Fair Isle blog

It’s deathly here yet again today – a good trawl around the island this morning looking for waders (anything American would have done nicely, and specifically the pale snipe from a while ago, or yesterday’s Buff-breasted Sandpiper) produced absolutely sod all. The golf course particularly disappointing – the same 3 Ringed Plovers and 2 Dunlin as yesterday mooching around, and not a lot else. Found myself driving the heligoland and telling myself it should be good for an American warbler! Yes, it’s getting desperate up here.

Have spent the early afternoon doing some final getting-ready-for-winter type things – some exterior painting, putting pots away inside one of the byres, tidying up the mobile chicken breeding pens etc etc. Dull but inevitable stuff. Have come inside for a break and some tea, but I suppose another walk around is in order shortly. I may go and lift some tatties first. Happy happy, joy joy.

Stumbled across a new blog from Fair Isle this afternoon (told you I was skiving from my chores…) – the Bird Observatory warden, Deryk, is now blogging about island life in general and birds in particular (well, if there were any birds to blog about – Fair Isle also seems to be suffering the same general malaise as the rest of Shetland. Did I mention the wind was now northerly? Oh yes). It’s a good read, and will be essential reading once we start to go easterly. Which must happen eventually this autumn, surely.

Later. Final scores today – a single Willow Warbler still hanging on in there in the plantation, and a White Wagtail up in the field behind my house. Wind definitely north-easterly this evening.

Crossbills and Coots

Home last night to a freshening northerly wind, and back to the usual croft-related chores. The ponies had to be moved to a new field, and there were Large White eggs to be squished on the cabbages. But first, there were dogs to be walked, and that meant I was walking down the drive when Fly flushed a flock of some 20 Crossbills from the field beside me. Result. A mixture of red males and green females, they swirled away calling towards the plantation. By the time I’d walked down there, only a half dozen could be seen on the outside of the conifers, and even they were working their way into the heart of the vegetation. Time to roost.

Other news – I have a new blog in the blogroll opposite for your love and enjoyment – it’s Counting Coots, and it’s patch birding at it’s very purest. It’s dry as hell, and makes me laugh. Particularly the photo captions, which are a complete joy.