Saturday, 4 October 2008

Fair Isle - Day 6 in the Puffinn Household

Raging winds and heavy rain was the order of the day today. Unfortunately, all the winds are from the west. Monday night is forecast to be South-easterly, so we're all hanging on for that. 3 members of the Puffinn Household headed out to the obs for the weekly pub quiz (swizzle-me-quizzle you mother!). Unfortunately, a good 36/45 wasn't good enough to beat the Essex boys, whose 41/45 was a reflection on the types of questions in the quiz (and the fact that they had about 6 people on their team). It was quite interesting to hear the latest exploits of Steve the garden lister, from Surrey. Steve must have THE most amazing garden, as he's already seen about 5 species of bird which haven't even been recorded in Britain before. The December records of Red-footed Falcon and Bluethroat in his garden are most interesting! Apparently he had an Icterine Warbler the other day. He knew it was an Icky as he knows the calls of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, and it wasn't one of those! Apparently, he rings up the Surrey county recorder when he sees something interesting. I bet it's endless fun having him on the phone.

Anyway, another lie-in was in order and then I spent most of the morning seawatching from my bedroom window. Sooty Shearwater was the best seabird I managed to muster and a Puple Sand on the rocks below the house was also the first of the trip. A few blue Fulmars passed by, identifiable by the lack of contrast between the back and the head, were seen in amongst the thousands of pale Fulmars.

Lots of geese arrived on the island today, mainly Greylags, but 10 Barnacle Geese were also a nice sight over The Puffinn, but possibly not as nice as the 120 over the obs.
The rain stopped and the sun came out at about 3pm, but the wind kept up quite a head of steam, but I headed out anyway to see if I could turn anything up. 2 Whooper Swans flew over the island and a couple more Barnacles hung around with some Greylags. The best(?) bird of the day was a Common Rosefinch (above) at Field croft, complete with ring, which has been hanging out at various places on the island for the past week. You take your life in your hands when you visit Field croft though, as the resident snarling-devil-dog will probably chomp on your leg given half a chance - keep away from the backdoor!

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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