Friday, 18 May 2012

Shrike it lucky

Nice but deadly...male Red-backed Shrike (Bex Outram) 

Always showing well male Red-backed Shrike (Bex Outram) 

No hiding, no mistake; male Bluethroat (Andy Denton) 

Bluethroat Farnes style (Bex Outram) 

Striking Flycatcher; Red-breasted Flycatcher (Will Scott) 

Second consecutive spring Red-breasted Flycatchers (Bex Outram) 

All three Flycatchers in the same gully - 1st summer male Pied Flycatcher (Will Scott) 

Happy Birthday ranger Andy Denton

Friday 18th May comments: It’s turning into a hell of a year out here on the Farnes. The weather has been a huge talking point as it has affected everything on here this year and today was no different as yet more heavy rain overnight and throughout the day continues to cause our Puffins problems. I haven’t given up yet, but these ‘stripy nosed seabirds’ are struggling and only when we carry out detailed surveys in June will we find out the true extent of the damage. Be warned, it’s not going to be good.

There has been a silver lining with this weather as the island experienced yet another ‘fall;’ of birds today with three noticeable highlights. Mid-morning a cracking male Red-backed Shrike was discovered in the vegetable garden on Inner Farne and moments later an immaculate male Bluethroat flitted up the path showing well to all the rangers. This is birding Farne style.

Our day continued to produce as our second consecutive spring Red-breasted Flycatcher (1st summer individual) was found in the same gully as a male Pied and Spotted Flycatcher – all three flycatchers together! It’s been another great day for migrant birds and not a bad way for resident ranger Andy Denton to celebrate his birthday – happy birthday Andy, top birds on a top day.

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