Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Thank You Wintering Birds! welcome migrant birds!

Is Winter over? Has Spring sprung?
Dunnock aka Hedge Sparrow
I have seen this bird in an out of my garden all winter long.

You would think I would have a better photo? but I don't. This bird is so shy and skulky. plus it is always on the move searching for something to eat. Not rare in Britain but noteworthy in Fair Isle & Shetland any time. If there are more than 2 or 3 Dunnocks wintering in Shetland this year I would be surprised. So it makes me happy to see it still alive and well as other migrant birds start to return.

Thank you little bird as you put a smile on my face many a bleak winter day.
 Other birds that help pass away the few hours of daylight over the winter are Iceland & Glaucous Gulls though I have not seen either in the past 2 weeks. We have had Water Rail & a Coot. We have a few robins about the island plus Blackbirds, Fieldfares, Redwings and a Song Thrush or two. On the beach I can always find Purple Sandpipers, Turnstones and Rock Pipits during winter but I'm always thrown when they show up in my garden? Few Twite stay all winter but their numbers are increasing now. I saw some colour ringed Twite return on the Feb 29th most with Fair Isle colours but one with yellow over blue / metal over red just like I saw last year on March 3rd. I'm sure they were of by a day or 2 because of leap year.

 New migrant birds have started arriving in the past few days, Black Redstart & Mistle Thrush were seen by Nick. While I added Reed Bunting, Wood Pigeon, Shelduck & Ringed Plover to the Fair Isle's year list. Neil also reported the first Pied Wagtail!

Reed Bunting
Oystercatchers!  numbers increased dramatically on Feb. 24th  - 56 in this photo.
 Plus more on Meoness, South Harbour Beach, Skadden & Geos around the Lighthouse.
I don't know about the rest of the island?

The big Daffodils are blooming in my garden and there is frog spawn in Golden Water.
The day is a mix of glorious sun, grey clouds, hail & quick rain showers.
The high winds are making huge waves from the west and the afternoon plane was cancelled.
If you like variety what's not to like?
This is how we clean the pool on Fair Isle. 
 Waves coming in of the Atlantic side today.

The lighthouse is well over 26 Metres high  I would guess the waves are more than 10 metres?


  1. Missile Thrush - Is that a new species of bird?

  2. Lovely sentiments with the Dunnock Tommy! I have them daily and year round in my garden but never take them for granted.
    Happy Springtime!

  3. Love that colour of seafoam green in the last picture. I'm sure there is some material or yarn in just that shade.