Thursday, 10 May 2012

One blue over the Cuckoos nest

A stunner - male Bluethroat (Will Scott) 

Cuckoo in the veg patch (David Steel) 

Rarer than Bluethroats...Cuckoos on the Farnes (David Steel) 

Wood Sandpiper on Brownsman pond (David Steel) 

Another Wryneck, this time on Inner Farne (Will Scott) 

One of many Tree Pipits (David Steel) 

Whitethroat in the information centre (Bex Outram)

Thursday 10th May comments: It’s been another whirlwind of a day as the Farnes have experienced highs and lows. Strong north-easterly winds resulted in yet another closure as mountainous seas prevented boats from sailing. On a more worrying note, heavy rain all day resulted in more Puffin burrows flooding – we're heading for a bad breeding season, especially on Brownsman. However we’ll not know the full extent of the damage until monitoring begins over the next few weeks.

Despite the doom and gloom, the weather system did cheer us up in one way, by bringing migrant birds to the islands…lots of them! A major ‘fall’ of common migrants occurred, including some impressive totals of Redstart, Tree Pipit and Willow Warbler. However the real star of the show was a stunning male Bluethroat discovered mid-afternoon on the north rocks of Inner Farne – a beaut! The supporting cast included a confiding Cuckoo (rare on here!), Wood Sandpiper on Brownsman pond and yet another Wryneck (we’ve lost count of how many we have had!).

So another day passes with no visitor boats and yet more tough times for our breeding seabirds. However, the wildlife on the Farnes is resilient and will live to fight another day. We hope to re-open tomorrow and share all the magic with everyone:  from a deluge of migrant birds to a spectacular seabird colony; this is planet Farnes!

Todays totals: Common Sandpiper 3 (first of the year), Dunlin 3, WOOD SANDPIPER 1 Brownsman pond (first of the year), CUCKOO (first since 2009 and rarer than Bluethroat on here!), House Martin 1 (first of the year!), Swallow 4, BLUETHROAT 1 male on Inner Farne, WRYNECK 1 on Inner Farne, Yellow Wagtail 1, Robin 9, Wheatear 23, Whinchat 1, Redstart 23, Tree Pipit 12, Ring Ouzel 3 (2 male and female), Redwing 1 (latest in nine years), Song Thrush 14, Pied Flycatcher 3, Lesser Whitethroat 2, Garden Warbler 2 (first of the year), Whitethroat 13, Willow Warbler 31, Chiffchaff 2, Blackcap 2, Chaffinch 2 and Reed Bunting 2.

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