Monday, 21 May 2012

Hungry Hippos

Yellow mellow Icterine Warbler (Andy Denton) 

No trees to hide in - Icterine showing well (Will Scott) 

Our second Cuckoo of the spring 

Lesser Whitethroat feeding around gas bottles on Longstone (Will Scott)

Monday 21st May comments:Today I was going to blog about the newly hatched chicks on the Farnes but that was thrown out of the window by the afternoon’s arrivals. The wind remains in the east but the sea was flat which enabled the boats to land and visitors to enjoy the islands (it looks a great forecast for the week!). However it was the direction of the wind which intrigued the rangers as east winds bring birds. So just when everything was ticking along smoothly, birds started dropping in – rare birds!

The Farnes acts as a major north-south highway for migrant birds and more often or not, a few rare or oddities arrive. As late afternoon approached, a female Bluethroat was discovered on Brownsman and soon after, two more female Bluethroats were found – together on Longstone End (one of the most easterly points on the islands). The Farnes was kicking off.

It’s been a great spring so far, as this was our fifth Bluethroat and throw in Red-breasted Flycatcher, Red-backed Shrike, Great Grey Shrike and Wryneck (6+) you start getting the idea. It hasn’t been dull.

However our day wasn’t finished as mist descended and a stunning Icterine Warbler was discovered – a belting bird showing well on open rocks alongside a Cuckoo (the second of the spring). The birders in the team have not been disappointed and tomorrow, I will try to update you on the breeding birds, but then again anything is possible. Stay tuned.

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