David Parnaby, warden at Fair Isle Bird Observatory

When I was little I loved feeding the birds in my grandparents' back garden. I would press my nose up against the window after Sunday lunch and watch the starlings and common gulls coming in for leftovers. Those are some of my earliest memories.

I'm from Sunderland in County Durham and grew up in the middle of a big city. I was working for the RSPB in Aberdeen when the Fair Isle Bird Observatory job came up. I mentioned it to my wife Susannah not thinking it would be taken seriously.

We moved to Fair Isle in 2011. At the time our daughter Grace was one-and-a-half. She is now eight and thoroughly into the Fair Isle way of life. We have since had a second child, Freyja, who is five. It is a great place to raise children.

Fair Isle has a fantastic reputation as a place to see rare birds. We do a daily census where myself and two assistants count the migrant birds. We spend four hours covering a third of the island each. If there is anything unusual we have a good chance of finding it.

There are more than 30 species that have been added to the British list of birds from Fair Isle, which is impressive for an area that is three square miles. As Britain's most remote inhabited island, the high cliffs stand out for miles for any tired migrant species coming across the sea.

READ MORE: A guide to Scotland's islands - did your favourite make the list?

Earlier this month more than 1,100 blackbirds arrived followed by a big passage of meadow pipits. In the autumn, when the young birds from the breeding season are coming south, there can be tens of thousands arriving each day with the right weather conditions.

The breeding seabirds are important too. One of the reasons Fair Isle is so good as location is because it is an isolated island and never had land-based predators. We don't have any rats, foxes, stoats, weasels or otters, which means the birds are relatively safe from predation.

Being able to sit up on the cliffs in the evenings with your kids and have puffins waddling around a couple of metres away is wonderful. Some of the killer whale sightings last year were incredible: they swam right up under the cliffs where we were standing.

The human population is 55. There has been a big drive in recent years to encourage more people to live on Fair Isle and that remains important.

When the Good Shepherd ferry comes in most of the island's residents will go down and help with the unloading. That community feel is always present. It is not forced or something that people feel obliged to do.

READ MORE: A guide to Scotland's islands - did your favourite make the list?

Each autumn everyone gets together for the rounding up of the hill sheep. The north of the island is rough grazing and used by a communal flock. To bring the sheep in for clipping and get the lambs off the hill, you need as many people as you can.

I knew that the birds and wildlife would be amazing, but to arrive somewhere so welcoming and friendly with such a strong community spirit makes you want to stay here forever.

Visit fairislebirdobs.co.uk