Monday, 14 December 2009

A splash of colour

Stunning male Bluethroat on Brownsman in mid-May

As rare as they come - a Black-headed Bunting in mid-September

A rarity on the Farnes - a Moorhen with Puffins!

Eastern promise - a summer-plumage Red-throated Pipit
Your can't see me - a Barred Warbler on Staple Island

Five Yellow-browed Warblers graced the islands this year

Monday 14th December comments:
The festive period is upon us and to continue the overview of the season, I though I'd bring you a splash of colour with some of the bird highlights of the year. It was another good year for the range of migrants which were recorded on the Farne Islands, as 178 were recorded with the outer group edging the inner group by 159 to 158 for the total number of species seen. Without doubt, three stunning highlights captured the headlines, as the islands boasted only their second ever (and twelfth English) record of Lanceolated Warbler in late September, with fifth Fea’s Petrel and Black-headed Bunting, all three worthy contenders for ‘bird of the year’.

Although spring passage was disappointing compared with the previous season’s impressive showing, the islands produced their sixth and seventh Red-throated Pipits, both on Brownsman in late April and mid-May respectively. As well as the outstanding rarities, other birds of note included Spoonbill, Balearic Shearwater (2), Cory’s Shearwater (3), Leaches Petrel, Storm Petrel (10), Garganey, Osprey, Marsh Harrier (3), Hen Harrier, Quail (2),Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Grey Phalarope, Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull, Mediterranean Gull (4), Sabine’s Gull, Long-eared Owl, Wryneck, Cuckoo (3), ‘Blue-headed’ Wagtail (2), Richard’s Pipit (2), Bluethroat (2), Barred Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler (5), Red-breasted Flycatcher (2), Firecrest (4), Red-backed Shrike, Hooded Crow, Common Rosefinch, Common Redpoll, Crossbill (6) and Ortolan Bunting. I'm sure a lot of east coast locations would be proud of such a list!

5 comments:

Jan said...

You have such an amazing array of birds there, it never fails to surprise me how these tiny frail little creatures venture such distances and across the seas. And that bluethroat is just beautiful!

kezia said...

The photos are simply brilliant , as Jan says that Bluethroat is stunning you certainly have a lot more than seabirds there dont you - I am amazed , half of these birds I have never heard of so I am certainly learning . I see you sighted a Osprey as well !! we havent had any data from one of our LochGarten birds for two weeks , we are just all hoping she is okay and just a transmission problem of some sort , feisty bird Mallachie is so I am sure she is fine . Take care all .

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coastkid said...

just found your lovely blog through a few others...
my dad was the first countryside ranger in scotland (1970) and visited the farne islands...
looking forward to reading past posts over the holidays...

kezia said...

HAPPY XMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone who reads the blog (especially Jan) , thank you once again David and all your little helpers!!! thanks for the wonderful pics truly amazing some of them and shall see you all in June .