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Thursday, 24 March 2011

32 Black Redstart!!

  The strong ESE winds played there part and it was estimated that over 40 Black Redstart arrived on St Mary's! They were all over the shop and I observed a total of 32 Black Redstart! The largest count was 13 on the Garrison with 5 of each at Porthcressa, Carn Moval and Deep Point, and ones and twos dotted elsewhere. Higgo also had 21 birds on Bryher! What we both noted was that there were a lot of stunning males. Other birds caught up in this influx that I managed to see were, continental Song Thrushes, winter thrushes, Robins, Chiffchaffs and Wheatears.
  Mid-afternoon and I was up Mcfarland's Down, watching a male Black Redstart at close range in one of the gardens, when Robin called. He told me that a visiting birder had just told him about a male Red-backed Shrike at Watermill!! I'm sure this would be the first UK March record of a R B Shrike! We were both soon at the orchard, where the shrike had been seen, but after a good hour of looking in the area, there was no sign of it. Instead we saw a single Redwing, a large flock of 19 Fieldfare and a female Merlin at Green Farm.   Earlier this morning the male Merlin zoomed past the airport, 6 Stock Dove were at Carn Vean, a single Lapwing was at Telegraph and an adult Common Gull was at Little Porth.
  After work, I had a walk around the Garrison and on the football field, 4 continental Song Thrush flew off high NE. I had already had 4 with 5 Redwing at Porthloo. There was also single Wheatear, Black Redstart, White and Pied Wagtail on the football field. Visiting various sights on the island, I noticed the slight increase of Robins, but here on the Garrison they were everywhere! From the campsite along the coastal path to the pottery, I saw over 45 birds. Up to 13 Black Redstart, 5 Wheatear were also seen on the same walk with a single Fieldfare.
   Lots of Butterflies were on the wing enjoying the sun and included my first Large White of the year at Telegraph and at Star Castle, moths included, 2 Double-lined Pug and 1 Early Thorn.
  Also, Robin had a the first Willow Warbler of the year singing at Porth Hellick.



 On Bryher, Higgo totals included, 20+ continental Song Thrush, 30 Wheatear, 12 Blackcap, 10 Chiffchaff, 21 Black Redstart, 20+Robin, and a single Mistle Thrush.  

Small Tortoiseshell at Bants Carn 

Greenshank at Porth Hellick 

Yestarday morning, while driving to Porth Hellick, I noticed a cracking male Black Redstart on a post next to the road at the stables, Pelistry. At Porth Hellick there was nothing of note. However, a visit in the evening turned up 6 Wheatear on the beach and 2 Sand Martin went straight through. The single Redwing was feeding with the 2 Fieldfare in the nearby fields. Also, 5 Fieldfare flew SW over Star Castle in the afternoon.  

Male Black Redstart at Pelistry 

Male Pied Wagtail at Porthloo

Adult Herring Gull at Little Porth. All photos Martin Goodey 

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