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Monday, 26 October 2015

Goodbye Fair Isle.

It is time to leave Fair Isle. Overall I have been on this magnificent island for five weeks, with a break to go to all of the RSPB nature reserves on Shetland in the middle.

Highlight birds :-

arctic warbler
2 citrine wagtails
pallid harrier
109 yellow-browed warblers
4 common rosefinches
3 Richard's pipits
red-flanked bluetail
lanceolated warbler (my only lifer)
radde's warbler
ortolan bunting
pallas' grasshopper warbler
Siberian rubythroat
Blyth's reed warbler
2 red-breasted flycatchers
Lapland bunting
3 long-eared owls
over 20 short-eared owls
many jack snipe
masses of redwings
bramblings



Greeted by very curious fulmars and bombarding bonxies (great skuas). There were 300 of them when I arrived in September; now down to ten.

Then it is also goodbye to the Bird Observatory staff, the birders and the Fair isle residents. It has been wonderful to see Neil Thompson again, especially when he has been playing one of his guitars.

Many, many thanks to David, Cairan, Chris and especially Lee Gregory. These four have found all of the major birds over the autumn period and their skill is phenomenal.

It has been lovely to stay at the Bird Observatory. Such a luxurious bedroom. Such a huge quantity of great food!

Goodbye to Setter and Pund.

The Good Shepherd will hopefully (60% chance of going tomorrow - wind and swell depending) be taking me, the 'Lads' and the bike to Grutness. Then it's a cycle to Lerwick to get the ferry to Kirkwall. Repairs to the bike there means that I will have a couple of days to go and see the chestnut bunting before heading for Aberdeen and the journey south along the East coast.

Year list is 277, 26 more than the previous 'Green' record. Mind you I still maintain that Chris Mills has the purest 'Green' record as he didn't take ferries as I have had to do. Maybe next year I can achieve my dream of 300 as it is looking unlikely that I will do this year. Mind you I still feel it is going to be close. Yes, I am planning to be cycling and birding again next year! Different route, different times and more birding time.