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Sunday, 19 October 2014

3 Short-toed Lark on St Mary's

2 of the 3 Short-toed Lark on the airfield

 Except for the warm sunshine, the day kinda of started off like last Sunday on the airfield. The Wheatears and pipits had all moved on, but last weeks Snow Bunting was joined by two more a few days ago and I found all 3 birds near to the turning circle. I flushed a Short-toed Lark by the burnt out helicopter and watched it pitch down behind me. Further down the runway, 7 Skylark got up with another 2 Short-toed Lark. They all circled and landed just in front of me and I counted 12 Skylark and 3 Short-toed Lark! One the latter species took off with 8 Skylark and left the other 2 feeding with the remaining birds. A Swallow also flew through.

All 3 Snow Bunting together

The 2 Short-toeds I had last Sunday were not seen throughout the rest of the week until now. A quick call to Graham on St Agnes and he told me that there was no sign of the Short-toed that's been present at Castella Down for the last two weeks. I can only assume that the third bird has made the short hop over. The only other time I've seen 3 Short-toed Lark together was also on the airfield in May '11!

 I was on way to see Ren when news came out that the Barred Warbler was showing very well at Carn Gwarvel. On arrival, the warbler was on show for a good twenty minutes, feeding almost at ground level in the warm bright sunshine at very close range. A few hours later I was at Content and the only birds of note were 2 Brambling with over 80 Chaffinch, 80+Meadow Pipit, 17 Blackcap and 8 Swallow flew through. Yesterday in the same fields I had, a Sedge Warbler and just across the fields at Trenowth, male Ring Ouzel with 30+Redwing. Friday just gone at the latter site I had, single Siberian Chiffchaff, Mistle Thrush, 2 Ring Ouzel and also 30+Redwing.


This Barred warbler has been in the area, dead on a month now, when Mark Anderson found it in the Peninnis allotments! I've observed some good Barreds in my time, but nothing like this one. 

This juvenile Grey Heron also put on a good show at Salkee

Greenshank at Porth Hellick

This Scilly Shrew (Lesser-toothed Shrew) was not in good shape and when I picked it up from the road at Porth Hellick, I found that there were a few fly eggs attached to it's fur at the rear end. As you can see from Robin Mawer's pic. I started to gently take them off and found out that there were more and more deeper in. It was some 30 minutes later that I had finally taken out the last cluster of eggs. The shrew went on it's way into the undergrowth.

When Robin drove around the corner, he thought I had collapsed on the road.

  19 days into October and everyone's commenting that this is the worse October that they've ever experienced. I have to agree and I do remember Oct '92 was also quiet, but we did have a cracking Parula  Warbler to look at on the Garrison to brighten up our days. Hopefully the tail end of hurricane Gonzalo that hits us on Tuesday will bring something in equal to a Parula.

Amazing music!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Interesting flava wagtail

1st winter Richard's Pipit at the golf course

  I arrived at the airfield at 08.30 hoping to see yesterdays Snow Bunting and get better views of the Short-toed Lark than what I did a few days ago. I immediately noticed that there was an increase of Meadow Pipit, with well over 100 and feeding with them were the Short-toed lark and a grey and white flava wagtail, which looked good for a Eastern 'type' Yellow Wagtail. However, when it called, it sounded like a Yellow Wagtail and it was always distant. there were also 6 Pied wagtail, 3 Wheatear, 3 Skylark, 1 Whinchat and I relocated the Snow Bunting. At the wind sock, I joined Ian Grant who had just turned up. I scanned and put him on the lark that was feeding on the edge of the runway. Seconds later, I found another Short-toed Lark feeding with the pipits! There were 2 Short-toed Lark and later I found out that the St Agnes bird was still at Costella Down. A Ring Ouzel came in and we got are first Black Redstart of the autumn.

Grey and white flava wagtail?

Snow Bunting on the edge of the runway. There were another 2 birds at Peninnis

1 of the 2 Short-toed Lark on the airfield

Small numbers of Black Redstart arrived on the islands today including this one on the airfield 

  At Content in the weedy fields of note there were 8 Blackcap and single Whitethroat and Redwing. After dipping on a Richard's Pipit at the golf course before we hit Content, we tried again after it came on the radio that it was showing well. That it was and for the next 30 minutes the pipit was at times only 20ft away. 40 Swallow also moved through and at Trewince there were over 100 Meadow pipit and 3 Wheatear. The juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was still in the Pelistry area and as Ian had not seen it, we went for it. There were 50 Swallow at Pelistry Farm and some of these could of involved the birds we saw earlier. Later I was told over 150 Swallow came into roost at lower Moors. On the road, near to the Kittidown Crossroads, there was a vocal Yellow-browed Warbler and an hour later after trampling through fields, we were rewarded with only 160 Meadow Pipit. At Porthloo, there was another Wheatear and the last bird of the day was a Common Sanpiper at Carn Leh.

Richard's Pipit with Round island 

A very vocal Yellow-browed Warbler was at Kittidown Crossroads

Up to 50 Swallow were at Pelistry

This adult male Peregrine was spooking everything over St Mary's

There were a large influx of Meadow Pipit and we must of seen over 400 birds

I got this Garden Warbler at Content yesterday along with my first Redwing of the autumn 

Marcus Füreder (born November 27, 1974 in Linz, Upperaustria) better known by his stage name Parov Stelar, is an Austrian musician,producer and DJ. His musical style roots in the combination of JazzHouseElectro and Breakbeat. Parov Stelar is known as one of the pioneers of ElectroswingHe won three Amadeus Austrian Music Awards in 2013 (Best Live Act, Best Electronic Act, Best Album) and one in 2014 (Best Live Act). Parov Stelar worked with Lana Del Rey,Bryan Ferry and Lady Gaga. He released six albums, more than twenty EPs and sold more than 250,000 albums independently. The track Booty Swing reached top chart positions in the electronic US and Canadian iTunes charts. His tracks have been used on hundreds of compilations worldwide as well as in TV shows, TV series, movies and advertising spots which brought him international recognition.

Friday, 10 October 2014

BLYTH'S PIPIT at Lower Moors

1st winter Red-breasted Flycatcher at Porth hellick Loop

 Two days ago I had 45 minutes of work and half away around the Porth Hellick Loop, I heard a Red-breasted Flycatcher, but could I see the damn thing. I made my way to where I had heard it and after a few minutes of phishing, out it came in front of me with 2 Firecrest. 
  I tried the Content fields and while sheltering from a heavy shower, I observed an Arctic Tern fly up the field towards Maypole! The fields itself held 15+Blackcap, 100+Goldfinch, 50+Chaffinch, 60+Linnet, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler and singles of Sedge warbler, Skylark and Whitethroat.

A bit of phishing paid off. As well as the flycatcher coming out, 2 Firecrest also showed briefly

A ridiculous tame Skylark at Content

Small numbers of Clouded Yellow around at the moment

  Yesterday, I had just jumped over the gate into the Standing Stones Field, Lower Moors, when I heard a quiet 'chup chup' and just glimpsed a pipit come down into the field. It had to be the Will's Blyth's that has not been seen since four days ago. I saw Kieth Mudd on the main path and told him that I was 99% sure I had just heard the Blyth's and asked him to put out on the radio that I'll be going into the field in five minutes. Some 40 birders arrived and after flushing a Jack Snipe, up came the BLYTH'S PIPIT  and landed nearby in the same field. Ideal! I was asked to flush it again and it was observed landing in one the Old Town Bay fields. Both times when flushed it called, but I was the only one that heard it. Later on I was flushed again and this time, watched it fly off NNE a 100 mile away! This time it called twice and birders who were standing next to me, didn't hear it. That's how quiet it's call is. There was no sign of it in any of the fields today and I went searching for it. At trewince I had some 130 Meadow Pipit, and a single Redstart and Wheatear. A Short-toed Lark was discovered at the airfield and later when the airport had closed, I found it feeding with 4 Skylark and 3 Wheatear. 
  There was also another Short-toed Lark on St Agnes today, with Ortolan Bunting and Tawny Pipit. Yesterday, Graham Gorden found a Rustic Bunting at Porth Killier and on Tresco, there was a Little Bunting and Dotterel. Bryher held a Pectoral Sandpiper.

A blurred record shot of the BLYTH'S PIPIT

Birders waiting patiently for me to flush the Blyth's

Grey wagtail at Shooters Pool, Lower Moors

Arvo Pärt (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈɑrvo ˈpært]; born 11 September 1935) is an Estonian composer of classical and sacred music. Since the late 1970s, Pärt has worked in a minimalist style that employs his self-invented compositional technique, tintinnabuli. His music is in part inspired by Gregorian chant. As of 2013, Pärt has been the most performed contemporary composer in the world for three years in a row.