Monday, 28 May 2012

Blinded by the Light

Hiya! Welcome to the summer....

Well well well. As many people have said over eons and eons before me: 'What a diference a day makes'. The Icterine Warbler clearly ushered some continental warmth over us as this past week has boasted some superb weather! Usually for migrant hunters this means a lack of birds but as usual the Farnes bucks the trend. However hot settled weather at this time of year often tricks southern birds into overshooting their intended destination, allowing them to arrive, somewhat perplexed, on an island in the North Sea. So I'll begin. Some fantastic evening trips eastward have been had chasing quality birds in the form of Red-breasted Flycatcher and Short-toed Lark, thats alot of hypens!! Anways pictures are better than words so shove these either side of your nose:

This 1st summer male 'RB Flicka' showed very well in the evening sun.

As did this Short-toed Lark the next day...

The queerness continued with 2 Collared Dove, 1 Wood Sandpiper and 1 Little Egret (4th Farnes Record) all being recorded recently while the rest of the islands held pretty much nothing in terms of migrants.

I love Wood Sands! They make my ears itch!

This Tree Pipit hung around for a while, presumably to keep our migrant totals ticking over.

And now ladies and gentlemen..the main event. Horny breeders! The sun got them all panking, huffing and puffing. Sweating from their throats! Anyway the season is really hotting up with Black-headed Gull, Kittiwake, Guillemot and Eider chicks all showing well along with various other virtually pornographic featherfests. And all of this means one thing for me...hard work! My breeding bird monitoring has picked up and tomorrow we rise early to partake in one of the best aspects of the Farnes...Cliffcounts! The data we record will go towards overall population research and monitoring that will help determine future conservation and so on. Basically we are the front-line, those on the ground, making the difference. It feels amazing! This is why I do it:

Check the gape. Hashtag yellow. Guillemots

Female Eider and chicks in creche.

Puffin love.

Arctic Tern dreads. A beautiful form of predator avoision/confusion tactic.

Its been that hot...Arctic Tern thermo-regulating

Guillemot vista (with my home in the background). Sick.

Common Terns getting adventurous on the mud...

male Shelduck standing guard while his bird incubates underground...somewhere!

The warm air and currents have also brought some non-avian hightlights in the form of many Diamond-backed Moths, coinciding with the arrival of the scarcities on Brownsman..with peaks of 23 on Staple and 20 on Inner Farne the following day. While the marine realm produced in the form of some Ctenophores...I have no idea what species!

See you on the other side....

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