Fair Isle Bird Observatory & Guesthouse

Fair Isle Migration Project


In 2012, the Scottish Ornithologists' Club donated a sum of money to support the digitisation of Fair Isle Bird Observatory's logs - that's over 60 years of spring and autumn census data. In January-February 2012 and January 2013, the hand-written daily logs were photographed; then, the 15,000 images were sent away for conversion into digital database files. Only then could the true value of these many years of meticulous data collection be fully realised.

Background article in 'Scottish Birds' and an update.

British Birds paper


For further information please follow this link.

Global Change Biology paper

Two years and a lot of hard work later we're very excited to announce the publication of the first research paper generated by the Fair Isle Migration Project in the international science journal Global Change Biology (Miles et al. 2016). The paper reveals that not only are some early migrating individuals migrating earlier, but late migrating individuals are also on the move later, extending the total within-season duration of the migration period for some species. Interestingly the paper also finds that spring and autumn migration timings are independent - early spring migrants are not necessarily returning early in the autumn for example.

A short easy-to-read summary of the paper can be downloaded here.

For access to the published abstract in Global Change Biology please click on the image link below: Global Change Biology

Full access requires a subscription to the journal or payment of a fee.

Data access

Information about accessing the Fair Isle migration dataset will be posted in the near future. More ...