Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cretzschmar's Bunting! Caspian Stonechat! - Fair Isle, Shetland.

Cretzschmar's Bunting - Emberiza caesia

This rubbish was my best photo of the afternoon sighting of the Cretzschmar's Bunting.

After 26 hours of the Fair Isle Bird Observitory Staff, Guests & Fair Islanders scouring the Isle for the Cretzschmar's Bunting, the bird was refound by Asst. Warden Richard in the Gilly Burn. Let's just say everyone was more than motivated to see this amazingly rare bird. This is only the 5th time Cretzschmar's Bunting has been seen in Britain. With the first being seen on Fair Isle at Gaila near my house, June 10th 1967 and a second was seen at Bull's Park June 9th 1979. Fair Isle has 3 out of 5 records for Britain. When I heard the news the bird was relocated, I ran out of my house without my binoculars! Lucky for me my scope was in the car... It was quite distant as no one wanted to flush it away. I stayed and looked an soaked up as much relief as joy in getting my eyes on the bird. After about 40 min. I left, I had to cook dinner for my Auld Haa Guesthouse vistor's, 3 workmen working on the North Lightouse. After some chichen breasts stuffed with feta cheese, onions & bread crumbs, served with wild rice and onion-rings, I put coffee and desert on the table and headed back out the door to see if I could see it again... It was 8pm overcast in failing light but I wanted to see it again. It could of been anywhere out in the long grass at the bottom of Hoini I thought? As lucky for me the Fibo staff and 2 Ex-Wardens just in on the Good Shepherd were scoping out the bird on the footpath below the Houll on the way to the Shop. I got better views this time. The low light is not great for photos, for some reason video does better in low light conditions? So I took a few bits witch I have shared below.

Hey, that Caspian Stonechat is a beauty and no slouch when it comes to be rare in Britian. Yes, only a subspecies (for now) but a 6th record for Britian! I saw the bird each time I drove down the road yesterday. I took this video hand held from the drivers seat of my car. LOL

                           Video record of the two birds.

 Both birds are stunning & beautiful bits of wildlife and I feel blessed to have seen them. They are both still hear today, I'll hope to see them again soon.

Caspian Stonechat

Sometimes common British birds like the 2 Linnet I saw yesterday are sort of rare here on Fair Isle. Any birds of the Tit family can also start the locals running. This morning it was a sighting of a Mandarin Duck that had everyone searching the Isle. I dipped it, for now...

Fancy Birds Ay?

My post from the day before after not seeing the Cretzschmar's:

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