I was lucky enough to spend three days in late April guiding on Fair Isle, my favourite island in Shetland. The weather was beautiful, and Fair Isle looked as lovely as ever. There was also plenty to see, as our visit coincided with the end of a significant arrival of classic early spring migrant birds. Species such as Robins, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Song Thrushes, Reed Buntings, Redwings, Fieldfares and Yellow Wagtails were plentiful, with smaller numbers of Bramblings, Sedge Warblers, Whinchats and Redstarts.
Some of the more unusual birds seen over the three days included a Black Kite which toured the island, flying directly over our heads on several occasions, a Wryneck at Upper Loegh, a Hoopoe on Buness and a Long-eared Owl in the Gully.
As well as the migrant birds, it was good to see a few more familiar faces amongst the birdlife.
The visit was tinged with sadness, however, as I got to see at first-hand the devastation caused by the recent fire at the Bird Observatory. It was a truly heartbreaking sight, but knowing the Fair Isle community they will rally around and get everything up and running again as soon as is humanly possible.