Friday, May 13, 2011

House for Rent... for the Birds! Birds! & Butterflies! photos at random

Oh no! Tree Sparrow were did you go?

The rare Fair Isle Tree Sparrows had been around my feeders and garden for a few days.

House for Rent - 5 rooms - no bath - free food.

In 1972 one pair of Tree Sparrows bred on Fair Isle. I lived here 3 years before I briefly saw one, so 4 in the garden at my feeders for a few days could stay? right? So I googled (Tree Sparrow nest box) then Brian & I built this bird housing project beyond specifications to withstand the gale force winds etc.. I lured them with the feeders in the back garden... they came close even sat on the roof of the shed just above the bird house. And for 2 days everything looked good.

Now for the past 2 days they are gone... The Twite and The House Sparrows gave them a hard time or maybe Henry's & Lowri's Jedi battle proved more than they could take. It was a long shot to began with.... It will be interesting to see if anything else takes up residence. I'm bummed but glad I tried.
Photos at random from the past few days...

first butterflies of the year yesterday - Red Admiral


Barn Swallows

Interesting Bunting hiding in the tangle of Honeysuckle

I have to say Reed Bunting... but this bird is almost almost stringing Palla's Reed Bunting.
problem for a birder on Fair Isle is you need to really check ever common bird well. Like this bunting has conflicting markings as compared to the Colins Bird Guide. It had no visible crown stripe and bold mantle stripes on the back as shown for Palla's while the spotted breast takes me back to Reed Bunting. I think it is just sort of funky between Winter and Summer plumage?

Here is another funky bird?

Look at that unstreaked belly? Could it be a female Red-Breasted or Brown Flycatcher? or American what? All not unheard of on Fair Isle... No eye ring or tail markings, so sad to say it's just a common Spotted Flycatcher. But I always have to check it out and study the possibilities when ever I see something that strikes me as a bit different. Hey you never know till you check for sure and this is Fair Isle...

Seaweed yum yum!
Sedge Warbler in the Walli Burn

Sedge Warbler hunting Bluebottle Fly in my garden.

Blackcap eats orange

Blackcap hunting flies outside my window

drying the old wings

Shooting Puffins?
The North Lighthouse - Fair Isle

I love this part of my Auld Haa Guesthouse job... taking people to the North Light! It's Stunning!
I often drive guests up after breakfast and let them take thier time walking back.

 What a view!

View from the Fog Horn North Lighthouse

Seal Rock  below the Fog Horn
I count about 40 seals?

Kirk Stack looks like a church and steapal but it's white roof is thousands of nesting Gannets.
 tonight's sunset

Blow your own horn!


  1. Very enjoyable looking at your various photos, Tommy. Today i also saw Wood Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher.
    No pics as too far for my compact and only bins!
    But soon on my blog will be some lovely Nightingale photos plus a couple of Sedge Warblers from the 29th April visit to Pulborough brooks RSPB in Sussex - not mine thats why they are good!lol!
    Wish i was coming to Shetland again this June seeing those Puffins.....
    I will be going to Skomer tho (I hope - at half -term!)

  2. awesome, I am also starting some nest boxes for the birds thanks alot