Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Passerines of Fair Isle


Fair Isle is well known for its breeding sea-birds and ability to pull in far-flung rarities. The exposed conditions and minimal amount of shrubs and trees ensures that only a few species of small birds find sufficient cover and food to breed on Fair Isle.

However the ones that do call Fair Isle home generally breed in good numbers. Fair Isle Wrens and Shetland Starlings find the dry stone walls and cliffs perfectly adequate nesting sites, House Sparrows cling to crofts and other buildings and open country birds such as Wheatear, Meadow Pipit and Twite cope very well with the heather strewn north end and the gentler croft dominated south end. Rock Pipits find the dramatic cliffs and geos to their liking and can be found foraging on most areas of the island. And apart from a few pairs of Pied Wagtails, few other small birds try to breed on this 3 mile by 1.5 mile rock situated between the Shetland and Orkney Isles.

Summering birds this year included a couple of Robins, a Blackbird and one or two Redwing, but no evidence of breeding...


Neil M

Male House Sparrow

Juvenile Twite

Juvenile Rock Pipit

Juvenile Wheatears

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