Thursday 22nd September fresh to light SE Rain – AM, sunny - PM
A morning of heavy rain gives way to an afternoon of sunshine and calm. Before the sunshine arrives though a common rosefinch shows well in the Fair Isle Bird Observatory garden.
South Haven beach has plastic bottles large and small on it as well as dead adult and 1st year gannets. I remove the former and place it all in a skip.
Back at the Observatory garden a couple of yellow-browed warblers are on view, as well as blackcap and lesser whitethroats.
More warblers are at the plantation; yellow-browed, willow and a chiff chaff.
Even more are at the small enclosed reedbed of Meadow Burn; 4 yellow-browed, a reed, a willow and a lesser whitethroat. A nice selection.
With bin liner in hand I make my way down a precipitous slope, down to the beach of Steensi Geo. A full bin liner hardly makes a dent in the mass of plastic found here.
Along the coast north, Lee Gregory has found a red-breasted flycatcher. I find it and point it out to the Ribble Bird Tour group. It's flashing white tail patches show up well at distance.
Back on the road I take the road towards Shirva and have a bluethroat with a blue necklace for company. It walks just in front of me and flies to a nearby fence.
Friday 23rd September Fresh to Strong SW Very sunny
A yellow-browed warbler is still in the plantation and the short-toed lark is still by the water tanks. The little bunting at Field though is a new bird. It hasn't got a bird louse attached to it's right eye!
A stomp through the Da Water marsh gave me a flying moorhen but no crake.
Then a dash. Humpback whale off the west coast. I can see people climbing one of the Raevas and Tommy Hyndeman is already up there with a telescope. Unfortunately the whale doesn't come around Malcolm's Head and the group of hopefuls dwindles until eventually I am alone on the edge of the cliff. A very small baby rabbit comes out almost at my feet. He keeps looking around at me and quickly disappearing down a hole only to reappear at another hole not too far away. Eventually I manage to stroke it! Cute little thing.
Back on the road there is a whinchat that lacks a tail. I call him Winny. My first linnet since arriving on Fair Isle is at Chalet as I pass.
Saturday 24th September Strong SE Heavy rain nearly all day.
Soaked on the way to the Obs', soaked on the way back home. I spend the day preparing to give a talk about Green Birding and rehearsing a new version of Morecambe & Wise's Bring Me Sunshine song with Sarah.
A break in the rain but not in the gale gives me an opportunity to collect the plastic from the South Haven beach and also get up Buness.
One can never tell how a talk goes down with an audience but some seem to have really enjoyed it. Each member of the audience receives a songsheet on the back of which are a number of links for further information. Both I add here for your perusal.
Bring Me Sunshine – Fair Isle style :-
Bring us Sunshine
Bring us birdies
Wing bar wings
In this world where we live
there should be more happiness
so much joy birds they give
there'll be Yankee birds tomorrow
We'll be happy
Full of tears
lots of beers!
Let our arms be as warm
as the Sun from up above
Bring us birds
Bring us sunshine
Bring us Love...
and those all important links to things to do with Green Birding :-
Birds People Climate Change Health Adventure/Challenge
Walk, cycle, canoe . . . . Big Sit..... Big Foot. . . Big Day...... BIGBY
Green Birding Book by Richard Gregson - Amazon from 60p used!
An Unforgettable Challenge by Gordon Barnes (£5 in the Fair Isle Observatory shop!)
Dorian Anderson 2014 - 616 species WORLD GREEN YEAR RECORD
Ponc Feliu Latorre 2013 - 304 species EUROPEAN RECORD
Gary Biking Birder Prescott - 292 species (3 months 6 days still to go)
Ponc, Juan, Gimiso and Aleix – 182 species in a day in May 2015
Chris Mills & Nick Moran 2011 - 144 species in a day
( Gross Big Green Day – Birdguides article )
Youtube videos :
Scott Robinson recounts his and Ted Parker's world record 1982 Birding Big Day In Peru
Biking For Birds – Dorian Anderson
Positive Thinking Morecambe and Wise sung by the Leighton Moss RSPB Choral Group
Bring Me Sunshine Leighton Moss RSPB Choral Group
Relevent Blogs: (find using Google)
World of Green Birding, Records, Articles and photos
Birdgirl, Mya,Rose Craig
Biking Birder Blogs for 2010, 2015 and 2016
Chaskawasi- Manu – link on my blog page. PLEASE HELP
The book mentioned, An Unforgettable Challenge by Gordon Barnes is available from the Fair Isle Bird Observatory shop and details Gordon's life as a crofter and birder on Fair Isle from 1960 to 1975. A fabulous read for £5; if anyone would like me to post them a copy then please message me and I will see how much postage and packing would be to add to the £5. All proceeds go the Bird Observatory.