Saturday 1st October very light N-NE Sunny for the most part with one shower around 1:30PM
Sunshine, calm conditions and a flat sea, I decide to seawatch off Buness.
A slavonian grebe is close in at North haven and a single knot is together with sanderling and turnstone on the disused jetty there. On the furthest piece of Buness, on a seat-shaped rock, I watch the sea and all is well. The gentle swell gives a soundscape of serenity as waves gently cover rocky outcrops and fall away leaving cascades of white water.
Fulmars are passing as always in good numbers and gannets too. This makes it easy to spot any bird with different flight; a different jizz as birders would say.
A guillemot tazzes past, straight, direct and fast. A grey plover calls as it flies past in the opposite direction. A first year kittiwake is going the same way and I naughtily think that my photograph of it could be photoshopped into a sabine's gull. How long before the first birding cheat tries to do such a thing? Has it happened already? Memories of the Caspian gadwall.....
(To see what that was all about click on the following link.
You won't regret it. Flying penguins, breeding great auks etc. Oh dear .. the video is blocked for copyright reasons. Try this link for the flying penguins . .
Two hours of soporific enjoyment, hoping for orcas but reflecting on nature, goes by andit starts to drizzle. No problem, adds to the atmosphere. Drizzle turns to not forecasted rain. I head for the Bird Observatory for a coffee.
Plastic trawler net is on the beach. A large yellow fertilizer bag is on the beach. A large plastic bottle is on the beach. In the rain I collect them. At the skip I am told that I can't put them in there any more. There is no room after the bin liners from the crofts and the Bird Obs' have filled it. “Get a box of matches and burn it.”
It is not fault of the crofter who tells me this. Cut backs means that there are now fewer waste skips brought to the island. I need to email some people. I won't stop collecting the obscene waste that is found on every beach here and arrives on every tide. The seal with a plastic neck-cutting necklace of fishing net deserves better.
A yellow-browed is in the garden and two redpolls. They look lesser to me but I don't get good views in the pouring rain.
After a light lunch, an apple, I walk up to the radio mast and on to the geos of the west coast. From Skinner's to Tyneside, my favourite part of Fair Isle, I walk, sit for prolonged periods and enjoy the stunning scenery. There are almost no migrant birds; plenty of fulmars and gannets as expected. The only unusual bird is a snow bunting at Guidicam.
A text tells of a humpback whale moving not too far away over in Orkney. The whale first seen off Sanday has been seen off North Ronaldsay and I am hoping that it turns east. The conditions are perfect for whale watching. The horizon is crisp and clear and the sea flat calm.
The sun starts to go down and so I head back for the observatory. Maybe tomorrow for the humpback. Maybe tomorrow for some new migrant birds. Well the wind is north east, could be good.