Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Blasts from the past

Brownsmans 1995 Lanceolated Warbler

 Hornemanni Arctic Redpoll in 2010

One of eight September Yellow-breasted Buntings recorded on Farnes 

September on the Farnes; Olive-backed Pipit

Tuesday 18th September comments: It’s been a very quiet spell for migrant birds over the last three weeks as the westerly winds have dominated. September is peak time for migration as birds, both young and old, are moving south from the Northern Hemisphere (approx 4 billion birds migrate south annually from Europe).

However migration stations like the Farne Islands rely on favourable winds ‘dropping’ birds – so any hint of east in the wind will quicken the pulse of the birders on the islands. However the worst weather for bringing migrants to the islands are westerlies and they have dominated over the last three weeks bringing very little with it.

So to cheer us all up, here is a gentle reminder of the good birds that the Farnes have produced in previous Septembers…

The month has produced some stunning seawatching including no fewer than three Fea’s-type Petrels as well as past glories of both Cory’s and Great Shearwater sitting together on the sea in 2002. The major ‘mega’s of September included both the islands Lanceolated Warblers on 16th-17th September 1995 and 29th September 2009 alongside eight Yellow-breasted Buntings, the islands only Red-flanked Bluetail in 1998, and a Hornemanni Arctic Redpoll in 2010. Other good birds to wet the appetite include Red-footed Falcon, White-rumped Sandpiper, Citrine Wagtails, Tawny Pipits and Olive-backed Pipits.

However nothing can beat the real rarity star of previous Septembers on the Farne Islands…our one and only (ever) BLUE TIT recorded in September 1977. Mega.  The month of September can be amazing but we need this wind to alter and maybe we’ll be in with a shout. Fingers crossed.

1 comment:

Paul said...

I'm quivering with anticipation (and jealousy) to see what taps up there this autumn. We did reasonably well in 1989 with Citrine Wag, Dusky Warbler, 3 Little Buntings and the obligatory Y-B'd's, as well as Arctic Redpoll. You've had a cracking year so far. Hope it gets better :-)