Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Goodbye Puffins

By mid August the last of the Puffins fledge and head out to Sea.
It a real pleaser to have these birds around,
so it's always sad to see them go, so here are a few photos I took this summer.
















Razorbill
And so long to so many other breeding sea birds...

Goodbye Muffins?
This photoshopped parody I added to this post Aug. 30th. It came to me from an email from an artist friend from the USA who follows my blog. To funny not to share. (I think this may be how they eat Puffins in Iceland? lol)

Monday, 16 June 2014

Bridled Tern - Fair Isle

Bridled Tern as viewed by the FIBO Staff on Buness, Fair Isle.
 Another first for Fair Isle! Tick! Found by Warden David Parnaby. By the time I had got there the bird had flown off. The group of folk had seen it and slowly dissipated. After about 45 min. of looking it was just David & I when I said, "that bird has dark wings... that's it!" David then put out the news again and people came back and the Shetland twitchers knew to boarded the plane in Tingwall with hope. I had great views and took some record photos.

Bridled Tern in so beautiful in flight, but honks like a mini goose.

Bridled Tern resting on the rocks of Buness.




It was great to have my son home for Father's Day weekend.
To bad he missed the bird by a few hours before heading back to School in Lerwick this morning.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Sheep Rock... Almost an Isle of it's own.

Sheep Rock (aka Sheep Craig)
as viewed from the top of Vaasetter.

Vaasetter as you approach the cliff near Sheep Rock.


An un-transverseable wall like ridge connects the two,
 almost making Sheep Rock an inaccessible Island already.


A large Winter gale caused a fall or subsidence. 
 The strip of land (Da Whills) connecting Fair Isle to it's beloved landmark is the source of erosion still clouding the water in the North Mila Hesslands all these months later. Sheep Rock isn't ready to cut all ties with the just Fair Isle yet, yet, this makes me wonder if I'll see it in my life time?

Close up: The fall of rock and dirt.


You can see the cloudy light turquoise water as it drifts out to Sea.
note the clear water on the other side.
Don't go we love our Sheep Rock!

Friday, 30 May 2014

The Fishing Hands - Inge Thomson - FIMETI



Inge Thomson preforms to here home crowd.
- Fair Isle Community Hall - May 23rd 2014 -

- Da Fishing Hands -

Project in cooperation with Fimeti
http://www.fimeti.org.uk/news.asp?intent=viewstory&newsid=50921


          
Song preformed at the Fair Isle Hall - recorded on my pocket camera on video mode on a tripod. 

For more information cheque out some of these reviews and links:







The Band .

Thank you Inge!



Over the weekend FIMETI arranged a schedule of activities.


  Da Fishing Hands concert the highlight, but the Nature Talks and Walks, Craft sale at the Fair Isle Hall were all well attended.  Henry & I were thrilled by the long overdue Nature Club Meeting with Nick Riddiford and many other locals and visitors together at the tide-pools below the South Lighthouse. Three new species never recorded on Fair Isle were found, but most exciting to us was the recovery of the Small Cushion Star population, witch had not been seen since the big storm that smashed the lighthouse and raged though the Small Cushion Star's rockpool location Feb. 4th, 2013 almost a year and a half ago.



Seeing Stars Again!


            

More info on the Small Cushion Star:
http://nature-henry.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/most-northerly-record-of-small-cushion.html


8 Small Cushion Stars and a live Spotted Cowrie in a Limpet shell.


Birds About...

Ringed Plover Chick
Nightjar
NightJar after ringing at FIBO
Collard Flycatcher twitch an the cliff.


Collard Flycatcher

Krazy Kumlien's - Iceland Gull in the Auld Haa Garden.
Gulls in odd perspective.
Good Night...

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Calandra Lark! (Melanocorypha calandra) Fair Isle

The Calandra Lark - Melanocorypha calandra
(photographed through a scope)
Found up on Ward Hill near the mast.

The Calandra Lark hiding among the Heather banks.

All I got was record shots and good views through a scope.
When it wasn't flying, it sat fluffed up looking quite tired with it's eyes close a lot.

The Finders... Booyah! That's what we are looking for.

Calandra Lark is a very rare bird in Britian.
The second one I've seen since moving to Fair Isle.
The one that got away… Jimmy (Midway) Stout referred to this story as his other first for Britain. October 1928 a Calandra Lark was collected and sent to the Paisley Museum, but the bird’s skin was lost in the post. Only seen and confirmed by Islanders, his Calandra Lark record was never accepted, but is occasionally noted. As in Birdwatching and Ornithology today sometimes only the seeing is believing and the right people need to see it, not someone else. The second British record is one of the four subsequent Fair Isle sightings of Calandra Lark that have been accepted since 1978. Now make that 5 Fair Isle sightings.

http://fair-isle.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/living-legend-james-stout-100-years-of.html

While up at the mast, trying to relocate the Lark. I found a female Bluethroat.
Sweet!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Hermit Thrush!

Gordon Bell
  Hermit Thrush   Catharus guttatus

Photographs by Gordon Bell
Gordon is one of 5 guests staying at my Auld Haa Guesthouse, part of the Shetland Wildlife - Fair Isle Spring Migration Tour. The surprised Shetland Wildlife guide Judd Hunt identified the North American Thrush in the field. Just before dinner while preparing an apple crumble I got a call from a flabbergasted Judd "I just found a Hermit Thrush at the base of Malcolm's Head." I called it into the Obs and a few other Islanders and then rushed over to see it myself. Wow! I have only seen a few in the USA... this is a Fair Isle and UK. tick for me. A 10th record for all of Britain. I have a rule at my Guesthouse, "No one complains when dinner is a bit late when a rare bird is about."






Bonxie - Great Skua
We are all laughing!
It's been a great Spring for rare birds... Who knows what's next?

Friday, 9 May 2014

What's About?

Cretzy, Where are you hiding now?

The Cretzschmar's Bunting has not been seen in some time and is believed to have moved on. 
But where, no one knows?

Here are a few more unpublished photos I took. 







You may want to watch this video again as we say goodbye to one of the best birds seen in Britain this year.




Yeah! the Caspian Stonechat is still here!

Looking very happy in the garden and fence lines of Upper Leogh Croft.



These guys are also looking really happy!
Fair Isle Bird Observatory Wardens 2014 
 Asst. Warden Cairan Hatsell - Head Warden David Parnaby - Asst. Warden Richard Cope

Also happy! plane loads of Twitchers.
Who successfully saw (and ticked) the rare birds after chartering expensive private planes from London...

A busy Fair Isle landing strip.

Female - Red Breasted Flycatcher

 Rook

Henry took this photo of his friend and her Caddy Lamb.


Logan & Henry
Logan's blog recap of his day.
http://logansnatureblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/cretzschmars-twitch.html

The boys looking for a Wood Warbler.

Henry & Henry's Dad.

Da Fishing Hands with Inge!
coming soon!
Tickets: http://www.mareel.org/listen/events/da-fishing-hands/#.U2zBRvldXw8

Info: http://www.fimeti.org.uk/news.asp?intent=viewstory&newsid=50921

Inge Thomson: http://www.ingethomson.com/
   
              
A bit of Inge's music from her album "Shipwrecks & Static"

The Rock.