|Bramblings and a Blackbird decorating our 'artificial tree' (Graeme Duncan)|
|Grubs up! Olive-backed Pipit devouring a Red Admiral Butterfly (Graeme Duncan)|
|Not so skulky now! (Graeme Duncan)|
|Showing well (at times!) Farnes 5th Olive-backed Pipit (Graeme Duncan)|
|Cheeky Red-breasted Flycatcher (Graeme Duncan)|
|Black and white class (Graeme Duncan)|
|Just one of over 1000 Redwing seen today! (Graeme Duncan)|
|From Norway with love! Today's Nomadic Blackbird (Graeme Duncan)|
Friday 12th October comments: WOW! What a day it’s been on the Farnes. We woke early this morning with high hopes after strong overnight south-easterlies and several buckets full of rain. Little did we know what was about to happen!
Opening the front door it was apparent that birds had arrived on the islands. Eight Blackbirds, a Song Thrush, a Red-breasted Flycatcher (5th of the year!), two Redstarts and 300 Redwing overhead were all seen before leaving the house! Throughout the morning birds continued to pass through, with some spectacular overhead movement of Thrushes and Finches. This is what birding on the Farnes is all about. Everywhere we looked birds, birds and more birds!
There were some great birds today and the sheer spectacle of migration was truly awe-inspiring, but the star of the show has to be a cracking Olive-backed Pipit discovered on Brownsman early afternoon! This skulking Pipit breeds in Siberia and Russia and the sighting today represents only the 5th record for the Farne Islands and amazingly the 3rd record in three years! To many people this may look like a ‘wee brown job’, but to us crazy birders it is a subtle Siberian gem! The bird showed very well at times and was finding plenty of food, seen to demolish a Red Admiral Butterfly, a Cranefly, a Silver Y moth and a worm! Pretty good going!
Another highlight today was a Blackbird caught in one of the buildings carrying a Norwegian ring on its leg! We know that the majority of the Thrushes we get at this time of year are coming from Scandinavia and further afield but it’s great to actually get this kind of proof.
It’s always difficult to sum up how enjoyable days like this are on the Islands, watching wild birds migrating in huge numbers and simply recording them has to be one of the greatest joys in life! All in all, a great day of birding on the Farnes and hopefully a sign of things to come for the rest of October!
Todays Totals: Wigeon 182, Common Scoter 99N, Peregrine 1 female (killed at least on Redwing!), Jack Snipe 1, Woodcock 5 (first of the autumn), Short-eared Owl 3, Goldcrest 56+, Chiffchaff 9, Willow Warbler 7, Blackcap 6, Garden Warbler 1, Reed Warbler 2, Ring Ouzel 4, Blackbird 352, Song Thrush 1124, Redwing 1271, Robin 22, Red-breasted Flycatcher (1st winter caught and ringed), Black Redstart 7, Redstart 11, Olive-backed Pipit 1 BEAUTY!, Brambling 114, Snow Bunting 1, Reed Bunting 3.