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Tuesday 8 June 2010

FAIR ISLE - Puffin Extravaganza and Stunning Sunset

8.00am - Jack just text me with news of a female Red backed Shrike at Chalet and 2 Short Eared Owls at Field Ditch.

The day started overcast, but the sun broke out and most of the day was glorious sunshine.

After breakfast I still felt tired and had a little sleep! Then had stuff to sort on the phone and then wrote some postcards and by the time I had done this it was lunch time!

After lunch Josie very kindly gave me a lift to the observatory where I went to the shop to see if they had any 'Fair isle hoodies' in the colour and size I wanted, but they didn't. After having having a chat with Hollie and obs staff I had a look in the obs garden to see if there were any megas hiding, but alas none. Spent the rest of the afternoon on Bueness photographing some very obliging puffins including one particular one who just loved posing for the camera - although the light wasn't really perfect where I was. Had a message from Jack at 4.17pm - 'Quail calling on Gillsetter'. Found a dead sheep on the way back down and reported this to Deryk and also another islander on route back. Walked through the gap in the dry stone wall to cross over to look in the Gully - as I neared the edge to look over, I was shocked to see a couple had climbed down there and set up their tent - there they were sitting outside their tent with picnic and kettle boiling on the small piece of grass, directly to the left of the fenced area of trees!!!!! Camping is not allowed on the island. I passed Jack and Simon on the way back to South Light and well...... lets just say I think some VERY early trap rounds with extra loud 'pishing' and clapping may be carried out in the morning!!!!! Unbelievable that someone is camping in the one of the main two Heligoland traps!!! Jack also told me there is another Quail calling at Schoolton this evening. Unfortunately I didn't have time to go that way back to South light.

Walked part of the way back with Jessica who is a starling researcher and a male colleague as far as The Puffin. I got to South light just before 7pm for dinner.

Birthday dinner for a male, swedish researcher who is staying at 'The Puffin' (sorry forgotten his name) who is 30 today and his parents are staying at the South light. Another scrumptious dinner - starters for me: a vegetable dish with bits of pinnaple etc followed by nut roast with new potatoes and vegetables, chocolate pudding and cream, followed by singing 'Happy Birthday' to buns bought out with a lit candle in one of them! Dinner finished much later than normal and it was gone 9pm. Went back in my room and shut my eyes for a little while and then flew outside with camera on tripod and release cable to catch the sun setting.

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