Fair Isle Bird Observatory & Guesthouse

Latest sightings

17th-21st January
A snowy day on 16th saw the end of flights for the week as ice lingered for several days. Some calm (but cold) spells interspersed with some fresh south-easterly or southerly winds and rain returning on 21st.

Glaucous Gull: adult on 19th and 2CY on 21st
Blue Tit: 3 still throughout

Other Sightings (counts generally refer to the maximum number recorded in the period):
184 Greylag Goose (with some movement noted), 8 Pink-footed Goose, Whooper Swan, 14 Wigeon, 11 Teal, Great Northern Diver (still present until 18th at least, although it was looking somewhat lethargic towards the latter date), 6 Water Rail (probably all wintering birds, perhaps becoming more visible in icy conditions - i.e. a bird in the Obs garden on 19th was a ringed individual which was presumably the one trapped at the Obs on 29th October that has not been seen since 23rd November!), Oystercatcher, 3 Lapwing, 7 Golden Plover (21st), 15 Curlew, 160 Turnstone, Woodcock (singles on three dates), Guillemot (some on cliffs on 18th), Merlin, Carrion Crow, still a reasonable number of Fieldfare and smaller numbers of other thrushes and Robins about, Meadow Pipit (one by the Vaadal on 20th; first of the year), 14 Twite.

Great Northern Diver, North Haven, 17th January (David Parnaby)

Year list: 57

7th-16th January
Some rather strong south-easterly then southerly winds (the lounge lights in the flat were swaying on the night of 14th as the Obs faced the winds head-on!) brought a few more birds, with snow falling throughout on 16th.

Glaucous Gull: present almost daily, with a peak count of 4 (10th and 13th) and at least 6 individuals present
Blue Tit: 3 still in the usual haunts

Other Sightings (counts generally refer to the maximum number recorded in the period):
217 Greylag Goose, 8 Pink-footed Goose, 5 European White-fronted Goose (a family party on 14th, with 7 [the same 5 plus two other single adults] on 15th), Whooper Swan, 15 Wigeon, 10 Teal, Common Scoter (female again in Furse), Long-tailed Duck (female in Furse), Goldeneye (a male in South Harbour on 7th and female on Da Water on 10th), Goosander (an unusual winter record on 12th), Great Northern Diver (still lingering in North Haven and Furse), Water Rail, 3 Oystercatcher (with a couple of birds now coming in to join the two wintering individuals), 10 Lapwing (a small arrival on 15th), Golden Plover, 21 Curlew, Woodcock (one flushed from a snowy Obs garden on 16th), Black-headed Gull, 2 Carrion Crow, 55 Fieldfare (15th, mostly small numbers scattered around the island, so the total may have been higher in what appeared to be a small arrival), 24 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 2 Twite, 15 Snow Bunting (7th, North Light).

European White-fronted Geese, Upper Stoneybrek, 15th January (David Parnaby)

Other Wildlife:
Nathusius's Pipistrelle: a small bat seen in flight at Busta on 10th was seen to land under the eaves of a shed there (where it was still present until 12th at least), and was most probably this species - an extraordinary winter record.

Year list: 56


1st-6th January
Happy New Year, FIBO hopes you all had an enjoyable festive period and that your 2018 is filled with good birds.
The weather began unremarkably, although temperatures were pleasant at times, but strong north-easterly winds at the end of the period brought a chill. Not much movement bird-wise (other than in the order of Log, as we followed the BOU in adopting the IOC list from 1st January), although some strong SE winds are forecast, so there's perhaps a chance of some cold weather movement from the continent.

Glaucous Gull: sightings were virtually daily, with a peak of 3 on 2nd and at least four individuals (2 adults, 3CY and 2CY involved)
Blue Tit: all three birds lingering from October 2017 remained in situ, with two patrolling the gardens of the south and one enjoying the Obs peanuts feeders.

Other Sightings (counts generally refer to the maximum number recorded in the period):
288 Greylag Goose (notable movement from 4th saw numbers increase on the island), Whooper Swan (juvenile still present, a rare overwintering attempt), 17 Wigeon, 8 Teal, Tufted Duck (a female on 6th was a rare winter occurence), Great Northern Diver (the bird that has been lingering in North Haven since 6th December was still present, such a long stay is unusual), Slavonian Grebe (winter occurences are rare, but what was presumably the bird seen twice in December was in Furse on 4th), Water Rail (at least one still present), 2 Oystercatcher (not an annual wintering species, but birds remained at the Haven and at Skadan), 2 Lapwing, Jack Snipe (one on the beach near Utra/Hesti on 2nd), Merlin, 3 Carrion Crow (the pair present since spring 2016 remained around South Light and Utra and the other wintering bird remained at Suka Mire), Skylark, 35 Fieldfare (a small influx from 1st), 3 Song Thrush (minimum), Twite, 3 Mealy Redpoll (Shirva on 1st, with one still there on 2nd at least).

Mealy Redpoll, Shirva, 2nd January (David Parnaby)

Year list: 46