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Wednesday, 16 March 2011

At last, Wheatears have arrived!

Male Wheatear at Carn Morvel 

Male Peregrine at Carn Morvel 

Male Merlin at Parting Carn 

  Sun and blue skies with a NE breeze throughout the day. As I made my way down towards Porth Hellick Pool this morning, and there to greet me were my first 5 Sand Martin of the year!  

  Later in the afternoon, a walk along the coastal path from Juliet's produced, 3 Chiffchaff, an imm/fem Black Restart and at last, 3 stunning male Wheatear! Alan Cox, a visiting birder, also had 3 male Wheatear on Penninis. I thought these were the first to arrive on Scilly, but I was told that an individual was on St Martins over a week ago! It was good to see the Wheatear, and with the Sand Martin and warm weather, it really did start to feel like spring. I flushed a Whimbrel from the rocks below me and above, showing very well on a rock, was a male Peregrine. Nearby, I flushed a Woodcock from under a Pittosporum bush at Porthloo!

Imm/fem Black Redstart at Carn Morvel 

Whimbrel at Carn Morvel 

Up to 3 male Wheatear were at Carn Morvel 

This male Peregrine showed at very close range at Carn Movel 

  At the airport, 5 Skylark flew over and just before dark, Big Al and I made a visit to Porth Hellick. On our way there we spotted a male Merlin on the wires at Parting Carn, which we saw later over Carn Friars. The 5 Sand Martin, fem Wigeon and pair of Teal were still present on the pool, but there was no sign of the fem Pochard or coming into roost, the male Firecrest. There were 8+Chiffchaff in the area and we finished the day with the female and the cracking male Black Redstart on the beach. 

This male Merlin also showed very well at close range 

The male Black Redstart on Porth Hellick beach, was almost the last bird that Big Al and I observed 

For the third day, a dusking looking Pied Wagtail has been visiting the Star Castle garden with 'alba' wagtails. Big Al and Graham saw it on Porthcressa yesterday. As it's an obvious individual, it will be interesting to see how long it sticks around in the area? I think it's a 1st summer male with a lot more grey on the sides than usual. 

Does anyone know what this is? I found it in one of the sheds at Star Castle 

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