Thursday, April 18, 2013

First of the Year Birds! Lapland Bunting, Willow Warbler & Goldfinch

European Goldfinch - Chloris chloris
 if you tell an American like me that this bird is a Goldfinch, one might be tempted to say...
"What did it do? F#@k a woodpecker?"

The European Goldfinch is a infrequent bird in Fair Isle & Shetland. Always a pleasure to see, only a few Fair Isle records every year. We think 3 Goldfinches are on Isle at the moment. I have heard some people call the a nucence, and the only bird they get on their feeders some place in England. Well if you have to have only one bird... this one has the markings of two or three.

Lapland Bunting Calcarius lapponicus - Summer Male 
Just over my garden wall in my neighbour's freshly planted potatoe rigs this stunning breeding male plumage Lapland Bunting has been hanging round for the past few days... A frist of the year, I finally got a record shot this morning. On Fair Isle, Lapland Buntings are more common in the Autumn and it is great to see a spring bird in Summer plumage.

Willow Warbler - first for the year!
When I awoke this morn and looked out my bedroom window, I was treated with 2 small birds, (Warblers?) in the budding Rosa Bagosa. I grabbed broken pair of binoculars one was a Goldcrest the other I was sure a Chiffchaff... because of the time of the year. Wrong! Later I was filling my bird feeders and got a closer look... I think it's a Willow Warbler? soon there after I had it confirmed by the passing Warden David Parnaby. Thanks David, it's nice to have some pros around for the tricky IDs.
While writing this, the Siskins and Goldfinch have been on my feeder just outside my window only about 1 meter away. Chaffinch, Dunnock & a Robin are all about the garden. even had a surprise visit from a Linnet!

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