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Saturday, 12 March 2011

First 2 Swallow of the year!

Up to 4 Firecrest showed very well at Carn Friars! 
  First thing this morning on my way to work, a look from Porthloo found the imm/fem Common Scoter still present in the harbour. I also heard a Blackcap calling opposite the police station. Early afternoon and I made a visit to Porth Hellick in the dull light, and immediately saw the Buzzard being mobbed by 2 Carrion Crow over Holy Vale. At the pool, I was rewarded with a Swallow flying around! As quick as it appeared it was gone. I made my way out towards the beach and spotted two birds on the wires in the distance at Carn Friars! As it was the first Swallow of the year, I thought I would like to see them a lot better. However, I never got there, because while I was in a field making my way over to where they were, I stumbled across over 40 Chaffinches that I had to scan through. All I could find was the first Linnet of the year and a large male Chaffinch showing a lot of white on the wings. I was trying to get some shots of the latter bird, when I heard a male Firecest nearby. I quickly looked for it and was surprised to find a female with it. For ten minutes I had been observing these two birds at close range, when I heard another one a little further down the line of bushes. This was followed shortly afterwards by another bird calling to my left. Many times after this, the 4 Firecrest fed together in the same bush with a single Goldcrest! An imm male Sparrowhawk, Fieldfare, 9 Curlew and now and again one of the Swallows flew over. Also, there were 10+Chiffchaff at Porth Hellick/Carn Friars. A change to light southerly winds can make a difference!
   I was just leaving Carn Friars, as it started to drizzle, when Tony arrived to see the Swallows. He didn't connect with them, but he saw the Firecrests and later found one himself at Holy Vale.

The first 2 Swallow of the year were at Porth Hellick/Carn Friars but were always distant  
 A rather large male Chaffinch at Carn Friars with prominent amount of white on the wing, particularly the bar and tertials.  

This Goldcreat was feeding with the 4 Firecrest at Carn Friars  
An imm/male Sparrowhawk put everything up at Carn Friars 

  Later in the day, a call from Joe to tell me that he just had the first Sandwich Tern of the year at Old Town Bay. When I got there, it had moved on. I thought I would go and look for Wheatear at Giants Castle, but instead I got a cracking male Merlin showing well on a post, 2 Skylark and maybe a different male Firecrest singing in the pine belt!

  While I was watching the Buzzard at Holy Vale earlier on, I called Higgo to tell him about the Swallow and he told me that he was observing a pair of Buzzard at the same time, displaying over Tresco! So there are 3 Buzzard on the islands, but more important than that this is, this would be the first time that Buzzards have bred on the Scilly, following hot on the heels of the first Marsh Harriers that bred here a few years back! Higgo also had a single Swallow, with the first 3 Sand Martin of the year, on the Abbey Pool.
   Also Graham on St Agnes flushed a Hoopoe from Porth Killier this morning! Hopefully the first of many!

  Today saw a small influx of Firecrest and a lot of new birds in, but still no Wheatear!

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