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Thursday, 8 October 2015


ISABELLINE WHEATEAR showing well in the disappearing light at the south end of the airfield

  Except for Yellow-browed Warblers, Firecrests, the odd Wryneck and Richard's Pipit and 2 Pink-footed Geese and Garganey on Tresco Great Pool, it's damn pretty quit. That also includes common migrants. Today that all changed. Up at Pelistry I had a Ring Ouzel and a fly over Yellow Wagtail. Later I teamed up with Will Scott and it was only when we got to the airfield that things came alive. We went up to look for the Short-toed Lark that was found earlier in the day and after putting up over 100 Meadow Pipit we finally relocated it feeding on the east side of the runway towards the turning circle. I beckoned the other birders to come over and join us and as they were making there ways, Will said 'This wheatear looks pale?' It was a long ways off by the turning circle, but you could clearly see that it was a pale individual and we started making are ways towards it on the west side to get better views. Our second look and it was looking good and I found my arms waving to the birders watching the lark to get over ere. It was looking very bloody good and a few minutes later the identification was cliched as Scillies 6th ISABELLINE WHEATEAR! The sun was going down fast and there was only a handful of birders present as we all observed it being mobile on the coastal path before returning to the bottom of the turning circle. Here it was believed that it had gone to roost and we can hope that it will be showing tomorrow for everyone to see it.

Ian Grant took this pic showing how sandy coloured the bird was on the upperparts

This is only my second Issy wheatear for Scilly. In ten minutes on the 28th Oct '98 on Bryher, Ren and I observed firstly a Rose-breasted Grosebeak followed by a Pied-billed Grebe. With others we went to look at a wheatear nearby and it was identified at the time as Scillies 4th Isabelline Wheatear. We needed this mega that Will found today to get things goin again on the islands.

The Red-throated Diver had moved to Old Town Bay where it continued to show well.

The 2 Pink-footed Geese that have been on Tresco Great Pool for the last two days. Nearby there was a Red-breasted Mergenser

This Vestal was trapped at Pelistry overnight on the 5th. the following night I had a paler individual in my room

Got a Girl is an American musical duo consisting of actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead and music producer Dan the Automator that formed in 2012. The band's first studio album, I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now was released in 2014.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Red-throated Pipit at the airfield

This male Firecrest was the first time that I had seen one up so close in the hand 

  Today I was always in the right at the right time. The Whitburn ringers were down for a week and with Jim, they asked me to join them this morning at Porth Hellick. So glad that I did. Instead of waking up to the hot T-shirt weather we've all be basking in for nearly two weeks, it was overcast with a strong southerly. When I arrived they had already started and were in the process of ringing a Grasshopper Warbler. A first for me in the hand. Will Scott already had a Yellow-browed Warbler and 2 Firecrest at Tremelethen and with the number of birds we were catching, it was obvious that there were more birds in. After an hour I made my way to Higher Moors and immediately heard a Siberian Chiffchaff and relocated it feeding with 4 Chiffchaff. A Yellow-browed Warbler showed well and I heard a Firecrest. At Porth Hellick the juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper was showing well, but the 2 Jack Snipe that were also present, I didn't see. The Summer plumage Red-throated Diver that was still in Porthcressa Bay yesterday was now in Porth Hellick Bay, but it wasn't showing as well as it did when I saw it in the former bay. I returned to the ringing station in time to see a Kingfisher being released. Earlier on we could hear a Firecrest and I had only been there a few minutes when we trapped a cracking male. Another first in the hand! By now the wind had increased and they decided to call it day. Out of the 100 Swallow flying around they managed to trap 30.

Male Firecrest

This is the second Grasshopper Warbler that has been trapped after one yesterday 

A handful Blackcap were ringed

Only 2 Sedge Warbler were trapped

And you never get bored of one of these beauties! 

the Red-throated Diver spent most of it's time asleep in Porth Hellick Bay

This juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper has been at Porth Hellick for over three weeks now

  I walked the Salakee fields nearby and news broke of a Red-throated Pipit just two minutes from where I was, on the airfield. Here I joined the small crowed by the windsock, but was told it had flown towards the turning circle with 50 Meadow Pipit. There was no sign of it and everyone moved on. However, John Headon, Robin and i returned to the windsock to see the same 3 Lapland Bunting from last week. As we approached the area, I heard the pipit calling and shouted 'There! Red-throated Pipit!' It was very vocal as we all observed it heading SW towards Peninnis where we lost. That's that then and we concentrated on the 3 Lapland Bunting and had super duper views.

There were 4 Stonechat in the Salakee area

  I returned to town with Jim Almond and the mobile rang as I parked up at the steps of Porthcressa. Martin Goodey called to say that there is a adult Yellow-legged Gull at Porthcressa. Nice one! For the forth time today, I was 'in the right place at the right time! Tim Sexy had found it and he put us on the bird out on the rocks by the pilchard pond. This was a good Scilly tick for many and slowly more birders arrived to tick it off.

Adult yellow-legged Gull at Porthcressa Bay. As we only normally get one a year, a few birders ticked it off to add to their Scilly list

I love Herring Gulls and if you look closely at the photo of the flock of gulls, at the near right hand corner of the bottom of the pic, you will notice a slice of bread. Also notice that not any of the gulls are taking any interest in it. We thought what is going on and couldn't work out why they were not scoffing it down there necks? Then Martin came up with the obvious answer and said 'it's a CRUST!' Of course it is. Why didn't we know that when it's so obvious. Who likes crusts of bread?

  As predicted, just before 16.00, it started raining and with it I observed a Scilly record of 30+Stock Dove with a few Wood pigeon fly south over Maypole! I think less than 20 is the most that has been seen on Scilly. On the golf course the Swallows were grounded with a single Sand Martin and feeding between them were 7 Pied Wagtail, 30+Meadow Pipit and a single Wheatear

During the rain at least 40 Swallow were grounded on the golf course

30+Meadow pipit and 7 Pied Wagtail were also on the golf course 

Not much else new in today except for a Snow Bunting on Bar Beach.
Yesterday while feeding the ducks, well Pablo as Peter decided to go and fly off around the island as I saw him over Hugh Town earlier, I could heard the Great-spotted Woodpecker above me in the pines. Could I see the bloody thing, despite it still calling. Five minutes later Peter dropped in and I gave him a tomato to chew on. 

This amazing singer/songwriter is so under the radar that she's not on wiki. Having begun as a solo singer-songwriter, Sophie Jamieson’s project has evolved rapidly into something ambient and haunting. What were once quiet, melancholy folk songs are growing in strength and gaining atmosphere at the hands of her band, to provide one of the most engaging live sets taking place in London.Having spent two years after graduating gigging relentlessly in the capital, Sophie's journey has brought highlights of radio play on BBC 6Music and BBC Introducing, support for the likes of Lanterns on the Lake, Josh Record, Emily and the Woods and Rhodes. Her debut, Where EP was released in June 2013 through Folkroom Records to wide praise from blogs and press, earning her a place in multiple 'End Of Year' lists as well as the longlist for the 'Blog Sound of 2014'. 

Friday, 2 October 2015

Red-throated Diver at Porthcressa

A cracking summer plumage Red-throated Diver showing very well at Porthcressa Bay

  This morning I got a text from Andrew Gardener saying that he had the summer plumage Red-throated Diver in Porthcressa Bay. This is the bird that was seen flying towards St Martins in The Roads on the 30th September by Paul Semmens. The two visits that I made to see the bird found it over 100 miles away towards Peninnis! I was told that it showed well at high tide earlier on and decided to return just after 18.00 two hours before high tide. I was rewarded briefly with it performing at only a few meters away from the shore as I tried to hide among the boulders . However, I was always looking directly into the sun.

If only the light was behind me. This is only my 6th Scilly record. The last two sightings were a W/P showing off at close range off Town Beach. The other was another S/P that was ridiculously tame off the east end of the Tresco beaches and was even observed swimming through Bryan Thomas legs!!  

  I had an hour and at Green Farm there was an obvious fall of Blackcap with up to 30 including 15+in a single Hawthorn with a Lesser Whitethroat and Whitethroat. Nearby there was a Firecrest, 12 were on St Mary's today, Wheatear, 7 Chiffchaff and 2 Siskin and 2 Skylark. 

Blackcaps and a single Whitethroat Altogether over 200 Blackcap were seen on st Mary's including over 60 at Porth Hellick/Carn Friars.

  A Great-spotted Woodpecker that was seen briefly on Tresco two days ago was observed flying over Trenowth towards Bar Point before returning to Tresco. On Tresco Great Pool were 6 Wigeon and 2 Jack Snipe and nearby 2 Firecrest. On St Martins there were up to 3 Yellow-browed Warbler with 2 on St Mary's and St Agnes. The latter island hosted a very rare sighting in the form of a male Wigeon on the Big Pool and 2 Firecrest. The only Wryneck reported was on Gugh where there was also a Redstart. A Redpoll was at Longstones and the Pectoral Sandpiper was joined by 2 Jack Snipe with a single of the latter species also at Lower Moors

I want to see one of these. Graham Gorden came across this 'schmidtii' Small Copper a few days ago at Apple Carn. Bob Dawson noted that 'the iridescence I gather is caused by 'interference': light hitting the wing interferes with light being reflected, and can be blue, green or gold (and probably a bunch of others!). Apparently a male holding a small territory and went eagerly in pursuit of a female who solicited briefly then scooted off. From looking online the 'white' form is a single recessive gene aberration and more often seen in the third brood, which we're well into now. Quite possibly the 'white' males are disadvantaged (e.g. can't warm up as much or as quickly, or perhaps sustain courtship flights). This one is certainly far easier to approach than normal coloured males, plus holds only a very small territory. All pics by Bob Dawson

Looking from Trewince towards Star Castle this evening

Laura Beatrice Marling (born 1 February 1990) is an English folk singer-songwriter and musician from EversleyHampshire. Her debut album Alas, I Cannot Swim, her second album I Speak Because I Can, and her fourth album Once I Was An Eagle were all nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2008, 2010, and 2013, respectively. She won the Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist at the 2011 Brit Awards, and was nominated for the same award at the 2012 and 2014 Brit Awards.