Friday, 18 May 2012

Hashtag Crippled

Classic Farnes combo...sure to make you weak at the knees!

Ok, so maybe not a 'PC' title, but those in the birding fraternity will be familiar with the term. Basically it describes a bird or situation involving a bird that is so awesome it produces adrenalised weakening of all body parts! And today was one of those days.

We all quietly knew today could be good. Mid-May NE winds and heavy rain was never going to bring huge numbers (as the majority of birds have completed their northerly spring migration), however quality was always on the menu. As with all Farnes falls, birds didn't materialise until late morning with a fine younge male Pied Flycatcher in the Veg Patch briskly followed by Garden Warbler and Blackcap. Further searching produced another Garden along with a few Whitethroat and Willow Warblers (including some nice pale northern birds). Then it hit. Male Red-backed Shrike in the Veg Patch! That alone made my head recoil in a semi-spasmodic cripfest. The bird was fresher than a morning flower and showed nicely producing some awesome Farnes photo ops:

Looking pretty out of place....and MEGA!

Whilst soaking this little gripper into our collective psychees a flick across the boardwalk caught turned into a stunning male Bluethroat! Number two this spring, we are back on form! The bird worked its way up the boardwalk, eventually 'giving itself up' at the Lighthouse...


The scent of rare was in the air and like rabid dogs we stomped and bounded across Inner Farne in search of fresh meat and at 15:22 the final cherry forn the cake dropped into the Dock Bank gulley in the form of a smart 1st summer Red-breasted Flycatcher! Which duly joined the Pied and Spotted Flycatchers feeding on the rock. Unique. What a day.

It may be brown but its a good un!

Lastly life as a ranger is becoming busier and busier with more visitors to engage, more birds to monitor and more tasks to complete. But the weather as always dominates our life and the fresh NE winds tha brought our birds today also closed us. Hopefully we'll get some sun soon as birds on eggs can cope with rain but chicks might find it tougher.... 


  1. Sterling work mate, did my best to keep up but could only match the shrike today ;)

  2. Superb mate. Farnes the new Fair Isle? We will see in the next few days...