Monday, 22 October 2012

Not a Radde Little day!

Farnes Style: Radde's Warbler on the Chapel roof (Bex Outram)
Showing well... (Bex Outram)

Check out the peach undertail coverts! (Bex Outram)
Little Bunting in the hand (David Steel)
One in the hand is worth two....  (David Steel)

Check out the finer points of the ID (David Steel)

Monday 22nd October comments: It’s been some day with some outstanding highlights as the Farnes have been doing what they do best – producing some ornithological magic. As dawn was breaking, the calls of hundreds of Thrushes could be heard in the air as birds were moving from their summer Scandinavia breeding grounds to winter in the UK. As the Farnes jut out into the North Sea, the thrushes use the islands as a gateway to the mainland, as they filter through the islands before dispersing across the country. It’s a crossing they undertake every autumn and the Farnes are always at the forefront of these east coast arrivals.

The vast majority of birds were Redwing with reasonable numbers of Fieldfare, Song Thrush and Blackbird. However the easterly backed winds did not finish there, as the day went on to produce some noticeable highlights including four Short-eared Owls, our first Long-eared Owl of the autumn, a lingering Barred Warbler and plenty of Goldcrests and other such common migrants.

However in typical Farnes style we went on to produce something even better. On a routine bird ringing session, a Little Bunting was discovered nestled in the net. The first island record since September 2010 was duly ringed and processed before being released. Even this major highlight was then eclipsed, as Inner Farne burst into life…a Radde’s Warbler, the Farnes third ever! Soon all rangers were assembled on the island and were enjoying great views of the bird. The previous two occurred in 2004 and 1999, so its been some time since we’ve enjoyed one of these Siberian gems. With more east winds forecast, what will tomorrow bring….

Today’s Totals: Peregrine 2, Sparrowhawk 1, Kestrel 1 male, Merlin 1, Lapwing 9, Snipe 5, Woodcock 5, Long-eared Owl 1 (first of the year), Short-eared Owl 4, Goldcrest 70, Skylark 8, RADDES WARBLER 1 (3rd for the Farnes!) Chiffchaff 7, Barred Warbler lingering, Blackcap 2, Blackbird 282, Fieldfare 570, Song Thrush 41, Redwing 3504!, Spotted Flycatcher 1, Robin 24, Black Redstart 2, Meadow Pipit 3, Brambling 17, Lesser Redpoll 3, Linnet 2, Siskin 1, LITTLE BUNTING 1 (caught and ringed!)

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