunlin, 60 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Jack Snipe, 21 Snipe, 2 Common Sandpiper, 28 Redshank, 1 Kittiwake, 19 Common Gull, 10 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Common Guillemot, 4 Razorbill, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 2 Cormorant, 4 Grey Heron, 13 Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, 2 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 26 Skylark, 6 Swallow, 9 Willow Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 3 Reed Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 7 Redstart, 3 Whinchat, 32 Wheatear, Flava wagtail sp. , 5 Pied Wagtail, 394 Alba wagtail sp., 6 Tree Pipit, 84 Meadow Pipit, 73 Rock Pipit, 155 Twite, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 45 Siskin

Year List: 180

Other Wildlife: 1 Silver Y, 1 Shetland Bee

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4th September 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells and a force 6 south-easterly wind
The continued south-easterlies came to fruition at the end of census, when ex-AW Dan messaged to say he'd found a Paddyfield Warbler in Walli Burn! It was difficult to catch a glimpse of it flitting along the Flag Irises in strong wind, but with patience everyone got passable views and some good photos. In other news, Sparrowhawk numbers rocketed from yesterday's 6 to a record count of 17. A new Great Spotted Woodpecker was also on Ward Hill, making for an interesting collection of species.


Paddyfield Warbler in Walli Burn, by AW Alex Penn


Great Spotted Woodpecker on Ward Hill, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
PADDYFIELD WARBLER : Walli Burn iris bed (26th Fair Isle record and first since 2016)
Great Spotted Woodpecker : On Ward Hill
Blyth's Reed Warbler : At North Shirva

Sightings of note: 4 Wigeon, 1 Pintail, 18 Teal, 12 Oystercatcher, 13 Lapwing, 3 Golden Plover, 56 Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 10 Curlew, 98 Turnstone, 5 Knot, 6 Ruff, 17 Dunlin, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 42 Snipe, 3 Common Sandpiper, 27 Redshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 13 Common Gull, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Cormorant, 4 Grey Heron, 17 Sparrowhawk , 2 Kestrel, 2 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 40 Skylark, 4 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 8 Willow Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Redstart, 3 Whinchat, 25 Wheatear, 4 Pied Wagtail, 41 Alba wagtail sp., 314 Meadow Pipit, 73 Rock Pipit, 115 Twite, 3 redpoll sp., 41 Siskin

Year List: 179

Other Wildlife: 1 Silver Y, 4 Shetland Bee


One of 17 Sparrowhawks about the Isle, by AW Georgia Platt

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3rd September 2022
Weather:
Bright sun, some patches of fog, and a force 6 south-easterly wind
A blustery but beautiful day with plenty of birds to look at! Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers were on the cliffs in the south-west, and looked rather out of place foraging in crevices in the rocks. There was also an influx of Sparrowhawks, with a grand total of six about the island upsetting Meadow Pipits and Starlings all morning. The Blyth's Reed Warbler reappeared in the North Shirva thistles, and the ringed Wood Warbler is still around South Raeva. During a fire at North Haven in the evening we had incredible views of Aurora as well as some bioluminescence in the sea - magical!


Great Spotted Woodpecker looking rather out of place in Muckle Uri Geo! by AW Georgia Platt


Siskin amongst heather and Tormentil on Ward Hill, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
Great Spotted Woodpecker : At Dog Geo and South Light
Blyth's Reed Warbler : At North Shirva
Wood Warbler : At South Raeva
Common Rosefinch : One at Quoy

Sightings of note: 7 Wigeon, 9 Teal, 5 Oystercatcher, 18 Lapwing, 3 Golden Plover, 39 Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 15 Curlew, 44 Turnstone, 1 Sanderling, 5 Dunlin, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 21 Snipe, 8 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 2 Kittiwake, 3 Common Gull, 2 Razorbill, 6 Grey Heron, 6 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 53 Skylark, 16 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Redstart, 1 Whinchat, 27 Wheatear, 2 Pied Wagtail, 39 Alba wagtail sp. , 348 Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 84 Rock Pipit, 151 Twite, 4 redpoll sp., 1 Common Crossbill, 8 Siskin

Year List: 178

Other Wildlife: 3 Red Admiral, 1 Silver Y, 2 Shetland Bee


Spotted Flycatcher at Quoy, by AW Georgia Platt


Pied Flycatcher at the Mast, by Ranger Holly Pickett


We had a stunning view of the Northern Lights over North Haven in the evening, by Thomas Fisher

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2nd September 2022
Weather:
Bright sun and a force 4 south-easterly wind
We had the first of a week or so of forecasted south-easterlies this morning, so census was hotly anticipated. The highlight of the day, and certainly new-in was a SECOND Great Snipe, flushed from Walli Burn by Alex at the end of his tour of south east. Georgia opened the Obs nets in the afternoon, trapping a Barred Warbler, which are always nice to see in the hand!


Barred Warbler in the hand, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
GREAT SNIPE : Flushed from Walli Burn, towards Meoness
Barred Warbler : One at Schoolton, one trapped at Obs garden
Wood Warbler : At the Raevas
Marsh Warbler : At Meadow Burn
Melodious Warbler : At Schoolton
Common Rosefinch : One at North Shirva, 3 at Quoy

Sightings of note: 2 Wigeon, 4 Teal, 1 Swift, 3 Oystercatcher, 14 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 17 Ringed Plover, 15 Curlew, 81 Turnstone, 3 Knot, 3 Ruff, 1 Dunlin, 27 Snipe, 16 Redshank, 2 Kittiwake, 9 Common Gull, 1 Arctic Tern, 4 Arctic Skua, 1 Common Guillemot, 2 Cormorant, 3 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 2 Merlin, 56 Skylark, 4 Swallow, 1 Reed Warbler, 24 Willow Warbler, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Whinchat, 25 Wheatear, 1 White Wagtail, 33 Alba wagtail sp., 357 Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 123 Rock Pipit, 75 Twite, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 4 redpoll sp., 1 Common Crossbill, 1 Siskin

Year List: 177

Other Wildlife: 6 Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, 6 Shetland Bee

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1st September 2022
Weather:
Bright sun, clear skies and a force 2 southerly breeze
Almost no wind and bright sun seemed to bring birds out of cover, so the Arctic Warbler and Melodious Warbler reappeared, along with the female Redstart ringed a couple of days ago. The first Blackcap of the autumn, lingering Blyth's Reed Warbler, Marsh Warbler and Barred Warblers added interest. The calm sea meant it was a great day for cetaceans, with Risso's Dolphins, White-beaked Dolphins, Harbour Porpoises and Minke Whale all seen from the Good Shepherd, and other Porpoise and Minke sightings from the Isle.


Melodious Warbler at Schoolton, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
Barred Warbler : One at Schoolton, one at Stackhoull
Arctic Warbler : At Gully
Blyth's Reed Warbler : At North Shirva
Marsh Warbler : At Meadow Burn
Melodious Warbler : At Schoolton
Common Rosefinch : One at North Shirva

Sightings of note: 4 Greylag Goose, 3 Wigeon, 12 Teal, 1 Swift, 5 Oystercatcher, 12 Lapwing, 29 Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 15 Curlew, 35 Turnstone, 10 Dunlin, 62 Snipe, 25 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 3 Kittiwake, 7 Common Gull, 6 Arctic Tern, 3 Common Guillemot, 3 Razorbill, 1 Puffin, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Cormorant, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Kestrel, 2 Merlin, 69 Skylark, 20 Swallow, 24 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 6 Garden Warbler, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Blackbird, 3 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Redstart, 2 Whinchat, 30 Wheatear, 6 Pied Wagtail, 51 Alba wagtail sp., 349 Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 100 Rock Pipit, 1 Brambling, 139 Twite, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 3 redpoll sp., 1 Common Crossbill

Year List: 177

Other Wildlife: 2 Minke Whale, 12 Harbour Porpoise, 12 Risso's Dolphin, 4 White-beaked Dolphin, 4 Red Admiral, 12 Shetland Bee


Goldcrest at the Obs Garden, by AW Alex Penn

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31st August 2022
Weather:
Overcast with light north-easterlies
Another exciting day for early autumn started with a Citrine Wagtail heard calling over the Fire Station and then South Light. In the afternoon, the Blyth's Reed Warbler from yesterday was trapped at Vaila's Trees, great to see in the hand after it was so awkward in the field! Three Risso's dolphin off South light were also a highlight of a Ranger session with the school children.


Blyth's Reed Warbler in the hand, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Wood Warbler : Two - Linni Geo and South Harbour
Citrine Wagtail : Heard only, over Fire Station and South Light
Barred Warbler : One at Schoolton, Stackhoull
Blyth's Reed Warbler : Trapped at Vaila's Trees
Marsh Warbler : At Meadow Burn
Common Rosefinch : Five at North Shirva Thistles

Sightings of note: 4 Greylag Goose, 3 Wigeon, 11 Teal, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Swift, 5 Oystercatcher, 12 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 29 Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 24 Curlew, 26 Turnstone, 1 Knot, 3 Ruff, 1 Sanderling, 8 Dunlin, 29 Snipe, 20 Redshank, 3 Kittiwake, 1 Black-headed Gull, 16 Common Gull, 1 Arctic Tern, 2 Arctic Skua, 3 Common Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Cormorant, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 41 Skylark, 5 Swallow, 10 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 6 Garden Warbler, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Blackbird, 3 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Redstart, 2 Whinchat, 30 Wheatear, 6 Pied Wagtail, 51 Alba wagtail sp. , 349, Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 94 Rock Pipit, 159 Twite, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 2 redpoll sp., 1 Common Crossbill

Year List: 177

Other Wildlife: 2 Red Admiral, 8 Shetland Bee, 3 Risso's Dolphin

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30th August 2022
Weather:
Light north-easterlies and sunny spells
A selection of new birds in today including an Arctic Warbler trapped in Gully, and a Blyth's Reed Warbler in the North Shirva thistles. Yesterday's Wood Warbler is also still around, as is the stunning male Crossbill.


Arctic Warbler in the hand, by AW ALex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Wood Warbler : At Vaila's Trees
Arctic Warbler : Trapped in Gully
Barred Warbler : Two at Vaila's Trees
Blyth's Reed Warbler : North Shirva thistles
Common Rosefinch : Two new at Quoy

Sightings of note: 4 Greylag Goose, 8 Teal, 3 Swift, 14 Oystercatcher, 22 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 28 Ringed Plover, 9 Curlew, 34 Turnstone, 2 Ruff, 2 Sanderling, 7 Dunlin, 41 Snipe, 39 Redshank, 1 Kittiwake, 3 Black-headed Gull, 39 Common Gull, 2 Arctic Tern, 3 Arctic Skua, 1 Common Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 50 Skylark, 7 Swallow, 16 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 4 Garden Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Blackbird, 2 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Redstart, 2 Whinchat, 19 Wheatear, 4 Pied Wagtail, 32 Alba wagtail sp. , 382 Meadow Pipit, 111 Rock Pipit, 2 Common Rosefinch, 72 Twite, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 5 redpoll sp., 1 Common Crossbill

Year List: 177

Other Wildlife: 1 Red Admiral, 2 Shetland Bee, 1 Harbour Porpoise


Shags in the sun, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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29th August 2022
Weather:
Light north-easterlies and bright sunshine
Migration is still starting to pick up, with the first Wood Warbler of the year trapped in plantation. It's easy to forget how distinctive and stunning these birds are until you see your first each year! The first Pied Flycatcher of the autumn, the lingering Marsh Warbler, and a host of common migrants made for an exciting day all round. This was rapped off with brief, but crystal clear, views of three Rissos Dolphin off South Light in the evening.


Pied Flycatcher at Vaila's Trees, by AW Georgia Platt


Wood Warbler in the hand, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Wood Warbler : Trapped in Plantation
Barred Warbler Two at Vaila's Trees
Marsh Warbler : At Meadow Burn
Common Rosefinch : One Vaila's Trees

Sightings of note: 4 Greylag Goose, 6 Teal, 7 Oystercatcher, 12 Lapwing, 2 Golden Plover, 25 Ringed Plover, 51 Turnstone, 1 Whimbrel, 9 Curlew, 2 Ruff, 4 Sanderling, 6 Dunlin, 40 Snipe, 36 Redshank, 3 Kittiwake, 1 Black-headed Gull, 7 Common Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 2 Common Tern , 2 Arctic Skua, 2 Common Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 6 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Kestrel,61 Skylark, 21 Swallow, 14 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 3 Garden Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird, 43 Wheatear, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 2 Pied Wagtail, 30 Alba wagtail sp. , 330 Meadow Pipit, 100 Rock Pipit, 1 Brambling, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 1 redpoll sp., 119 Twite, 1 Common Crossbill

Year List: 176


Barred Warbler showing beautifully at Stackhoull, by AW Georgia Platt

Other Wildlife: 14 Red Admiral, 3 Rissos Dolphins

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28th August 2022
Weather:
Sunny, clear visibilty and light north-easterlies
A quieter day on census with a drop in warbler numbers, however the weather was beautiful and a combination of waders, raptors and migrant passerines around the crofts meant census was still a delight. The visibility today was also incredible , with both Shetland and Orkney visible in great detail to our north and south.


Foula from Lerness, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
Common Rosefinch : One at Schoolton, one at Lower Stoneybreck

Sightings of note: 5 Greylag Goose, 1 Teal, 1 Swift, 3 Oystercatcher, 6 Lapwing, 2 Golden Plover, 53 Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 19 Curlew, 60 Turnstone, 4 Knot, 1Ruff, 6 Sanderling, 8 Dunlin, 20 Snipe, 25 Redshank, 3 Kittiwake, 1 Black-headed Gull, 9 Common Gull, 8 Arctic Tern, 5 Arctic Skua, 1 Common Guillemot, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Cormorant, 4 Grey Heron, 2 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Carrion Crow, 44 Skylark, 1 Sand Martin, 20 Swallow, 7 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 3 Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Whitethroat, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Blackbird, 3 Whinchat, 60 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 3 Pied Wagtail, 8 White Wagtail, 42 Alba wagtail sp., 476 Meadow Pipit, 87 Rock Pipit, 79 Twite, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 2 redpoll sp.

Year List: 175


Buness in evening sun, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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27th August 2022
Weather:
Overcast but good visabilty and south-westerly winds
Yet another productive day with highlights of Marsh Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Common Rosefinch, and a couple of Barred Warblers, one of which was very confiding in Boini Mire. The red male Common Crossbill which has been mobile around the isle was also trapped at the Obs, and what a stunner it was!


Barred Warbler showing beautifully at Boini Mire, by AW Alex Penn


Crossbill in the hand at the Obs, by AW Alex Penn


Cormorant in Mid Geo, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
Melodious Warbler : At Springfield
Barred Warbler : One at Vaila's Trees, One Burkle
Marsh Warbler : At Meadow Burn
Common Rosefinch : One at the Haa, one at Lower Stoneybreck

Sightings of note: 10 Teal, 1 Swift, 2 Oystercatcher, 19 Lapwing, 8 Golden Plover, 36 Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 14 Curlew, 29 Turnstone, 4 Knot, 4 Sanderling, 2 Dunlin, 45 Snipe, 30 Redshank, 1 Kittiwake, 3 Black-headed Gull, 3 Common Gull, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Arctic Tern, 2 Arctic Skua, 10 Common Guillemot, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Cormorant, 5 Grey Heron, 66 Skylark, 21 Swallow, 18 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 4 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Whitethroat, 3 Goldcrest, 5 Whinchat, 112 Wheatear, 7 Pied Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 44 Alba wagtail sp., 345 Meadow Pipit, 100 Rock Pipit, 1 Brambling, 94 Twite, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 3 redpoll sp. , 1 Common Crossbill

Year List: 175

Other Wildlife: 6 Red Admiral, 10 Shetland Bee, 3 Porpoise

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26th August 2022
Weather:
Sun and south-westerly winds
Another sunny census with a nice smattering of scarcities arond the crofts. The Melodious Warbler was again seen around Midway, sharing the Angelica with a Marsh Warbler. There are also a couple of Common Rosefinch and Barred Warblers still present, and the Icterine Warbler remains at Chalet.


Marsh Warbler at Midway, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
Icterine Warbler : At Chalet
Melodious Warbler : At Midway
Barred Warbler : One at Vaila's Trees, One Burkle
Marsh Warbler : At Midway
Common Rosefinch : One at the Haa, one at Lower Stoneybreck

Sightings of note: 1 Wigeon, 3 Teal, 3 Swift, 9 Oystercatcher, 19 Lapwing, 4 Golden Plover, 98 Ringed Plover, 15 Curlew, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 55 Turnstone, 4 Knot, 9 Ruff, 5 Sanderling, 16 Dunlin, 12 Snipe, 58 Redshank, 4 Kittiwake, 1 Black-headed Gull, 20 Common Gull,2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 5 Arctic Tern, 5 Arctic Skua, 3 Common Guillemot, 1 Puffin, 4 Cormorant, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 47 Skylark, 2 Sand Martin, 22 Swallow, 15 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Whitethroat, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Blackbird, 4 Whinchat, 123 Wheatear, 7 Pied Wagtail, 30 Alba wagtail sp., 361 Meadow Pipit, 86 Rock Pipit, 61 Twite, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 1 redpoll sp.

Year List: 175

Other Wildlife: 4 Red Admiral, 2 Painted Lady, 6 Shetland Bee

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25th August 2022
Weather:
Sun and force 3 south-westerly winds
A productive census in the sun felt very autumnal with growing numbers of Meadow Pipits moving through, as well as a host of other common migrants. The highlight came later on when the Hippolais warbler recently seen around Upper Leogh and Schoolton was confirmed as a Melodious Warbler - another one up on the year list and lovely to see!
Melodious Warbler , by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Icterine Warbler : At Chalet
Melodious Warbler : At Schoolton
Barred Warbler : One at Schoolton

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 1 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 2 Swift, 1 Collared Dove, 11 Oystercatcher, 19 Lapwing, 4 Golden Plover, 66 Ringed Plover, 19 Curlew, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 49 Turnstone, 3 Knot, 9 Ruff, 13 Sanderling, 8 Dunlin, 43 Snipe, 41 Redshank, 2 Black-headed Gull, 73 Common Gull, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 2 Arctic Tern, 7 Arctic Skua, 2 Guillemot, 1 Puffin, 3 Cormorant, 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 3 Carrion Crow, 74 Skylark, 1 Sand Martin, 23 Swallow, 15 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 4 Whitethroat, 2 Blackbird, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Whinchat, 132 Wheatear, 16 Pied Wagtail, 3 White Wagtail, 23 Alba wagtail sp., 378 Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 102 Rock Pipit, 167 Twite, 1 Common Crossbill

Year List: 175

Other Wildlife: 4 Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, 7 Shetland Bee

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24th August 2022
Weather:
Very thick fog, rain and force 3 south-easterly winds
The Isle was bathed in pea-soup fog all day, so the team birded our census areas as best we could between rain showers. Still a productive day consdering the conditions, with an Icterine Warbler and a Barred Warbler still around, as well as a variety of other migrants such as Whinchat, Sand Martin and lots of wader flocks in the fields.
Ruff and Snipe in thick fog, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
Icterine Warbler : At Chalet
Melodious Warbler : At Upper Leogh
Barred Warbler : One at Schoolton

Sightings of note: 4 Wigeon, 13 Teal, 1 Swift, 19 Oystercatcher, 14 Lapwing, 4 Golden Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 15 Curlew, 9 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Knot, 5 Ruff, 4 Sanderling, 2 Dunlin, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 2 Arctic Tern, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Cormorant, 4 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Short-eared Owl, 2 Carrion Crow, 17 Swallow, 1 Sand Martin, 10 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Reed Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Whitethroat, 2 Whinchat, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 6 redpoll sp.

Year List: 175


Fog finally lifting over Lower Leogh, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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23rd August 2022
Weather:
Fog and force 4 south-easterly winds
A foggy but productive census revealed increasing numbers of warblers, as well as a Crossbill year tick from Georgia. A Shorelark was also a year tick, seen by Stewart at Quoy. Despite further efforts, the Great Snipe wasn't refound.
Male Common Crossbill at Upper Wirvie Burn, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
Grey Plover : Over Shirva
Wryneck : At North Shirva
Melodious Warbler : One at Midway
Shorelark : At Quoy, flew towards Boini Mire
Common Rosefinch : At Lower Stoneybreck

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 3 Wigeon, 7 Teal, 1 Swift, 19 Oystercatcher, 22 Lapwing, 11 Golden Plover, 29 Ringed Plover, 13 Whimbrel, 13 Curlew, 14 Black-tailed Godwit, 49 Turnstone, 3 Knot, 2 Ruff, 5 Sanderling, 2 Dunlin, 50 Snipe, 1 Green Sandpiper, 31 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 22 Common Gull, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3 Arctic Tern, 2 Arctic Skua, 3 Puffin, 12 Storm Petrel, 2 Sooty Shearwater, 2 Cormorant, 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 16 Swallow, 17 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Whitethroat, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Robin, 3 Whinchat, 7 Pied Wagtail, 26 Alba wagtail sp., 1 Brambling, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 4 redpoll sp., 1 Common Crossbill

Year List: 175

Other Wildlife: 3 Shetland Bee

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22nd August 2022
Weather: Sun and light south-easterly winds

The wind switched to south-easterly by mid-morning, resulting in the busiest census so far. Firsts for the autumn were Short-eared owl, Sparrowhawk, Whitethroat, and Spotted Flycatcher, with a Grasshopper Warbler in the evening. An early-morning year tick also came in the form of a Grey Plover over Tarryfield. The star bird, however, was undoubtedly the first Great Snipe since 2017, found by Georgia at Barkland. It flushed towards Pund, but despite spending a while searching, it wasn't refound. We are holding out hope that rain overnight might keep it around for another go tomorrow!


Great Snipe record shots, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
GREAT SNIPE : At Barkland, before flushing towards Pund
Grey Plover : Over Tarryfield
Barred Warbler : One at Burkle
Melodious Warbler : At Schoolton
Icterine Warbler : At Chalet

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 7 Teal, 3 Swift, 14 Oystercatcher, 22 Lapwing, 2 Golden Plover, 52 Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 19 Curlew, 44 Turnstone, 4 Knot, 1 Ruff, 2 Sanderling, 13 Dunlin, 39 Snipe, 52 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 4 Black-headed Gull, 3 Common Gull, 11 Arctic Tern, 3 Arctic Skua, 7 Common Guillemot, 6 Puffin, 34 Cormorant, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Short-eared Owl, 2 Kestrel, 2 Carrion Crow, 49 Skylark, 28 Swallow, 8 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Whinchat, 197 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 9 Pied Wagtail, 32 Alba wagtail sp., 1 White Wagtail, 409 Meadow Pipit, 113 Rock Pipit, 146 Twite, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 6 redpoll sp.

Year List: 173


Short-eared Owl at Busta, by Ranger Holly Pickett

Other Wildlife: 3 Red Admiral, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 6 Shetland Bee, 1 Minke Whale


Small Tortoiseshell at Hill Dyke, by AW Alex Penn

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21st August 2022
Weather: Rainy showers and sunshine with a force 4 westerly

Beautiful sunshine on cesus was interspersed with a couple of heavy showers. A good day for the start of autumn, with highlights including Barred Warbler, Icterine Warbler and Wryneck. The Wryneck was spotted by Alex, on the road to Neder Taft, and we watched it hop onto the wall to be very confiding. We spent the afternoon mending the roof of Vaadal, a big job that needed done so we've had a productive day!


Wryneck at Neder Taft, by AW Alex Penn


Icterine Warbler at Chalet, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Barred Warbler : One at Burkle
Wryneck : One at Nedder Taft
Icterine Warbler : One at Chalet

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 8 Teal, 3 Swift, 36 Oystercatcher, 22 Lapwing, 3 Golden Plover, 69 Ringed Plover, 20 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel, 28 Curlew, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 69 Turnstone, 1 Knot, 1 Ruff, 3 Sanderling, 7 Dunlin, 13 Snipe, 54 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 2 Black-headed Gull, 33 Common Gull, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 5 Arctic Tern, 6 Arctic Skua, 1 Common Guillemot, 3 Puffin, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Cormorant, 2 Carrion Crow, 68 Skylark, 20 Swallow, 10 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 3 Reed Warbler, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 3 Whinchat, 161 Wheatear, 7 Pied Wagtail, 34 Alba wagtail sp., 4 White Wagtail, 356 Meadow Pipit, 92 Rock Pipit, 137 Twite, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 6 redpoll sp.

Year List: 170

Other Wildlife: 2 Red Admiral, 6 Shetland Bee


Passing rain showers, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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20th August 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells with a brisk force 5 southerly wind
Showers in the morning cleared to gorgeous sushine, with dramatic waves crashing over Da Skerry. A small influx of Whinchats enjoyed the Angelica in Boini Mire, and Skadan is covered in Turnstone. The biggest news of the day is moth-related, with the first Manchester Treble-bar for Fair Isle trapped by Pat at Lower Stoneybreck!


Whinchat on Angelica, by AW Alex Penn


Manchester Treble-bar, by Pat Thompson

HIGHLIGHTS:
Barred Warbler : One at Schoolton

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 7 Teal, 1 Tufted Duck, 7 Oystercatcher, 38 Ringed Plover, 20 Curlew, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 87 Turnstone, 1 Knot, 7 Sanderling, 4 Dunlin, 41 Snipe, 50 Redshank, 1 Ruff, 1 Black-headed Gull, 65 Common Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 9 Arctic Tern, 10 Arctic Skua, 2 Manx Shearwater, 1 Cormorant, 1 Kestrel, 1 Carrion Crow, 42 Skylark, 28 Swallow, 12 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Blackbird, 1 Black Redstart, 3 Whinchat, 134 Wheatear, 9 Pied Wagtail, 15 Alba wagtail sp., 2 White Wagtail, 314 Meadow Pipit, 97 Rock Pipit, 98 Twite, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 4 redpoll sp.

Year List: 170

Other Wildlife: 2 Red Admiral, 2 Shetland Bee

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19th August 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells with a brisk force 5 southerly wind
Autumn is here with double-figures of Willow Warblers, a Barred Warbler and a Red-backed Shrike. Patches of wild Angelica around Midway and Boini Mire are proving especially appealing to bright green juvenile Willow Warblers, and hopefully a more species as migration kicks off in the next few weeks.


Juvenile Willow Warbler amongst Wild Angelica, by AW Georgia Platt


Cormorant over Setter, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
Red-backed Shrike : One juv. at Burkle
Barred Warbler : One at Schoolton

Sightings of note: 2 Wigeon, 4 Teal, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Water Rail, 37 Oystercatcher, 6 Golden Plover, 58 Ringed Plover, 4 Whimbrel, 4 Curlew, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 78 Turnstone, 1 Knot, 4 Sanderling, 11 Dunlin, 3 Purple Sandpiper, 39 Snipe, 61 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 149 Common Gull, 15 Arctic Tern, 1 Cormorant, 2 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 61 Skylark, 22 Swallow, 14 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Reed Warbler, 1 Blackbird, 1 Songthrush, 1 Whinchat, 159 Wheatear, 13 Pied Wagtail, 6 Alba wagtail sp., 2 White Wagtail, 306 Meadow Pipit, 95 Rock Pipit, 69 Twite, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 6 redpoll sp.

Year List: 170

Other Wildlife: 1 Red Admiral, 2 Painted Lady, 3 Shetland Bee

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18th August 2022
Weather:
Cloudy with a force 6-7 south-easterly
A very blustery census but the Barred Warbler has hung around at North Shirva along with a couple of Reed Warblers and the Whinchat. A Shelduck was new in, while a single Black-tailed Godwit remains of the flock from earlier in the week.


Reed Warbler at North Shirva, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Barred Warbler : One at North Shirva


Barred Warbler at North Shirva, by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 2 Greylag Goose, 1 Shelduck, 3 Wigeon, 4 Teal, 34 Oystercatcher, 11 Golden Plover, 41 Ringed Plover, 19 Curlew, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 25 Turnstone, 3 Sanderling, 4 Dunlin, 2 Purple Sandpiper, 17 Snipe, 48 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 179 Common Gull, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 15 Arctic Tern, 2 Common Guillemot, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 4 Grey Heron, 52 Skylark, 10 Swallow, 4 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler,1 Whinchat, 142 Wheatear, 16 Pied Wagtail, 19 Alba Wagtail, 2 White Wagtail, 326 Meadow Pipit, 77 Rock Pipit, 98 Twite, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 2 redpoll sp.

Year List: 170

Other Wildlife: 2 Red Admiral, 4 Shetland Bee

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17th August 2022
Weather:
Overcast with force 2-3 south easterly winds
Yet another year tick today came as two Barred Warblers, at Schoolton and North Shirva. The afternoon was spent mending the gaps in the Gully Heligoland trap ready for the autumn.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Barred Warbler : One at Schoolton and One at North Shirva

Sightings of note: 2 Greylag Goose, 3 Wigeon, 1 Tufted Duck, 24 Oystercatcher, 5 Golden Plover, 34 Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 21 Curlew, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Turnstone, 5 Sanderling, 1 Dunlin, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 19 Snipe, 54 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 8 Common Gull, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 8 Arctic Tern, 1 Common Guillemot, 1 Carrion Crow, 59 Skylark, 24 Swallow, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, 178 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 26 Pied Wagtail, 11 Alba , Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 315 Meadow Pipit, 103 Rock Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 83 Twite, 1 Mealy Redpoll,1 Lesser Redpoll, 4 redpoll sp.

Year List: 170

Other Wildlife: 2 Shetland Bee

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16th August 2022
Weather:
Rainy showers and a cold force 5 northerly wind
A dreich day turned out some nice wader passage, including two year ticks - Spotted Redshank and Ruff. There was also a Greenshank along with large flocks of Redshank, Black-tailed Godwits and Oystercatchers. Our Mealy Redpoll fledgies have moved to Plantation over the last couple of days, while the Rosefinches seem to have gone having successfully fledged a chick.


Spotted Redshank around South Light, by AW Alex Penn


Fledgeling Mealy Redpoll at Plantation, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
Spotted Redshank : Juvenile at Skadan

Sightings of note: 2 Greylag Goose, 6 Teal, 1 Wigeon, 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Water Rail, 60 Oystercatcher, 6 Lapwing, 6 Golden Plover, 32 Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 23 Curlew, 18 Black-tailed Godwit, 35 Turnstone, 2 Ruff , 7 Sanderling, 11 Dunlin, 2 Purple Sandpiper, 20 Snipe, 19 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 5 Black-headed Gull, 9 Common Gull, 7 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 5 Arctic Tern, 1 Common Guillemot, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Carrion Crow,13 Swallow, 7 Willow Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, 1 Whinchat, 6 Pied Wagtail, 13 Alba Wagtail , 1 White Wagtail, 136 Twite, 3 Mealy Redpoll

Year List: 169


Sooty Shearwater off South Light, by AW Georgia Platt


2 Ruff amongst Black-tailed Godwits at Barkland, by AW Georgia Platt

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15th August 2022
Weather:
Low cloud and fog brightened later on, with very light south-easterlies
Fog yet again delayed census but it was worth the wait. A Wryneck at Single Dyke was a valuable year tick, while the first Whinchat if the autumn was a welcome surprise at Midway!


Whinchat at Midway, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Wryneck: At Single Dyke
Sightings of note:2 Greylag Goose, 1 Shoveller, 15 Teal, 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Swift, 7 Oystercatcher, 34 Ringed Plover, 6 Curlew, 24 Black-tailed Godwit, 24 Turnstone, 4 Sanderling, 6 Dunlin, 27 Snipe, 12 Redshank, 13 Black-headed Gull, 10 Common Gull, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 48 Skylark, 6 Swallow, 5 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 4 Reed Warbler, 1 Blackbird, 1 Whinchat, 12 Pied Wagtail, 136 Twite, 3 Mealy Redpoll, 1 Lesser Redpoll

Year List: 167

Other Wildlife: 7 Shetland Bee


Wryneck at Single Dyke, by AW Alex Penn

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14th August 2022
Weather:
Overcast with low cloud and force 2-3 south-easterlies
Autumn migration is slowely cranking into gear with a few more Willow Warblers, and a couple of Reed Warblers at Walli Burn. The afternoon was spent re-visiting our Fulmar plots to find out which of the nest sites marked in June now have a chick.


Reed Warbler at Walli Burn, by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note:2 Greylag Goose, 5 Teal, 1 Swift, 1 Woodpigeon, 82 Oystercatcher, 21 Lapwing, 10 Golden Plover, 47 Ringed Plover, 12 Curlew, 11 Black-tailed Godwit, 24 Turnstone, 2 Dunlin, 24 Snipe, 21 Redshank, 9 Black-headed Gull, 86 Common Gull, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Common Tern, 63 Arctic Tern, 5 Grey Heron, 1 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 48 Skylark, 13 Swallow, 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Reed Warbler, 159 Wheatear, 17 Pied Wagtail, 9 Alba Wagtail sp., 279 Meadow Pipit, 113 Rock Pipit, 81 Twite, 2 Mealy Redpoll

Year List: 166

Other Wildlife: 4 Shetland Bee, 1 Minke Whale


Common Tern at South Light, by AW Alex Penn

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13th August 2022
Weather:
Fog most of the day with light south-easterlies
Heavy fog all morning meant yet another afternoon census. A large mixed flock of waders on the cut field at Taing kept things interesting, as did the first Merlin of the autumn.


Tufted Duck at Golden Water, by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note:2 Greylag Goose, 1 Wigeon, 3 Teal, 1 Tufted Duck, 4 Swift, 61 Oystercatcher, 5 Lapwing, 5 Golden Plover, 45 Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 16 Curlew, 29 Black-tailed Godwit, 19 Turnstone, 1 Sanderling, 10 Dunlin, 12 Snipe, 29 Redshank, 10 Black-headed Gull, 143 Common Gull, 7 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 136 Arctic Tern, 2 Peregrine, 1 Merlin, 41 Skylark, 17 Swallow, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 127 Wheatear, 12 Pied Wagtail, 7 Alba Wagtail sp., 159 Meadow Pipit, 97 Rock Pipit, 81 Twite, 3 Mealy Redpoll

Year List: 166

Other Wildlife: 9 Shetland Bee


Juvenile Wheatear at Smirri Geo, by AW Georgia Platt

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12th August 2022
Weather:
Overcast with light south-easterlies
Another overcast day with a quiet census. One nice bit of news is that our breeding Sedge Warblers have fledged! It's been a very good year for unusual breeding birds, with Cuckoo, Common Rosefinch and Mealy Redpoll also fledging chicks.


Sedge Warbler fledgling, by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note:2 Greylag Goose, 1 Teal, 1 Tufted Duck, 66 Oystercatcher, 28 Lapwing, 8 Golden Plover, 23 Ringed Plover, 7 Whimbrel, 24 Curlew, 27 Black-tailed Godwit, 19 Turnstone, 9 Dunlin, 6 Snipe, 26 Redshank, 8 Black-headed Gull, 22 Common Gull, 6 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 159 Arctic Tern, 3 Peregrine, 1 Carrion Crow, 48 Skylark, 18 Swallow, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 142 Wheatear, 13 Pied Wagtail, 3 Alba Wagtail sp., 149 Meadow Pipit, 76 Rock Pipit, 112 Twite, 3 Mealy Redpoll, 1 Lesser Redpoll

Year List: 166

Other Wildlife: 8 Shetland Bee, 1 Red Admiral Butterfly,1 Porpoise


Some more wader passage included 27 Black-tailed Godwit, by AW Alex Penn

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1 11th August 2022
Weather:
Overcast with a force 4 south-westerly wind
It was an uneventful census this morning, but some large flocks of Golden Plover and Lapwing are always nice to see and hear about the isle.


Arctic Skua fledgling, by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note:2 Greylag Goose, 7 Teal, 1 Woodpigeon, 54 Oystercatcher, 24 Lapwing, 35 Ringed Plover, 20 Curlew, 49 Turnstone, 3 Sanderling, 1 Dunlin, 19 Snipe, 1 Green Sandpiper, 29 Redshank, 31 Common Gull, 8 Black-headed Gull, 6 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 121 Arctic Tern, 1 Common Guillemot, 2 Peregrine, 51 Skylark, 19 Swallow, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 182 Wheatear, 13 Pied Wagtail, 7 Alba Wagtail sp., 189 Meadow Pipit, 83 Rock Pipit, 112 Twite, 3 Mealy Redpoll, 1 Lesser Redpoll

Year List: 166

Other Wildlife: 5 Shetland Bee

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10th August 2022
Weather:
Force 4-6 south-westerly winds with bright sun
Sunshine in the morning made census a pleasure. Wader numbers are just beginning to pick up, and we had a couple of firsts for the autumn in the form of a Green Sandpiper, and a Black-tailed Godwit. A guided walk on Buness in the afternoon revealed that a couple of Puffins are still carrying fish, though significant numbers have left the clifftops.


Sheep rock from Buness in blazing sunshine, by Julia Barker

Sightings of note:2 Greylag Goose, 8 Teal, 1 Tufted Duck, 27 Lapwing, 16 Golden Plover, 46 Oystercatcher, 21 Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 13 Curlew, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 39 Turnstone, 1 Sanderling, 2 Dunlin, 1 Green Sandipier, 29 Redshank, 18 Snipe, 17 Common Gull, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 223 Arctic Tern, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Carrion Crow, 70 Skylark, 1 Sand Martin, 43 Swallow (minimum count), 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackbird, 168 Wheatear, 12 Pied Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 1 Alba Wagtail sp., 197 Meadow Pipit, 84 Rock Pipit, 43 Twite, 1 Mealy Redpoll

Year List: 166

Other Wildlife: 6 Shetland Bee

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9th August 2022
Weather:
Fog and drizzle with south-westerly winds, turning to sun by afternoon
A dreich morning meant we did census in the afternoon, when the fog cleared to bright sunshine. The main highlight of the day was a year tick in the form of a juvenile Common Tern in the roost off South Light.

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 5 Teal, 1 Collared Dove, 45 Oystercatcher, 21 Lapwing, 3 Golden Plover, 29 Ringed Plover, 16 Curlew, 8 Turnstone, 6 Sanderling, 3 Dunlin, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 34 Snipe, 41 Redshank, 133 Common Gull, 22 Lesser Black-backed Gull, Common Tern (first of the year), 108 Arctic Tern, 48 Skylark, 8 Swallow, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Blackbird, 138 Wheatear, 7 Pied Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 4 Alba Wagtail sp., 176 Meadow Pipit, 68 Rock Pipit, 88 Twite, 1 Mealy Redpoll

Year List: 166

Other Wildlife: 14 Shetland Bee ________________________________________________________________________________________________

8th August 2022
Weather:
Fog and drizzle with south-westerly winds
No census today as it rained consistently most of the day. Some more wader passage, including a flock of 26 Lapwing, presumably migrants.

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 4 Teal, 1 Tufted Duck, 2 Swift, 26 Lapwing, 8 Golden Plover, 2 Sanderling, 3 Dunlin, 1 Black-headed Gull, 31 Common Gull, 75 Arctic Tern, 3 Common Guillemot

Year List: 165

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7th August 2022
Weather:
Sun and showers with force 4 south-westerlies
Autumn census was off to a good start today with two year ticks - a Grey Phalarope and a Sooty Shearwater! There are also large numbers of juvenile breeding passerines, including Wheatears all along the roads and hundreds of Meadow Pipits in the north.
Grey Phalarope in Muckle Uri, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Grey Phalarope: At Muckle Uri
Sooty Shearwater: Off South Lighthouse

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 4 Teal, 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Swift, 66 Oystercatcher, 27 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 43 Ringed Plover, 16 Curlew, 53 Turnstone, 3 Sanderling, 4 Dunlin, 20 Purple Sandpiper, 28 Snipe, 29 Redshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 15 Common Gull, 9 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 184 Arctic Tern, 1 Peregrine, 1 Carrion Crow, 57 Skylark, 13 Swallow, 1 Willow Warbler, 201 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 14 Pied Wagtail, 2 White Wagtail, 1 Alba Wagtail sp., 203 Meadow Pipit, 94 Rock Pipit, 83 Twite, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 1 Lesser Redpoll
Year List: 165

Other Wildlife: 3 Shetland bee, 1 White-tailed Bumblebee
Ringed Plover on Hoini, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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24th July - 5th August 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells, some fog and rain, and mostly force 3-5 south-westerly winds
Latest sightings is back after a brief interlude as the team have been off Fair Isle. We are all now back for the autumn and ready to start census again! The big news on the bird front is that we have had Common Rosefinch breeding for the first time ever, and they have successfully fledged a chick! They nested in the Obs garden but the juvenile is now roaming the isle. All the monitoring was carried out (and photos taken) under the appropriate Schedule 1 disturbance licence.
Breeding Common Rosefinches!! by AW Alex Penn

The auks are leaving the cliffs now and many of the other seabirds are close to fledging. Autumn is definately on the way with wild Angelica springing up all over the isle and the first few juvenile Willow Warblers trickling through.


Wild Angelica and other wildflowers in Boini Mire, by Ranger Holly Pickett

Sightings of note: 2 Teal, 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Shoveler, 2 Swift, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Golden Plover, 5 Whimbrel, 15 Turnstone, 32 Knot, 3 Sanderling, 8 Dunlin, 4 Purple Sandpiper, 7 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 140 Common Gull, 1 Red-throated Diver, 8 Storm Petrel, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Kestrel, 2 Peregrine, 1 Carrion Crow, 11 Swallow, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Common Rosefinch, 2 Mealy Redpoll, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 13 Siskin
Year List: 163

Other Wildlife: Shetland bee, Small Tortoiseshell
Swift at Wirvie, by AW Alex Penn

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15th - 23rd July 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells with mostly force 2-3 north-westerlies
We have had some gorgeous sunshine and light winds for the first time in what feels like months! This allowed perfect weather for the annual puffin feed watch, as well as continued seabird monitoring. Puffins are bringing in sizeable beakfulls of Rockling and Sandeel, while the Guillemots and Razorbills have nearly all fledged from the cliffs! The Arctic Skuas at Gilsetter have fledged and are practicing their pirate skills on unsuspecting Rock Doves


Puffins by their numbered burrows during the feed watch at Roskillie, by AW Alex Penn


Puffin with Rockling, by Ranger Holly Pickett


Fledgeling Arctic Skua, by AW Alex Penn

The weather reached an all time high of 22.6C on the 19th , and the weather remained balmy (for Fair Isle!) for us to take part in Sheep Hill. The Caa of the hill sheep in the north of the isle is a community event and the Obs staff were keen to get stuck in.


Clipping Sheep, by AW Georgia Platt

Autumn does seem to be on the way. The first bright green juv. Willow Warbler was sighted on the 19th, and numbers of Knot, Redshank and other waders are growing around the shoreline.


Juvenile Willow Warbler at Chapel Plantation, by AW Alex Penn

A few Highlights as well this week! A Pomerine Skua from the Good Shepherd was a year tick and a Hobby is an exciting Shetland rarity! HIGHLIGHTS:
Quail: At Midway on the 17th
Pomarine Skua: From Good Shepherd on the 19th
Hobby: At Setter on the 22nd

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 2 Swift, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Golden Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 20 Turnstone, 3 Sanderling, 1 Dunlin, 15 Redshank, 61 Black-headed Gull, 1 Red-throated Diver, 2 Storm Petrel, 1 Manx Shearwater, 1 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 10 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 1 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Blackbird, 2 Mealy Redpoll, 1 Redpoll sp., 13 Siskin
Year List: 163


Fulmar Chick – look at that ball of fluff! by Alex Colwell

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10th - 14th July 2022
Weather:
Mostly force 3-5 south-westerly winds, reaching force 7, with fog and rain showers
Despite strong winds and fog, there was a small flurry of early returning waders, and passerines at the beginning of the week. An unexpected highlight has a fledgling Cuckoo which appeared in the fog on the 11th. It still had very juvenile plumage, paddle-like wings and was begging from Meadow Pipit 'parents', so must have fledged on the isle. This is the first record of breeding Cuckoo since 2003!


Cuckoo fledgling at the solar panels, by AW Alex Penn

In the lulls in the wind we were able to get out and continue observational seabird monitoring. Guillemots, Razorbills and Arctic Terns are all fledging, while Gannet chicks are getting big!



There are Tirrick (Arctic Tern) chicks of all sizes in the colony at the moment, by AW Georgia Platt

A benefit of the strong westerly winds and big swells has been some great beachcombing finds. A short walk along South Haven beach on the 12th revealed large numbers of Buoy Barnacles, a scattering of Goose Barnacles and few By-the-wind Sailors (Valella valella).


By-the-wind Sailor on South Haven, by AW Alex Penn


Family of Rock Pipits in Steensi Geo, by Ranger Holly Pickett

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Cuckoo (fledged juv), 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Golden Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Turnstone, 3 Knot, 1 Dunlin, 36 Redshank, 18 Black-headed Gull, 15 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Peregrine, 3 Sand Martin, 4 Swallow, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 3 Blackbird, 2 Mealy Redpoll, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 10 Siskin

Year List: 162

Other Wildlife: 1 Magpie Moth, 1 Silver Y


Knot at Mid Geo, by AW Alex Penn

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4th - 9th July 2022
Weather:
Force 3-5 westerly winds with fog and rain showers
With wind and rain continuing to slow down observational seabird work, we are definitely missing out on the heatwave the rest of the UK seems to be experiencing. Despite this, we did the annual Guillemot feed watch on Tuesday. Lots of large Gadoids were seen being brought in which is a positive sign! Thanks also to David Pickett for the help with this, we don't have volunteers this season so your time was invaluable!

In other news, we took part in Fair Isle Wildlife Day, organised by Martha Thompson, DR MPA Officer. This allowed some of the us to demonstrate some of the ways the community can get involved in citizen science projects, and show the kind of research that goes on a daily basis. If any visitors are keen to get involved in Shorewatch cetacean watches, or cataloguing the shoreline biology of Fair Isle, don't hesitate to ge in touch and we can link you up with the right people! Other birds are still rather thin on the ground. A Common Scoter at Furse on the 7th brightened things up a bit although sadly not a year tick!



Demonstrating the Shorewatch method (See WDC website for more info), by Head Teacher Gillian Maxwell

Sightings of note: 1 Common Scoter, 1 Dunlin, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 20 Redshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 23 Common Gull, 1 Manx Shearwater, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Kestrel, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 2 Mealy Redpoll, 9 Siskin

Year List: 162

Other Wildlife: Shetland Bee


Meadow Pipit nest on Ward Hill, by David Pickett

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25th June - 3rd July 2022
Weather:
Mid to light south-westerlies with some fog and rain showers
It's been a quiet week for us on Fair Isle, as COVID in the team, fog, and Avian Influenza have prevented a chunk of monitoring work. The big news, however, is that work has begun on building the new Obs. Keep an eye on our social media for updates!
Building supplies and workmen for the new Obs have made North Haven a hive of activity, by AW Alex Penn

A few more birds have been about, including a year tick of Bar-tailed Godwit, a large flock of Siskins, and a juvenile Stonechat trapped in Plantation.


Juvenile Stonechat in the hand, by AW Alex Penn

We have also been treated to a visit by a couple of tall ships in the harbour, adding to the hustle and bustle. Ranger Holly took one crew of nine for a guided walk up to North Light, and in exchange recieved lunch on board (and a very generous donation to the Obs - Thank you!!)
Guided walk with the Ranger looking at some Arctic Skuas, by David Pickett

Sightings of note: 8 Greylag Goose, 1 Teal, 2 Tufted Duck, 3 Swift, 1 Cuckoo, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Woodpigeon, 2 Golden Plover, 44 Curlew, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit (first of the year), 1 Dunlin, 16 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 8 Black-headed Gull, 88 Common Gull, 10 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Storm Petrel, 3 Grey Heron, 1 Kestrel, 2 Peregrine, 9 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 1 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 1 Stonechat, 2 Mealy Redpoll, 21 Siskin

Year List: 162

Other Wildlife: Shetland Bee, Silver y, Magpie Moth, Painted Lady, 4 Harbour Porpoise (minumum count)


Sunset off Steensi Geo, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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20th - 24th June 2022
Weather:
Strong south-westerlies became force 3-4 south-easterlies with low cloud
At last a lull in the weather allowed us to fit in the last Guillemot population counts and continue observational monitoring of the seabirds. It's peak hatching time for many of the species, and the cliffs are a bustle of activity.
The Puffins on Buness are getting increasingly tame, this one had a nibble on the bottom of my telescope, by Ranger Holly Pickett

Birding has been a little more fruitful as well, with some nice sightings including a Black Redstart at Skerryholm on the 22nd, a Marsh Warbler and a fantastic count of six common Swift on the 23rd, as well as two Tufted Duck on Da Water today (24th). A Spanish-ringed Dunlin was also spotted at the Haven by Alex, presumably ringed on wintering grounds on the Villaviciosa estuary.

Spanish-ringed Dunlin, by AW Alex Penn

On Wednesday (22nd), Holly (Ranger) continued working with the school to help make their garden as wildlife-friendly as possible. We planted some Willow wands pruned from Plantation Heligoland trap. The hope is these will grow to form a bit of a windbreak and be able to be weaved in together as the grow. Birds and insects will enjoy the cover and there's potential for some good dens for the bairns!


Planting Willow, by Head Teacher Gillian Maxwell

HIGHLIGHTS:
Marsh Warbler: In Plantation on the 23rd

Sightings of note: 8 Greylag Goose, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 6 Swift, 3 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 5 Dunlin, 5 Redshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 6 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Red-throated Diver, 5 Storm Petrel, 1 Manx Shearwater, 4 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 4 Swallow, 5 House Martin, 6 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 2 Blackbird, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Black Redstart , 1 Dunnock, 2 Mealy Redpoll, 1 Redpoll sp., 2 Siskin

Year List: 161

Other Wildlife: Shetland Bee


Male Wheater singing amongst the Thrift that carpets the isle, by AW Alex Penn

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15th - 19th June 2022
Weather:
Light south-easterlies gave way to force 7 (gusting 8-9) south-westerly winds by weekend, with mixed sunny spells all week
On Wednesday and Thursday we fitted in all the seabird work we could before the weather went downhill again. This meant Guillemot population counts both days, then Wednesday afternoon was taken up with a combination of mapping the remaining Arctic Skua nests and Guillemot productivity monitoring.


The first Guillemot chick has hatched at Pietron, by Ranger Holly Pickett

Thursday afternoon was even busier, and we squeezed in a partial count of the Arctic Tern colony (also their first chick!) before heading down Easter Lother for the next Razorbill visit. We ringed a number of chicks and saw some adults bringing in impressive beakfulls of Greater Sandeels. Unfortunately, this will be our last seabird handling work for the foreseeable future due to the ongoing outbreak of Avian Influenza.



Razorbill chick with both parents on Easter Lother, by AW Georgia Platt

The weekend was wild, with huge swells and gale-force winds. As a result, observational work wasn't possible and we spent a couple of days catching up on the week's admin and watching the sea in awe.
Waves breaking over Da Skerry, by Ranger Holly Pickett

By Sunday, it had calmed enough to do some birding around the crofts and the less-precarious seabird monitoring. We were even able to ring some gorgeous Curlew chicks at Da Water in the morning.


Curlew chicks at Da Water, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
Canada Goose: 2 settled with Greylags at Da Water on the 16th

Sightings of note: 22 Greylag Goose, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 3 Dunlin, 3 Redshank, 8 Black-headed Gull, 11 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Manx Shearwater, 1 Kestrel, 2 Peregrine, 1 Carrion Crow, 7 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Dunnock, 2 Linnet, 2 Mealy Redpoll, 20 Siskin

Year List: 161

Other Wildlife: Shetland Bee


Razorbill chick in the hand at Easter Lother, by AW Georgia Platt

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13th - 14th June 2022
Weather:
Mostly overcast with force 4 westerlies moving to south-westerlies
A couple more days of seabird fieldwork with three year ticks worth a mention. A Shoveler on Da Water on Monday was followed by a Canada Goose at Utra Scrape today. This evening a stunning summery Little Gull was amongst the Kittiwakes at South Harbour, roundng a busy day off nicely. Cruise ship passengers enjoyed some of the first Puffins carrying healthy beakfulls of Sandeels this afternoon.


Little Gull amongst Kittiwakes - what a beauty!, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Quail: Singing at Setter on the 13th
Canada Goose: At Utra Scrape on the 14th
Little Gull: In Kittiwake roost at South Harbour on the 14th


A valuable year tick in the form of a Canada Goose, by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 6 Greylag Goose, 1 Shoveler (first of the year), 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Golden Plover, 1 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Redshank, 10 Black-headed Gull, 19 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Peregrine, 7 Swallow, 7 House Martin, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird, 2 Common Rosefinch, 2 Mealy Redpoll

Year List: 161

Other Wildlife: Shetland Bee


Adult summer Little Gull, by AW Alex Penn

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7th - 12th June 2022
Weather:
Strong (force 4-6) southerly winds all week with sun, turning cloudy by the weekend
As census has finished for the spring and we are deep into seabird work, Latest Sightings will be a wee update every five days with just the peak counts of migrants (unless we have a mega day!). The week has consisted of counting Guillemot and Fulmars, as well as regular monitoring of productivity plots for Guillemots, Gannets, Shags and Kittiwakes. On Wednesday (8th), we got over to Greenholm in our new dingy for the first Puffin visit. This involved reaching into their burrows (known as 'grovelling') to assess occupancy. There are a few very cute chicks already, while the majority of burrows contained an adult on an egg.


Alex and Holly checking Puffin Burrows with South Light in the background, by AW Georgia Platt

The cruise ship on Friday was cancelled, so we took the chance to begin mapping Arctic Skua nests around the island. The weather only deteriorated over the weekend, so with no cruise ships and unable to work on the cliffs, we had a quiet couple of days catching up on odd jobs and admin. Birds other than seabirds have been rather thin on the ground. A Hawfinch, a Marsh Warbler, a singing Quail and a couple of Common Rosefinches were highlights in a rather quiet week.


Brown Common Rosefinch at Quoy, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Quail: Singing east of Burkle on the 9th
Osprey: North-east over Shirva on the 9th
Marsh Warbler: At Shirva on the 8th
Hawfinch: Female at the Obs on the 9th

Sightings of note: 23 Greylag Goose, 1 Teal, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 3 Whimbrel, 1 Dunlin, 2 Redshank, 3 Black-headed Gull, 17 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Great Northern Diver, 4 Manx Shearwater, 1 Cormorant, 2 Peregrine, 3 Carrion Crow, 8 Swallow, 2 House Martin, 3 Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler, 1 Whitethroat, 3 Blackbird, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Dunnock, 2 Common Rosefinch, 2 Mealy Redpoll, 2 Siskin

Year List: 158

Other Wildlife: Shetland Bee, Large White Butterfly (8th), 2 Bull Orca distant off Da Skerry, Pres. Hulk and Nótt (9th)


A pair of Mealy Redpoll have been around the Obs for a few days, and the male is blindingly bright!, by AW Alex Penn

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6th June 2022
Weather:
Sun with a force 3 north-easterly wind
A beautiful day to crack on with some seabird work. The day began with AWs Georgia and Alex decending the via ferrata at Easter Lother to carry out the first Razorbill visit. In the afternoon we counted Guillemot and Fulmar population plots. Very few new birds in as spring migration draws to a close, but the Red-rumped Swallow remained around Gilsetter for a second day.


Mapping Razorbill nest sites at Easter Lother boulder beach, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Red-rumped Swallow: Still at Gilsetter

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Woodpigeon, 2 Collared Dove, 2 Golden Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 2 Redshank, 10 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine, 1 Carrion Crow, 5 Swallow, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird, 1 Redwing, 2 Spotted Flycatcher

Year List: 158

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5th June 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells with a force 2 WNW wind dropping to a force 1 easterly by evening
It was an early morning for the team as we completed the final Breeding Bird Survey of the season. The rest of the day was spent with seabird monitoring work. The best sighting was surely a Red-rumped Swallow (15th for Fair Isle), which remained around Gilsetter amongst a large number of common hirundines and swifts for most of the day. Despite circulating rumours, the White-throated Needletail seen 65nm off Duncansby Head yesterday evening hasn't made it closer to Fair Isle waters.


Red-rumped Swallow pausing briefly on a fence, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Red-necked Phalarope:Calling over North Light
Red-rumped Swallow: Seen first at the Havens then spent the day at Gilsetter
Marsh Warbler: At the Haa
Icterine Warbler: At Brecks

Sightings of note: 6 Greylag Goose, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 3 Swift, 2 Woodpigeon, 3 Whimbrel, 7 Dunlin, 3 Redshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 10 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Cormorant, 1 Kestrel, 2 Peregrine, 1 Sand Martin, 17 Swallow, 8 House Martin, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat

Year List: 158

Other Wildlife: Shetland Bee, 2 Harbour Porpoise at North Light


Absolutely flat calm day to receive the Ortelius cruise ship, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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4th June 2022
Weather:
Sunshine all day and a force 3 south-westerly wind
The most excitng bird of the day was an absolutely pristine leucistic Starling found by AW Georgia, although a bit of a shock at first! A Storm Petrel seen off the Good Shepherd was also a nice year tick. Meanwhile, a female Bluethroat and Icterine Warbler added interest to the quietest census for a while. We spent the afternoon carrying out the first Guillemot and Fulmar population counts of the season, so with all the walking (over 22,000 steps each), and counting we truly earned our evening beer!


Leucistic Starling - bet that got the pulse racing for a second! by AW Georgia Platt


Snipe at Busta, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
Icterine Warbler: One in Plantation
Bluethroat: Female at Shalstane


Female Bluethroat at Shalstane, by AW Georgia Platt

Sightings of note: 5 Greylag Goose, 2 Wigeon, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 2 Woodpigeon, 61 Oystercatcher, 18 Lapwing, 48 Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 12 Curlew, 6 Dunlin, 5 Snipe, 3 Redshank, 4 Common Gull, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull, Storm Petrel (First of the year), 2 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 64 Skylark, 5 Swallow, 2 House Martin, 1 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Blackbird, 1 Redwing, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 63 Wheatear, 1 Dunnock, 5 Pied Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 82 Meadow Pipit, 56 Rock Pipit, 29 Twite

Year List: 156

Other Wildlife: 6 Shetland Bee


Puffins crowding the cliffs in the sun, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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3rd June 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells with a force 4 north-westerly wind
For Holly (FI Ranger) the day started with some rock pooling in Kirki Geo with the bairns and the valuable expertise of naturalist Nick Riddiford. Three species of crab (Shore, Velvet Swimmer, and Edible) were found to high excitement, as well as a vicious set of Monkfish teeth. Meanwhile, AWs Alex and Georgia carried out a number of jobs necessary for the seabird season which is now upon us. The afternoon was filled with seabird monitoring and birding around the crofts, with a similar selection of common migrants and scarcities to yesterday.


The Fair Isle School Expeditionary Force explore depths of Kirki Geo, by Head Teacher Gillian Maxwell

HIGHLIGHTS:
Quail: One singing at the Cemetery
Osprey: North over Shirva
Icterine Warbler: 4 - at Schoolton, Burkle, the Obs, and Lower Leogh

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 2 Woodpigeon, 1 Golden Plover, 1 Turnstone, 5 Dunlin, 2 Redshank, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Short-eared Owl, 5 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 2 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 5 Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird, 7 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 White Wagtail, 1 Common Rosefinch, 14 Twite, 2 Mealy Redpoll

Year List: 155

Other Wildlife: 6 Shetland Bee, 1 Buff-tailed Bumblebee


Guillemot monitoring at Da Swadin, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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2nd June 2022
Weather:
Cloudy with a force 4 north-westerly wind
An overcast day but with a nice selection of scarce migrants including a female Bluethroat, gorgeous red male Common Rosefinch, and a couple of lingering Red-backed Shrikes. A third Cuckoo for the season was also netted at the Obs along with a new Icterine Warbler.


An insanely bright Common Rosefinch at Stackhoull, by AW Alex Penn


Red-backed Shrike at Lower Leogh, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Red-backed Shrike: Males at Meadow Burn and the Mast
Icterine Warbler: 5 - two in Obs Garden, one at the Haa, one at Shirva, one at Lower Leogh
Bluethroat: Female at Gully
Serin: Around the Haa

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 1 Teal, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 62 Oystercatcher, 21 Lapwing, 60 Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 12 Curlew, 1 Turnstone, 9 Dunlin, 11 Snipe, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Redshank, 13 Common Gull, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Short-eared Owl, 2 Red-backed Shrike, 3 Carrion Crow, 73 Skylark, 7 Swallow, 2 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 3 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 5 Whitethroat, 2 Blackbird, 12 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Whinchat, 56 Wheatear, 3 Pied Wagtail, 73 Meadow Pipit, 40 Rock Pipit, 14 Twite, 2 Mealy Redpoll

Year List: 155

Other Wildlife: 3 Shetland Bee


Cuckoo in the hand at the Obs, by AW Alex Penn

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1st June 2022
Weather:
Sunny morning but overcast later on, with a force 4-5 north-westerly wind
A sunny census with a handful of scarce migrants including a Marsh Warbler as a year tick, at multiple Icterine Warblers (including one unringed, i.e. probably new), a Black Redstart, and two Red-backed Shrikes. The real showstopper however was a Kestrel caught in Gully which turned out to be a Finnish control. A stunning bird to see close-up anyway but even more exciting given the journey it's been on to get here! Looking forward to hearing the details from the Finnish ringing scheme.


Finnish ringed Kestrel in the hand, by AW Alex Penn


Marsh Warbler at the Haa, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Quail: One Skerryholm, one Schoolton
Icterine warbler: One in Obs Garden, two in the south, one at Setter
Red-breasted Flycatcher : One at Lower Stoneybrek
Red-backed Shrike: Males at both the Mast and Upper Leogh
Marsh Warbler: At the Haa all day

Red-backed Shrike at the Mast, by AW Georgia Platt

Sightings of note: 11 Greylag Goose, 1 Teal, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 5 Woodpigeon, 2 Collared Dove, 1 Water Rail, 63 Oystercatcher, 18 Lapwing, 42 Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 12 Curlew, 12 Snipe, 2 Redshank, 8 Common Gull, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 200 Arctic Tern (minimum count), 23 Arctic Skua, 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 65 Skylark, 1 Sand Martin, 16 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 4 Sedge Warbler, 3 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 5 Whitethroat, 1 Backbird, 14 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Robin, 87 Wheatear, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Whinchat, 4 Pied Wagtail, 75 Meadow Pipit, 48 Rock Pipit, 32 Twite, 2 Redpoll, 1 Siskin

Year List: 155

Other Wildlife: 1 Painted Lady, 5 Shetland Bee, 2 Buff-tailed Bumblebee, 1 Silver Y Moth


Black Redstart at North Light, by AW Georgia Platt

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31st May 2022
Weather:
Sun and a force 3 easterly wind
The day started quiet and then birds began to arrive towards the afternoon, with a small arrival of Icterine Warblers and a Red-breasted Flycatcher. The Common Rosefinch from yesterday was also around Chalet for most of the day. One Icterine Warbler was trapped in Plantation and then the other two were netted in the Obs Garden in the evening. What pristine lemon yellow birds to see in the hand!


Icterine Warbler, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Quail: One singing on the Houll
Icterine Warbler: One in Plantation, two at Obs Garden
Red-breasted Flycatcher : At Lower Stoneybrek
Serin: At Houll

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 1 Wigeon, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Cuckoo, 69 Oystercatcher, 17 Lapwing, 2 Golden Plover, 43 Ringed Plover, 2 Curlew, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Dunlin, 3 Snipe, 3 Redshank, 3 Common Gull, 28 Arctic Skua, 1 Peregrine, 4 Carrion Crow, 85 Skylark, 22 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 1 Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 12 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Robin, 87 Wheatear, 1 Dunnock, 2 Pied Wagtail, 76 Meadow Pipit, 51 Rock Pipit, 1 Common Rosefinch, 11 Twite, 2 'Mealy Redpoll', 1 'North-western' Redpoll, 1 Siskin, 1 Snow Bunting

Year List: 154

Other Wildlife: 1 Painted Lady, 10 Shetland Bee, 3 Buff-tailed Bumblebee


A very cute Ringed Plover chick, by AW Alex Penn

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30th May 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells with a force 6 north-westerly wind moving to south-easterly in the afternoon
Another cruise ship this morning lucked out with gorgeous sunshine and lots of puffins. The afternoon was spent making the most of a weather window to catch up on seabird monitoring. Not many migrants in, and the few in the Obs garden are already ringed suggesting that turnover is low. We are holding out for a change in the wind this week! A couple of Quail are still about, as is the Serin which was again mobile around the south today.


Puffin on Buness with North Light behind, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
Quail: One in Obs Garden, one in the south
’Blue-headed Wagtail’: One in Obs Garden, one in the south
Serin: Still all around the south

Sightings of note: 1 Wigeon, 2 Teal, 6 Golden Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 3 Redshank, 1 Short-eared Owl, 2 Carrion Crow, 9 Swallow, 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Robin, 1 Dunnock, 1 redpoll sp., 1 Siskin

Year List: 153


'Blue-headed Wagtail', by AW Alex Penn

Other Wildlife: 18 Shetland Bee, 1 Buff-tailed Bumblebee

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29th May 2022
Weather:
Overcast and some drizzle with a force 6 NNW wind
A nice year tick came in the form of a 'brown' male Common Rosefinch which even sang a bit in the Obs garden. A Quail and the Long-tailed Duck lingering in North Haven were other highlights on yet another slightly grey, windy day.


Buff-tailed Bumblebee, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Quail: One in Obs Garden
Common Rosefinch: Brown male singing at Obs Garden

Sightings of note: 1 Quail, 1 Greylag Goose, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 66 Oystercatcher, 19 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 38 Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 11 Curlew, 1 Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, 8 Snipe, 3 Redshank, 5 Common Gull, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 63 Arctic Tern, 16 Arctic Skua, 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 68 Skylark, 8 Swallow, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Blackbird, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Robin, 59 Wheatear, 2 Pied Wagtail, 80 Meadow Pipit, 35 Rock Pipit, 17 Twite

Year List: 153


Red-breasted Merganser at Hesti Geo, by AW Alex Penn

Other Wildlife: 1 Buff-tailed Bumblebee

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28th May 2022
Weather:
Overcast with a force 5 north-westerly wind, gusting force 7
The strong north-westerlies continued today, so seawatching produced more sightings than census with a 'Blue Fulmar' and Great Northern Diver off South Light. The immature White-tailed Eagle from yesterday appeared again, this time over Swey. Retrapped in Plantation, the Serin has now been present for over a week (it arrived 20th May)! In seabird news, the first Arctic Skuas have laid in Gilsetter.


Wild water around South Light, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
White-tailed Eagle: Yesterday's immature over Swey

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 3 Wigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 68 Oystercatcher, 20 Lapwing, 4 Golden Plover, 42 Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 8 Curlew, 2 Turnstone, 4 Dunlin, 5 Snipe, 1 Redshank, 4 Black-headed Gull, 7 Common Gull, 8 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 35 Arctic Tern, 17 Arctic Skua, 2 Red-throated Diver, 2 Great Northern Diver, 1 'Blue Fulmar' , 2 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 58 Skylark, 11 Swallow, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Blackbird, 1 Robin, 83 Wheatear, 4 Pied Wagtail, 72 Meadow Pipit, 32 Rock Pipit, 22 Twite, 1 Snow Bunting

Year List: 152

Other Wildlife: 1 Shetland Bee

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27th May 2022
Weather:
Morning showers turned to bright sun with a force 6-7 north-westerly wind
A blustery census with few migrants. A couple of Short-eared Owls are about and are always exciting to see hunting over the mires in broad daylight. A single Pink-footed Goose also appeared at Meadow Burn, very odd! Holly spent the afternoon monitoring Guillemots, many of which are on eggs. Meanwhile, Georgia and Alex had the sobering task of beginning to mark and count Bonxies which have succumbed to avian influenza. More information on this will be published on our social media outlets shortly.


Pink-footed Goose, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
White-tailed Eagle: New immature north over Vaasetter
Hobby : Over Meoness

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 2 Wigeon,1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Collared Dove, 67 Oystercatcher, 18 Lapwing, 37 Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 13 Curlew, 4 Dunlin, 7 Snipe, 2 Redshank, 9 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3 Black-headed Gull, 16 Common Gull, 58 Arctic Tern, 25 Arctic Skua, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Short-eared Owl, 1 Peregrine, 1 Carrion Crow, 71 Skylark, 10 Swallow, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Robin, 86 Wheatear, 2 Pied Wagtail, 68 Meadow Pipit, 34 Rock Pipit, 19 Twite, 2 Linnet

Year List: 152


Arctic Skuas are incredible aerial acrobats, by AW Georgia Platt


Thought I could feel eyes on me! Short-eared Owl, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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26th May 2022
Weather:
Heavy rain showers and some sun later on, with a force 5 south-westerly wind
We began census in bright sun but were quickly forced to call it off by heavy rain which lasted most of the morning. The Serin remains around the crofts - unusual as most prior records were only fleeting visits. The afternoon was spent catching up on various jobs that get left when the weather is beautiful and birds are about!


Rain on the way, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
White-tailed Eagle: Immature over West Cliffs and South Light
Serin : Still around croft gardens

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 1 Tufted Duck (first of the year), 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 2 Whimbrel, 7 Dunlin, 2 Redshank, 9 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 15 Arctic Tern, 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 3 Carrion Crow, 10 Swallow, 1 Willow Warbler, 4 Sedge Warbler, 4 Garden Warbler, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Linnet

Year List: 152


Serin amongst Bluebells at Midway, by AW Alex Penn

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25th May 2022
Weather:
Rain showers with a force 4 south-easterly wind swinging through north to WSW through the day
A drizzly day meant census was kept to the crofts. However, a green Golden Oriole was a real highlight, bombing around much of the south with most views in flight. We also have some tiny Redshank chicks on Da Water along with breeding Lapwing, Curlew and Mallard, demonstrating the value of this small wetland. Some of the Lapwing chicks in nearby Kirki Mire were also ringed today as they are getting quite big. A White-tailed Eagle was again spotted, this time high over the airstrip - they are becoming quite regular this year!


Lapwing chick in the hand, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Quail: One at the School
White-tailed Eagle: Immature high over the airstrip
Golden Oriole : 'Green' individual active all around gardens in the south
Hawfinch: One at Burkle
Serin : Reappeared at Shirva


Golden Oriole in flight, by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 2 Woodpigeon, 3 Collared Dove, 1 Water Rail, 2 Whimbrel, 3 Redshank, 3 Black-headed Gull, 38 Arctic Tern, 2 Great Northern Diver, 9 Swallow, 2 Willow Warbler, 5 Sedge Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Blackbird, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Siskin

Year List: 151


Immature White-tailed Eagle (Who's scruffy lookin'!?), by AW Georgia Platt

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24th May 2022
Weather:
Cloudy with some sunny spells and a force 4 NNW wind
Not many new migrants in today, but the ringed Blyth's Reed Warbler has moved from Plantation to Midway, and a White-tailed Eagle made its way down the west of the island adding some excitement. The spring wildflowers are now out, with Spring Squill, Thrift, Birds-foot Trefoil and Roseroot lining the cliffs.


Portrait of a Gannet, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Quail: Around buildings at North Haven and the Obs
White-tailed Eagle: Moving south high along the west cliffs
Blyth's Reed Warbler: Now at Midway

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 2 Woodpigeon, 50 Oystercatcher, 16 Lapwing, 40 Ringed Plover, 5 Whimbrel, 12 Curlew, 9 Dunlin, 8 Snipe, 5 Redshank, 3 Common Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Arctic Tern, 32 Arctic Skua, 1 Kestrel, 2 Peregrine, 5 Carrion Crow, 64 Skylark, 10 Swallow, 1 Chiffchaff, 6 Sedge Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Robin, 78 Wheatear, 1 Grey Wagtail, 6 Pied Wagtail, 78 Meadow Pipit, 37 Rock Pipit, 19 Twite, 1 Siskin

Year List: 150

Other Wildlife: 1 Shetland Bee


Dunlin and Ringed Plover amongst Thrift on Meoness, by Ranger Holly Pickett


Swallow at Gully, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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23rd May 2022
Weather:
Cloudy with sunny spells, and force 3 north-westerly wind
Another cruise ship, the Spitzbergen, was welcomed to Fair Isle by morning sunshine. Some of the passengers even opted for a swim in the Havens! Plenty of common migrants in the traps and gardens, and a couple of new birds including a male Redstart, a fly-over Red-throated Diver and a Pied Flycatcher. The Serin surprised us by dropping into the Obs net this afternoon. A stunning little bird to see in the hand, and the first Serin ever to be ringed on Fair Isle! The Blyth's Reed Warbler remains around Plantation, and was retrapped today. It has gone from having almost no body fat at all, to putting on 1.6g (about 15% of its lean body mass), so is obviously feeding well.


The Spitzbergen moored off North Haven, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
Blyth's Reed Warbler: Retrapped at Plantation
Serin: Trapped at Obs Garden
'Grey-headed Wagtail': Two at Shalstane


Serin in the hand - look at that yellow rump! by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 2 Cuckoo, 5 Woodpigeon, 1 Water Rail, 58 Oystercatcher, 17 Lapwing, 40 Ringed Plover, 4 Whimbrel, 10 Curlew, 1 Turnstone, 1 Sanderling, 19 Dunlin, 6 Snipe, 1 Redshank, 2 Black-headed Gull, 10 Common Gull, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 52 Arctic Tern, 30 Arctic Skua, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Peregrine, 9 Carrion Crow, 82 Skylark, 18 Swallow, 4 House Martin, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 9 Sedge Warbler, 3 Blackcap, 2 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Whitethroat, 6 Spotted Flycatchers, 1 Robin, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Redstart, 109 Wheatear, 2 Dunnock, 1 Grey Wagtail, 7 Pied Wagtail, 1 'White Wagtail', 92 Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 41 Rock Pipit, 1 Brambling, 24 Twite, 1 Linnet, 1 redpoll sp., 1 Siskin

Year List: 150

Other Wildlife: 12 Shetland Bee


Shetland Bee, by AW Alex Penn

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22nd May 2022
Weather:
Cloudy with some showers, and force 4 winds changing between north-easterly and southerly
A quieter census today, but a female Bluethroat was trapped at Plantation where the Blyth's Reed Warbler is also still around. The Serin was briefly seen at the Haa associating with Siskins, around the south, and as far north as Chalet, so is likely getting restless to move on. The Buness Puffins put on a great show for the cruise ship passengers this afternoon.


Female Bluethroat in the hand, by visiting Ringer Kevin Kelly

HIGHLIGHTS:
Blyth's Reed Warbler: Still at Plantation
Serin: Active around the south and middle of the island
'Grey-headed Wagtail': One around the South Light
Bluethroat: Female trapped at Plantation


'Grey-headed Wagtail' at South Light, by Ranger Holly Pickett

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 2 Cuckoo, 2 Woodpigeon, 3 Collared Dove, 38 Oystercatcher, 20 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 45 Ringed Plover, 4 Whimbrel, 9 Curlew, 1 Turnstone, 4 Dunlin, 9 Snipe, 3 Redshank, 3 Black-headed Gull, 8 Common Gull, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 16 Arctic Tern, 7 Arctic Skua, 1 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 103 Skylark, 2 Sand Martin, 15 Swallow, 3 House Martin, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 7 Sedge Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Whitethroat, 2 Blackbird, 1 Redwing, 1 Song Thrush, 8 Spotted Flycatcher, 95 Wheatear, 1 Dunnock, 1 Grey Wagtail, 8 Pied Wagtail, 2 'White Wagtail', 117 Meadow Pipit, 2 Tree Pipit, 38 Rock Pipit, 1 Brambling, 9 Twite, 5 Siskin
Year List: 150

Other Wildlife: 1 Red Admiral, 2 Shetland Bee, 1 Buff-tailed Bumblebee


Serin posing beautifully at Schoolton, by AW Alex Penn

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21st May 2022
Weather:
Sun with force 4 mixed north and north-westerly winds
Some of yesterday's excitement carried on today, with the Serin showing well around Quoy and three 'Grey-headed Wagtails' around the isle. Three Quail were also dotted around the south, including one showing fantastically in a field near Chalet. The real highlight of the day was a Blyth's Reed Warbler trapped at Plantation.


Blyth's Reed Warbler in the hand at Plantation, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Blyth's Reed Warbler: Trapped at Plantation and remained there most of the morning
Serin: Still active around Quoy Rig and Schoolton
Quail: Three - Lower Leogh, Boini Mire and Chalet
'Grey-headed Wagtail': Three around the south

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 7 Woodpigeon, 3 Collared Dove, 60 Oystercatcher, 15 Lapwing, 32 Ringed Plover, 8 Whimbrel, 8 Curlew, 8 Dunlin, 7 Snipe, 3 Redshank, 2 Black-headed Gull, 4 Common Gull, 7 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 22 Arctic Tern, 12 Arctic Skua, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Long-eared Owl, 1 Peregrine, 1 Jackdaw, 7 Carrion Crow, 77 Skylark, 1 Sand Martin, 25 Swallow, 8 House Martin, 5 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 13 Sedge Warbler, 7 Blackcap, 4 Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 1 Ring Ouzel, 3 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 11 Spotted Flycatchers, 1 Robin, 1 Redstart, 114 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Dunnock, 9 Pied Wagtail, 2 'White Wagtail', 2 Grey Wagtail, 107 Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 46 Rock Pipit, 1 Brambling, 17 Twite, 3 Siskin
Year List: 150

Other Wildlife: 1 Red Admiral, 4 Shetland Bee


Very smart 'Grey-headed Wagtail' at Golden Water, by AW Alex Penn

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20th May 2022
Weather:
Sun and clear skies with a force 3 south-easterly wind
What a day!! The morning was off to a fantastic start with a Thrush Nightingale trapped at Plantation on our way to meet the Hansiatic Inspiration cruise ship.
Thrush Nightingale in the hand at Plantation, by AW Alex Penn

The visitors were delighted to get close to some puffins as a large number were in today. After a refuel at the hall, census began and immediately a Quail was seen at Lower Leogh, closely followed by a Hobby, Red-backed Shrike, and female Bluethroat at Boini Mire. Next, AW Georgia very calmly (on the outside!) chimed in with a Serin at the Quoy rig, only the 5th Record for Fair Isle. Luckily it stayed around Quoy and Schoolton for everyone to twitch, even Deryk who had had to spend the day working on the boat to Lerwick.
Beautiful photo of a beautiful bird - Serin at Quoy, by AW Georgia Platt

Shortly after, AW Alex messaged to report a male Collared Flycatcher at North Raeva, and what a stunner it was! It fed actively around both Raevas occasionally landing on the fence, but difficult to pin down. Other highlights of the day included a female 'Blue-headed' and two female 'Grey-headed Wagtails', with one of each next to each other at Utra Scrape allowing for a lovely comparison. Opening the Obs and Chalet nets in the evening, we caught a nice selection of common migrants, ringing Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Sedge Warbler (of which there were potentially record-numbers today), and Lesser Whitethroat to name a few.


Collared Flycatcher looking absolutely perfect, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
THRUSH NIGHTINGALE: Trapped at Plantation and remained there most of the morning
COLLARED FLYCATCHER: Male at North Raeva, very actively feeding
Serin: Active and calling between Quoy Rig and Schoolton
Quail: One Lower Leogh, one Boini Mire
Red-backed Shrike: Female at Boini Mire
Bluethroat: Female at Boini Mire
'Blue-headed Wagtail': Female at Utra Scrape
'Grey-headed Wagtail': Two females at Utra Scrape and one at the Parks
Marsh Harrier: Over base of Malcolm's Head
Hobby: Around Boini Mire

Sightings of note: 1 Greylag Goose, 2 Swift, 6 Woodpigeon, 7 Collared Dove, 63 Oystercatcher, 22 Lapwing, 35 Ringed Plover, 13 Whimbrel, 8 Curlew, 2 Dunlin, 5 Purple Sandpiper, 8 Snipe, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Redshank, 13 Black-headed Gull, 6 Common Gull, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 56 Arctic Tern, 12 Arctic Skua, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Long-eared Owl, 1 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine, 1 Jackdaw, 5 Carrion Crow, 91 Skylark, 26 Swallow, 5 House Martin, 5 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 23 Sedge Warbler, 4 Blackcap, 6 Garden Warbler, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Whitethroat, 2 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 16 Spotted Flycatchers, 1 Redstart, 101 Wheatear, 4 Tree Sparrow, 3 Dunnock, 5 Pied Wagtail, 4 'White Wagtail', 101 Meadow Pipit, 3 Tree Pipit, 51 Rock Pipit, 1 Brambling, 20 Twite, 3 Siskin
Year List: 150

Other Wildlife: 2 Red Admiral, 2 Silver Y Moth, 7 Shetland Bee


Cruise passengers enjoying Fair Isle at its best, by AW Alex Penn

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19th May 2022
Weather:
Sun and clear skies with a force 4, southerly wind
A gorgeous sunny day welcomed the Ocean Adventure cruise ship, so the team spent the morning showing passengers the Puffins on Buness (and sampling baked goods at the hall!). An afternoon census turned up a really nice variety of migrants. Hirundines in particular were present in impressive numbers, amongst which the first Swift appeared hawking over Hoini. Cloudless skies allowed some raptor movement and a White-tailed Eagle soared over the north heading straight to Shetland, while the first Marsh Harrier of the year meandered over the shop and continued north. The true highlight of the day was a male Rustic Bunting, reported in the morning and refound with nice views later in the afternoon around Boini Mire.


Dunlin doing its best Phalarope impression, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
RUSTIC BUNTING: Male around Stackhoull and Boini Mire
Red-backed Shrike: Female at Boini Mire
'Blue-headed Wagtail': Male in Golden Water
White-tailed Eagle: Immature heading fast off north coast towards Shetland
Marsh Harrier: Over Stackhoull, Meadow Burn then north


Rustic Bunting at Boini Mire, by AW Alex Penn


Marsh Harrier over Naaversgill, by AW Georgia Platt

Sightings of note: 1 Barnacle Goose, 1 Greylag Goose, 1 Teal, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Swift, 1 Cuckoo, 2 Collared Dove, 61 Oystercatcher, 17 Lapwing, 33 Ringed Plover, 15 Whimbrel, 8 Curlew, 7 Turnstone, 7 Dunlin, 5 Purple Sandpiper, 8 Snipe, 1 Common Sandpiper, 3 Redshank, 13 Common Gull, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 27 Arctic Skua, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Long-eared Owl, 2 Peregrine, 3 Carrion Crow, 73 Skylark, 6 Sand Martin, 60 Swallow, 34 House Martin, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 10 Sedge Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Whitethroat, 1 Song Thrush, 9 Spotted Flycatchers, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Redstart, 2 Whinchat, 133 Wheatear, 3 Tree Sparrow, 6 Pied Wagtail, 3 'White Wagtail', 110 Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 43 Rock Pipit, 17 Twite, 1 redpoll spp., 3 Siskin
Year List: 145

Other Wildlife: 2 Red Admiral, 1 Painted Lady, 2 Silver Y Moth, 1 Buff-tailed Bumblebee


Silver Y at Vaadal, by AW Alex Penn

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18th May 2022
Weather:
Sun most of the day with a force 4-5, mostly southerly wind
It was too rough for the planned cruise ships to land passengers, so census continued as normal. A scattering of new migrants in gave good variety, with Spotted Flycatchers, Lesser Whitethroat, and Willow Warblers dotted along the cliffs and in croft gardens. A couple of the Bluethroats are still about, along with the male Red-backed Shrike and a new female at Stonybrek. In seabird news, Arctic Skua numbers are growing slowly and the first Bonxie egg appeared today on Hoini. An evening report of a Blyth's Reed Warbler added to the highlights list, while a possible Iberian Chiffchaff was trapped (Awaiting DNA analysis).


Swallows are still streaming through, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
Red-backed Shrike: Male at Chapel Plantation and female at Stoneybrek
Bluethroat: Two males around the crofts
'Blue-headed Wagtail': Male in South Haven
Blyth's Reed Warbler: At Shirva
Iberian Chiffchaff: Possible, trapped at Plantation - measurements taken according to formulae given by Demongin and plumage both suggestive, awaiting DNA analysis of dropped feathers.


Late Redwing among the May wildflowers, by Ranger Holly Pickett

Sightings of note: 48 Barnacle Goose, 6 Greylag Goose, 4 Teal, 1 Cuckoo, 4 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 55 Oystercatcher, 14 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 26 Ringed Plover, 9 Whimbrel, 7 Curlew, 7 Turnstone, 16 Dunlin, 3 Snipe, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 2 Black-headed Gull, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 54 Arctic Tern, 17 Arctic Skua, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Long-eared Owl, 1 Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 8 Carrion Crow, 84 Skylark, 3 Sand Martin, 50 Swallow, 13 House Martin, 9 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 5 Sedge Warbler, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 7 Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Whitethroat, 2 Blackbird, 2 Redwing, 17 Spotted Flycatchers, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Black Redstart , 2 Redstart, 8 Whinchat, 148 Wheatear, 4 Tree Sparrow, 1 Dunnock, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Pied Wagtail, 5 'White Wagtail', 111 Meadow Pipit, 4 Tree Pipit, 42 Rock Pipit, 12 Twite, 3 Linnet, 1 redpoll sp., 3 Siskin
Year List: 142

Other Wildlife: 2 Red Admiral, 3 Silver Y Moth, 2 Shetland Bee


One of today's Shetland Bees was being eaten by this female Red-backed Shrike! by AW Georgia Platt

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17th May 2022
Weather:
Overcast turning to fog at midday with a force 5 south-easterly wind
Census started off promising with a similar selection of migrants to yesterday including a handful of male Bluethroats, numerous Spotted Flycatchers, and a surprise Long-tailed Duck from Alex. One of the three (minimum) Bluethroats was also trapped, what a treat to see up close! The fog rolled in later on, but a stunning male Red-backed Shrike found by Georgia proved it was worth going out again.


Male Red-backed Shrike, by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
Red-backed Shrike: Male at Chapel Plantation
Bluethroat: Three males around the crofts
'Blue-headed Wagtail': One male in South Haven


Bluethroat in the hand, by AW Georgia Platt

Sightings of note: 7 Greylag Goose, 3 Teal, 1 Long-tailed Duck (first of the Year), 2 Woodpigeon, 3 Collared Dove, 59 Oystercatcher, 19 Lapwing, 44 Ringed Plover, 5 Whimbrel, 7 Curlew, 11 Turnstone, 6 Dunlin, 2 Purple Sandpiper, 14 Snipe, 2 Redshank, 2 Black-headed Gull, 9 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 35 Arctic Tern, 11 Arctic Skua, 3 Grey Heron, 2 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine, 4 Carrion Crow, 75 Skylark, 38 Swallow, 10 House Martin, 6 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 6 Sedge Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 2 Garden Warbler, 10 Lesser Whitethroat, 8 Whitethroat, 1 Ring Ouzel, 20 Spotted Flycatchers, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 2 Black Redstart , 2 Redstart, 8 Whinchat, 133 Wheatear, 3 Tree Sparrow, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, 8 Pied Wagtail, 8 'White Wagtail', 110 Meadow Pipit, 3 Tree Pipit, 47 Rock Pipit, 1 Chaffinch, 19 Twite, 1 Linnet, 1 'Mealy Redpoll'
Year List: 141


Whimbrels are a frequent sound around the island at the moment, by AW Georgia Platt

Other Wildlife: 4 Red Admiral

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16th May 2022
Weather:
Sun and a force 4 easterly wind all day
The migration-dam is really starting to burst, and we had an exciting day recording four year ticks and a host of other common migrants. Notably, there has been a large influx of Spotted Flycatchers dotted along the West Cliffs, with a Pied Flycatcher and Red-breasted Flycatcher in their midst. The nice run of birds didn't stop, with a Red-backed Shrike at Tineside, two striking male Bluethroats, a Yellow Wagtail, several Tree Pipits and two Black Redstarts, to name a few! Dog Geo was also brimming with House Martins - a lovely sight and sound. Opening the Obs nets in the evening, we caught a handful of migrants including a Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, and Tree Sparrow, and glimpsed the first Reed Warbler of the year. Birds continued to arrive throughout the day, so looking forward to seeing what a second day of easterlies might bring should the fog hold off.


One of seventeen Spotted Flycatchers on the isle today, by AW Georgia Platt


A veritable 'flying lemon' of a Yellow Wagtail, by Ranger Holly Pickett

HIGHLIGHTS:
Red-backed Shrike: Female at Tineside
Bluethroat: Two males doing the rounds of the south and middle of the isle
Red-breasted Flycatcher : Female type at Dog Geo


Red-backed Shrike at Tineside, by AW Georgia Platt

Sightings of note: 7 Greylag Goose, 9 Woodpigeon, 2 Collared Dove, 66 Oystercatcher, 16 Lapwing, 4 Golden Plover, 27 Ringed Plover, 5 Whimbrel, 8 Curlew, 12 Turnstone, 31 Dunlin, 2 Purple Sandpiper, 8 Snipe, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 18 Common Gull, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3 Arctic Tern, 10 Arctic Skua, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Long-eared Owl, 2 Peregrine, 3 Carrion Crow, 81 Skylark, 3 Sand Martin, 41 Swallow, 17 House Martin, 2 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 7 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler (first of the year), 3 Garden Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 7 Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Whitethroat, 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 Blackbird, 17 Spotted Flycatchers, 1 Pied Flycatcher (first of the year), 2 Black Redstart , 1 Redstart, 5 Whinchat, 128 Wheatear, 3 Tree Sparrow, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, 4 Pied Wagtail, 3 'White Wagtail', 141 Meadow Pipit, 6 Tree Pipit, 55 Rock Pipit, 1 Chaffinch, 19 Twite, 1 Linnet, 1 Lapland Bunting
Year List: 141


A slightly more obliging Bluethroat than yesterday's in a ditch at the Sheep Cru, by AW Alex Penn

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15th May 2022
Weather:
Bright sun and a force 3 south-westerly wind swinging to south-easterly around mid-day
A beautiful day started with breeding bird surveys at 7am. Census was a delight in the sun, and as soon as the wind switched to an easterly birds started to drop in. The first was a Spotted Flycatcher at Gunnawark, followed by a handful more around the island. Shortly after, a pristine male Bluethroat appeared at Klingers Geo, what a beauty! The afternoon was spent by Alex and Georgia with the Obs nets open, catching a number of birds including multiple Chiffchaffs, Lesser Whitethroats, a Tree Pipit and a Spotted Flycatcher. To round things off, a couple of very dapper male Ring Ouzels were trapped at Double Dyke. If it was warm enough for us to be in T-shirts, it was also warm enough for the insects, which showed up in the form of a Red Admiral butterfly and some Shetland Bees.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Wood Sandpiper: One north over Chapel to North Light
Bluethroat: Male at Klingers


Beautiful male Bluethroat at Klingers, by visiting birder Andrew Harrop and Ranger Holly Pickett

Sightings of note: 7 Greylag Goose, 1 Shelduck, 2 Teal, 2 Cuckoos, 11 Woodpigeon, 3 Collared Dove, 59 Oystercatcher, 17 Lapwing, 5 Golden Plover, 36 Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 12 Curlew, 36 Turnstone, 20 Dunlin, 14 Purple Sandpiper, 13 Snipe, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 5 Black-headed Gull, 14 Common Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 50 Arctic Tern, 13 Arctic Skua, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 2 Peregrine, 10 Carrion Crow, 89 Skylark, 5 Sand Martin, 64 Swallow, 10 House Martin, 3 Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 7 Sedge Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Whitethroat, 2 Ring Ouzel, 1 Blackbird, 4 Spotted Flycatchers (first of the year), 1 Whinchat, 170 Wheatear, 3 Tree Sparrow, 1 Dunnock, 1 Grey Wagtail, 6 Pied Wagtail, 6 'White Wagtail', 134 Meadow Pipit, 4 Tree Pipit, 68 Rock Pipit, 1 Chaffinch, 22 Twite, 2 Linnet, 2 Siskin
Year List: 137

Other Wildlife: 1 Red Admiral, 4 Shetland Bee


Very smart looking Ring Ouzel in the hand at Double Dyke, by AW Alex Penn


Brilliant photo of one of our resident Peregrines with Puffin, by AW Alex Penn

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14th May 2022
Weather:
Overcast and hazy with low cloud in the north and a force 4 WSW wind
Today we took part in the Global Big Day run by eBird. Although slightly underwhelming compared to last year (Calandra Lark, Red-throated Pipit, Hawfinch, Little Bunting...) there were a couple of nice birds about including the Wood Sandpiper still at Easter Lother Water and the first Red-throated Divers of the year. There was also a small influx of Sedge Warblers by the evening, which we might not have noticed had we not been out looking all day, and bodes well for the coming week (suggestions of south-easterlies - everyone touch wood and cross your fingers). We reached a total of 68 species for the day, which isn't bad going for a dreich day of south-westerlies! In other news the first Starling chicks have appeared in a wall at Shirva, the Ravens have fledged, and the Peregrines at Guidicum were confirmed to have a chick.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Wood Sandpiper: Still at Easter Lother Water


Linnet at Burkle by, AW Georgia Platt

Sightings of note: 14 Greylag Goose, 1 Shelduck, 2 Teal, 73 Oystercatcher, 21 Lapwing, 4 Golden Plover, 40 Ringed Plover, 6 Whimbrel, 13 Curlew, 8 Turnstone, 6 Dunlin, 16 Purple Sandpiper, 7 Snipe, 1 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 5 Black-headed Gull, 19 Common Gull, 16 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 39 Arctic Tern, 11 Arctic Skua, 2 Red-throated Diver (first of the year), 1 Grey Heron, 1 Long-eared Owl, 1 Peregrine, 17 Carrion Crow, 86 Skylark, 2 Sand Martin, 62 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 8 Sedge Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat, 2 Blackbird, 1 Redwing, 1 Dunnock, 101 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Dunnock, 5 Pied Wagtail, 7 'White Wagtail', 114 Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 40 Rock Pipit, 1 Chaffinch, 17 Twite, 2 Linnet, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Snow Bunting, 1 Reed Bunting
Year List: 135


Low cloud making the landscape look more Viking than ever, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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13th May 2022
Weather:
Rainy showers all day with a force 5 south-westerly wind dropping to a force 3 north-westerly by evening
Miserable weather all day so we didn't get census in, but a few birds about including a Wood Sandpiper back at Easter Lother Water and the first Greenshank of the month at South Harbour and Utra Scrape. We also had the first Guillemot egg on Greenholm, so the seabird season is really starting to kick off!


Yellow Wagtail at Kirki Mire, by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Wood Sandpiper: At Easter Lother Water again


Wood Sandpiper at Easter Lother Water, by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 2 Shelduck, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Water Rail, 7 Whimbrel, 14 Curlew, 4 Turnstone, 3 Dunlin, 13 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 3 Black-headed Gull, 2 Manx Shearwater, 1 Grey Heron, 29 Carrion Crow, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Redwing, 1 Dunnock, 1 Yellow Wagtail (flavissima), 1 Goldfinch, 3 Snow Bunting, 1 Reed Bunting
Year List: 133


A peek at the first Guillemot egg, by Ranger Holly Pickett


Greenshank at Utra Scrape by Ranger Holly Pickett
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12th May 2022
Weather:
Rainy showers with a force 5 south-westerly wind
Incredible views of two Orca - Hulk and Nótt, were the indisputable highlight today. They lingered close in for quite a while off North Light and Easter Lother. The two bachelor males travel together between Iceland and Scotland, wintering off Iceland to feed on fish then hunting seals in the summer months around the Northern Isles.


Hulk - check out that towering fin! by AW Alex Penn


Nótt, by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 10 Greylag Goose, 2 Shelduck, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Water Rail, 72 Oystercatcher, 20 Lapwing, 34 Ringed Plover, 6 Golden Plover, 7 Whimbrel, 14 Curlew, 7 Turnstone, 1 Knot, 1 Dunlin, 10 Snipe, 3 Black-headed Gull, 21 Common Gull, 21 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 53 Arctic Tern, 5 Arctic Skua, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Long-eared Owl, 1 Kestrel, 2 Peregrine, 28 Carrion Crow, 82 Skylark, 1 Sand Martin, 43 Swallow, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Sedge Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 Blackbird, 125 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Dunnock, 7 Pied Wagtail, 3 'White Wagtail', 153 Meadow Pipit, 43 Rock Pipit, 1 Chaffinch, 21 Twite, 1 Linnet, 2 redpoll spp., 1 Siskin, 3 Snow Bunting, 1 Reed Bunting
Year List: 133

Other Wildlife: Two Orca (Hulk and Nótt) off North Light very close-in


Hulk living up to his name, by AW Georgia Platt
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11th May 2022
Weather:
Rainy showers with a force 5 westerly wind
A nice stream of Swallows and yesterday's Cuckoo and flava wagtail made it feel surprisingly spring-like, despite the rain and wind! A year tick came in the form of a Wood Sandpiper, while a Glaucous Gull added excitement. The afternoon was spent seawatching by AWs Alex and Georgia, which proved fruitful with two Orcas close in off Buness. Holly (FI Ranger) spent some time with the school children coming up with ideas to make their garden even more wildlife friendly.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Wood Sandpiper: At Easter Lother Water
Glaucous Gull: With Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Meadow Burn
Osprey: South over Brecks in the early morning


Wood Sandpiper at Easter Lother Water by AW Alex Penn


Orcas are always impressive, especially this close up! by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 9 Greylag Goose, 3 Shelduck, 2 Teal, 1 Cuckoo, 73 Oystercatcher, 20 Lapwing, 34 Ringed Plover, 6 Whimbrel, 9 Curlew, 11 Turnstone, 3 Knot, 3 Dunlin, 2 Purple Sandpiper, 9 Snipe, 3 Redshank, 7 Black-headed Gull, 5 Common Gull, 23 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 57 Arctic Tern, 12 Arctic Skua, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Peregrine, 14 Carrion Crow, 101 Skylark, 1 Sand Martin, 49 Swallow, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 Blackbird, 1 Robin, 1 Whinchat, 127 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 1 Dunnock, 1 flava wagtail ssp., 7 Pied Wagtail, 9 'White Wagtail', 108 Meadow Pipit, 44 Rock Pipit, 1 'Scandinavian Rock Pipit', 1 Chaffinch, 21 Twite, 1 Linnet, 2 'Mealy Redpoll', 1 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin
Year List: 133

Other Wildlife: Two Orca (Hulk and Nótt) off Buness heading south


Luca and Harris mind-mapping some exciting ideas in the classroom with Holly, by Head Teacher Gillian
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10th May 2022
Weather:
Cloudy with some sunny spells with rain in the evening and a force 5 south-westerly wind
There were a handful of new birds in this morning - Cuckoo, flava wagtail ssp. and Sanderling. The Arctic Terns were also back on Buness in the early hours. After dinner we opened the Obs nets catching Chiffchaff, Meadow Pipit, Linnet and Goldfinch just before the heavens opened. Best of all, the morning's Cuckoo was still around the Obs Garden and we were able to spring trap it. An astounding bird to see in the hand!


Cuckoo in the hand at the Obs by AW Georgia Platt


Portrait of Cuckoo by AW Georgia Platt

Sightings of note: 9 Greylag Goose, 3 Shelduck, 2 Teal, 1 Cuckoo (first of the year), 2 Woodpigeon, 54 Oystercatcher, 17 Lapwing, 45 Ringed Plover, 11 Whimbrel, 11 Curlew, 6 Turnstone, 5 Knot, 1 Sanderling (first of the year), 3 Dunlin, 7 Purple Sandpiper, 17 Snipe, 5 Black-headed Gull, 12 Common Gull, 27 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 44 Arctic Tern, 9 Arctic Skua, 5 Manx Shearwater, 1 Long-eared Owl, 1 Peregrine, 8 Carrion Crow, 94 Skylark, 3 Sand Martin, 31 Swallow, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Blackbird, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 1 Robin, 2 Whinchat, 107 Wheatear, 1 Dunnock, 1 flava wagtail ssp. , 4 Pied Wagtail, 6 'White Wagtail', 121 Meadow Pipit, 49 Rock Pipit, 1 Chaffinch, 19 Twite, 6 Linnet, 1 Goldfinch, 4 Siskin
Year List: 132

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9th May 2022
Weather:
Rain most of the day with a force 6-7 southerly wind
Census was cut to only the essential bits due to heavy rain and wind, however some dedicated sea-watching from Alex brought the first Manx Shearwaters of the year while the first Arctic Terns turned up at North Haven.


Manx Shearwater close in to the rocks at South Light by AW Alex Penn


Green Sandpiper at Gilsetter by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 13 Greylag Goose, 1 Water Rail, 3 Dunlin, 10 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper, 10 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3 Arctic Tern (first of the year), 1 'Blue Fulmar', 2 Manx Shearwater (first of the year), 1 Short-eared Owl, 9 Carrion Crow, 1 Sand Martin, 17 Swallow, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 2 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 1 Robin, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Linnet, 1 Siskin
Year List: 129


'Blue Fulmar' on the cliff at South Restensgeo by Ranger Holly Pickett

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8th May 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells with a force 5 southerly breeze
A breezy day with the highlight coming at the end of census when AW Georgia found a beautifully smart Red-throated Pipit north-west of Tarryfield. Despite being fairly mobile across the heather, it stayed in the area long enough for Alex and Holly to twitch with great views.

HIGHLIGHTS:
RED-THROATED PIPIT: North-west of Tarryfield


Stunning Red-throated Pipit by AW Georgia Platt


Short-eared Owl at Boini Mire by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 16 Greylag Goose, 2 Teal, 2 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Moorhen, 69 Oystercatcher, 17 Lapwing, 9 Golden Plover, 36 Ringed Plover, 10 Whimbrel, 9 Curlew, 7 Turnstone, 1 Knot, 1 Dunlin, 10 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Woodcock, 9 Snipe, 3 Redshank, 2 Black-headed Gull, 8 Common Gull, 6 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 5 Arctic Skua, 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Peregrine, 8 Carrion Crow, 88 Skylark, 2 Sand Martin, 3 Swallow, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 2 Ring Ouzel, 1 Blackbird, 2 Fieldfare, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Redwing, 3 Robin, 1 Whinchat (first of the year), 122 Wheatear, 1 Dunnock, 7 Pied Wagtail, 1 'White Wagtail', 135 Meadow Pipit, 46 Rock Pipit, 2 Chaffinch, 13 Twite, 3 Linnet, 1 redpoll sp., 2 Siskin
Year List: 127

Turnstone at Kirki Geo by Ranger Holly Pickett

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7th May 2022
Weather:
Uninterrupted sunshine with a force 3 breeze moving from easterly to south-westerly through the day
Glorious sunshine welcomed the first cruise ship of the year. A steady stream of Swallow passage and a White-tailed Eagle were highlights on census. Later, an interesting Chiffchaff was caught in the Obs nets - possibly Iberian but we are awaiting results of DNA analysis on dropped feathers.

HIGHLIGHTS:
White-tailed Eagle: Immature high over Swey
Iberian Chiffchaff: Possible, trapped at Obs - measurements taken according to formulae given by Demongin and plumage both suggestive, awaiting DNA analysis of dropped feathers.

Snipe hoping it hasn't been spotted in Boini Mire, by Ranger Holly Pickett


Siskin at Vaila's Trees, by AW Georgia Platt

Sightings of note: 22 Greylag Goose, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Moorhen, 44 Oystercatcher, 20 Lapwing, 21 Golden Plover, 27 Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 14 Curlew, 9 Turnstone, 1 Knot, 1 Dunlin, 18 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Woodcock, 16 Snipe, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Redshank, 11 Common Gull, 5 Arctic Skua, 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Long-eared Owl, 1 Peregrine, 3 Carrion Crow, 97 Skylark, 7 Sand Martin, 38 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 3 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Ring Ouzel, 1 Blackbird, 1 Redwing, 4 Robin, 163 Wheatear, 1 Redstart, 2 Tree Sparrow, 1 Dunnock, 5 Pied Wagtail, 6 'White Wagtail', 133 Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 56 Rock Pipit, 2 Chaffinch, 1 Brambling, 25 Twite, 2 Linnet, 1 ‘Mealy Redpoll’, 2 Siskin
Year List: 125

Gannet on Lerness - those eyes! by AW Georgia Platt

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6th May 2022
Weather:
Fog interspersed with bright sunny spells and a force 5 south-westerly wind
Census was delayed by fog, but once we got going it did brighten into some gorgeous sunshine, if a bit blustery! Very few new birds in today.


Bonxie on Buness with the iconic Sheep Rock behind, by Ranger Holly Pickett

Sightings of note: 16 Greylag Goose, 3 Woodpigeon, 2 Collared Dove, 46 Oystercatcher, 19 Lapwing, 12 Golden Plover, 25 Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 8 Curlew, 14 Turnstone, 2 Dunlin, 7 Purple Sandpiper, 16 Snipe, 1 Common Sandpiper, 3 Redshank, 7 Black-headed Gull, 10 Common Gull, 9 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 10 Arctic Skua, 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 1 Rook, 44 Carrion Crow, 130 Skylark, 1 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 3 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 1 Ring Ouzel, 3 Blackbird, 3 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, 3 Robin, 104 Wheatear, 2 Tree Sparrow, 2 Pied Wagtail, 8 'White Wagtail', 139 Meadow Pipit, 52 Rock Pipit, 1 Brambling, 27 Twite, 1 Linnet, 1 'Mealy Redpoll', 3 Siskin, 1 Lapland Bunting
Year List: 125
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5th May 2022
Weather:
Rain showers all day with a force 4 mostly-southerly wind
Drizzle and rain showers prevented a full census today, but yesterday's large corvid flock remains and a stunning Long-eared Owl was trapped in Plantation.


Formidable-looking female Long-eared Owl in the hand at Plantation, by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 20 Greylag Goose, 1 Teal, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Moorhen, 4 Dunlin, 12 Purple Sandpiper, 2 Redshank, 2 Black-headed Gull, 8 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 8 Arctic Skua, 1 Long-eared Owl, 29 Carrion Crow, 6 Swallow, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, 1 Robin, 1 Brambling, 1 redpoll sp., 3 Siskin
Year List: 125


Purple Sandpipers unbothered by the waves, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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4th May 2022
Weather:
Some sunny spells and a force 4 south-westerly wind
Firsts for the year came in the form of a female Redstart trapped in Plantation and a Sedge Warbler singing in Chapel Plantation. Some corvid passage too meant a large flock of Carrion Crows with Rooks and Hooded Crows mixed in were doing the rounds of the island.


Redstart in the hand at Plantation by AW Georgia Platt


Carrion Crows at Setter by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 17 Greylag Goose, 1 Woodpigeon, 3 Collared Dove, 1 Moorhen, 55 Oystercatcher, 22 Lapwing, 12 Golden Plover, 30 Ringed Plover, 11 Whimbrel, 13 Curlew, 21 Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, 12 Purple Sandpiper, 25 Snipe, 4 Redshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 5 Black-headed Gull, 12 Common Gull, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 8 Arctic Skua, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Hen Harrier, 1 Long-eared Owl, 1 Kestrel, 2 Peregrine, 3 Rook, 37 Carrion Crow, 107 Skylark, 19 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 1 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler (first of the year), 4 Blackcap, 5 Ring Ouzel, 4 Blackbird, 6 Fieldfare, 5 Redwing, 4 Song Thrush, 4 Robin, 1 Redstart (first of the year), 131 Wheatear, 8 Tree Sparrow, 1 Dunnock, 8 Pied Wagtail, 8 'White Wagtail', 174 Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 56 Rock Pipit, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Brambling, 24 Twite, 3 Siskin, 1 Lapland Bunting, 4 Snow Bunting
Year List: 125

Other Wildlife:Buff-tailed Bumblebee at Aesterhoull


South-west cliffs looking dramatic in the sun by Ranger Holly Pickett


Buff-tailed Bumblebee by AW Alex Penn

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3rd May 2022
Weather:
Overcast with some sunny spells and a force 4 south-easterly wind
The first Common Sandpiper of the year, a very grumpy-looking Long-eared Owl, and a 'Blue Fulmar' brightened a slightly disappointing census. The afternoon was spent by Holly pond dipping with the school children (with the expertise of naturalist Nick Riddiford). We found all sorts of freshwater invertebrates including Water Boatmen, Wandering Snails and a huge Horse Leech (high excitement!). Meanwhile Georgia and Alex did some odd-jobs including the first Shag checks of the seabird season.


Long-eared Owl at Vaila's Trees by AW Georgia Platt


Luca and his prize Horse Leech! by Ranger Holly Pickett

Sightings of note: 17 Greylag Goose, 3 Teal, 1 Woodpigeon, 58 Oystercatcher, 16 Lapwing, 12 Golden Plover, 33 Ringed Plover, 12 Whimbrel, 16 Curlew, 27 Turnstone, 4 Purple Sandpiper, 14 Snipe, 1 Common Sandpiper (first of the year), 8 Redshank, 10 Common Gull, 6 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 5 Arctic Skua, 1 'Blue Fulmar', 1 Long-eared Owl, 2 Peregrine, 15 Carrion Crow, 92 Skylark, 4 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 2 Ring Ouzel, 3 Blackbird, 2 Fieldfare, 5 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Robin, 132 Wheatear, 1 Tree Sparrow, 2 Dunnock, 7 Pied Wagtail, 8 'White Wagtail', 127 Meadow Pipit, 51 Rock Pipit, 1 Chaffinch, 2 Brambling, 32 Twite, 2 redpoll sp.
Year List: 123


'White Wagtail' at Mid Geo by AW Georgia Platt


'Blue Fulmar' at North Light by AW Alex Penn

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2nd May 2022
Weather: Overcast with a force 5 northerly wind
Not much going on in terms of migration with a stiff northerly wind. The Lapland Bunting is staying put for the moment and a group of Orca were spotted far out off South Light, adding some interest to an otherwise quiet day.


Gannet over Dronger by Ranger Holly Pickett

Sightings of note: 15 Greylag Goose, 3 Woodpigeon, 2 Collared Dove, 35 Oystercatcher, 20 Lapwing, 14 Golden Plover, 36 Ringed Plover, 8 Whimbrel, 11 Curlew, 21 Turnstone, 10 Purple Sandpiper, 21 Snipe, 7 Redshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 11 Common Gull, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 10 Arctic Skua, 1 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 111 Skylark, 2 Swallow, 2 House Martin, 6 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 1 Ring Ouzel, 4 Blackbird, 3 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, 1 Song Thrush, 3 Robin, 102 Wheatear, 12 Tree Sparrow, 4 Pied Wagtail, 5 'White Wagtail', 110 Meadow Pipit, 52 Rock Pipit, 1 Chaffinch, 3 Brambling, 13 Twite, 1 Linnet, 1 'Mealy Redpoll', 1 Lapland Bunting
Year List: 122


In a strong northerly wind, the Outer Stack Gannets land on Dronger to collect mud and turf for their nests, by Ranger Holly Pickett

Other Wildlife: Four Orca distant off South Light

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1st May 2022
Weather:
Overcast with a force 4 easterly wind
Census felt surprisingly quiet today, but a slightly overdue (very smart) male Lapland Bunting and the first Garden Warbler of the year kept the year list going.


Stunning male Lapland Bunting at Taing by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 12 Greylag Goose, 1 Shelduck, 1 Teal, 8 Woodpigeon, 2 Collared Dove, 1 Moorhen, 45 Oystercatcher, 23 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 47 Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 10 Curlew, 26 Turnstone, 40 Purple Sandpiper, 15 Snipe, 3 Redshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 2 Common Gull, 8 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 4 Arctic Skua, 1 Peregrine, 7 Carrion Crow, 118 Skylark, 1 Swallow, 3 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler (first of the year), 1 Goldcrest, 2 Ring Ouzel, 4 Blackbird, 2 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, 104 Wheatear, 12 Tree Sparrow, 6 Pied Wagtail, 3 'White Wagtail', 170 Meadow Pipit, 51 Rock Pipit, 1 Chaffinch, 5 Brambling, 17 Twite, 1 Linnet, 1 redpoll sp., 1 Lapland Bunting (first of the year), 1 Snow Bunting
Year List: 122

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30th April 2022
Weather:
Rainy showers and a force 4 ESE wind
A quieter day after yesterday's excitement, although a number of Tree Sparrows did make an arrival. A few more Arctic Skuas are returning to the Isle, much to the annoyance of the Suka Mire Lapwings.


Arctic Skua and Lapwing in an aerial battle by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 22 Greylag Goose, 1 Shelduck, 2 Teal, 20 Woodpigeon, 2 Collared Dove, 1 Moorhen, 57 Oystercatcher, 16 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 34 Ringed Plover, 7 Whimbrel, 10 Curlew, 25 Turnstone, 80 Purple Sandpiper, 20 Snipe, 1 Redshank, 6 Black-headed Gull, 9 Common Gull, 8 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 5 Arctic Skua, 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 133 Skylark, 1 Swallow, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Blackcap, 1 Goldcrest, 7 Ring Ouzel, 5 Blackbird, 3 Song Thrush, 5 Robin, 128 Wheatear, 11 Tree Sparrow (first of the year), 1 Dunnock, 5 Pied Wagtail, 2 'White Wagtail', 140 Meadow Pipit, 47 Rock Pipit, 3 Brambling, 18 Twite, 1 Snow Bunting
Year List: 120


Grasshopper Warbler at Dumlin's Sink by AW Alex Penn


Starlings are nest building in walls all over the island, by Ranger Holly Pickett

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29th April 2022
Weather:
Bright sun and clear skies with a light force 2 north-westerly wind moving to south-westerly by the evening
Another gorgeous calm day brought a couple more year ticks - a smart Lesser Whitethroat at Vaadal and a House Martin over Gillsetter in the evening. The White-tailed Eagle of the last couple of days was still about, and to our amazement was joined briefly by a second individual, and a third! The latter appears to be the bird seen in Shetland yesterday, and quickly continued south towards Orkney when it was hassled by the Ravens nesting at Gunnawark. A third, immature, bird was later spotted above the airstrip and Ditfield making this a record-breaking 3 eagle day!

HIGHLIGHTS:
White-tailed Eagle: One still present and was joined briefly by a second heading south rapidly from Shetland which continued towards Orkney and then a third immature seen high above the airstrip.
Hoopoe: Still on Malcolm's Head


Not one but two White-tailed Eagles (and a tiny Bonxie) by AW Georgia Platt


Dunlin at Easter Lother by Ranger Holly Pickett

Sightings of note: 26 Greylag Goose, 1 Shelduck, 3 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 56 Oystercatcher, 18 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 29 Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 6 Curlew, 21 Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 7 Snipe, 7 Redshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 10 Common Gull, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Peregrine, 148 Skylark, 4 Sand Martin, 5 Swallow, 1 House Martin (first of the year), 6 Willow Warbler, 7 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 1 Lesser Whitethroat (first of the year), 1 Goldcrest, 2 Ring Ouzel, 8 Blackbird, 1 Robin, 118 Wheatear, 1 Dunnock, 6 Pied Wagtail, 5 'White Wagtail', 137 Meadow Pipit, 1 Tree Pipit, 46 Rock Pipit, 1 'Scandinavian Rock Pipit', 3 Chaffinch, 3 Brambling, 16 Twite, 2 redpoll sp., 5 Snow Bunting
Year List: 119


Lesser Whitethroat at Vaadal by AW Georgia Platt


Tree Pipit at Hesswalls by AW Georgia Platt

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28th April 2022
Weather:
Overcast with a light force 2 westerly, wind swinging to south-westerly through the day
The calmest day we have had since arriving made census a pleasure. Yesterday's White-tailed Eagle is still in the north, the Hoopoe was refound on Malcolm's Head, and another White billed diver from Alex made for an exciting day. The cherry on the cake was two bull orcas close in to the rocks at Skadan before heading out south-west! Looking back at the photos confirmed that these are Hulk and Nótt, two bachelor males that travel together. This is the first time they've been seen this Spring.

HIGHLIGHTS:
White-billed Diver: In non-breeding plumage off Meoness
White-tailed Eagle: Still in the north above Ward Hill and Furse
Hoopoe: Back on Malcolm's Head


Great views of the White-Tailed Eagle by AW Georgia Platt


White-billed Diver showing well on calm waters by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 15 Greylag Goose, 4 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Shelduck, 2 Teal, 2 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Moorhen, 50 Oystercatcher, 19 Lapwing, 16 Golden Plover, 30 Ringed Plover, 8 Whimbrel, 12 Curlew, 25 Turnstone, 10 Purple Sandpiper, 25 Snipe, 5 Redshank, 2 Black-headed Gull, 18 Common Gull, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 4 Arctic Skua, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Long-eared Owl, 1 Short-eared Owl, 2 Peregrine, 3 Carrion Crow, 121 Skylark, 8 Swallow, 1 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 1 Goldcrest, 3 Ring Ouzel, 3 Blackbird, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 4 Robin, 117 Wheatear, 1 Dunnock, 12 Pied Wagtail, 6 'White Wagtail', 191 Meadow Pipit, 53 Rock Pipit, 1 'Scandinavian Rock Pipit', 5 Brambling, 32 Twite, 6 Linnet, 1 'Mealy Redpoll', 1 Lesser Redpoll, 3 Siskin, 2 Snow Bunting
Year List: 117

Other Wildlife:Two bull Orca off South Harbour and Skadan before heading south-west

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27th April 2022
Weather:
Sunny with few clouds and a force 2 breeze moving from north-easterly to south-westerly throughout the day
A beautiful day with a light breeze made perfect conditions for raptor movement. We were treated to three year ticks: Osprey, Hen Harrier and a White-tailed Eagle that thermalled amongst Bonxies and gulls above Ward Hill for a good part of the afternoon.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Short-toed Lark: Still on Lerness
Osprey: North high over Vaasetter and the Havens
White-tailed Eagle: Hanging on thermals above Ward Hill and the Mast
Hen Harrier: Heading north at great height


Stunning White-Tailed Eagle soaring overhead by AW Georgia Platt

Sightings of note: 3 Barnacle Goose, 25 Greylag Goose, 1 Shelduck, 1 Teal, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 49 Oystercatcher, 15 Lapwing, 24 Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 17 Curlew, 15 Turnstone, 4 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Jacksnipe, 25 Snipe, 6 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 2 Black-headed Gull, 14 Common Gull, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Peregrine, 8 Carrion Crow, 140 Skylark, 2 Swallow, 4 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Ring Ouzel, 7 Blackbird, 11 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 5 Robin, 137 Wheatear, 9 Pied Wagtail, 10 'White Wagtail', 144 Meadow Pipit, 54 Rock Pipit, 8 Brambling, 26 Twite, 4 Linnet, 1 'Mealy Redpoll', 1 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 1 Snow Bunting, 1 Reed Bunting
Year List: 117

Other Wildlife: Common Seal at South Haven


Whimbrel near South Light by AW Georgia Platt

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26th April 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells with a force 4 north-easterly wind
Still northerlies but census produced a nice variety of birds, just not in great numbers, including the Short-toed Lark still on Lerness and a Whooper Swan in South Harbour. We heard back about the Portuguese control Song Thrush trapped at Plantation on the 14th April. It was ringed on its wintering grounds in Portugal this January, and seems to be the first ever Portuguese-ringed Song Thrush trapped in the UK.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Short-toed Lark: Still on Lerness


Portuguese Control Song Thrush in the hand by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 3 Barnacle Goose, 26 Greylag Goose, 1 Whooper Swan, 1 Shelduck, 4 Teal, 3 Woodpigeon, 46 Oystercatcher, 18 Lapwing, 15 Golden Plover, 33 Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 13 Curlew, 7 Turnstone, 18 Snipe, 6 Redshank, 4 Black-headed Gull, 21 Common Gull, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine, 4 Carrion Crow, 149 Skylark, 5 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 2 Ring Ouzel, 5 Blackbird, 1 Fieldfare, 8 Redwing, 3 Song Thrush, 1 Mistle Thrush, 8 Robin, 112 Wheatear, 2 Dunnock, 7 Pied Wagtail, 16 'White Wagtail', 160 Meadow Pipit, 40 Rock Pipit, 1 'Scandinavian Rock Pipit', 2 Chaffinch, 25 Brambling, 23 Twite, 3 Linnet, 1 'Mealy Redpoll', 1 redpoll sp., 1 Siskin, 1 Snow Bunting, 1 Reed Bunting
Year List: 114
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25th April 2022
Weather:
Overcast with some light drizzle with a force 4 northerly wind
A handful of birds in today including three Barnacle Geese, a couple of Mistle Thrushes, and a Black Redstart. The biggest news of the day is that the first Lapwing chicks in Kirki Mire have hatched. We also now have Mallard ducklings at Gilsetter, whose mother was ringed here last year.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Short-toed Lark: Still on Lerness


Mallard ducklings at Gilsetter by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 3 Barnacle Goose, 25 Greylag Goose, 1 Shelduck, 4 Teal, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Woodpigeon, 2 Collared Dove, 1 Moorhen, 56 Oystercatcher, 17 Lapwing, 28 Golden Plover, 34 Ringed Plover, 12 Curlew, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 29 Turnstone, 47 Purple Sandpiper, 28 Snipe, 1 Green Sandpiper, 11 Redshank, 6 Black-headed Gull, 12 Common Gull, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 2 Arctic Skua, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Peregrine, 1 Carrion Crow, 124 Skylark, 4 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Ring Ouzel, 5 Blackbird, 2 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush, 7 Robin, 1 Black Redstart, 97 Wheatear, 4 Dunnock, 9 Pied Wagtail, 9 'White Wagtail', 196 Meadow Pipit, 38 Rock Pipit, 3 Chaffinch, 10 Brambling, 19 Twite, 3 Linnet, 2 'Mealy Redpoll', 1 redpoll sp., 1 Siskin, 2 Snow Bunting, 1 Reed Bunting
Year List: 114
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24th April 2022
Weather:
Overcast for most of the day and a haze over the sea with a force 4 north-easterly wind
More north-easterlies so not much migration other than an influx of Ring Ouzels, while goose numbers seem to be finally falling. The first Gannet egg appeared at Lerness today, so the seabird season is only just around the corner!

HIGHLIGHTS:
Short-toed Lark: Still on Lerness


Razorbill by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 19 Greylag Goose, 1 Shelduck, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Collared Dove, 45 Oystercatcher, 10 Lapwing, 20 Golden Plover, 30 Ringed Plover, 11 Curlew, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 19 Turnstone, 5 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Woodcock, 1 Jack Snipe, 33 Snipe, 7 Redshank, 12 Black-headed Gull, 4 Common Gull, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 2 Arctic Skua (first of the year), 1 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Short-eared Owl, 2 Peregrine, 5 Carrion Crow, 141 Skylark, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 6 Ring Ouzel, 7 Blackbird, 3 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 5 Robin, 92 Wheatear, 3 Dunnock, 3 Pied Wagtail, 6 'White Wagtail', 97 Meadow Pipit, 28 Rock Pipit, 2 Chaffinch, 9 Brambling, 10 Twite, 1 Linnet, 2 Siskin, 2 Snow Bunting
Year List: 114
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23rd April 2022
Weather:
Overcast with fog at the top of Ward Hill and a force 4 north-easterly wind
A quiet census but a Hawfinch and the first Greenshank of the year kept things interesting and the year list ticking over.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Hawfinch: One over Schoolton/Chapel

Sightings of note: 29 Greylag Goose, 1 Shelduck, 3 Teal, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Woodpigeon, 2 Collared Dove, 1 Water Rail, 44 Oystercatcher, 19 Lapwing, 18 Golden Plover, 35 Ringed Plover, 8 Curlew, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 15 Turnstone, 16 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Jack Snipe, 33 Snipe, 10 Redshank, 1 Greenshank (first of the year), 5 Common Gull, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Peregrine, 3 Carrion Crow, 168 Skylark, 3 Willow Warbler, 7 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 2 Ring Ouzel, 6 Blackbird, 4 Redwing, 1 Song Thrush, 7 Robin, 103 Wheatear, 2 Dunnock, 7 Pied Wagtail, 3 'White Wagtail', 135 Meadow Pipit, 32 Rock Pipit, 2 Chaffinch, 28 Brambling, 17 Twite, 1 'Mealy Redpoll', 2 Linnet, 2 Siskin, 1 Snow Bunting
Year List: 113
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22nd April 2022
Weather:
Bright sun shining through a light haze with a force 6 north-easterly wind
North-easterlies brought another quieter day for migration, but the Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll are still around Gully and the Short-toed Lark reappeared on Lerness. Excitingly, we have heard back from the Norwegian Ringing Scheme about our control Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll. It was ringed in September 2021 over 1000 km away on Selvær, an island off the north coast of Norway!

HIGHLIGHTS:
Short-toed Lark: Back on Lerness
HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL: Two back at Gully


Black-tailed Godwit at South Harbour by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 36 Greylag Goose, 1 Teal, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 46 Oystercatcher, 22 Golden Plover, 37 Ringed Plover, 11 Curlew, 2 Black-tailed Godwit,47 Turnstone, 1 Knot, 5 Purple Sandpiper, 20 Snipe, 18 Redshank, 9 Common Gull, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Peregrine, 3 Carrion Crow, 96 Skylark, 3 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Goldcrest, 7 Blackbird, 4 Redwing, 6 Robin, 77 Wheatear, 1 Dunnock, 5 Pied Wagtail, 4 'White Wagtail', 112 Meadow Pipit, 45 Rock Pipit, 3 Chaffinch, 18 Brambling, 16 Twite, 2 Linnet, 2 Siskin
Year List: 112
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21st April 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells in between banks of fog with a force 3 north-easterly wind
A foggy morning meant we had to stick to just the crofts for census. A quiet day on the bird front but the first Knot of the year, a Grey Heron upsetting the gulls, and a Shelduck on Golden Water added some interest.


Shellduck at Golden Water by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 22 Greylag Goose, 1 Shelduck, 1 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 9 Woodpigeon, 3 Collared Dove, 11 Golden Plover, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Knot (first of the year), 117 Purple Sandpiper, 8 Common Gull, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Merlin, 1 Carrion Crow, 1 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Goldcrest, 5 Blackbird, 1 Fieldfare, 5 Redwing, 7 Robin, 56 House Sparrow (35m + 21f), 3 Dunnock, 1 'White Wagtail', 4 Chaffinch, 7 Brambling, 4 Linnet, 1 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin, 1 Reed Bunting
Year List: 112
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20th April 2022
Weather:
Bright sun and clear skies turning to fog in the evening, with a force 2 south-easterly wind
Another beautiful day made census a pleasure. Not many birds in with a clear out of almost all the thrushes, but a Sparrowhawk was a nice surprise in the traps, yesterday's Black-tailed Godwits are still about, and a Short-eared Owl over Buness was exciting to see. The afternoon was spent putting up the Oyster Plant exclosure (to keep the sheep out) as a few shoots are now appearing. This was followed by a well-earned beer in the sun, where we watched a handful of Whimbrel and Curlew come in off the sea before the fog rolled in.



Sparrowhawk trapped in Plantation by AW Georgia Platt

Sightings of note: 30 Greylag Goose, 1 Shelduck (First for the year), 1 Wigeon, 7 Teal, 53 Rock Dove, 3 Collared Dove, 45 Oystercatcher, 21 Lapwing, 7 Golden Plover, 40 Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 19 Curlew, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 72 Turnstone, 2 Purple Sandpiper, 19 Snipe, 24 Redshank, 2 Black-headed Gull, 9 Common Gull, 6 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Short-eared Owl, 2 Rook, 6 Carrion Crow, 179 Skylark, 6 Willow Warbler, 9 Chiffchaff, 8 Blackcap, 4 Goldcrest, 1 Ring Ouzel, 12 Blackbird, 2 Redwing, 1 Song Thrush, 7 Robin, 120 Wheatear, 53 House Sparrow (31m + 22f), 3 Dunnock, 14 Pied Wagtail, 2 'White Wagtail', 155 Meadow Pipit, 63 Rock Pipit, 5 Chaffinch, 13 Brambling, 1 Greenfinch, 28 Twite, 3 Linnet, 1 'Mealy Redpoll', 1 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin, 1 Reed Bunting
Year List: 111
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19th April 2022
Weather:
Bright sun and clear skies with a force 2 south-westerly wind
An absolutely glorious day brought a few unexpected year ticks on census, including two Glossy Ibis, two Stock Doves and two Black-tailed Godwit. The afternoon was spent by Holly (Ranger) conducting a guided walk up Ward Hill while Georgia and Alex (AWs) pushed the traps, catching a Greenfinch (yet another first of the year!)

Stock Dove at Quoy by AW Alex Penn

HIGHLIGHTS:
Stock Dove: One at Kirn O' Skroo and one at Quoy
HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL: Unringed individual at Gully
Glossy Ibis: Two heading north over the Rippack and Vaasetter

Sightings of note: 15 Greylag Goose, 5 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Wigeon, 2 Teal, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 17 Woodpigeon, 3 Collared Dove, 1 Moorhen, 51 Oystercatcher, 18 Lapwing, 9 Golden Plover, 40 Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 18 Curlew, 2 Black-tailed Godwit (first of the year), 63 Turnstone, 2 Purple Sandpiper, 11 Snipe, 27 Redshank, 2 Black-headed Gull, 2 Common Gull, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 86 Bonxie, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Peregrine, 1 Carrion Crow, 2 Rook, 176 Skylark, 1 Swallow, 15 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 9 Blackcap, 2 Goldcrest, 3 Ring Ouzel, 17 Blackbird, 8 Fieldfare, 4 Redwing, 3 Song Thrush, 1 Mistle thrush, 21 Robin, 108 Wheatear, 6 Dunnock, 15 Pied Wagtail, 5 'White Wagtail', 269 Meadow Pipit, 66 Rock Pipit, 2 'Scandinavian Rock Pipits', 8 Chaffinch, 19 Brambling, Greenfinch (first of the year), 14 Twite, 3 Linnet, 1 'Mealy Redpoll', 1 Siskin, 5 Snow Bunting, 1 Reed Bunting
Year List: 110

Other Wildlife: Minke Whale heading east off Easter Lother

Glossy Ibis over the Rippack by AW Alex Penn

Greenfinch trapped in Plantation by AW Georgia Platt

Black-tailed Godwits at Golden Water by AW Georgia Platt
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18th April 2022
Weather:
Haze and drizzle with some sunny spells and a force 5 south-easterly wind
A slightly dreich morning census gave way to a glorious sunny evening. There has been a bit of a clear out of thrushes, but a year tick came in the form of a Green Sandpiper in Vaadal stream and a Long-Eared Owl was flushed off the Parks.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Hoopoe : Still at the Base of Malcolm’s Head

Sightings of note: 49 Greylag Goose, 6 Pink-footed Goose, 4 Teal, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 47 Oystercatcher, 20 Lapwing, 11 Golden Plover, 46 Ringed Plover, 11 Curlew, 92 Turnstone, 9 Purple Sandpiper, 32 Snipe, 1 Green Sandpiper (first of the year), 15 Redshank, 3 Black-headed Gull, 15 Common Gull, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 57 Bonxie, 1 'Blue Fulmar', 1 Long-eared Owl, 2 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine, 3 Carrion Crow, 2 Rook, 217 Skylark, 9 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 5 Blackcap, 3 Goldcrest, 2 Ring Ouzel, 24 Blackbird, 41 Fieldfare, 22 Redwing, 12 Song Thrush, 22 Robin, 91 Wheatear, 12 Pied Wagtail, 241 Meadow Pipit, 49 Rock Pipit, 12 Chaffinch, 42 Brambling, 3 Twite, 1 Redpoll sp., 3 Goldfinch, 1 Reed Bunting
Year List: 106

Green Sandpiper in Vaadal Stream by AW Alex Penn

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17th April 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells and a force 4 south-easterly wind
More south-easterlies continue to keep census interesting, with a large influx of Wheatears and the first Tree Pipits of the season. Opening the Obs nets at sunset, on the last round before we furled, we were treated to the Norwegian-ringed Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll netted on its way to roost. What a stunner!

HIGHLIGHTS:
HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL : One trapped at the Obs
Lesser Yellowlegs : In Suka Mire
Hoopoe : Still at the base of Malcolm’s Head
Hawfinch : One at Shirva
Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll trapped at the Obs by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 57 Greylag Goose, 6 Pink-footed Goose, 9 Teal, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 8 Woodpigeon, 2 Collared Dove, 52 Oystercatcher, 23 Lapwing, 7 Golden Plover, 26 Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 10 Curlew, 69 Turnstone, 2 Purple Sand, 3 Woodcock, 24 Snipe, 16 Redshank, 4 Common Gull, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 59 Bonxie, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Merlin, 1 Carrion Crow, 3 Rook, 1 Carrion Crow, 194 Skylark, 3 Swallow, 5 Willow Warbler, 11 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 7 Goldcrest, 5 Ring Ouzel, 60 Blackbird, 50 Fieldfare, 76 Redwing, 40 Song Thrush, 49 Robin, 225 Wheatear, 2 Dunnock, 16 Pied Wagtail, 5 'White Wagtail', 222 Meadow Pipit, 2 Tree Pipit (first of the year), 60 Rock Pipit, 9 'Scandinavian Rock Pipit', 6 Chaffinch, 79 Brambling, 1 Hawfinch, 9 Twite, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Reed Bunting

Year List: 105
Willow Warbler trapped at Plantation by AW Alex Penn
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16th April 2022
Weather:
Fog and a force 6 south-easterly wind
Heavy fog on the higher parts of the island meant some of the clifftops had to be avoided during census. However, there were still birds about, such as a smart male Hawfinch at Shirva and a couple of large flocks of Brambling roaming the island. More and more Bonxies are also appearing on land, so the seabird season can't be far away!

HIGHLIGHTS:
Hawfinch : One at Shirva
Sightings of note: 47 Greylag Goose, 6 Pink-footed Goose, 7 Teal, 2 Woodpigeon, 42 Oystercatcher, 13 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 35 Ringed Plover, 10 Curlew, 53 Turnstone, 1 Purple Sand, 36 Snipe, 20 Redshank, 5 Common Gull, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 5 Bonxie, 1 Kestrel, 1 Carrion Crow, 120 Skylark, 1 Sand Martin, 5 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 5 Goldcrest, 5 Ring Ouzel, 56 Blackbird, 21 Fieldfare, 40 Redwing, 15 Song Thrush, 51 Robin, 51 Wheatear, 5 Dunnock, 9 Pied Wagtail, 249 Meadow Pipit, 49 Rock Pipit, 3 'Scandinavian Rock Pipit', 6 Chaffinch, 96 Brambling, 1 Hawfinch, 1 Goldfinch

Year List: 104
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15th April 2022
Weather:
Bright sun and a force 4 south-easterly wind
A beautiful day and a favourable wind made for much more interesting birding and warmer hands! Thrushes and geese seem to be clearing out to make way for hirundines, Willow Warblers and some rarities such as the two Hornemann’s Arctic Redpoll that are roosting at the Obs. Excitingly, one of these is Norwegian ringed, and we think we can get the full sequence from photos, so look forward to an update on that! The Lesser Yellowlegs was also refound in Suka Mire, showing beautifully in the sun.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Lesser Yellowlegs : In Suka Mire
Hoopoe : Still at the base of Malcolm’s Head
Short-toed Lark: At Lerness
HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL : Two in Gully
Hawfinch : One at Shirva
Lesser Yellowlegs by AW Alex Penn
Sightings of note: 40 Greylag Goose, 5 Pink-footed Goose, 4 Teal, 1 Water Rail, 1 Moorhen, 37 Oystercatcher, 11 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 27 Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 9 Curlew, 62 Turnstone, 2 Purple Sand, 30 Snipe, 19 Redshank, 2 Black-headed Gull, 9 Common Gull, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 37 Bonxie, 1 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine, 3 Carrion Crow, 198 Skylark, Short-toed Lark (first of the year), 2 Sand Martin (first of the year), 4 Swallow, 9 Willow Warbler, 17 Chiffchaff, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 15 Goldcrest, 3 Ring Ouzel, 43 Blackbird, 22 Fieldfare, 24 Redwing, 59 Song Thrush, 3 Mistle Thrush, 51 Robin, 85 Wheatear, 3 Dunnock, 5 Pied Wagtail, 269 Meadow Pipit, 49 Rock Pipit, 2 'Scandinavian Rock Pipit', 6 Chaffinch, 89 Brambling, 1 Hawfinch, 16 Twite, 3 'Mealy Redpoll', 4 Goldfinch

Year List: 104
Short-toed Lark at Lerness by AW Alex Penn
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14th April 2022
Weather:
Mostly sunny with a force 2 easterly wind
A Hoopoe at the base of Hoini set the day off to a good start. This was followed by a busy census consisting of a large number of Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and Robins sheltering in the geos of the west cliffs. AWs Alex and Georgia spent the afternoon spring trapping Wheatears, which have also seen a bit of an influx. We opened the Obs nets in the evening. They immediately filled with Brambling on their way in to roost, and we ringed 47 in total. As we began to extract these, a couple of very pale balls of fluff in a pine tree by the net caught our eye. Two Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll were a lovely surprise, although they were determined to roost and didn't go in the net.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Hoopoe: At the base of Malcolm's Head
HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL: Two roosting in the Obs Garden
Hawfinch : Two at Vaila's Trees
Hoopoe at the bottom of Malcolm’s Head by AW Alex Penn
Sightings of note: 1 Barnacle Goose, 84 Greylag Goose, 6 Pink-footed Goose, 2 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 3 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Water Rail, 1 Moorhen, 41 Oystercatcher, 14 Lapwing, 2 Golden Plover, 30 Ringed Plover, 4 Whimbrel (first of the year), 15 Curlew, 54 Turnstone, 7 Purple Sand, 1 Jack Snipe, 20 Snipe, 20 Redshank, 3 Black-headed Gull, 5 Common Gull, 19 Bonxie, 1 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine, 1 Rook, 3 Carrion Crow, 229 Skylark, 3 Swallow, 12 Willow Warbler, 14 Chiffchaff, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 8 Blackcap, 24 Goldcrest, 6 Ring Ouzel, 69 Blackbird, 19 Fieldfare, 70 Redwing, 72 Song Thrush, 2 Mistle Thrush, 95 Robin, 2 Black Redstart, 43 Wheatear, 5 Dunnock, 16 Pied Wagtail, 204 Meadow Pipit, 55 Rock Pipit, 17 Chaffinch, 136 Brambling, 2 Linnet, 3 'Mealy Redpoll' (first of the year), 1 Goldfinch, 4 Snow Bunting, 4 Reed Bunting

Year List: 102
Robin at Wirvie by Ranger Holly Pickett
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13th April 2022
Weather:
Rain showers all day with a force 6 nouth-easterly wind
Although the storm force winds and horizontal rain meant census was called off this morning, Spring is certainly arriving on Fair Isle. The island’s crofters have their hands full lambing, with new lambs popping up across the crofts and on the hill. Migrant passerines are beginning to arrive in force, with Goldcrests, Robins, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps on the cliffs, and Wheatears and thrushes in the fields and ditches. Annual but less common European migrants such as Black Redstarts, Hawfinches and Ring Ouzels always feel extra special.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Crane: Still present, seen over Hoini

Hawfinch : Two at the Haa and one at Steeni Geo Sightings of note: 5 Pink-footed Goose, 2 Teal, 1 Golden Plover, 10 Purple Sand, 3 Woodcock, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Kestrel (first of the year), 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Grasshopper Warbler (first of the year), 9 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat (first of the year), 20 Goldcrest, 3 Ring Ouzel, 1 Mistle Thrush, 41 Robin, 3 Black Redstart, 1 Stonechat, 1 Dunnock, 1 Chaffinch, 10 Brambling, 1 redpoll sp., 3 Goldfinch Year List: 99
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12th April 2022
Weather:
Overcast and showers with a force 6 south-easterly wind
It's starting to feel as if migration is getting underway, signalled by the first Willow Warblers of the year, a smattering of Wheatears and a Ring Ouzel. The highlight came after dinner when we were informed of a Crane by Utra. We then watched as it landed on Da Water to be mobbed by the breeding Lapwings.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Crane: First sighted at Utra then settled at Da Water

Crane at Da Water by AW Alex Penn
Sightings of note: 1 Barnacle Goose, 98 Greylag Goose, 5 Pink-footed Goose, 2 Wigeon, 8 Teal, 1 Woodpigeon, 48 Oystercatcher, 12 Lapwing, 7 Golden Plover, 33 Ringed Plover, 12 Curlew, 44 Turnstone, 30 Purple Sand, 1 Woodcock, 15 Snipe, 19 Redshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 69 Common Gull, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 10 Bonxie, 1 Peregrine, 1 Carrion Crow, 186 Skylark, 2 Willow Warbler , 8 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Ring Ouzel , 79 Blackbird, 4 Fieldfare, 3 Fieldfare, 53 Redwing, 1 Song Thrush, 3 Mistle Thrush, 4 Robin, 1 Stonechat, 10 Wheatear, 3 Dunnock, 1 Grey Wagtail, 14 Pied Wagtail, 140 Meadow Pipit, 33 Rock Pipit, 6 Chaffinch, 5 Brambling, 1 Redpoll sp., 2 Goldfinch, 12 Snow Bunting, 1 Reed Bunting

Year List: 95
Puffin at Pietron by AW Georgia Platt

Ring Ouzel at the base of Malcolm's Head by Ranger Holly Pickett
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11th April 2022
Weather:
Sunny spells and a force 3 south-easterly wind
The team were up at dawn for a Tystie survey, with gorgeous sunrise views while A large number of puffins were back on the cliffs, heralding the start of the seabird season. A more favourable south-easterly wind made for an interesting census, including 3 new species for the year list!

Puffin at Pietron by AW Alex Penn
Sightings of note: 1 Barnacle Goose, 154 Greylag Goose, 6 Pink-footed Goose, 2 Wigeon, 19 Teal, 2 Woodpigeon, 49 Oystercatcher, 15 Lapwing, 5 Golden Plover, 49 Ringed Plover, 14 Curlew, 46 Turnstone, 12 Curlew, 5 Purple Sand, 1 Woodcock, 37 Snipe, 19 Redshank, 2 Common Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 8 Bonxie, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Peregrine, 1 Carrion Crow, 194 Skylark, 1 Swallow (first of the year), 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap (first of the year), 2 Goldcrest, 71 Blackbird, 4 Fieldfare, 51 Redwing, 10 Song Thrush, 1 Mistle Thrush, 3 Robin, 1 Black Redstart (first of the year), 15 Wheatear, 1 Dunnock, 1 Grey Wagtail, 9 Pied Wagtail, 186 Meadow Pipit, 38 Rock Pipit, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Brambling, 3 Twite, 1 Linnet, 3 Goldfinch, 10 Snow Bunting, 1 Reed Bunting

Year List: 92
Female Black Redstart by AW Georgia Platt

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10th April 2022
Weather:
Sunny with a force 4 northerly wind
A few new arrivals today, such as a Brambling, a Siskin and a large increase in the number of Meadow Pipits on the isle. The indisputable highlight was a large Flapper Skate found washed up by AW Alex Penn on a pebble beach near South Light (Hultry Geo).

Washed-up Flapper Skate with 6'1" Alex as a size reference! by AW Georgia Platt
Sightings of note: 167 Greylag Goose, 6 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Barnacle Goose (first of the year) , 2 Moorhen, 8 Teal, 41 Oystercatcher, 17 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 51 Ringed Plover, 12 Curlew, 43 Turnstone, 12 Curlew, 9 Purple Sand, 1 Woodcock, 2 Jack Snipe, 17 Snipe, 21 Redshank, 3 Black-headed Gull, 6 Common Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 7 Bonxie, 73 Puffin, 1 Carrion Crow, 201 Skylark, 2 Chiffchaff, 88 Blackbird, 3 Fieldfare, 40 Redwing, 15 Song Thrush, 1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Robin, 2 Wheatear, 7 Pied Wagtail, 1 'White Wagtail', 138 Meadow Pipit, 43 Rock Pipit, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Brambling, 1 Twite, 2 Linnet, 1 Siskin, 8 Snow Bunting

Year List: 89
Smart male Wheatear by AW Alex Penn

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9th April 2022
Weather:
Sunny with hail and light snow showers and a force 8 north-easterly wind
Another windy day with -4C wind chill made working around the clifftops challenging! Still managed census despite cutting out the most exposed areas, with a good number of Redwing, Blackbirds and Skylarks sheltering around the crofts.

Snipe at Burkle by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 147 Greylag Goose, 16 Teal, 46 Oystercatcher, 15 Lapwing, 59 Ringed Plover, 1 Black-headed Gull, 12 Curlew, 57 Turnstone, 10 Purple Sand, 16 Snipe, 59 Common Gull, 20 Redshank, 7 Common Gull, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3 Bonxie, 2 Puffin, 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 1 Carrion Crow, 163 Skylark, 56 Blackbird, 4 Fieldfare, 88 Redwing, 14 Song Thrush, 1 Mistle Thrush, 4 Pied Wagtail, 45 Meadow Pipit, 29 Rock Pipit, 4 Snow Bunting

Year List: 88
Mistle Thrush at Walli Burn by AW Alex Penn

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8th April 2022
Weather:
Sunny with hail showers and a force 6 north-easterly wind
A breezy morning with showers of heavy rain and hail meant we covered our respective census areas throughout the day, instead of in one go in the morning. Still a fair amount of thrush movement and a couple of Woodcock giving a slightly autumnal feel to the bird list, but the first 'White Wagtail' of the year was a nice addition.

'White Wagtail' at South Haven by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 167 Greylag Goose, 8 Teal, 26 Oystercatcher, 13 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 46 Ringed Plover, 2 Black-headed Gull, 7 Curlew, 64 Turnstone, 4 Purple Sand, 2 Woodcock, 17 Snipe, 59 Common Gull, 29 Redshank, 3 Common Gull, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3 Bonxie, 1 Merlin, 2 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 3 Chiffchaff, 50 Blackbird, 27 Fieldfare, 86 Redwing, 37 Song Thrush, 1 Robin, 2 Stonechat, 1 Wheatear, 3 Pied Wagtail, 1 'White Wagtail' (first of the year), 2 Chaffinch, 1 Snow Bunting

Year List: 88
Lambing is beginning for the island's crofters - by AW Alex Penn

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7th April 2022
Weather:
Sunny with sleet showers and a force 6 northerly wind
Census today revealed a good number of thrushes and a handful of woodcock brought in by the last few days of gale force winds. We have also heard back about the two control Linnets caught on 2nd March. Both were originally ringed in Shetland, so it appears they are Shetland offspring which wintered elsewhere in the UK and are returning to their natal region.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Lesser Yellowlegs : one still in field west of Skerryholm (5th record for Fair Isle)

Lapwing at Kirki Mire by AW Georgia Platt

Sightings of note: 131 Greylag Goose, 5 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Wigeon, 6 Teal, 2 Woodpigeon, 2 Moorhen,37 Oystercatcher, 9 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover,59 Ringed Plover, 2 Black-headed Gull, 12 Curlew, 47 Turnstone, 3 Purple Sand, 5 Woodcock, 16 Snipe, 59 Common Gull, 13 Redshank, 70 Common Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 2 Bonxie, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Merlin, 1 Carrion Crow, 191 Skylark, 101 Blackbird, 26 Fieldfare, 193 Redwing, 42 Song Thrush, 1 Robin, 2 Stonechat, 4 Pied Wagtail,26 Meadow Pipit, 48 Rock Pipit, 8 Twite

Year List: 88
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6th April 2022
Weather:
Overcast and sleet showers with a force 8 easterly wind (gusting force 9)
No census again today due to high winds. However a Lesser Yellowlegs found by AW Alex on a foray into the elements proved that it's always worth looking. It showed well for a good while, feeding in a field west of Skerryholm and returning there each time we thought we'd lost it. This is the fifth record for Fair Isle and the first since 2019!

HIGHLIGHTS:
Lesser Yellowlegs : one in field west of Skerryholm (5th record for Fair Isle)

Lesser Yellowlegs by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 12 Teal, 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Black-headed Gull, 59 Common Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Bonxie, 1 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 2 Blackbird, 33 Fieldfare, 197 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Wheatear

Year List: 88
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5th April 2022
Weather:
Overcast with a force 4 westerly wind
A small amount of migration today with the arrival of a Wheatear, Stonechat and several new Blackbirds. The 'Siberian Chiffchaff' ringed on the 2nd April is still sheltering at the Obs, while two Lapwing pairs have started incubating in Kirki Mire. The afternoon was spent repairing the Vaadal heligoland trap, now that our wire has arrived on the boat.

HIGHLIGHTS:
1 'Siberian Chiffchaff' : one at Obs (same individual ringed the 2nd)

Sightings of note: 173 Greylag Geese, 5 Pink-footed Goose, 4 Teal, 45 Oystercatcher, 1 Woodpigeon, 13 Lapwing (2 incubating), 44 Ringed Plover, 16 Curlew, 87 Turnstone, 3 Purple Sandpiper, 13 Snipe, 24 Redshank, 1 Common Gull, 6 Bonxie, 1 Merlin, 2 Peregrine, 1 Carrion Crow, 265 Skylark, 1 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackbird, 12 Redwing, 1 Stonechat, 1 Wheatear, 8 Pied Wagtail, 32 Meadow Pipit, 36 Rock Pipit, 1 Chaffinch, 11 Twite, 5 Snow Bunting

Year List: 87
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4th April 2022
Weather:
Sunny and some showers with a force 5 north westerly wind
A blustery census today so very few new passerines, but a Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll sheltering in the Good Shepherd's noost was undoubtedly a highlight! A few Bonxies are also trickling back onto the isle, including the High Holm pair which have both returned for the breeding season.

HIGHLIGHTS:
HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL : one in the Shepherd's noost

High Holm Bonxie pair by AW Georgia Platt

Sightings of note: 149 Greylag Geese, 4 Teal, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Moorhen, 36 Oystercatcher, 17 Lapwing, 65 Ringed Plover, 9 Curlew, 100 Turnstone, 30 Purple Sandpiper, 21 Snipe, , 43 Redshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 5 Common Gull, 4 Bonxie, 1 Merlin, 2 Peregrine, 230 Skylark, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Fieldfare, 7 Redwing, 1 Stonechat, 1 Pied Wagtail, 41 Meadow Pipit, 28 Rock Pipit, 1 Chaffinch, 3 Twite, 2 Linnet, 4 Snow Bunting

Year List: 87
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3rd April 2022
Weather:
Rainy showers with a force 6 westerly wind, gusting force 9
Strong wind and driving rain meant no census today. A few ventures out into the elements yielded an Iceland Gull which bathed briefly with the Great Black-backs at Ditfield. Some seawatching resulted in more Bonxie, Puffin and 'Blue Fulmar' sightings. There's always something to look at!

HIGHLIGHTS:
Iceland Gull: one at Ditfield

Iceland Gull at Ditfield by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 6 Teal, 20 Purple Sandpiper, 21 Redshank, 1 Black-headed Gull, 4 Common Gull, 80 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 2 Bonxie, 3 Puffin, 1 'Blue Fulmar' , 1 Fieldfare, 1 Linnet

Year List: 86
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2nd April 2022
Weather:
Bright sun and a force 3 northerly wind
An early start for the first Tystie survey of the season meant we got to witness a stunning Fair Isle sunrise. Census was quiet again but the sun continued to shine, with both Shetland and Orkney clearly visible to the north and south. We opened the Obs nets in the evening, ringing a 'Siberian Chiffchaff' and processing two UK-control Linnets which had been around the Haven for a couple of days - watch this space!

Sunrise over Buness by AW Georgia Platt

HIGHLIGHTS:
'Siberian Chiffchaff': one trapped at the Obs

'Siberian Chiffchaff' in the Hand by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 163 Greylag Goose, 6 Pink-footed Goose, 18 Teal, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Moorhen, 2 Woodpigeon, 25 Oystercatcher, 15 Lapwing, 64 Ringed Plover, 15 Curlew, 79 Turnstone, 3 Purple Sandpiper, 26 Snipe, 4 Redshank, 5 Common Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Bonxie, 22 Puffin, 1 Long-eared Owl, 1 Rook , 141 Skylark, 8 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 5 Blackbird, 20 Redwing, 1 Stonechat, 10 Pied Wagtail, 27 Meadow Pipit, 49 Rock Pipit, 1 Chaffinch, 7 Twite, 2 Linnet, 10 Siskin, 4 Snow Bunting

Year List: 86
Linnets Trapped at the Obs by AW Alex Penn

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1st April 2022
Weather:
Bright sun with some light sleet showers and a force 3 northerly wind
Some sunshine was much appreciated by the team as we undertook the first census of the year. Not much new movement but the first Puffins of the year were sighted on the sea off South Green, hopefully not long until they are on land!

Sightings of note: 152 Greylag Goose, 6 Pink-footed Goose, 7 Teal, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Woodpigeon, 38 Oystercatcher, 13 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 74 Ringed Plover, 16 Curlew, 54 Turnstone, 6 Purple Sandpiper, 21 Snipe, 18 Redshank, 4 Common Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3 Puffin (first of the year), 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Merlin, 1 Carrion Crow, 246 Skylark, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 4 Blackbird, 1 Fieldfare, 9 Redwing, 1 Stonechat, 7 Pied Wagtail, 52 Meadow Pipit, 35 Rock Pipit, 1 Chaffinch, 8 Twite, 11 Snow Bunting

Year List: 86
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31st March 2022
Weather:
Sun and sleet showers with a cold, force 5 northerly wind
Still few migrants to be seen but a productive day for the team included acquiring a burning barrel to burn our mountain of cardboard boxes, washing bird bags, and some admin tasks. A highlight was seeing the Coastguard helicopter on exercise land at the South Light - much excitement!

Coastguard Helicopter at the South Light by AW Alex Penn

Sightings of note: 95 Greylag Goose, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 5 Teal, 10 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 2 Carrion Crow, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Blackbird, 1 Fieldfare, 13 Redwing, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Stonechat, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Chaffinch, 2 Twite, 1 Goldfinch, 8 Snow Bunting

Year List: 85
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30th March 2022
Weather:
Sun breaking through the clouds but with a cold, force 5 northerly wind
Another bitterly cold day of northerlies meant birds were scarce. A couple of firsts for the year, Great Northern Diver and Bonxie, were very welcome.

Redwing at the Chapel by AW Georgia Platt

Sightings of note: 3 Teal, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Woodpigeon, 1 Moorhen, 11 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 4 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Jack Snipe, 1 Black-headed Gull, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Bonxie (first of the year), 1 Great Northern Diver (first of the year), 1 'Blue Fulmar' , 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Merlin, 1 Carrion Crow, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 5 Blackbird, 1 Fieldfare, 16 Redwing, 1 Stonechat, 3 Pied Wagtail, 1 Chaffinch, 2 Linnet, 1 Goldfinch, 10 Snow Bunting

Year List: 85
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29th March 2022
Weather:
Snow showers interspersed with some sun and a force 4 northerly wind
A cold wind from the arctic brought snow showers today, reminding us that spring isn't quite here just yet! Still no wire for trap repairs so the day consisted of some seawatching, birding and collecting Holly's new bike from the boat. The best sighting of the day was a 'Blue Fulmar' seen from South Light, not a species tick (colour morph of Fulmar), but still a lovely sight!

Stonechat at Boini Mire (photo by AW Alex Penn)

Sightings of note: 91 Greylag Goose, 5 Pink-footed Goose, 6 Teal, 3 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 8 Lapwing, 6 Golden Plover, 81 Ringed plover, 7 Purple Sandpiper, 5 Common Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 'Blue Fulmar' , 1 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 2 Blackbird, 1 Fieldfare, 20 Redwing, 1 Robin, 3 Stonechat, 3 Pied Wagtail, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Goldfinch, 10 Snow Bunting

Snow from the South Light (photo by AW Georgia Platt)

Year List:83
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28th March 2022
Weather:
Overcast with a cold, force 3 northerly wind by the afternoon
A northerly wind brought cold weather and few birds. We are also still awaiting the delivery of materials for trap repairs so got some admin jobs out of the way. A Chiffchaff with a large pollen horn was trapped, which suggests it has been feeding on Eucalyptus or Citrus flowers in Iberia or north Africa.

Chiffchaff with pollen horn trapped in Plantation (photo by AW Alex Penn)

Sightings of note: 128 Greylag Goose, 6 Pink-footed Goose, 9 Teal, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Woodpigeon, 1 Water Rail, 1 Moorhen, 10 Lapwing, 2 Golden Plover, 20 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Sparrow Hawk (first of the year), 1 Merlin, 2 Carrion Crow, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 5 Blackbird, 2 Fieldfare, 12 Redwing, 2 Stonechat, 1 Wheatear, 1 Dunnock, 4 Pied Wagtail, 1 Chaffinch, 22 Twite, 1 Goldfinch (first of the year), 9 Snow Bunting

Year List: 83
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27th March 2022
Weather:
Good visibility, bright sun and a force 4 westerly wind
Another beautiful day of birding, trap repairs and a guided walk in the sunshine. The highlight was without doubt a White-billed Diver seen by AW Alex off South Light, which continued to show well and to be twitched by the rest of the team and a few keen islanders. Not bad for our first week on the island and first diver species of the season!

AWs and islanders connecting with the White-billed Diver at South Light (photo by Ranger Holly Pickett)

HIGHLIGHTS:
White-billed Diver: one off South Light (new for the year)

White-billed Diver on the sea off South Light - check out that meaty bill! (photo by AW Alex Penn)

Sightings of note: 108 Greylag Goose, 4 Teal, 2 Woodpigeon, 1 Water Rail, 11 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 31 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Jack Snipe, 61 Kittiwakes (Greenholm), 2 Black-headed Gull, 10 Common Gull, 2 Carrion Crow, 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackbird, 5 Fieldfare, 5 Redwing, 1 Robin, 3 Stonechat, 1 Grey Wagtail, 6 Pied Wagtail, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Brambling, 5 Twite, 2 Siskin, 9 Snow Bunting, 1 Reed Bunting

Year List: 81
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26th March 2022
Weather:
Sunshine in between banks of fog and a force 4 westerly wind
The weather surprised us and held off, so trap repairs continued for Alex and Georgia (AWs) while Holly (Ranger) conducted the first guided walk of the season. A Merlin hung around for most of they day taking advantage of Skylarks in their hundreds. An afternoon of birding turned up a handful of common migrants, and Grey Wagtail and a smart male Wheatear made nice additions to the year list.

Sightings of note: 112 Greylag Goose, 6 Teal, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Woodpigeon, 1 Water Rail, 11 Lapwing, 3 Golden Plover, 3 Purple Sandpiper, 6 Common Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 11 Common Gull, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Long-eared Owl, 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine, 2 Carrion Crow, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackbird, 2 Redwing, 1 Stonechat, 1 Wheatear (first of the year), 1 Grey Wagtail (first of the year), 9 Pied Wagtail, 2 Chaffinch, 3 Twite, 1 Linnet, 26 Snow Bunting

Wheatear at South Haven (photo by AW Georgia Platt)

Year List: 80
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25th March 2022
Weather:
mostly overcast and a force 4 westerly wind
A couple of hours of birding in the morning revealed a smattering of common migrants such as Twite, Siskin, and a Long-eared Owl roosting at the Gully Trap, as well as Skylarks still flocking in large numbers. The afternoon was spent tidying our accommodation at the South Light, and looking out for the Orca seen off North Ronaldsay earlier in the day, to no avail (yet!).

Sightings of note: 89 Greylag Goose, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 4 Teal, 2 Woodpigeon, 1 Golden Plover, 47 Ringed Plover, 6 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Jack Snipe, 1 Black-headed Gull, 11 Common Gull, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Long-eared Owl, 2 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackbird, 1 Robin, 1 Stonechat, 3 Pied Wagtail, 2 Chaffinch, 8 Twite, 5 Siskin, 4 Snow Bunting

Jack Snipe hiding in Boini Mire ditch (photo by AW Georgia Platt)

Year List: 78
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24th March 2022
Weather:
Sporadic sunshine breaking through haze and a force 4 south-westerly wind
A quieter day for migration but walking the north census route produced the first Goldcrest of the year and showed that the Guillemots, Razorbills and Gannets are starting to arrive on the west cliffs. Other welcome sightings included a handful of finches including Siskin, Linnet and Chaffinch.

Sightings of note: 4 Teal, 1 Cormorant, 4 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Golden Plover, 37 Ringed Plover, 10 Purple Sandpiper, 3 Black-headed Gull, 2 Peregrine, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 17 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Stonechat, 3 Pied Wagtail, 1 alba Wagtail sp., 1 Chaffinch, 1 Linnet, 4 Siskin, 5 Snow Bunting

Year List: 78
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23rd March 2022
Weather:
mostly hazy with bright sun and force 4 southerly wind
Another productive day, we made the most of some sunshine by walking the south-west census route in the morning and opened the Obs nets in the evening. A nice surprise was a Blackbird caught in the Plantation trap originally ringed in Heligoland, Germany. Other than that a few more common migrants are beginning to trickle in, such as Chiffchaffs, Redwing, and Fieldfare.

German-ringed Blackbird in the hand at Plantation (photo by AW Alex Penn)

Sightings of note: 71 Greylag Goose, 4 Teal, 5 Woodpigeon, 1 Collared Dove, 1 Golden Plover, 11 Curlew, 1 Dunlin, 3 Purple Sandpiper, 14 Redshank, 2 Black-headed Gull, 7 Common Gull, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 6 Chiffchaff, 15 Blackbird, 2 Song Thrush, 8 Robin, 1 Dunnock, 2 Pied Wagtail, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Linnet, 1 Reed Bunting
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22nd March 2022
Weather:
mostly hazy with sunny spells and a force 4 south-easterly wind
A busy and productive first full day for the team today, as we all walked the south-east census route this morning to familiarise ourselves with the route again, followed by some trap repairs in the afternoon. Not much new to report today other than a few more Chiffchaffs, a Long-eared Owl roosting in the pine tree in Gully and a very unexpected Moorhen caught in Vaadal whilst we were working on the traps! A brilliant bird to kick off the season.

Moorhen in the hand at Plantation (photo by AW Alex Penn)

Sightings of note: 67 Greylag Goose, 5 Pink-footed Goose, 6 Teal, 1 Water Rail, 1 Moorhen (Vaadal), 17 Lapwing, 1 Golden Plover, 4 Curlew, 3 Purple Sandpiper, 47 Snipe, 1 Black-headed Gull, 2 Common Gull, 1 Long-eared Owl (Gully), 2 Carrion Crow, 4 Chiffchaff, 18 Blackbird, 1 Song Thrush, 6 Robin, 3 Pied Wagtail, 1 Chaffinch, 5 Twite, 6 Snow Bunting, 1 Reed Bunting

Snow Bunting on Meoness (photo by AW Alex Penn)
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21st March 2022
Weather:
sunny spells with a force 4-5 south-easterly breeze
And we're back! Today the seasonal staff arrived back on Fair Isle for the season, and it seems like we brought the good weather with us - sunshine and a light breeze greeted us back to the Isle, as well as a scattering of birds. A couple of Chiffchaffs were a welcome sight, along with a bright Yellowhammer, good numbers of wintering thrushes and a handful of Snow Bunting. We are delighted to be starting the season, full of optimism and energy (for now!) - the team this year consists of Alex Penn and Georgia Platt returning for a third season, and new Ranger Holly Pickett. Welcome to the team Holly!

Yellowhammer at the Haa (photo by AW Alex Penn)

HIGHLIGHTS:
Yellowhammer: one touring the Isle

Sightings of note: 4 Teal, 3 Woodpigeon, 4 Lapwing, 52 Ringed Plover, 11 Purple Sandpiper, 1 Jack Snipe, 1 Black-headed Gull, 2 Carrion Crow, 2 Chiffchaff, 45 Fieldfare, 1 Dunnock, 4 Pied Wagtail, 1 Chaffinch, 4 Snow Bunting

Species present but not counted: Greylag Goose, Eider, Rock Dove, Oystercatcher, Golden Plover, Curlew, Turnstone, Snipe, Redshank, Common Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Tystie, Razorbill, Fulmar, Gannet, Shag, Hooded Crow, Raven, Skylark (present in hundreds), Fair Isle Wren, Starling, Blackbird, Redwing, Robin, House Sparrow, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit

Looking over to the Holms from South Light - always a lovely view, especially in golden hour! (photo by AW Georgia Platt)
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