Friday, 22 October 2010

A Perfect Storm . .
Birding has been quiet the last few days with daily reductions in common migrants & only a couple of elusive Arctic Redpolls giving a rarer flare to the mixed flocks of Common (Mealy) & Lesser Redpolls. Increasing northerly winds produced a scattering of northern Redwing & a few Waxwing but surely the highlight came on the 20th with the most incredible weather conditions I have ever experienced on Fair Isle! The day started very cold with purple-grey clouds building up out to sea, followed with a prolonged heavy burst of pea-sized hail & the odd bolt of lightning & thunder. In the afternoon, the Island still covered in hail stones, was shrowded in darkness as high winds & a full-on blizzard
arrived! Not very productive birding & photography weather! This extreme weather continued with a spectacular highlight in the form of 3-4 tornado style huge 'Water Spouts' seen out to sea from the South! These monster formations lasted for some minutes & you could see the water being whipped up & rotated a few hundred feet through binoculars. . . . .

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