Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The Perfect Calm

So its autumn, and as such birds do abit of migrating. I among other obsessives greatly enjoy dry humping the air and/or drystone walls as they pass in the air and on land. However such humpings are usually semi-ruined by horrific weather conditions, as the White's Thrush demonstrated, a perfect storm is often required to bring birds. But the last two days were different.

Visual Migration at its best.

An eery calm has descending upon the Farnes (and the East Coast I suspect). But don' be fooled! Our calm was backed by slight ENE winds, fog, mist, drizzle, mizzle fizzle, crippizzle allowing us to score on all fronts with both quantity and quality of Scandinavian and Siberian migrants!

Redwing fresh from Norway..
After travelling hundreds of miles this Goldcrest sought shelter in our Info Centre.
Sexy Turdus
And their advesaries. Merlin and Kestrel.
Yesterday saw the beginning, pre-apocolyptic madness at dawn where 3000+ Redwing moved through, with the majority seeking shelter on Inner Farne's 16acres of habitat, an awe-inspiring sight to boggle both mind and erogenous zones!

Redwing and Fieldfare taking over!

By mid-morning birds were clearly still pouring in but I had to leave my beloved Inner Farne to work on our Seal Tours to Staple, which were a great success! For many reasons...
The boat trip around the Outer Group allowed me to bird, albeit from a distance, some of the inaccessible rocks and such, seeing plenty of thrushtivity as will as this presumed very dark Short-eared Owl:

While mingling on Staple, dispensing information and generally being a nice young man (if only our visitors read my blog haha!) there was Goldcrests feeding at our feet, while a Kestrel hawked about and Woodcock flushed from roost to roost. Then this bliss was shattered by the arrival of a bird bag that contained a Little Bunting! Fresh from being processed after a being found in a net on Brownsman!

Fist-clenchingly good, Little Bunting fresh from Russia!

Aaaah so Brownsman has it, they get the bird of the day. NO! Inner Farne is on fire this year and right on cue the radio crackled through with "we've got a phyllosc on the Chapel, its eyebrow is so long its wrapped round its head!" many thoughts occurred. Long eyebrows rule out all but Arctic, Radde's and Dusky (and ahem Eastern Crowned..) really and it soon became clear the bird was the 3rd Farnes record of Radde's Warbler! After a frantic hour long search the bird showed well to everyone before going to roost, so good!

Such a bright Radde's! The bird showed well at times, but only this well to the finders! (Bex Outram)

Today the Radde's was still present, with a supporting cast of Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Skylark, Black Redstart, 45 Robin, 700 Redwing, 379 Fieldfare, 170 Blackbird, 85 Song Thrush, Ring Ouzel, 3 Blackcap, 15 Chiffchaff, 70 Goldcrest, Pied Fly, 21 Brambling and 8 Chaffinch. Fall mark2!

Atmospheric fog with birds like you've never seen them!
Chiffchaff contemplating its fate...
No pines here so blue rope will have to do for this Goldcrest. Crestfest!
Song Thrush in the fog.
Get the feeling?
Black Redstart being a seabird.
Cliff top Pied Fly
While watching the Radde's at the hollowed 2pm, a Yellow-browed Warbler popped up next to it! Never to be seen again. However this pain was eased when not one, but two Olive-backed Pipits flew in off the sea past me! And then proceeded to shot down to 10ft in the open! Don't think Iv got anything left to blow off! Only on the Farnes!

The brighter initial bird.
The pair!
The slightly (SLIGHTLY) duller bird.
Getting friendly.
The rest of day was spend off my face on rares, lapping it all in like some pretentious coffee drinker. Except with rares. So. Tomorrow. Its still Northeasterly, and foggy, and rainy. More to come !

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