Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Moving on Up

I am becoming increasingly obsessed with weather, by the day. More than usual. No really more. Island life is ruled by the weather and it's impact on the sea, and at this time of year said weather also plays a large role in what migrant birds are pushed our way. Sounds very serious eh? It is. Intensely.

Southwest winds are no good for rares, but great for some chop 'n that.

Luckily this little bliter stuck around for a sit down grip.

The Greenish that was brought in by the light NNE winds a couple of days ago remained, crippling in situ, while the winds swung round to the south bringing unexpectedly good seawatching and disgusting general terrestrial conditions. An hour or so between rounds produced 2 juv Black Terns which attempted to fight mother mature southward, loosing (obviously) and heading off north while a lovely Long-tailed Skua also went north amongst some Arctic and Great Skuas and perhaps most strangely of all...3 Grey Herons moving south...

Otherwise now the breeders have departed, wisely opting for warmer climes, the land has been quiet bar some nice fresh looking Wheatear and Willow Warblers.

Fresher than a lemon to the eye.
So it was left to the sky to rain birds upon us. And it did. Big time. In the freshening Sou'westerly winds a good Common Swift passage occurred with 99w over Inner Farne in hour (with Brownsman scoring with 200 odd), creating a cool atmosphere as I watched these wizards of flight stonk through, some at head height!

Some 'atmospheric' shots of a few apus apus
And we were lucky enough to have 2 Swifts join us overnight..

Finally as if all this stiff-winged passage wasn't enough to get stiff(?), then the 3 Black-tailed Godwit that passed over early this morning certainly did (a rare bird on the Farnes).

If I were an ID king I'd Say 'note the long legs projecting beyond the tail, couples with the wingbar' but then that's not expert knowledge I guess!

And finally if all this talk of migration and rares is leaving you feeling thoroughly intimidated and inadequate (don't worry I don't even know what I've just gone on about) then here's and Peregrine...oooh sweet familiarity..!

Wana guess its age/sex? Phwaaa

Sunday, 26 August 2012

I've begun so I'll begin

Sooooooooo, deary me. Where to start? Oh my, oosh, wft etc. All I can say is too much has happened since my last posting to translate into my own formidable langauge so I sharn't botha..get it?

Just like any fall...aesthetic prefection amidst the chaos...

Anyway I digress immediately. Since early August I have been to Scilly and back again, seemingly timing my visits perfectly to intersect both the triplestonking brain spankers of Lesser Grey Shrike and Orache Moth...

After a semi-frantic stand off, this meaty bugger showed well!
Greener than green...Orache Moth
I headed back northward to the Farnes , arriving last night where the years first Pintail awaited. Then, as we have become surreally accustomed to this year on the Farnes, with the gentlest of NE pushes, the world fell out our arses! Or into our faces should I say...

A beauty of a find by the 'holy one', from our living room window! It detonated our iris regions completely and utterly, at 15ft range, in the sun.....Hashtag crippled!!
Ciaran's face says it all!
And the epic day continued with a quick trip to the mighty Brownsman turning up not 1, but 2 big fat Barred the hand! Your not so skulky now you little gobshites!

I have ALOT of other photos, news, bull and such from my Scillonian wanderings and my short time so far back on the Farnes so one for tomorrow I think. Chow!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Night Walkers

Most asked question at the moment..Where can I see Roseate Terns...answer? Dub-birder!

A post-breeding adult (top) and some arty esq roostified action right above this. It contains 2 adults and 1 juvenile, can you see them? Thought so.

Weeellllll. It has been long hasn't it? Too long? Not long enough? Either way I am back firing buck shots in your general direction. I could reem off a list of excuses involving hectic work and social schedules or lack of power or whatever but to be quite honest the main reason is being outside is really really good. Especially in the summer. And now that the weather has vaguely inproved too.

So whats the crack as they say? Well. The breeding birds are already departing in big numbers while passage birds have yet to fully kick in. That being said, some canny seawatching t'other day saw Pomarine, Arctic and Great Skuas passing by amongst several hundred Manx Shearwaters, some Sooty Shearwaters and a couple of Scoter (both Common and Velvet). While wader passage is also picking up nicely as these dainty birds head south from their northerly (even Arctic) breeding grounds. Terrestrial dwellers like the warblers are beginning to appear with the first Garden and Willow Warblers appearing over the past few days to join our summering Chiffchaff.

Classic Farnes views of this Garden Warbler (on Brownsman Cottage)

But its mid-summer here on the Farnes so time to lurk menacingly, net and torch in hand, dusking for moths in the evening twilight, and stick a fuck-off big light out to attract those hard enough to fly after 12am. Here's some highlights:

Scoparia pyralella..small but beautiful

Marbled Coronet, a species that feeds on bladder campions, of which we have alot!

Map-winged Swift

Male Ghost Moth lekking

A female Ghost Moth, stuff male Ghost Moth dreams are made of...!

Antler Moth

This Poplar Hawk Moth was the first I have caught on the Farnes..and she laid some eggs!

Silver Y

Lesser Yellow Underwing being cryptic

Lyme-grass, a local moth that is probably my 'moth of the year'.

Lime-speck Pug

Yellow Shell

Eucosma cana type thing

Thistle Ermine, what a speckly crippler!

Garden Tiger, charisma personified

True Lovers Knot, lovely.

Purple Bar

Double Square-spot.

Diplueria lacustrata (The Fanfoot in the background). Stonk.

The locals mak good use of such momentary moth abundance....

And speaking of night time wanderings...we gone did some Storm Petrel ringing...

Stay tuned for the next episode!