Thursday, 17 October 2013

Small but mighty!

The fall is still reverberating around my brain. Emotions barely back to relative normality. So time for Brownsman! And some canny leftovers from said migration event. The leftovers in questions are more of a michelin star main - super mini and exotic! I am, of course, talking about Little Buntings. With the two currently residing on Brownsamn being my third and fourth on the Farnes this year! Increadible, especially when you stack them on top of Yellow-breasted, Black-headed, Snow and Lapland! The year of the bunting.

Bird 2 showed very well1

Bird 1 was equally showy, though picked inconvenient times, ie those where no lens was clutched between my nimble fingers, to show at its best!

Little Bunting's are so sick!! You need ginger on site.

Plus some more stuff hanging about.....

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Cripplish Allsorts!

Swipe me like a Visa Delta I'm spent! Fearful that most if not all my appendages have been crippled beyond recognition. I need a rare chair! Countless hours walking the islands over past couple of weeks, in, lets face it prime autumnal conditions produced an amazing haul of birds which spanned exotic to erotic!

So. I'll start with the recent run of mega stonk. After a canny SE storm a couple of weeks ago (which brought us a mite-like ball of fire...see later in this post) a westerly flow briefly took hold allowing a major Farnes bird; Stonechat to disperse our way allowing some great views in the process as it flicked, bounced and pounced around Inner Farnes.

And then it went mental. Stripes and spots and east winds. After watching so much fall around us in recent weeks the feeling of the inevitable was creeping in. Some good seawatching had me gazing at Inner Sound seeing precious little, ironically. Reaching the end of my stint an old familiar 'chack' penetrated my inner self. Feelings and emotions from long ago stirred in a split second producing a knee-jerk sweep of my head unveiling a stonking Northern Great-spotted Woodpecker! The first in a wee while and usher of a monster Farne invasion of at least 8 birds! As if this couldnt get better I then rounded the corner a few feet away to be greeted by all the worlds yellow in stripe and rump form. Freaking Pallas's Warbler! Holy mother of Jehova.

The sprite showed exceptionally well....

The woodpecker gave ultimate ball-rotting views. Only on the Farnes!

The ongoing fall has a decent number of associated common migrants all giving porno views. Especially the Goldcrests!

A brief interlude of a day or so allowed calmer conditions to seep through before the world fell out the North Sea's arse bringing huge seas and more importantly NE winds...And we waited, and we waited...

I cant be dissapointed with the initial drop. Lets face it. The Farnes is heading for prehaps the best year in terms of rairty value and shear diversity ever. But hearing all that was falling around us; blues, peaches, reds, 50 shades of brown...and we got a cracking Abietinus Chiff....!


Finally, and chronically ironically, the winds began to ease, the sun even showed its great fat dirty unwelcome face (rain and mist!!! Give us rain and mist!!) and suddenly there was a feel of fresh birds arriving as yesterday heralded a late Willow Warbler, a shit-ton of Mealy Redpoll in all conceivable varients while top points went to a super-bright Red-breasted Fly feeding on the West Cliffs, favoured location of Yellow-browed and Pallas's Warblers recently...

Big. Fat. White. Sit on my face.

And so we get down to todays manic events. Overnight rain and mega winds saw dawn break over an island full of birds with news of Olive-backed Pipit (finally!) on Brownsman spurring us on. Amazingly this bird then came west relocating on Inner Farne, during which a 1w type Glaucous Gull cruised past. And then. Holy tits. It happened. Hoopoe Brownsman. I ran up and down Inner Farne. Seemingly for no reason before tackling some lumpy seas to finally connect with the pink elephant of a bird that intoxicated me with its pastel powder plumage!!

Great cream blob! Glauc making for the Hoopoe

Jammed in on the lingering Little Bunting while on Brownsman.

Well take a look at that. Half wader, half what the f@@k! Either way its my 200th species of bird seen on the Farnes, making me the eleventh person in Farnes birding history to reach that magic number!

Tons of Mealy Redpoll about today, probably seen in excess of 25 across the islands..

One of the Brownsman two. The last 2 lingering woodpeckers.

Bonus bird! Lapland Bunting that dropped in to feed alongside the Hoopoe.

The afternoon broke out into sunshine allowing some very pleasant birding however the proximity to the mainland meant everything had generally buggered off west. However all things black, olive and inbetween could be seen. Some of which a lensed up.

Black Redstart from yesterday giving itself up, kind of...

Phwaaaaaar! I'd back that! My best pic of a supreme bird, the age old issue of cant absorb and take pics simultaneously arose again today. So spent a lot of time enjoying my fourth Farne OBP through bins like a G. 

 Previsouly on the Farnes: Triple-heavy SE storm lashed us bringing odds and ends. However this Firecrest was an undoubtable highlight and a real brain demolisher!

The storm brought hellish numbers of Brambling and Reed Bunting along with some Mealy action and even a Little Bunting, which was murder trying to locate amongst the swirling seedeaters.

Finally some pictures to emphasise the awe-inspiring nature of the Farnes in autumn. The birding is, in my opinion on a par with any migrant locality, probably better really if you consider most birds fall in 26 acres! However with the birds come storms. As I write we have been 'cut off' for 11 out of the last 16 days, and have not seen anyone bar distant boats since last Wednesday morning. But hey, that's why this place is special, the birds are ours (though obviously they'll be shared if the weather allows, which it usually doesnt...). I'm looking forward to the next two weeks...