Monday, November 26, 2012

Moorhen! Garden Tick! and other Birds about.

Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
 Moorhen sightings are sort of rare on Fair Isle maybe one or two a year.What a surprise today to see  this one hanging out in my garden and pond. This Brambling was  a surprise this morning as well.

 I wired up a old freezer basket to make a feeding cage for small birds.I made it for the Great Tit that was being bullied by the Starlings and Rock Doves. Also the House Sparrows and this Brambling seem to like it just fine, while the Starling hate it.

Bohemian Waxwing
My Resent Birds of note:

Nov. 23 - Hen Harrier, Great Tit, Waxwing, 20 Snow Buntings

Nov. 24 - 2 Waxwings, Skylark, Water Rail, 12 Snow Buntings, Great Tit, 5 Snipe, 3 Blackbirds.

Nov. 25 - 14 Waxwings, 3 Robins, Great Tit, 20 Snow Buntings, 140 Fieldfare, 20 Blackbirds, 12 Redwing, 3 Woodcock, 3 Snipe, Long Eared Owl, Chiffchaff, Blue Fulmar
(took a Sunday drive which added to my totals)

Nov 26 - 3 Waxwings, Brambling, Moorhen., Robin, 3 Redwing, 12 Fieldfare, 6 Snow Buntings Woodcock. 5 Blackbirds

A Chiffchaff is a strange sight this time of year.

The rare Great Tit is still hanging about the south of the Isle.

Blue Fulmar still here too.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Scallop Shell Santa - Christmas Ornaments

Ho Ho Ho! look what Santa's helper made.
Made from the flat Scallop Shells. Once you see the Scallop Shell Santa you may never be able to just see a plain Scallop shells again with out thinking of Santa's face and beard. I made some for the Fair Isle school Christmas sale and have a few left over. If you want one send me 10. pounds, that includes shipping. contact info

Or you could make your own? it could be a great group crafts project!
Great for kid or adults.
 Easy!  1. drill hole - 2. paint face - 3. spray clear varnish - 4. string & bead - 5. hang on tree

Santa with hat variation. 

Just remember I made them first.
I couldn't help it, painting all those Santas I started to see myself...
Inspiring this shell self shell
portrait while messing about the studio.
Might of been better if I had looked in the mirror but funny just the same.
Each Santa Shell Christmas Ornament comes with my Fair Isle Collection Tag.

 I also made a few clocks:
Fair Isle Island Time - clock

Fair Isle Clocks 15. pounds

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bohemian Waxwing Feathers

Waxwing Wing Feathers
The red tips of the greater coverts feathers was said to look like red sealing wax for letters & documents from days long ago. Thus giving the bird it's common name Waxwing.

undertail coverts, tail & primaries wing feathers

The source of the feathers. The scattered remains of a Waxwing I found in my garden. A beautiful mature bird with strong markings, most likely the one I had been feeding for the past few days. My wife suggested I crop out the bloody meaty bits before posting this photo on the blog. I guess it's the old fly fisherman in me that collects these feathers but I'm not sure want to tie them on to a hook. I've seen both Merlin and Hen Harrier buzz my garden recently but I would guess a cat... But I can't be sure. As sad as this is I can't help think that so many more birds would of died if I hadn't fed so many Waxwings so much fruit (Apples Raisins & Grapes) at considerable cost the past 3 weeks. I wonder if this bird was healthy? would it not of most likely left with the bulk of the other Waxwings days ago. Nature beautiful & cruel. 
I much rather see these feathers like this.

Great Tit still about the garden...
A Ring Tailed Harrier being chased by a Hooded Crow.
I've seen the (Hen?) Harrier cruse the Wali Burn a few time recently.
The Woodlark is no longer around the Auld Haa and most likely move south...

on my finger while eating...

Waxwing Coated Apple.

Angry Birds?

Friday, November 09, 2012

Waxwing Waxwings in my Hand - Video

Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus
12 plus Waxwings still in my garden today....  plus a Great Tit. What fun! watch the video....


Sometimes still photos don't tell the whole story...

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Himmerland at the Fair Isle Hall

Himmerland at the Fair Isle Hall

An AMAZING mix of music & stories were well received by the Fair Islanders inform by a concert by Himmerland an eclectic Danish music group last night.

Bands Website:

Info from Himmerland Website: 

Himmerland is a group of five traveling musicians, each carrying very different life stories and traditions in our rucksacks.  We come from three regions of Denmark - Bornholm (an island in the Baltic Sea), Copenhagen, and Northern Jutland - and from Poland and Ghana, in West Africa.  

We met for the first time at the Halk√¶r Festival in the beautiful wide-skied northern part of Jutland called Himmerland, in Denmark.  This is where Eskil lives on his organic farm, and this is where we were about to perform a small concert to celebrate the release of his solo album ’Himmerlandsmelodier’. 

We had all played on the album, but since we had laid down our tracks separately, we had never actually met each other until then.  The concert went very well, and not long after we performed at ’Summart√≥ner’, a Faroese festival for new music. That was such a great experience that we decided to form the band ’Himmerland,’ naming it after the place where we first came together.  

We compose our own music and infuse it with all the different traditions that run in our blood.  Traveling with our music to Europe, Russia, Canada, South America, Australia and New Zealand, we represent a Denmark where people from around the world can meet, live together and all contribute to a sweetly simmering cultural melting pot.  We hope that you will have fun listening to our new album, and we very much look forward to meeting you some day. 

Have a listen for your self?

It's small but I'll blow their horn.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Guy Fawkes Bonfire Night - Fair Isle 2012



Just like being there. watch the video.

Remember remember... 

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Henry & the Waxwings! hand feeding again!

Bohemian Waxwing - Bombycilla garrulus
Hand feeding Waxwings again! but this time I got some video...
I am assuming you have seen Henry & my similar photos from 2 years ago? 
I always wished I had got video and today I did with a peak of over 50 waxwings in the garden today.




2 little ones & 2 big ones...

This fabulious Fair Isle Jumper was Hand Knit by Fair Islander Triona Thomson a few years ago for my wife Liz for Christmas. Henry has claimed it as his own now that he has grown into it.

Amazing Video! apple and birds in one hand pocket camera on video mode in the other hand...

On the Twitching Trees...

Other birds still about...
Siberian Rubythroat still here at the Auld Haa and skulky as ever.
Not only a rare lifer but a garden tick!
A surprise Water Rail in the garden
1 of 2 rare Great Tits frequenting the garden.

A young Long Tailed Duck - South Harbour

A Woodlark or 2? plus Blackcap & Chiffchaff are also still about.

These Waxwings photos are killing me...