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Thursday, 7 April 2011

HOODED CROW at the Golf Course!!

This HOODED CROW was a very rare bird to visit Scilly, as there have only been 3-4 recording, including the long staying individual on Bryher!

  I heard my first Cuckoo of the year at Porth Hellick this morning and there was a slight increase in the three common warblers which included, 6 Blackcap, 9 Willow Warbler and 20+Chiffchaff. Over 20 Swallow were hawking over the pool with 3 Sand Martin and a walk to Deep Point produced 2 Wheatear and my first Tree Pipit of the year flying towards Pelistry. The fog rolled in and while I was at Giants Castle, my third new bird of the year was a lost Yellow Wagtail, calling in the dense fog, while another Tree Pipit was at Salkee.

  In the afternoon, I had an hour and decided to have a look on the golf course. I noticed a few Carrion Crows in front of me, feeding on one of the fairways, and took no notice of them. Then I stopped dead in my tracks as just on the brow of the hill, was what I first thought was the Bryher Hooded Crow! This would be the first time that I have seen this Hoody on St Mary's. I lifted my bins, to check it was not one of the hybrids, and could clearly see it was a pure Hooded Crow. This was a cracker, looking very pale and quite striking with the contrast of the grey and black. I contacted everyone and told them to come and see this bird, because I don't think it's the Bryher individual. Joe and Robin were first to arrive, followed by Martin. They all agreed that it was a cracker and fired off some shots. There was only one way to find out if this is the bird from Bryher or not and that was to call Higgo, who was visiting the island for the day, and see if he had seen it? His reply was that he had seen the Bryher Hooded Crow, along with a male Pied Flycatcher and Redstart and on Samson Hill, a HOOPOE, but believed that it was probably one of the hybrids. This was no hybrid and all four of us were observing a very rare visitor with less than five Scilly records of HOODED CROW!!  It was associating with 10 Carrien Crow and although flighty at times, it did perform well. I had to return to work and thought I might come back later.

HOODED CROW feeding with Carrion Crows on the golf course 

 I didn't return to the golf course as I got a call from Big Al about a male Blue-headed Wagtail found by a visiting birder at Lower Moors With in minutes I was there, just missed the adult PURPLE HERON and all I saw of the wagtail, was it fly into the back of the reeds calling. Again work was calling and I had to go. Two hours later I was back in the hide observing a rather elusive male Blue-headed Wagtail on the far side. Also in the area there were, 30+Swallow, 20+Sand and 3 House Martin, 5 Blackcap, 3 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, a single Snipe and an immature Grey Heron. 
  There seems to be more Goldfinches and Linnets that have arrived on St Mary's today.

You can just make out the yellow of this male Blue-headed Wagtail, in the center of the photo, at Lower Moors 

Yellow Dung Fly with prey, Green Farm 

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