I thought I would join Jim at the ringing station this morning, as he was packing up in a few days to have a little break. I was there for an hour from 8.30 a.m, but we didn't trap anything. 3 Stock Doves, 9 Snipe and 25+Meadow Pipits flew over. The second winter Spoonbill flew low over the pool heading towards Holy Vale. Close inshore off Giants Castle, there were 20+Common Dolphins and on the beach there was a single Grey Plover and 3 Greenshanks. As I had to do a taxi, I had a quick look at the pool. A fem Wigeon and now 6 Coots and just by the crossroads, one of the SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFFS was flycatching.
It was so still that the sea looked like a mill pond. So after the taxi I decided to have look from Star Castle.
Just before Tony and Richard arrived, I managed to find a 1st winter drake Eider, (the first one in three years for me) 7 Common Scoters, 1 Slavanion Grebe and 14 Great Northern Divers. On Green Island there were 2 Spoonbills and 30+Curlews and in Samson Bay, 45+Teal and a high count for this time of year, 26 Shelducks. Also Joe called to tell me that the grebe that he saw distantly yesterday off New Gimbsy, Tresco, is a BLACK-NECKED GREBE! This could be a returning bird from last year. An hour later I was scanning from Bar Point. From here there was another Slavanion Grebe, a Guillemot and 15 Great Northern Divers (a total of 29 divers) and below me on the beach there was a single adult Common Gull, 3 of each Whimbrel and Bar-tailed Godwit and a 3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull. The latter bird caused a few problems for Higgo and I, although it was distance. However, Martin Elliot looked at the footage and identified it as a Yellow-legged Gull. At the time we had an idea that it might be a michahellis, but was not to sure as it appeared long-legged and not the right shaped head. We did the right thing by contacting the gang. I picked them all up in town, but when we arrived at the site, it had moved on. On the way back home, we stopped off at Porthloo and Will spotted the Eider which had joined the 7 Common Scoters. Also a fem Merlin was hanging around in the bay and caught a Turnstone feeding on the beach, but the bird escaped. (see video)
I was just too late when this fem Merlin took a Turnstone from Porthloo Beach!
This 3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull at Bar Point was the first I've seen in about four years. There are maybe one or two records a year on Scilly.
Looking from Porth Mellon towards Samson