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Sunday, 19 April 2015


1st winter GREAT BLUE HERON flying off from the Big Pool, Bryher

  Day off, so I decided that I would go and see the GBH that has been spending it's time on the Big Pool, Bryher and nearby area for the last three days. Martin Goodey imformed us that the heron was still present before we arrived and after walking the down with Higgo, we finally went to have a look at it. As we approached the pool we observed it being flushed time after time, not by birders, but visitors that just didn't give a damn about the heron or other people who came to see it. One tourists got too close and it flew off and landed on the otherside. She turned around and tried again to get close to it and it flew off into the Stinking Porth. It was over an hour later that we relocated it feeding in rock pools before it returned back to the pool where it was observed catching large fish. Here it stayed for the rest of the afternoon, getting flushed all over the shop, on some occasions not on purpose, by visitors. The original  finder of the GBH, Bob Dawson, was also with us, enjoying it in the better light instead of dense fog when he first saw it briefly on St Agnes with Graham, before it flew off.

Here it's diving for cover from a Great-black backed Gull

Robin getting close up views with his family when it landed in front of him

Tourists past close by, but the GBH continued to feed

   I spent all my time in the Big Pool area and most of it with the GBH. Yesterdays strong eastlies had subsided and it turned out to be a cracking day. The other highlights were male Redstart, reeling Grasshopper Warbler and my first Wood Warbler of the year. All these birds were in one garden south of the pool. Also seen were 4 Whimbrel, 7 Tree Pipits, 50+Blackcap and Wheatear, 30+Chiffchaff, 20+Willow Warbler and I came across a Wryneck at the entrance of Hell Bay Hotel. Higgo found a Hoopoe in the paddocks and it proved very to be very flighty and maybe had just arrived. Mid afternoon hirindines were coming in off the sea and included, 15+House Martin, 20+Swallow and 3 Sand Martin.

Male Redstart and Wood Warbler in the same garden

and White Wagtail was on the rocks just below the garden

Had this Wryneck near to the hotel

Just before I left Bryher, I had this newly arrived male Black Redstart at Porthcressa

and when I returned from Bryher, my first male Whitethroat was in the pig fields, garrison with Chiffchaff

This Continental Stonechat was on the Garrison

  Also seen on Bryher by other birders included a pair of Pied Flycatcher and another Wood Warbler. Before Robin crossed the channel from Tresco to Bryher at mid-day, he got a Red-rumped Swallow on Pool Road and the Barnicle Goose. However, visiting birders that stayed all day saw a male Garganey and Pied Flycatcher and the male Black Duck and Green-winged Teal. 
  On St Mary's there were Hoopoe, Night Heron, Jack Snipe, 150 hirundines, 1 ring Ouzel, 2 Pied Flycatcher and a single Wood Warbler. 2 Wood Warbler were in Holy Vale yesterday where a adult Night Heron was found dead.

Yesterday I managed to catch up with the Wryneck at Old Town Church that been present since it was observed flying in off the sea six days ago.

Been listening to the film score of the movie 'les yeux fermes'

Wednesday, 15 April 2015


A cracking photo of the 1st summer GREAT BLUE HERON at Lower Moors If you would like any copies please contact

  Early yesterday evening Cavell Smith was in the ISBG hide at Lower moors when two herons came in and landed on the scrape at very close range. He immediately noticed that one was a Grey Heron while the other bird was notable larger and darker and knew it was something different. As a result he concentrated on the latter individual. In the twenty minutes that he observed it, the Grey Heron was always trying to push it away. He told me that another observer came into the hide and told him that it was a possible GREAT BLUE HERON and would be the second for the UK!
  The first I heard about it is when Higgo called me and told me that there was a possible GBH at Lower Moors, but it's flown off towards Old Town Bay. I picked the guys up and they went off to the bay while I looked in the standing stones Field. It wasn't long until it was relocated in the bay and from here we all observed it foggy conditions and very bad disappearing light. The heron was feeding well on tiny fish and was still present when we all left at dark.

GBH at Lower Moors More great shot by Cavell Smith

  While observing the GBH, I got a call from Graham Gordon and the first thing he said to me, has it got chestnut thighs? No I replied. The next thing he said was that him and Bob Dawson had seen it the previous morning in dense fog at the back of the Big Pool, St Agnes and after suspecting it might be a Great Blue had written it off because of the lack of colouration on the legs. It had flown off into the fog and they decided to let it go as both were busy at work,

Comparison with a Grey Heron on the left

Record shots of the GBH at old Town Bay this morning

 At 06.00 this morning, 925 and I relocated it feeding in old Town Bay feeding on the falling tide with a single Grey Heron. Here it stayed until it flew into the dense fog at 11.00 and wasn't seen again until 14.30 in fields bordering the east side of holy Vale. It was only seen by handful of birders before it flew off with a Grey Heron into the fog again. Unfortunately for the other twitches who came over for it did not catch up with and it was never seen again for the rest of the day.

Green Sandpiper at Lower Moors

  Also seen today were a Wryneck in off the sea at Old Town Bay, jack Snipe, Lower Moors, 2 each of Hoopoe on st Agnes and Martins, Night Heron at Porth Hellick and Lower Moors and the first Golden Oriole was on Peninnis.

Todd Snider with 'Good Things Happen To Bad People'

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Spotted Redshank at Porth Hellick

Got a surprise when this Spotted Redshank came into Porth Hellick

  Started the day off with the Garrison Hoopoe and then went looking for my own with no success. At Lower Moors I got a male Reed Bunting, 30 Snipe and while Will scott was telling me on the mobile that he had just found another Hoopoe, this time at Mount Toddon, in the distance I could see the adult Night Heron flying over towards Hugh Town. There were also 3 Swallow and a single Redwing in the area.

Couldn't find my own Hoopoe today, so had to make do with the Garrison individual again instead.

Adult Night Heron heading towards town from Lower Moors

If only the Night Heron performed like this Little Egret at Lower Moors

Only a handful of Continental Robin and Song thrush were seen

  I walked all over the shop and a lot of the migrants had moved out. However, even in the strong SW, Will Scott observed 2 immature Spoonbill come in off the sea at Porth Hellick down. I entered the seaward hide and just leaving, talking on his mobile, was Chris Ridguard. I had only just stepped in when I shouted Spotted Redshank! I had not seen it, but I could hear it. The bird was very vocal and sounded as though it flew past to the left. Chris was still on the phone outside and I ran out telling him that I think it's landed in front of the Sussex Hide. He just carried on talking as I ran like the devil to find the bird having a wash infront of the Sussex Hide. I called everyone, but when some of them arrived, it was asleep. Not for long though and it had itchy feet, calling most of the time. You could see that it was ready to go. 45 minutes after it arrived, it flew off high NE towards Normandy where we lost it and as a result a lot of locals just missed out. On the airfield there were 6 Golden Plover and only 2 Skylark.
  Robin tried Lower Moors out at dusk and got 2 Jack Snipe and 2 adult Night Heron flew out to Carn Leh.

Before this Spotted Redshank, I had only seen 6 birds on Scilly. 3 at Porth Hellick and the rest at Tresco Great Pool, including 2 togather.

This Redshank was also on the pool

Up to 6 Golden Plover were at the airfield

I really enjoyed watching the Foo Fighters traveling all around the states and meeting singer songwriters associated with whatever city and recording a different song in each city. They were visiting in the documentary 'Sonic Highways' And this is where I first heard this song from. Dave Grohl says it was a musical map of America and to find the inspiration for the Foo Fighter next album. good stuff!