Tour At A Glance





Single Room Supplement:


Tour Code:

A lot of walking is required to get the most from this tour

Group Size:

Six plus Leader

Lanceolated Warbler Pallas's Warbler Savannah Sparrow Chestnut-eared Bunting

Fair Isle - Autumn on the Magic Isle

Date: 13th - 23rd October 2019 [FULL]
Leaders: Jason Moss



Common Rosefinch
Fair Isle is Britain’s most remote inhabited Island, lying midway between Orkney and Shetland and approximately twenty three miles from the nearest land. At just three miles in length, this magical place makes up for what it lacks in size with a mouth-watering reputation for producing some stunning rarities and spectacular falls of migrants. Home to the new Bird Observatory, our base for seven nights, this little speck of land in the North Sea offers a lifeline refuge to tired migrants that find themselves out in no mans land. With several species added to the Western Palearctic list here in recent years [Rufous-tailed Robin, Chestnut-eared Bunting] and many extreme rarities much sought after by Britain’s twitchers [Thick-billed Warbler, Citril Finch, European Scops Owl, American Buff-bellied Pipit, Siberian Rubythroat, Brown Flycatcher, Siberian Thrush, Savannah Sparrow], you can see why this is the place to be during the autumn. A good level of physical fitness is required for this tour, which involves a lot of walking over uneven and often boggy ground, steep inclines and moorland in search of our own birds. Arriving on Fair Isle we are met by Observatory staff and transferred to our accommodation, and after a quick lunch we’ll be out catching up with the latest good birds! Of course for a trip of this nature, the correct weather conditions are essential for producing migrants. During September & October, good falls of flycatchers, Common Redstart and Northern Wheatear can bring scarcities such as Yellow-browed Warbler, Eurasian Wryneck, Barred Warbler, Common Rosefinch, Red-breasted Flycatcher and Bluethroat. Birds can appear anywhere from drystone walls and steep cliff faces to sheletered crofts and ditches so we must leave no stone unturned! The evening log call gives us the chance to socialise with other birders staying on the island and contribute to the record as well as find out what others have seen ready for the next day! On past tours we have recorded Ortolan Bunting, Red-backed Shrike, Lanceolated Warbler, Western Bonelli’s Warbler, Rose-coloured Starling, White-rumped, Buff-breasted and Pectoral Sandpipers, American Buff-bellied Pipit, Richards Pipit, Little Bunting, Marsh Warbler, Swainson's Thrush and Corncrake as well as the more regular fayre mentioned above. It is the fact that anything is possible that makes this such an exciting tour and whatever turns up we’re sure to have a great time. Your leader will be Jason Moss, who lived on the island for two years as assistant warden.


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