From Wildlife Extra:
Two hundredth species recorded at Noss National Nature Reserve
Tawny pipit claims the mark
May 2011. A landmark has been reached at Noss National Nature Reserve (NNR) in Shetland with the recent arrival of the 200th recorded species of bird to visit the island.
Warden Chris Dodd of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) last week noted the arrival of a tawny pipit, a species more at home on the parched steppes of southern Europe than the rugged coast of Shetland.
Although Noss wardens have been employed regularly since the 1970’s, most of the records date to post-1980 when the wardens became responsible for the systematic recording of birds on the island. This feat is more remarkable given the island’s small size and the fact that wardens only stay until the end of the summer, meaning many avian visitors throughout the late autumn and winter may go unrecorded.
And while its dramatic cliffs have long drawn people from around the world, Noss has also proved to be something of a hotspot for vagrant birds. A cedar waxwing from North America, which made the trip to Noss in 1985, was the first record of its kind in Europe, while a needle-tailed swift came from the other side of the world – central Asia – in 1991.
It is believed that the notable promontory of the high cliffs at Noss help attract visiting birds which can see the island at great distance as they pass Shetland.
The number of new species is unlikely to reach much beyond this figure with the last 16 species on the list taking 11 years to complete and the wait for the elusive number 200 alone taking the past three years.
Glen Tyler, NNR manager in Shetland for SNH, said: “Noss has always attracted a number of interesting migrants and remains a great place to visit to see the magnificent seabird colonies.”