Sunday, 16 September 2012

Why is There a River in the Garden?

With some fairly heavy spells of rain over the last few days, a river was probably more likely than the bird that was trapped in the nets a few mornings ago! Having had almost constant westerly winds for the past week, we weren't expecting much in from the continent, so you can imagine the excitement when a visitor came running into the ringing room this morning, trying to explain through his excitement that there was an unstriped Locustella in the nets, and that he was certain that it was a River Warbler. That is indeed, what it turned out to be!
This little bird breeds in Eastern and Central Europe then migrates down to East Africa, so how it had managed to battle through the winds and end up here is a mystery. What makes it more special is that it is Fair Isles' second record of the year.

River Warbler, Locustella fluviatilis

River Warbler, Locustella fluviatilis. Picture by Will Miles

River Warbler, Locustella fluviatilis and me (not sure what the face is all about). Picture by Will Miles.
 I also managed to finally catch the Mealy Redpoll that has been hanging around the obs for the last few days. This was a first for me in the hand, and it was a lovely fluffy individual, looking like it has come from somewhere rather more cold that Fair Isle!!

Mealy Redpoll, Carduelis flammea rostrata

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