Quiet news week and migration blues…..

This is the start of my second week on the island this season. I’m currently making sure all of our Health and Safety is up to date, checking all the machinery is in good working order, sorting out volunteers for this week, doing the bird log and keeping the fire burning because it is well cold out here.

I’ve also been cleaning up my computer which has many years of documents on. Many of which are of no interest so the delete button has been used a lot. There are also a lot of random photos. Familiar pictures of puffins sat on the Braes and Guillemots sat on the cliffs but I did come across a file full of migrant birds. I have decided to post these on here before I delete them from the computer. Also there are very few birds about at the moment because the spring is so late here and the bird observatory is no yet opened so there is on one to study the migration.

This Two Barred Crossbill was here in 2001. The breeding range of these birds is normally east of Finland but can appear in Western Europe when food is in short supply.

We saw a few Bluethroats last spring but none of them had as bright blue throat as this male. These birds arrive in May on the island and it’s one of the best places to see them along the east coast.

 This Dotterel looks like juvenile. These birds breed on the high tops of the Scottish mountains but pitch down on the Isle of May on there long migration back to Africa.

Red-breasted Flycatchers breed throughout the forests of eastern Europe and a few hit our shores mainly in the Autumn. We saw one here last spring catching flies on the cliffs.

Shorelarks breed in the mountains of Scandinavia. The Danes call them mountain larks which is a much nicer name. This bird was trapped on the island years ago. What a beautiful bird it is to see in the hand.

We put plenty of photos of this annual migrant to the island – Male Red-backed Shrike
Reed Warbler

Is this the same bird form a different angle? The answer is no. This is a Blythes Reed Warbler. This is subtly different to the Reed Warblers that breed in the UK. In the early part of the 2000’s this was a rare bird in the UK but with there range quickly expanding through Scandinavia they could become a regular feature of the Autumn migration.

Well why am I posting these shots? Spring still seems a long way away and there is precious little migration going on right now and I’m not going to see any of it if my paperwork is not up to date.

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