Monday, 21 May 2012

Our End of the Earth

Longstone and Longstone End, the eastern end of our world and mega for migrant birds.

What a strange day, the odd whiff of NNE breeze and rolling bouts of low visibility didn't do it for my home, Inner Farne, however the outer group went mental! A female Redstart and Whitethroat skulking around the Veg Patch this morning hinted that birds were dropping but it wasn't til early afternoon when Staple closed that the lads out east struck oil.

Initially a call saying 'Bluethroat Brownsman' came through, then 'Cuckoo Longstone', then '2 Bluethroats Longstone End!' Whoa whoa whoa! Whats going on?! We had no birds so it was a strange feeling knowing how much could be, and evidently was out there!

Anyway, like any sane group of people we steamed out east for 2 miles to the great and mighty collection of slippery rocks that are Longstone and Longstone End. Birds were immediately evident with several Willow Warbler (including a totally grey/white bird) along with Whitethroat and Robin all flitting among the rocks. Duly the ultimate crevice hopper, the female Bluethroat showed and whist watching this beauty an Icterine Warbler pounced into view! A bird many have lost hours of their life dipping on was now casually flicking across rocks 10ft away. This is an aspect of Farnes birding I will always cherish, seeing birds so out of their element yet still doing well, and allowing brilliant views to boot!

Maritime Grassland - Icterine Warbler combo. A. May. Zing.

From here on it was time for another twitch, this time the Cuckoo on Longstone main, and a Farnes tick and bird I unfortunately see less and less of these days (mainly cos I'm on the Farnes). Our luck continued as the bird appeared intstantly giving good, if not distant views as it was mobbed by Rock Pipits, Gulls and's hoping for some nice ginger babies this summer!

Other migrants were about in small numbers including this stunning Lesser Whitethroat:

Lesser Whitethroat in, on and around Longstone Lighthouse.

Well that was today. What will I be writing tomorrow?!

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