Thursday, 31 October 2013

31st October

The report in the previous blog entry that the season was at an end was certainly proved wrong with a cracking Red-flanked Bluetail found at the Obs in the morning; it showed brilliantly well and eventually hopped into one of the Heligoland traps to become our 100th species to be ringed this year. The second record for the island and the fifth for Orkney - all of which have been in the last five years. Other migrant totals for the last day of the month included 8 Woodcock, 6 Blackcaps, 2 Goldcrests, 2 Chaffinches, 12 Robins, 71 Blackbirds, 46 Fieldfare, 2 Song Thrush, 116 Redwings, 68 Snow Buntings and single Pied Wagtail, Black Redstart, Wheatear, Chiffchaff and Brambling.   There was a slight build up of wildfowl as well including 26 Shoveler, 11 Long-tailed Ducks and 9 Red-breasted Mergansers while a Hen Harrier and two Merlins were seen.

Red-flanked Bluetail-our 210th species of the year

Today's Red-flanked Bluetail was the 3rd BBRC rarity to have been found/trapped at the Observatory this autumn. As well as boosting the years ringing total by well over a 1000 birds-it's days like today which really reward the staff for their effort and hard work in building the traps over the last couple of years and in developing the habitat with, crops and planting trees at the site.

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