31 Oct 2016

Fair Isle 2016. Part 3.

One of the features of Fair Isle is how remarkably tame some of the migrant birds are - most of them will probably never have seen humans before. We were lucky that our trip coincided with the arrival of good numbers of geese and at one stage we were able to compare Pinkfeet, Tundra bean and Eurasian Whitefronts in the same field from less than 100 m away.

 Tundra Bean Goose.
 Tundra Beans with Pinkfeet.
Eurasian Whitefronted Goose.

Another feature is the number of Starlings and House Sparrows still present on the island. The resident Starlings are a distinct race (zetlandicus) but numbers are boosted by continental migrants in the winter. House Sparrows are really common - unlike near where we live. The crofting agricultural techniques and grazing land suit there requirements.

The scenery is fabulous and on a sunny day there is probably no more beautiful place in the British Isles. Towering cliffs and geos, moorland, pasture land and small crofts......

As well as rare birds it was nice to catch up with a few scarcer birds we don't often see in Cheshire. Whilst we were on Fair Isle at least one and possibly two Great-grey Shrikes were present with one being ringed whilst we were there and a second one the day after we left.

During our stay there was also a small influx of Shorelarks - a scarce bird on Fair Isle but even scarcer on Fair Isle as AW, Lee Gregory, needed it for his Fair Isle list!

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