Cracker - male Rustic Bunting on Inner Farne (Graeme Duncan)
Showing well - Rustic Bunting (Bex Outram)
Thursday 31st May comments: WHAT a day. Yes I keep saying this, but yet again a new arrival eclipsed the previous days sighting, but this was special, very special. The day began in the usual manner (rain and wind has now become the ‘usual’ this year) but everything was about to change.
News was breaking that the team had found a male Rustic Bunting – a stunning bird in many ways. However business comes first (professional to the last) and following a meeting on Staple Island, we were soon on Inner Farne enjoying great views of the bird.
Rustic Buntings originate from northern Europe and have only occurred in four previous occasions on the Farnes – the last was seventeen years ago! So this bird was special and more so because it was a male. It is difficult to give an idea of how amazing this bird is, not only because of its’ rarity status but purely because of its’ sheer unadulterated beauty! It also helped that the bird performed so well, feeding on open rocks until dusk, giving great views and even allowing a handful of Northumberland birders the chance to see the first Rustic in the County since the late 1990’s. WHAT. A. BIRD!!!!
For migrant birds, this is by far the best spring for some time on the islands, it is certainly the best I have spent here and this is my 12th year! However the euphoria was slightly dampened by the heavy rainfall which fell during the night. The Puffins are back in trouble, serious trouble, but more to follow…