Tuesday 20th September light to fresh S/SE sunny intervals, warm when sun out. Great visibility.
Last night's pleasures didn't finish with the views of the Risso's dolphins. There was a superb gibbous Moon to light my way home.
Morning starts with a little bunting found at The Parks. I rush there as fast as possible but only see a shape disappear into the oat crop. With other birders I wait. A yellow-browed warbler is more obliging.
Two birders decide to walk the side of the crop and a small bird comes out and disappears to the north. I feel sure this is the little bunting and pursue the bird.
Down at the plantation I meet five lovely ladies from New Mexico, USA. Thanks Ann for the note and good wishes from the New Mexico Audubon Society. Thanks to the rest of you too but I'm sorry I forgot to record your names. Senior moment!
One of the birders at the Obs comes up to me and says that the bunting never left the oats and so I return and find it without too much trouble.
LITTLE BUNTING – Green Bird number 291, the Green Year list record keeps on growing. 9 to go for the magic 300, surely this year.
Back to the Observatory, there is a yellow-browed warbler in the garden. Down to the three closest beaches to here, plastic is collected, about half a bin liner full and skipped. There is a dead gannet and razorbill on South Haven beach, both in good condition sadly.
With no news of ny birds that would be new to the Yea list I head off for the geos of the west coast, my favourite area. Over the moorland heading west bonxies mob and snipe zig zag; around a hundred of the former and a dozen latter.
Starting at Tyneside there are two yellow-browed warblers here and a goldcrest. A song thrush is at South Naaversgill and the sun is shining. I decide to photograph each geo in such wonderful light.
North Naaversgill is noisy; big bangs coming from deep down this large geo. Moving around it's cliff top rim, the famous bolthole is filling and ejecting a large jet of seawater.
There's a yellow-browed here too. There is a fall of these wonderful Siberian warblers going on.
Next to Copper Geo and Grey the views are stupendous. Up to Guidicam and gannets mass on ledges and outcrops; three yellow-broweds here and one each of goldcrest and willow warbler. On the way up a house martin was circling around and a single carrion crow went south.
The views from here over towards Orkney was extremely clear. I could easily make out the lighthouse on North Ronaldsay with my naked eye. Through binoculars the Laird's house, Holland could be seen and further round even Westray and Hoy.
Up to Skinner's geo. No less than five yellow-browed warblers in a small area with a pied flycatcher for company. Amazing.
Final section before heading back to the Observatory is around the mast with it's W2 buildings. Another pied flycatcher here.
Over 100 bonxies are in the air as I make my way downhill.
The evening has a superb talk by the Fair Isle Ranger, Chris Dodds detailing his time at Chatham Islands off New Zealand. The quality of the talks at the Fair Isle Bird Observatory is superb and Chris' tlk is just that. Fascinating, it includes how the black robin was saved from extinction when there were only 5 left in the World to it's present population of around 200. Still in danger due to being precariously positioned on only two islands.
Log at 9PM; 54 yellow-browed warblers on the island, the third highest day total ever. Last year's record total of 76 still leads the way.