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Sunday, 10 April 2011

2 NIGHT HERON and another BEE-EATER!?

BEE-EATER at the back of Fraggle Rock, Bryher 

  In the glorious sunshine with Robin, Tean and I arrived at Church Town Quay, Bryher and the first bird we see, is my first Wood Warbler of the year, found by Higgo, who came on an earlier boat. Both Robin and Higgo moved on while I tried to get some shots of the warbler. Robin called to tell me that they had the Wood Warbler further up the track. That's another one, beause I'm still watching this one! I had just started walking off when I looked up and saw a BEE-EATER circling and then flew low past us and headed towards Fragle Rock! I didn't know what to do, video it, watch it or call Robin. Higgo had already seen one this morning with Smoothy on wires in town on St Mary's, so Robin won! Higgo had also seen this one, but Robin missed it. Is this the St Mary's bird? Robin put me on the second Wood Warbler and then we all went our separate ways. I had only just gone round the corner and there in the garden was the third Wood Warbler! We had been on Bryher ten minutes and I had already seen 3 Wood Warbler, a single BEE-EATER and Common Sandpiper and small numbers of Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Chifftchaff! If this was all I saw today, I would of be very happy.

Wood Warbler is one of my favorite warblers and we were blessed with 3 on Bryher in the space of ten minutes! This bird was taken at Church Town Quay.

   We walked around Samson Hill and then had an early lunch at Great Porth. While eating some brownies and tasty sandwiches ,that Tean had made, 6 Tree Pipit flew over SE. We moved on and tried out some rock pooling at Great Popplestone Bay. However, before I got there, I spotted the BEE-EATER flying up and down the valley! Then who should come around the corner but Robin and Higgo! 'Did you see it?' No was the answer, but a short walk back found the bird briefly flying around the campsite! Robin was so relieved and very happy.

  While we were rock pooling, a male Black Redstart kept on popping up on the rocks in front of us and was feeding with up to 15 Wheatear and nearby, 2 Whitethroat were also present. It was 13.30 and it was time to go and we walked through the valley towards Fraggle Rock. In the fields before the campsite, we could hear a Grasshopper Warbler reeling. We had almost reached Fraggle Rock Cafe when I shouted 'Stop!' to Tean. There, just in front of us was the BEE-EATER peached on a overhanging bramble to our left! We had a good look and then it flew off low, over Shiphead Down and out of sight. We couldn't wait for it to return as we had a boat to catch.
   There were lots of Sandwich Tern in the Tresco Channel on our return to St Mary's.

It was so good to see a BEE-EATER perched instead of a fly-over 

This Whitethroat was at Great Popplestone Bay 

Male Black Redstart and Wheatear at Great Popplestone Bay  

Tean caught this fish at Great Popplestone Bay 


3 Wood Warbler
1 Male Black Redstart 
1 Grasshopper Warbler
2 Whitethroat
3 Common Sandpiper 
6 Tree Pipit
8 Blackcap
15+Willow Warbler 
15 Wheatear 
5 Swallow
2 House Martin
2 Kestrel 

  Back on Mary's, on our way home, we heard a Grasshopper Warbler  reeling in the Chaplaincy garden in town and when at home, Joe called to say that he had relocated the BEE-EATER on wires at Porth Hellick! Could of this bird been on St Mary's all day and was never seen?
  It was 20.15 and I entered the seaward hide at Porth Hellick. The Wood Sandpiper was feeding in front of the hide and at 20.45 I heard, what I thought was a dog barking at first and then sounded more like a frog. NIGHT HERON maybe!? It sounded like it was above Lunnon and then circling Carn Friars. I had now heard it for well over three minutes and decided to run out to the beach. Here the bird was coming closer, but when I lifted my bins up, I could see that there were 2 NIGHT HERON!! They circled above me and then headed SWW towards the airfield, calling all the time.

 Yet again, another great day out!

My first Holly Blue of the year was at Maypole 

German Wasp at Star Castle 

And the first Common Frog tadpole I have ever seen on Scilly! Tean found over 100 in a tiny pool at Lower Moors. It needs to rain very soon for these to survive. 

A recording of the 2 NIGHT HERON circling over Porth Hellick and then flying off towards the airport, this evening at 20.45. Turn the volume right up.

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