Fair Isle Bird Observatory & Guesthouse

Sightings archive: September-October 2012

1st September

Moderate south-west, overcast and showery

The first day of the magic month of September unfortunately failed to live up to its billing this year, with south-westerlies seeing that little in the way of new birds made it through to Fair Isle; the (granted, very nice) highlight being the lingering, but elusive ARCTIC WARBLER.

Four Wigeon and 12 Teal were recorded along with 3 Grey Herons, a Sparrowhawk and 2 Merlins while the less regular waders included 8 Knot, 8 Sanderlings, 18 Dunlin and a Green Sandpiper dotted across the isle.

A single Swift winged its way through while small migrants mostly included dwindling numbers of lingering birds; 6 Willow Warblers, 3 Garden Warblers, 2 Barred Warblers, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a new Common Whitethroat, the Grasshopper Warbler still at Da Water, Fieldfare, 2 Whinchats, a new Dunnock (the first since the 2nd August), 11 White Wagtails and good numbers of Alba Wags in general still, 337 Meadow Pipits, 4 Siskins, the Crossbill still and what was probably a new Rosefinch at North Light.

2nd September

Moderate south-westerly. Overcast

Six Wigeon were present today along with single Merlin and Peregrine while a reasonable scattering of waders across the insland (and especially in the Havens) included 50 Ringed Plovers, 7 Lapwings, 5 Knot, 13 Sanderlings, 2 Purple Sandpipers, 10 Dunlin, 2 Ruff, 4 Curlew, the Green Sandpiper, 42 Redshanks and 78 Turnstones. A short seawatch off of South Light didn't produce much excitement, with just small numbers of Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Razorbills and a Puffin noted, along with a few Arctic Terns and a Common Tern.

A Woodpigeon arrived while small migrants that showed some signs of an increase included 9 Willow Warblers, 4 Garden Warblers, a Reed Warbler at Schoolton, 22 White Wagtails, 2 Linnets, 2 Common Rosefinches (both trapped in the Plantation along with the Crossbill on the same trap-round). One of the Barred Warblers and the Grasshopper Warbler remains in their respective favourite places on the island.

3rd September

Moderate west/south-westerly. Showers and low cloud

Another fairly quiet day, though the ARCTIC WARBLER remains and finally consented put on a show to a few, showing well for a while along fence-lines at Bulls Park in the morning.

A Merlin remains while waders included 5 new Golden Plovers, 10 Lapwings, lingering Knots and Sanderlings, 2 Ruff still. A small number of lingering Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Garden Warblers, Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat and the Barred Warbler at the Chalet remain, along with the Fieldfare (eluding capture in the Gulley), 2 Whinchats, fast-dwindling numbers of Wheatears, 3 Siskins, and the 2 ringed Rosefinches.

4th September

Gale to storm-force south-westerly. Dry in the morning, with rain moving through mid-afternoon

A day of reduced census, with most attempts to bird thwarted by the wind. However the island was checked thoroughly (mostly for American stuff, none of which was found) and the following was mustered;

A single Shelduck was on Buness and a Red-breasted Merganser was in North Haven. A single Sooty Shearwater was the product of 2 hours seawatch off Buness in the afternoon (tough going sprang to mind) and 5 Grey Herons were present while waders of note included 5 Knot, 10 Sanderling, 12 Dunlin, a Green Sandpiper, 34 Redshank and 97 Turnstones. Twenty-eight Lesser Black-backed Gulls was a distinct increase.

The only notable passerines included a Sand Martin at Furse, 4 Willow Warblers, the lingering Barred Warbler, a Whinchat, Siskin and a Common Rosefinch at the Obs.

5th September

Moderate north-westerly. Cool and overcast, brightening up by the afternoon

A few bits managed to arrive today in markedly better conditions that yesterday. A Wigeon and 7 Teal were logged and the Merganser remains in the Havens. What was probably the last Storm Petrel ringing session of the year produced a respectable 45 birds in well moonlit conditions. A female Sparrowhawk was trapped in the Vaadal and both Merlin and Peregrine were seen while waders included 6 Golden Plovers, 9 Lapwings, 2 Knot, 9 Sanderling, a Purple Sandpiper and 6 Dunlin. A puffin and Arctic Skua were the highlights of more quiet seawatching from South Light.

Small migrants of note included the Sand Martin and 4 Swallows, the lingering ARCTIC WARBLER (showing very well in the Obs crop at Bulls Park), 6 Willow Warblers, the first Blackcap in a while, 2 Barred Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Sedge Warblers, Whinchat and Fieldfare, a Siskin, Redpoll sp. over in the morning, a lingering Common Rosefinch and the first 2 Lapland Buntings of the autumn.

6th September

Heavy rain all morning, with moderate south-westerly. Wind easing and rain clearing by evening

Teal increased to 11 birds while a Sooty Shearwater passed Buness in the evening and 2 Sparrowhawks and a Merlin was logged, with one of the former trapped in the evening.

Small migrants of note involved mostly lingering birds including 4 Willow Warblers, Blackcap and Garden Warbler, 2 Barred Warblers, 2 Sedge Warblers, Whinchat, 12 White Wagtails, 2 Linnets and an increase to 3 Rosefinches.

7th September

Moderate westerly. Fine with showers

Bird of the day; and indeed the week, was a flighty juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper found on Meoness in the morning; a typical location for the species on Fair Isle and much anticipated in these on-going westerlies.

The first Pink-footed Geese of the autumn arrived, with 47 noted as they headed south while other wildfowl included 3 Greylags, 5 Wigeon and 3 Teal. The Kestrel remains while waders included 14 Golden Plovers, 11 Sanderling and 2 juvenile Black-tailed Godwits over the airstrip.

Small migrants noted were much the same as recently, with notable birds included a new Garden Warbler, the 2 Barred Warblers (with the unringed Chalet bird finally being caught in the Barkland Heligoland), 4 Common Rosefinches (2 at Taft and 2 at Barkland) and 6 Lapland Buntings dotted across the isle.

8th September

Light south-westerly, occasionally hinting at south-easterly. Rain all day

The Buff-breasted Sandpiper was refound on the short turf behind Utra scrape, where it showed well, associating with Ringed Plovers. A mass arrival of Pink-footed Geese onto the island saw 1040 logged, grounded by the wet weather and poor visibility. A further influx of wildfowl included 11 Wigeon and 21 Teal. Golden Plovers increased to 60 birds while other waders included 2 Black-tailed Godwits and 3 Whimbrels.

Small migrants of note included 7 Swallows, a lingering Barred Warbler, 66 Wheatears (including several large Greenland birds), 2 Whinchats, 421 Meadow Pipits (a clear increase on recent days) and 2 lingering Rosefinches.

9th September

Light south-westerly. Fine

Departure of most of yesterday's Pink-footed Geese saw 205 remain on the island, with other lingering wildfowl including 8 Wigeon and 17 Teal while a new Red-breasted Merganser arrived in the Havens. Golden Plover numbers increased to 72 birds while other waders included 9 Lapwings, 10 Knot, 8 Sanderling, 3 Dunlin, 34 Snipe (possibly an arrival) and the lingering 2 Black-tailed Godwits.

A few new bits and pieces did arrive in the calmer more settled conditions, including a Goldcrest in the Gulley, 3 Chiffchaffs, 3 Garden Warblers, Whitethroat, Fieldfare, 76 Wheatears, a Dunnock, 438 Meadow Pipits, 109 Rock pipits and 3 Lapland Buntings, while lingering migrants of note included the 2 Barred Warblers and 4 mobile Rosefinches.

10th September

Light south-westerly. Fine but overcast

The Buff-breasted Sandpiper reappeared, roosting in Muckle Uri Geo with Ringed Plovers.

A steady passage of south-bound Pink-footed Geese saw 110 noted while Wigeon increased to 22 while seabirds noted from the Good Shepherd included a Sooty Shearwater and an adult Pomarine Skua 7 mile offshore; a very difficult bird to catch up with here, as the observer will testify (12 years of waiting finally over!). Two Cormorants flew north and 3 Peregrines were seen together over the west cliffs. An unexpected Corncrake was found near the Gully in the afternoon while waders of note included 21 Golden Plovers, 10 Sanderlings, 9 Dunlins and the lingering Black-tailed Godwits.

A few new small migrants included an additional Goldcrest, 2 House Martins, a male Blackcap at the Skaddan, 2 more Lesser Whitethroats, another Fieldfare, 2 Mealy Redpolls, with one certainly being of a north-western origin and 9 Lapland Buntings.

11th September

Moderate to strong south-westerly. Heavy wintry showers

Completely unexpected highlight of the day (and the autumn so far) was a RIVER WARBLER that flicked round the corner of the Obs Plantation early in the morning and straight into an open mist-net, much to the disbelief of all present. Where the hell did that come from?! Our second of the year, and Fair Isles 14th record.

Wildfowl were represented by 44 Pink-footed Geese and 14 Wigeon while a Merlin also arrived. Waders of note included 31 Golden Plovers, 16 Dunlin and a third Black-tailed Godwit. An Arctic Tern, 10 Guillemots and a Puffin were logged offshore.

A total of 48 Skylarks suggested an arrival while 8 Swallows included a few migrants. The 2 Barred Warblers remain while other small migrants included 2 Whitethroats, 3 Whinchats, 82 Wheatears, a Dunnock, the first Tree Pipit of the month, 3 North-western type Mealy Redpolls, 2 Crossbills, a lingering Rosefinch, 7 Lapland Buntings and the first Snow Bunting of the autumn.

12th September

Moderate to strong westerlies. Fine but with regular heavy showers

Teal increased to 14 birds on Da Water and a Red-throated Diver flew through. Raptors were represented by 2 Merlins and 2 Peregrines while waders of note included 37 Golden Plovers, 7 Knot, and the first Jack Snipe of the autumn and the lingering 3 Black-tailed Godwits. A juvenile Arctic Skua flew over the Kirk in the morning and 17 Common Gulls represents an increase.

Small migrants of note included 2 Goldcrests, 1 Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a skulking Marsh Warbler found in the Wally Burn, where it was eventually trapped along with a Whitethroat and Reed Warbler, a Linnet, 7 Mealy Redpolls (with many, if not all looking like North-western birds; probably Greenland), 2 Crossbills lingering, 3 Rosefinches and 7 Lapland Buntings.

13th September

Strong/gale-force south-westerlies. Rain all day - grim!

A day of reduced census, with the pick of what was essentially a fool-hardy attempt to score something trans-Atlantic being 21 Teal, a Tufted Duck in the Havens, female Peregrine, 32 Golden Plovers, 140 Turnstones, 2 Goldcrests, a Willow Warbler, a Siskin, 3 North-western Mealy Redpolls and a Common Rosefinch.

14th September

Moderate and variable north-west/south-west. Showers in the morning but otherwise dry

An improvement in the weather from yesterday didn't see a huge amount happening in the migrant department, with notable sightings being 2 Merlins patrolling the island, still a reasonable number and variety of all the commonly occurring waders, 5 Goldcrests on the cliffs, 66 Skylarks (with numbers building every day), 8 Swallows, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers, a lingering Barred Warbler still at the Chalet along with 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a Sedge Warbler in Furse, 435 Meadow Pipits, 4 Mealy Redpolls (3 of which certainly being Northwesterns), 2 Rosefinches and a nice increase in buntings, with 15 Snow and 11 Lapland Buntings noted, mostly in the north of the island.

15th September

Moderate to strong south-westerlies. Fine am, rain pm

The female Tufted Duck remains on the sea in Hesswalls while a Merlin remains along with 2 Peregrines. Waders included 30 Golden Plovers, 8 Sanderling, 4 Purple Sandpipers and the lingering Black-tailed Godwits along with a 3 figure count of Turnstone.

Three Goldcrests remain while Skylarks are on the up, with 91 birds counted. A Sand Martin arrived and the lingering Barred Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat remain along with 2 Whinchat, 2 Linnets, a Northwestern Redpoll, 15 Snow Buntings and a single Lapland Bunting.

16th September

Moderate to strong south/south-westerly. Fine

A skein of 15 Pink-footed Geese passed south while other wildfowl included lingering Wigeon, Teal and Tufted Duck. Three Cormorants were logged along with a single Peregrine while waders included 32 Golden Plovers, single Knot, 2 Purple Sandpipers and the lingering Black-tailed Godwits.

Small migrants remain woefully thin on the ground, with lingering birds providing most of the interest at the moment. Hints of movement were provided by 111 Skylarks, 2 Willow Warblers, a new Blackcap, an increase in Wheatears to 67, a good number of Twite still roving in large flocks (160), 4 Northwestern Mealy Redpolls at the Obs, 3 Rosefinches still, 14 Snow Buntings and 13 Lapland Buntings.

17th September

Moderate/strong south-westerly. Overcast and cold

New non-passerine arrivals onto the island included 2 passing Greylags, a Grey Heron in the south, 7 Dunlin and a Ruff on the wet fields at Barkland. A Sedge Warbler was at the Obs along with 2 North-western Mealy Redpolls while 3 Siskins arrived and Lapland Buntings increased to 20.

18th September

Light/moderate north-westerlies and rain

A single skein of Pink-footed Geese passed through along with 6 Greylags, while 8 Wigeon were an increase on recent days. Four Red-breasted Mergansers arrived in South Harbour and 2 Red-throated Divers flew south. A Woodpigeon managed to arrive in today's lighter north-westerlies, along with 169 Skylarks and 461 Meadow Pipits (a clear influx of both with nice overhead passage), 4 Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler and Blackcap, 226 Twite, 6 North-western Mealy Redpolls and 24 Lapland Buntings.

19th September

Moderate north-westerly. Showers

Star bird today was our first, and long overdue Pectoral Sandpiper of the year found on Meoness in the morning. An elusive bird and clearly newly arrived, it spent most of its time consorting with Redshanks on the short grass.

Teal increased to 3 and 2 Peregrines were present while waders of note included 27 Golden Plovers, 2 Purple Sandpipers and 42 Redshanks.

A clear increase in Skylarks saw census counts of 269 birds, but a scarcity of other new arrivals saw only 5 lingering north-western Mealy Redpolls, 7 Snow buntings and 21 Lapland Buntings being of any particular note.

20th September

Light north-westerlies. Fine with occasional showers

Golden Plovers reached 32 and the Pectoral Sandpiper remained faithful to the Meoness/South Harbour area

21st September

Fine and calm with light south-westerlies

A decent day, with the first arrival of new migrants in what feels like an age, and highlights of an Arctic Warbler found near the Vaadal trap, where it was later trapped. Impressively, during the capture of this bird a Citrine Wagtail was seen and heard flying overhead, landing at the bend in the road and giving great views before flying to Setter, where it remained obliging, showing down to 5 metres.

A flock of 15 Teal were new in, as were 2 Merlins, while the Pectoral Sandpiper remains for its 3rd day.

A total of 8 Swallows were logged while other new migrants included 5 Willow Warblers, 3 Garden Warblers, 3 Barred Warblers, 5 Lesser Whitethroats, a Reed Warbler, 234 Meadow Pipits, a Mealy Redpoll, 4 North-western Redpolls, a Common Rosefinch at the Obs and 39 Lapland Buntings.

22nd September

Light west/north-westerly. Fine

Another great days birding in settled weather, with further arrivals of common and scarce migrants and headliners including a showy BLYTH'S REED WARBLER found in the morning in the Schoolton Rosa and, late on in the afternoon an elusive BOOTED WARBLER skulking in the Iris's at the Haa. Today was also a fantastic day for cetaceans, with casual observation through the day producing 23 Harbour Porpoises, 13 Risso's Dolphins and 3 White-sided Dolphins off Buness, along with 10 White-beaked Dolphins and a Minke Whale off the Good Shepherd.

Three Pink-footed Geese arrived along with 15 Wigeon and a passing Cormorant, while 7 Grey Herons were also logged on passage. Two Jack Snipe were found in the wetter areas of the island.

A juvenile Red-backed Shrike at Setter was the first of the month while 2 Goldcrests were logged along with a good arrival of 14 Yellow-browed Warblers across the isle, 4 Chiffchaffs, 18 Willow Warblers, 3 Blackcaps, 2 Garden Warblers, 5 Barred Warblers, 8 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Common Whitethroats, a Redwing, 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Bluethroats at Hill Dyke and Stackhoull, 3 Whinchats, 36 Wheatears, a 1st winter Red-breasted Flycatcher in Troila Geo, 6 Pied Flycatchers, 5 Siskins, 2 Mealy Redpolls, 5 North-western Redpolls, 2 Rosefinches, 14 Snow Buntings and 41 Lapland Buntings.

23rd September

Light east/south-easterly. Fine

No-one, not even the most optimistic of birders on the planet could have predicted what happened today on Fair Isle, but it will go down in history as one of the most incredible birding days, and one to savour forever. Promising easterlies and calm conditions had everyone fired up for a few new rarities from the east, and this was realised early in the afternoon when an entrepreneurial group of Suffolk birders scoured Da Water and flushed a small dark Locustella. On the deployment of a mist-net the bird was confirmed as our first LANCEOLATED WARBLER of the autumn; a very smart and well-marked bird. This delighted everyone present, but everyone set off again to find more birds soon after. However the following event was completely unbelievable. An optimistic double-check of the north-western cliffs of the island (double north census of what ought to have been the assistant wardens Sunday afternoon off) produced something totally astonishing - a MAGNOLIA WARBLER!!! Incredible! The bird was found flycatching from the sheltered cliff-face, bathed in low sun and completely settled. The whole island was alerted and streams of delighted birders and non-birders alike made it down to Lerness to see the bird. A truly memorable afternoon, when east met west in great style! Both the Arctic and Blyth's Reed Warblers also remained.

Further sighting included the lingering Red-backed Shrike, 4 Goldcrests, 170 Skylarks, 21 Yellow-browed Warblers, 3 Garden Warblers, 2 Barred Warblers, 9 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Song Thrushes, a Bluethroat, the first Redstart of the month, 3 Bramblings, 2 Rosefinches, 6 Snow Buntings and 24 Lapland Buntings.

24th September

Moderate-strong easterly. Overcast with occasional showers

Sadly the Magnolia Warbler chose to depart overnight, with no sign despite thorough searching of the island through the day by both the wardens and a hopeful group of visiting Shetland birders. However good birds continued to arrive onto the island, with our second PADDYFIELD WARBLER of the year being found in the crops at Setter in the morning and a showy OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT discovered by the Haa. The BLYTH'S REED WARBLER also remains in the Schoolton Rosa.

Wigeon and Teal numbers both increased, with 17 and 14 logged respectively while 2 Kestrels arrived along with 2 Corncrakes; a bird flushed from Linnie Geo and a bird found dead in Guidicum. Two Sanderling were the first for a while, as was a Ruff, while 8 Jack Snipe suggested an arrival (or possibly was just a product of a lot of ditch-thrashing!)

Two Woodpigeons arrived along with the first Short-eared Owl of the autumn, while the Red-backed Shrike remains by the Obs. Most small migrant species showed an increase in number with counts of 39 Goldcrests, 28 Yellow-browed Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 9 Willow Warblers, 6 Blackcaps, 2 Blackbirds, 61 Song Thrushes, 19 Redwings and a Mistle thrush, 4 Robins, the lingering Bluethroat, 4 Redstarts, 5 Pied Flycatchers, 3 Dunnocks, 13 Tree Pipits, 4 Chaffinches, 7 Bramblings, 6 Siskins, 2 Mealy Redpolls and 5 North-western Redpolls, a lingering Common Rosefinch, a Hawfinch in Copper Geo, 25 Snow Buntings, 36 Lapland Buntings, and the first Little Bunting and Reed Bunting of the Autumn; the former being found in the Havens in the afternoon.

PADDYFIELD WARBLER. Photo by Ian Cowgill

25th September

Moderate/strong north-easterly. Overcast


A Common Sandpiper in South Harbour and a count of 170 Turnstones made up the more notable non-passerine sightings on the isle, with sightings continuing to be dominated by the arrivals of smaller migrants. Both Short-eared Owl and Red-backed Shrike linger while counts of other mogrants include 54 Goldcrests,6 Swallows, a drop to 10 Yellow-browed Warblers, 3 Wood Warblers on the north cliffs, a Whitethroat, 5 Ring Ouzels, a Fieldfare, 173 Song Thrushes, 40 Redwings, 2 Mistle Thrushes, the Bluethroat at Shirva, 9 Redstarts, 8 Dunnocks, the first Richard's Pipit of the year, showing well at Lower Leogh, 20 Tree Pipits, 233 Meadow pipits, 6 Chaffinches, 80 Bramblings, 7 Siskins, 5 Mealy Redpolls and 5 north-western-types, a Hawfinch briefly at the Shop, 56 Snow Buntings, 15 Lapland Buntings and a total of 3 Little Buntings (with birds at Lower Stonybreck and Kennaby).

OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT. Photo by Ian Cowgill

26th September

Light/moderate north-easterly and misty showers

Clear highlight today was the discovery of our second LANCEOLATED WARBLER of the autumn, found in exactly the same place as the first; in Da Water. The BLYTH'S REED WARBLER, PADDYFIELD WARBLER and OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT remain and continue to show very well.

A good goose passage saw 311 Barnacle Geese move through the island during the course of the day along with 11 Pink-footed Geese and 8 Greylags, while ducks included 19 Wigeon and 20 Teal and Kestrels reached a total of 4.

The immature Red-backed Shrike remains while other good sightings and counts included 40 Goldcrests, 21 Swallows, 5 Yellow-browed Warblers, 5 Willow Warblers, 9 Blackcaps, a Garden Warbler, a Barred Warbler trapped in the Plantation, a Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Reed Warblers, 6 Ring Ouzels, 220 Song Thrushes, 3 Mistle Thrushes, 2 Bluethroats, 8 Redstarts, 18 Dunnocks, 2 Richard's Pipits (with birds at the Haa and Lower Leogh), 18 Tree Pipits, 10 Chaffinches, 90 Bramblings, 8 Siskins, a Linnet, reduced numbers of Snow and Lapland Buntings and 4 Little Buntings (Havens, Kennaby and 2 at Schoolton).

BLYTH'S REED WARBLER. Photo by Ian Cowgill

27th September

Light south-westerly. Fine

A new ARCTIC WARBLER at Shirva topped todays billing of rare arrivals, closely followed by an additional OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT at Setter. The BLYTH'S REED WARBLER continues to show at Schoolton and the Haa OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT also remains

A Water Rain was trapped in the Vaadal in the morning while the first Woodcock of the autumn also arrived. Both the Short-eared Owl and Red-backed Shrike remain.

Skylarks increased to 174 and 22 Swallows were noted, while further small migrants included 7 Yellow-browed Warblers, 5 Chiffchaffs, 14 Blackcaps, a new Barred Warbler, a Grasshopper Warbler, 4 Ring Ouzels, 234 Song Thrushes, the Shirva Bluethroat, 13 Redstarts, 3 Pied Flycatchers, the 2 lingering Richard's Pipits, 77 Bramblings, 59 Snow buntings, 23 Lapland Buntings and the 4 lingering Little Buntings.

Little Bunting. Photo by Jason Moss

28th September

Moderate south/south-westerly. Sunny spells

The list of BBRC rarities and scarcities on the island remains impressive, with lingering ARCTIC WARBLER at the Shop, BLYTH'S REED WARBLER at Schoolton and 2 OLIVE-BACKED PIPITS at Setter and the Haa.

Three Kestrels and a Merlin were noted along with our first Knot in a bit.

The Red-backed Shrike was still at the Obs and 5 Yellow-browed Warblers were still present along with the Barred Warbler at Chalet, Bluethroat at Shirva, Richard's Pipit at Lower Leogh and 3 Little Buntings together at Kennaby. Other small migrants were fairly widespread and in good number, but on the whole saw reductions across the board on yesterday's counts, though a flock of 99 Snow Buntings on Buness was a new group.

29th September

Star bird today goes to a smart BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT that was found at around 10am along the grassy cliff-top of Furse. The bird was fairly showy and twitched by a good number of people before flying south. It was relocated later in the day by the Obs wader scrape and then the Havens. This is the 4th Fair Isle record. Another new arrival was nother BLYTH'S REED WARBLER which flew into the Obs via the open patio doors, stunned itself against a window and fell behind a sofa! Quickly collected and pit into a bird bag to recuperate, the bird made a complete recovery, was ringed and released into the Obs garden. The Schoolton bird also remains. The ARCTIC WARBLER remains at Shirva and one of the OLIVE-BACKED PIPITS was still at the Haa.

Twenty-five Greylags and 21 Barnacle Geese were recorded heading south while Kestrels increased to 4.

The Red-backed Shrike is still at the Obs, Barred Warbler at Chalet, Bluethroat at Shirva and single Little Bunting at Kennaby. A wide variety and good numbers of warblers, chats, thrushes, finches and buntings also remain on the island.

BUFF-BELLIED PIPIT. Photo by Jason Moss

30th September

Light to moderate south-westerly. Wet early on, but dryer later.

The PADDYFIELD WARBLER reappeared at the shop today, showing well in the long grass. The ARCTIC WARBLER continues to show well, as does the Schoolton BLYTH'S REED WARBLER, A Red-breasted Flycatcher was found on a beach at the bottom of Hesswalls and 2 Richard's Pipits were recorded, with a bird at Wester Lother and presumably the lingering bird at Meoness.

A total of 73 Greylags moved through and a Great Northern Diver passed the west coast. Two Merlins were present and a Water Rail was trapped in the Gulley.

The first Collared Dove of the month was seen, while lingering scarcities included 6 Yellow-browed Warblers, Barred Warbler, Bluethroat, Small migrants of note included 11 Goldcrests, 2 Ring Ouzels, 16 Redwings, 18 Mealy Redpolls, with a number of North-westerns apparently intermixed, 100 Snow Buntings, 16 Lapland Buntings and a Little Bunting at Schoolton.

1st October

Moderate/strong south-westerly. Fine

Star bird, and apparently not a surprise in these weather conditions (though tell that to most of the birders here!) was a superb PECHORA PIPIT that was found late on in the evening at Shirva. Rapid mobilisation of obs vehicles saw everyone down at the bird before dark, as it showed happily down to 5 meters. The BLYTH'S REED WARBLER and PADDYFIELD WARBLER both also remain.

Four Tufted Duck and a Greater Scaup were logged in the islands harbours, while raptors included 5 Kestrels, a Merlin and a Peregrine. A Water Rail was in the Gulley and 33 Golden Plovers were on the Rippack and 4 Jack Snipes in the wetter areas.

Small numbers of migrant passerines remain, including 6 Goldcrests, 3 Yellow-browed Warblers, Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warblers, 3 Blackcaps, both Lesser and Common Whitethroats, Ring Ouzel, Fieldfare, 74 Song Thrushes, 14 Redwings, Mistle Thrush, 4 Robins, the lingering Bluethroat, 2 Redstarts, 8 Dunnocks, 16 Wheatears, 2 (presumably) lingering Richard's Pipits, 8 Tree Pipits, 2 Chaffinches, 8 Bramblings, Siskin, 1 Mealy Redpoll, 2 north-western Redpolls, 6 Redpoll sp., 51 Snow Buntings, 8 Lapland Buntings and the lingering Little Bunting.

2nd October

Moderate south-westerly. Fine and cool

Another great day, with a superb array of rarities on offer, including a new ARCTIC WARBLER found at Wester Lother in the afternoon (astonishingly our 6th of the Autumn!),an amazingly confiding LANCEOLATED WARBLER in the small burn that runs by the Double Dyke trap and the almost-equally obliging PECHORA PIPIT at Shirva.

Wildfowl was comprised of 3 Pink-footed Geese, 17 Greylags, 15 Barnacle Geese moving through, 2 Teal, 4 Tufted Ducks and the Greater Scaup still. A Sparrowhawk arrived, joining 3 Merlins and 3 Kestrels on the island, while 6 Jack Snipe were flushed.

Numbers of migrants on the island remain fairly static, with the day's additions coming to a new Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Common and Lesser Whitethroat, a few more Song Thrushes, 2 new Redstarts, 2 Whinchats, 26 Bramblings and 81 Snow Buntings.

Scarce species still present included 2 Yellow-browed Warblers and a lingering Richard's Pipit.

3rd October

Light north-westerly. Overcast

The day's star arrival was another Fair Isle Special; a PALLAS' GRASSHOPPER WARBLER found by the Cemetery in the morning. The bird showed well besides the road and along fence-lines before being trapped and shown to an appreciative crowd, and then released and left in peace. The LANCEOLATED WARBLER from the 26th, a ringed bird, was relocated late on in the Field Ditch, giving a fantastic double whammy of these enigmatic species on the day.

A bit of wildfowl movement saw 143 Pink-footed Geese, 47 Greylags, 12 Wigeon, 3 Teal, 2 Greater Scaup and 2 lingering Tufted Ducks logged. A Corncrake was found at Pund and 8 Jack Snipe were seen in the wetter areas.

Four Yellow-browed Warblers were logged along with 2 Chiffchaffs, 4 Willow Warblers, 6 Blackcaps, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, Ring Ouzel, Mistle Thrush, 5 Robins, a Redstart, 2 lingering Richard's Pipits, 8 Tree Pipits, 206 Meadow Pipits, 2 Goldfinches, a Siskin, 21 Snow Buntings, 7 Lapland Buntings, 2 Little Buntings at the school and 3 Reed Buntings.

Caption1 - Pallas Grasshopper Warbler showing well. Photo by Tim Cowley

Caption2 - And in the hand. Photo by Tim Cowley

4th October

Moderate westerly's and showers

The LANCEOLATED WARBLER remains in Field Ditch.

Two Barnacle Geese drifted through and 2 Greater Scaup were still present offshore, along with a Great Northern Diver.

Smaller migrants on the island comprised of mostly lingering birds, but signs of arrival included an increase in Skylarks, to 159, a Yellow Wagtail on Meoness, 4 Goldfinches at the school, 66 Snow Buntings and 10 Lapland Buntings. The two Richard's Pipits remain.

5th October

Light west/south-westerly's. Fine and sunny

A fly-over CITRINE WAGTAIL picked up during the rounding up of the hill sheep in the morning was later relocated in South Harbour, where it showed well. The LANCEOLATED WARBLER remains.

Wigeon increased to 9 birds while the light winds also saw a small number of smaller migrants arrive, including a Goldcrest, Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, Barred Warbler at the Chalet and 2 Robins. One Richard's Pipit remains.

6th October

Moderate west/north-westerly with showers

The star of the show today was a stunning 1st winter male BLACK-THROATED THRUSH that was found near Hill Dyke amongst a small flock of newly arrived Redwings. The bird proved very flighty at first but, once it left the company of the Redwing flock it became far more confiding, giving fantastic views in the fields around Barkland. The LANCEOLATED WARBLER also remains faithful to Field Ditch.

The first Whooper Swan of the autumn floated around the island all day while other new wildfowl included 3 Pink-footed Geese, 158 Greylags, 4 Teal, 3 Tufted Ducks and a Red-breasted Merganser, while the 2 Greater Scaup remain. A Cormorant and 2 Grey Herons passed through while birds of prey included 2 Kestrels, 3 Merlins and a Peregrine. A Water Rail was found in Meadow Burn.

Small migrants included a nice Tristis Chiffchaff trapped in the plantation in the morning, 3 lingering Willow Warblers, 61 Redwings, a Richard's Pipit, 4 Tree Pipits, 5 lingering Mealy Redpolls, 20 Snow Buntings and 8 Lapland Buntings.

Caption - 1st winter male BLACK-THROATED THRUSH. Photo by Tommy Hyndman

7th October

Light to moderate westerly. Showers

The LANCEOLATED WARBLER continues its protracted stay.

Seven Barnacle Geese moved through and the Red-breasted Merganser remains. A Sparrowhawk and 5 Merlins were logged along with the first Oystercatcher of the month.

Little in the way of small migrant movement was noted, with a new Blackcap, 4 new Song Thrushes, the lingering Richard's Pipit, a new Tree Pipit, 2 Goldfinches, a Lesser Redpoll with 5 lingering Mealy Redpolls, 53 Snow Buntings and 3 Lapland Buntings being of note.

8th October

Moderate-strong north-westerly with occasional showers

A good movement of Greylags saw 325 counted. Smaller migrants included a Chiffchaff in Furse, the lingering LANCEOLATED WARBLER at Field, 2 Blackbirds, 16 Redwings, a lingering Richard's Pipit, a Brambling, 29 Snow Buntings and a Lapland Bunting.

9th October

Moderate west-north-westerly. Overcast with showers


Four Whooper Swans passed over and a Teal joined the lingering 4 Wigeon. Two Tufted Ducks and the first Long-tailed Duck of the autumn also arrived. A smart Double-dark Fulmar was present on the cliffs at Dutfield all afternoon and a Water Rail was in Meadow Burn. The first Glaucous Gull of the autumn arrived in South Harbour.

The scattering of smaller migrants on the island was still light, with new arrivals including a new Goldcrest, a few more Skylarks, the first Yellow-browed Warbler in a while at the Obs, a Lesser Whitethroat, a new Tree Pipit and a North-western Mealy Redpoll and 2 Redpoll sp.

10th October

Light south-westerly. Overcast

The long-staying LANCEOLATED WARBLER remains faithful to Field Ditch.

A herd of 7 Whooper Swans flew south and a Scaup was in a ditch at Setter. The Blue Fulmar remains and a Sooty Shearwater was logged past Buness.

The first small arrival of commoner migrants in a while saw the following noted: 3 Goldcrests, 6 Blackcaps, a Ring Ouzel, 35 Redwings, 3 Robins, a White Wagtail, 75 Meadow Pipits (a modest increase), 2 Greenfinches, 2 Siskins, 68 Snow Buntings, 2 Lapland Buntings and a Reed Bunting.

11th October

Moderate-strong south-easterly. Overcast with low cloud

The much-anticipated easterly winds finally arrive, and with them come the birds! Highlights of the day consisted of a flighty BLYTH'S REED WARBLER at the Wally Burn and 2 OLIVE-BACKED PIPITS at Vailas Trees and Lower Leogh.

Two Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore along with 3 Manx Shearwater and 4 'Blue' Fulmars. A Sparrowhawk arrived along with 2 Peregrines, while a Corncrake was at Quoy. The first 2 Short-eared Owls of the month arrived along with a fine, though mobile Great Grey Shrike in the south.

A clear arrival of smaller migrants included 11 Goldcrests, a Yellow-browed Warbler in Skinners Glig, 2 Chiffchaffs (including a bird at the Mast that, though silent, looked bang-on for Tristis), 5 Blackcaps, a Ring Ouzel, 4 Blackbirds, 7 Fieldfare, 7 Song Thrushes, 925 Redwings, a Redstart, a smart 1st-year Red-breasted Flycatcher trapped at the Obs, a Dunnock, 2 Tree Pipits, 3 Chaffinches, 38 Bramblings, 5 Siskins, a North-western Redpoll, 49 Snow Buntings and a Lapland Bunting.

12th October

Moderate-strong easterly. Overcast.

Ten Wigeon and 2 Teal were logged, along with 3 Long-tailed Ducks. Four Sparrowhawks arrived while Snipe numbers increased to 35, with Jack Snipe following on with 8 birds. The first Woodcock of the autumn also arrived, with 5 in the north.

Two Woodpigeons arrived, while a Short-eared Owl and the Great Grey Shrike remains. Common migrants tended to increase in number today (most notably thrushes), with counts including 53 Goldcrests, 90 Skylarks, a Swallow, 3 Yellow-browed Warblers, 10 Blackcaps, 6 Ring Ouzels, 124 Blackbirds, 18 Fieldfares, 86 Song Thrushes, 2744 Redwings, a Mistle Thrush, 4 Robins, a Black Redstart, 3 Redstarts, a Whinchat, 2 Dunnocks, a single remaining OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT in the vicinity of the shop (though very flighty), 3 Tree Pipits, 2 Greenfinches, 2 Lapland Buntings and 2 Reed Buntings.

13th October

Strong-gale force east/north-easterly. Overcast

Bird of the day was a Great Tit that was discovered in Hjutni Geo in the afternoon, sheltering from the blasting easterly winds.

Eight Barnacle Geese passed through while 20 Wigeon, 10 Teal, 3 Shoveler, 3 Long-tailed Ducks and 6 Common Scoter were present. Birds of prey included 5 Sparrowhawks, a Kestrel and 2 Merlins, while a Water Rail was also noted. Ten Jack Snipe were seen and a Little Gull was in South Harbour along with a 1st winter Glaucous Gull, arriving during an arrival of 134 Common Gulls.

Eight Woodpigeons arrived while the Short-eared Owl and Great Grey Shrike both continued to linger. Many small migrants were noted in lower numbers than yesterday, but arrivals did include a Carrion Crow, 2 Swallows, a Garden Warbler, 2 Ring Ouzels, increased numbers of Blackbirds (153), Fieldfare (37) and Song Thrush (171), Dunnock, a Grey Wagtail (1st of the autumn), 10 Chaffinches, 255 Bramblings, 6 Greenfinch, a Mealy Redpoll, 53 Snow Buntings, a Yellowhammer in Hjutni and 10 Reed Buntings.

14th October

Light north-easterly. Fine

An enjoyable days birding failed to produce anything too outrageous, but migrants were clearly coming in, mostly involving finches and thrushes. New arrivals and counts included the Short-eared Owl and Great Grey Shrike still, 113 Goldcrests, 120 Skylarks, 2 Chiffchaffs, 16 Blackcaps, 18 Ring Ouzels, 292 Blackbirds, 1017 Redwingds (continuing to decrease from the 12th), 2 Mistle Thrushes, 5 Robins, a Black Redstart still, 6 Dunnocks, 2 Grey Wagtails, 3 Tree Pipits, 93 Meadow Pipits, 15 Chaffinches, 225 Bramblings, 8 Greenfinches, a Goldfinch, 17 Siskins, 3 Linnets, 7 Crossbills over Ward Hill, 55 Snow Buntings and 6 Lapland Buntings. The Great Tit remains.

15th October

Moderate north-easterly. Heavy Showers

Six Whooper Swans were noted travelling south, while the Great Grey Shrike and Great Tit continue their protracted stays. Seven Woodpigeons were knocking about and a Rook arrived, while other migrants on the island included 70 Goldcrests, 83 Skylarks, 2 Swallows, 3 Chiffchaffs, 5 Blackcaps, dwindling, but still good numbers of thrushes, 8 Robins, the Black Redstart, 265 Brambling, 10 Greenfinches, 2 Mealy Redpolls, 24 Snow Buntings, 4 Lapland Buntings and the Yellowhammer.

16th October

Moderate easterly. Overcast

Today's highlight's were made up of an OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT at Schoolton, a mobile Woodlark that roamed the island between Shalstane and Dutfield quarry and the ringed LANCEOLATED WARBLER, present since 26th, re-found in Field Ditch; a stay of 21 days! The Great Tit remains.

Twelve Wigeon and 7 Teal were present along with 2 Long-tailed Ducks and the first Little Auk of the autumn in South Harbour.

The Great Grey Shrike remains and 2 Jackdaws arrived at Taft. Other smaller migrants of note included 95 Goldcrests, 2 House Martins, 9 Chiffchaffs, 14 Blackcaps, a Garden Warbler, 7 Ring Ouzels, 194 Blackbirds, 37 Fieldfares, 102 Song Thrushes, 733 Redwings, 24 Robins, 4 Wheatears, 3 Dunnocks, 3 Grey Wagtails, 19 Chaffinches, 314 Bramblings, 10 Greenfinches, 2 Goldfinches, 10 Siskins, 1 Linnet, 117 Snow Buntings, 3 Lapland Buntings and 4 Reed Buntings.

17th October

Light easterly. Fine

A great day of late autumn birding in beautiful weather saw a number of notable species found, not least a tricky and elusive HUME'S WARBLER discovered in the morning on the cliffs at Lerness. Initially only giving a brief 10 second of scope viewing on the cliff-face, the bird was finally seen well in the afternoon and, as dusk fell, was heard to call. An OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT discovered at Field in the morning proved to be a new bird, different from yesterdays, with clear plumage differences proving the fact, while lingering birds included the LANCEOLATED WARBLER remaining in Field Ditch, the Great Tit roaming widely and the Woodlark still at Quoy.

A light Greylag passage produced 67 birds, while 3 Short-eared Owls arrived. Smaller migrants noted include 7 Chiffchaffs (including 1 Tristis), 11 Blackcaps, 7 Ring Ouzels, 105 Song Thrushes, 710 Redwings, 20 Robins, a Grey Wagtail, 2 Tree Pipits, 16 Chaffinch and 188 Bramblings, 12 Greenfinches, 21 Siskins, 3 Linnets, 4 Mealy Redpolls, 2 North-western Redpolls (1 Islandica and 1 Rostrata), 3 Crossbills, 48 Snow Buntings, 9 Lapland Buntings, 2 Yellowhammers and 13 Reed Buntings.

18th October

Light east/north-east. Overcast

Today's highlight was an incredible flock of 4 OLIVE-BACKED PIPITS together in the long grasses surrounding the Meadow Burn at Schoolton! The four birds, all very vocal, remained faithful to the area all day, often showing very well. A brief HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL was seen and photographed on the roof of the Obs garage before flying south. The lingering Great Tit was joined by a second bird (all adding to the incredible influx of typical British garden and woodland birds into Shetland at the moment!), while the HUME'S WARBLER and Woodlark both also remain.

A light wildfowl passage saw 115 Greylags on the move (led by a white domestic goose!), 1 Barnacle Goose, 8 Wigeon, 8 Teal and 2 Long-tailed Ducks. Twelve 'Blue' Fulmars were noted around the island and a Grey Heron passed through, while the late Common Sandpiper lingers in South Harbour. A 1st winter Glaucous Gull drifted past the West Cliffs in the afternoon.

A few new birds were discovered during the day (though most common migrants tended to decrease slightly in number. Interesting new arrivals included a new Jackdaw, a few more Fieldfares, a female Black Redstart at Quoy and 2 Common Redstarts and a Lesser Redpoll along with the lingering mix of Mealys. The Great Grey Shrike also remains.

Caption - One of the 4 OLIVE-BACKED PIPITS today at Meadow Burn. Photo by Jason Moss

19th October

Light south-westerly. Fine

The LANCEOLATED WARBLER and 2 OLIVE-BACKED PIPITS remain, along with the 2 Great Tits and the Woodlark.

A total of 156 Greylags were logged passing through during the day and a Peregrine was in the north, along with a Merlin. A single Jack Snipe was flushed along with 2 Woodcocks.

Small migrants of note included an apparent, but silent Tristis Chiffchaff, the first Waxwing of the autumn, 4 Wheatears, a Grey Wagtail, a Goldfinch, 78 Snow Buntings and 5 Lapland Buntings.

20th October

Light/moderate south/south-westerly. Fine and mild

The LANCEOLATED WARBLER was still present along with 2 OLIVE-BACKED PIPITS, 2 Great Tits and the Woodlark.

A Water Rail was present in Da Water, while 2 Merlins and a Peregrine were noted harassing lingering thrushes.

A Short-eared Owl arrived while other notable arrivals included an increase to 56 Goldcrests, 77 Skylarks, 6 Blackcaps, 2 Waxwings, 7 Ring Ouzels, 136 Blackbirds, 291 Fieldfares, 1698 Redwings, 34 Robins, 2 Black Redstarts, a Whinchat, 2 Grey Wagtails, 135 Bramblings, 5 Greenfinches, 4 Goldfinches, 2 Crossbills trapped, 107 Snow Buntings, 6 Lapland Buntings and 5 Reed Buntings.

21st October

Very light southerly. Overcast


A White-fronted Goose; appearing to most resemble European, arrived with a small number of Greylags, along with 5 Wigeon and 7 Teal. A Grey Heron flew through and a Sparrowhawk was a new arrival, as was a Moorhen that was trapped in the morning in the Vaadal.

The first 2 Yellow-browed Warblers in a while arrived, at Midway and the Wirvy, while other small migrants of note or showing increased numbers included 9 Blackcaps, the 2 Great Tits, a new Tree Pipit, 13 Chaffinches, 6 Siskins, a Lesser Redpoll trapped, 6 Common Crossbills and a Common Rosefinch at the Obs.

22nd October

Thick fog, clearing by mid-afternoon to glorious sunny conditions.

The LANCEOLATED WARBLER was relocated in Field Ditch, where it showed well, while 3 OLIVE-BACKED PIPITS remain in Meadow Burn.

The Eurasian White-fronted Goose remains along with a Long-tailed Duck and 2 Scoter, while a Water Rail was spotted. Forty Snipe were a clear increase on recent days.

A Yellow-browed Warbler remains while other small migrant arrivals included 3 Chiffchaffs, a Garden Warbler, an increase in Fieldfares (86), 2 Wheatears, 2 Lesser Redpolls, 2 Mealy Redpolls and a North-western type and a Yellowhammer. Thrushes, finches and buntings all still remain in good number, and the 2 Great Tits and the Woodlark were all seen during the day.

Caption - LANCEOLATED WARBLER showing well in Field Ditch. Photo by Roger Riddington

23rd October

Light southerly. Fine.

A SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT was discovered late in the day at Schoolton, but sadly evaded the eyes of any eager twitchers who arrived just before the light faded, with the bird appearing to go to roost deep in the Rosa at the bottom of the garden. Fingers crossed this one lingers! Two OLIVE-BACKED PIPITS remain in the Meadow Burn while a Little Bunting was found near the ringing hut.

Greylags increased to 103, with the White-front still present. A Woodcock was flushed from the heather up north.

A Woodpigeon was noted along with 11 Goldcrests, 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, 174 Blackbirds, 107 Fieldfares, 67 Song Thrushes, 398 Redwings (an increase in numbers across the board), 16 Robins, a Grey Wagtail, a Tree Pipit, 7 Chaffinches, 96 Bramblings, Goldfinch, a Lesser Redpoll, 96 Snow Buntings, 6 Lapland Buntings and 3 Reed Buntings. The 2 Great Tits and the Woodlark all linger.

Caption - One of the 2 lingering Great Tits. Photo by Roger Riddington

24th October

Light-moderate westerly with showers.

Star billing today went, not to the Rubythroat, which couldn't be relocated despite much searching, but a BLUE TIT that dropped into Schoolton whilst the former was being looked for! This is the first record since 1989! The 2 Great Tits and 2 OLIVE-BACKED PIPITS also remain.

A Merlin and Peregrine were noted while the first Long-eared Owl of the autumn was at Springfield. One of the Yellow-browed Warblers remains, while other migrants included 4 Chiffchaffs (including 2 Tristis), a Lesser Whitethroat trapped at Barkland, 2 Waxwings and both Black and Common Redstarts. The Little Bunting was trapped at the Obs.

Caption - Yellow-browed Warbler. Photo by Roger Riddington

25th October

Cold north-westerly's

The SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT is still here! Though, again, it was only found late on, and was only seen by a single observer! This bird couldn't be less obliging! Consolation for wood-be Rubythroat observers was a stunning HORNEMANNI ARCTIC REDPOLL that was found near Burkle and a new Little Bunting at Schoolton. A single OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT remains along with the Blue Tit, 2 Great Tits and Woodlark.

A Kestrel and 2 Merlins were seen while 60 Jackdaws at Taft is the first good arrival of the autumn. A Tristis Chiffchaff remains along with a Goldfinch and small numbers of thrushes, finches and Snow Buntings.

Caption - Woodlark. Photo by Roger Riddington

26th October

Moderate-strong northerlies. Snow and hail showers

The SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT was seen again today by a few more people this time, in the vicinity of the Haa, though it is still less than simple to get more than a fleeting glimpse! An OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT also lingers on, for at least its 8th day.

A Goosander in south harbour was a good year tick, with the species only just being annual on Fair Isle. A Grey Heron passed through while 2 Merlins and 2 Peregrines were seen, along with a Water Rail and 2 Purple Sandpipers.

A total of 48 Jackdaws remain, along with a Siberian Chiffchaff. Two Siskins were the only other new passerine arrival of note, while the 2 Great Tits and the Woodlark all remain.

27th October

Light south-westerly with occasional wintry showers, but otherwise mostly dry

The SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT remains for its 5 day, behaving more obligingly now and allowing most people on the island to catch up with it. WHAT A BIRD!

A Whooper Swan toured the island through the morning and 4 Wigeon arrived, along with a male Red-breasted Merganser and a Great Northern Diver, all joining the lingering Long-tailed Duck, Common Scoter and Goosander. A Blue Fulmar remains on the cliffs at Dutfield. Twelve Woodcock were noted during the rounding up of the hill sheep in the morning.

Two Goldcrests were noted along with a Waxwing, 27 Blackbirds, 41 Fieldfares, 90 Redwings, 5 Robins, a Dunnock, 2 Great Tits, 20 Bramblings, a Greenfinch, 2 Siskins, a Mealy Redpoll, 19 Snow Buntings and 2 Reed Buntings.

28th October

Light south-westerly winds

An enjoyable days birding in fine, but cool conditions provided a nice selection of birds and evidence of slight increases in some commoner species. A Little Bunting at the School was unringed, but may have been one of the birds from recent days, while 2 Great Tits, the Woodlark and the SIBERIAN RUBYTHROAT were all lingering birds. A Blue Tit at Shirva however is less easy to be sure of, with 2 days since the last sighting.

Two Whooper Swans were on the move while 4 Teal, Long-tailed Duck, the Goosander and the Great Northern Diver were also present. Four Merlins were kept busy by the lingering thrushes on the isle, while a Water Rail was seen near the plantation.

Small migrants on the island included 3 Goldcrests, single Chiffchaff and Blackcap, an influx of at least 21 Waxwings (14 of which were trapped in the Obs mist-nest), 40 Blackbirds, 66 Fieldfares, 7 Song Thrushes, 12 Robins, 22 Bramblings, 2 Lesser Redpolls, 1 Mealy Redpoll, a Crossbill, 23 Snow Buntings and 2 Reed Buntings.