Thursday, 16 April 2009

One becomes Two!

One of two very pale Willow Warblers on Brownsman today

Male 'White Wagtail' on Brownsman

Male Brambling taking advantage of the islands as a resting stop

Nothing quite like the Farnes for views - a Grasshopper Warbler on the Boardwalk

Thursday 16th April
The fog cleared and the islands were visible from the mainland, as normality returned to the Farnes. The Auks which had disappeared the previous day returned gradually whilst visitor boats returned to the open sea, bringing plenty of people to enjoy the returning Puffins and other breeding birds. The warden team also enjoyed the delights of several migrant birds passing through the islands, including two Grasshopper Warblers together on Brownsman (doubling yesterdays total) in the same vegetable garden plot, whilst a passage ‘White Wagtail’ was a nice addition.

For the birders reading the blog, the reasonable number of common migrants which graced the islands today including two pale Willow Warblers on Brownsman. Both birds showed very little colouration apart from a greenish-tinge on the rump but generally grey and white in colour, with dark legs. Any comments would be most welcome.

Weather: NE swinging E 2-3 inc 4 with mist patches

Highlights: A good day with plenty of migrants on the islands including: ‘White Wagtail’ ♂ on Brownsman, Redstart ♂ Inner Farne, Wheatear 9, Song Thrush 1, Redwing 1, Blackbird 6, Grasshopper Warbler 2 (both together on Brownsman), Willow Warbler 18 including 2 very pale northern individuals - see photos, Chiffchaff 4, Blackcap 2 and Brambling 3 including one stunning ♂.

Breeding Birds: The Guillemots and Puffins gradually returned during the day following yesterday’s absence, another Mallard nest was found on Brownsman (second on that island), the first nesting Eider laid eggs on Inner Farne but sadly one clutch of Ringed Plover eggs was predated on Inner Farne by a large Gull


Mark said...

Some useful photos here (even if I say so myself...)

They certainly look like acredula type birds to me. Great looking things, aren't they!

Ash said...

Certainly look pasty and washed out enough to me. Most of the birds I saw on Shetland in spring 2007 looked like this and I suspect a fair proportion of Farnes birds are actually acredula types. Those birds on Brownsman at the end of May last year didn't look much like any British breeders I've ever seen.

Farnes said...

Hi chaps,

Being doing a bit of research and aye, looks like a good case of acredula race birds - certainly interesting birds!! (it also helps having a camera at hand - warden Joe's handy work). Keep reading chaps, things will only get better...