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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The easterlies pull in a Major!

I had up to 7 Spotted Flycatcher yesterday on the Garrison

    We've had easterlies now for over a week and as a result a visitor from East Anglia arrived in the form of ex-Prime Minster, Mr John Major, Anyways, he stayed at the hotel and on Saturday evening I was sitting down talking to his bodyguards and in stepped John and he stood beside me and said 'Do you know want time Match of the Day starts?' before anyone could say anythin, I raised my hand towards Mr Major's face and didn't answer his question but sternly replied' DON'T TELL ME THE SCORE!!' He was pretty calm and none of the bodyguards jumped on me 'What team do you support then?' Knowing that he's a Chelsea fan, if I said Spurs, then he would say they're crap, they lost today and laugh in my face. So I more or less repeated 'I don't care what team I support, just don't tell me score' '10.50 sir' came from one of the bodyguards. 'That's what time MOTD is on'  It was only the next day that I realized what I had done.
  If that wasn't enough, the day that he he left was not as I wanted it to be. Less than two months ago, in the early hours of the morning, we found a young Herring Gull besides the lane leading up to the hotel with a damaged wing. We left him in the hotel garden, thinking he would be safe there. He's still with us today and the staff and guests love him and he's called Dave. I taught Dave that when I whistled and called his name, in the same way you do to a dog, it meant he was going to get fed. I always had food in my pocket, wrapped in foil, and when I whistled, he would appear from nowhere and follow me at arms length away. So imagine the scene. I'm waiting for Mr Major to arrive and get in me wagon and take him to the airport and there's the hotel dog, Harry, and naturally I whistle to him and shout his name. Harry goes off in the opposite direction, but swooping down towards me is Dave and now he's looking up at me, like, where's the food mate? I dig into me pocket, unwrap the foil and start tearing up the batted fish with my hands and throwing it towards him. While Dave's getting stuck into the fish, out comes Mr Major and slowly, but surely, walking towards me, Now normally I would say to the guests that I've got to wash my hands, I'll just be a few seconds, but this was the ex-Prime Minster and imagine saying that to him. I drive off towards the airport and I'm conscience of the strong smell of fish on my hands. The only thought that was going through my head was, in a few minutes I'm going to shake Mr John Major's hand covered in oily, smelly fish. Sure enough at the airport, John puts out his hand to shake mine. It felt like the tightest grip and longest hand I've ever shaken. He wouldn't bloody let go. I shook everyones hands and visions went through my head on there return home of the Dave Allen fart sketch. Instead of Dave getting everyone's attention and miming to everyone in the church 'Have you farted?' Then looking up to the Bishop and repeating 'Have you farted?' And with a grin on the Bishops face, he nods his head 'yes' In my head, I could see one of the bodyguards miming 'Have you been fishing rotting fish?' Watch the video below and you'll see where I'm coming from.

And here's Dave getting stuck into smelly battered fish

  To the birds and it ain't been that bad. In the last two weeks there has been Rose-coloured Starling, good numbers of Wryneck, 3 Pectoral Sandpiper together, Icterine Warbler, Red-backed Shrike, Spotted Crake, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Common Rosefinch, Little Bunting and on the 11th,  Bob Dawson found a one day Booted Warbler, St Agnes. The 13th, Will Wagstaff had the second Scilly record of WHISKERED TERN, Tresco Great Pool and the following day, 925 had a vocal Greenish Warbler on the Garrison. The latter species, a few of us only had a very brief flight view and today, the earliest arrival date of Yellow-browed Warbler was at Lower Moors. There has also been very good numbers of common migrants around.

Pied Flycatcher

This Golden Plover was at the airfield

Up to 6 Kingfisher have been trapped at Porth Hellick this autumn so far

Lots of Wheatears around, included the Greenland race, like this cracking male above

At Porthloo, there has been 10 Mediterranean Gull feeding at high tide

Black-tailed Godwit and Knot at the Tresco Abbey Pool

2 juvenile Peregrine were never far away from the Great Pool

Red Squirrel by Tresco abbey

Sedge Warbler

Willow Warblers

and Chiffchaff

There's been up to 3 Snipe at Lower Moors 

No Clear Mind are an indie band from Athens, Greece. Their sophomore album Mets was released and it sports their unique blend of art pop, post rock and folk, that conjures vivid images and emotions in a most cinematographic way.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Honey Buzzard over Garrison

 Dark morph adult male Honey Buzzard

  Yesterday morning, I got a call from 925 telling me that he had just had a Icterine Warbler in the campsite garden, Garrison. I was in a lot of pain from fracturing my ribs last week while playing football and needed some rest. It was some two hours later that I found myself searching round the garrison for the Icky. over an hour later all of note were 2 Blackcap and Chiffchaff and I slowly returned home. I looked to the skies and could see a large raptor heading my way and shouted out loud 'Honey buzzard!' It flew overhead and in a westerly direction towards Lower Moors. It was seen again on Tresco later on and speaking to a visiting birder, he told me that he had it 10 minutes before me over Porth Hellick flying towards town.
  No sign of the Bonelli's at Content, but in the surrounding fields I got 3 Whitethroat, 4 Sedge, 2 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff and a male Blackcap.

There were over 150 linnet, 100 Goldfinch and 40 Chaffinch at Content

swallow on The Garrison

Whimbrel at Giants Castle

Reed Warbler at Lower Moors

Sedge Warbler trapped at Porth Hellick

Sunset looking out to Samson from The Garrison

Hindi Zahra (born 1979 in Khouribga, Morocco) is a Franco-Moroccan singer. When coming up with a stage name, she simply inverted her birth name. Her songs are mostly in English but some lyrics as in the song Imik Si Mik are in the Berber language.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Western Bonelli's Warbler at Content

Two days ago I got my second Scilly tick of the year in the shape of a juvenile Little Tern!

  Apart from at sea, this August on land has been pretty crap! However, yesterday while working in the fields, Will Scott went and found a Western Bonelli's Warbler at Content. It was late in the evening when I saw it very briefly in bad light with James Siddle. This afternoon the warbler showed well, but was very mobile in the 45 minutes that I was there.

Heavily cropped shots of the Western Bonelli's Warbler at Content. 

A Migrant Hawker was resting in the same Elms as where the Bonelli's was feeding

 The day before the Bonelli's, Will and Ren, for me, as it was a Scilly tick, did even better by finding a juvenile Little Tern feeding close inshore at Town Beach. Again work got in the way and it was not until over an hour later that I caught up with it on the other side at Porthcressa. For the next hour it moved from the two beaches, including on two occasions visiting Porthloo, and showed down to a few meters at times.

This juvenile Mediterranean Gull was also at Porthcressa

This Willow Warbler was at Newford Duckpond

I had my first Snipe of the autumn at the end of July overhead calling while playing tennis on the Garrison. This pic was taken last week at Lower Moors 

On the same day as the LM Snipe, there was this juvenile Ruff at Porth Hellick Bay

Song Thrush have had a good breeding season

At the end of July a two night ringing sessions took place at Deep Point. Over 100 Storm Petrels and 4 Manx Shearwater were trapped and ringed

You can't find this amazing music on spotify and god only knows why? However he's on Last . FM. Born 1968 outside Gothenburg on the Swedish west coast. Parents of Russian and Polish origin. 1989 saw the formation of what eventually evolved into the band Anywhen. As various members came and left over the following years, a core crystallized with Thomas Feiner on vocals, Mikael Andersson Tigerström on bass, Kalle Thorslund drums, and Jan Sandahl guitar. While the first record contained a kind of airy, skewed pop, the second record, produced by drummer and percussionist Michael Blair (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello etc) put out much more aggressive energy The release of the self-produced “The Opiates” was a venture into more brooding moods and melancholic soundscapes, and the band more or less dissolved itself in the process. Priorities shifted among many of the members, ultimately distancing some from the project. Feiner gradually started adding more songs of his own, in the end bringing the entire project home. The record was completed in 2000, with Kalle Thorslund as assistant producer.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Tell LEGO to Dump Shell

 The video Shell doesn't want you to see from Greenpeace on Youtube. Priceless Grand Prix moment  BREAKING: Our @Shell Grand Prix ceremony video has been banned from YouTube. So, we put it back up  Grab it while you can. And reupload it. Tell Shell what we think of #censorship"
Join the movement to

LEGO: Everything is NOT awesome from Greenpeace on Youtube. This video reached over 3 million views on YouTube before it was censored.  Lord Business wants to control everything, but he can’t block free speech.  Tell LEGO to end its partnership with Shell and help Save the Arctic:  Creativity forever.