Language Translator

Monday, 18 April 2011

Sparrowhawk tastes Mediterranean!!

What a superb shot of one of the 2 BEE-EATER captured by Martin Goodey at Maypole

  At Porth Hellick this morning, there was a Grasshopper Warbler reeling at the crossroads. The reeds were alive with a single Reed at least 4 Sedge Warbler singing. I came out of the seaward hide and heard the soft call of a BEE-EATER! It sounded as though it was coming from over the pool. The sun was blinding as I looked out from the hide. It seemed as though it was high over the reeds on the far side, but all I could see were a few Swallow. I had a plane to meet and as I left, I could still hear that lovely sound and guessed there were probably more than one bird.

  A call from Martin, mid morning, found me rushing to Maypole, where he had 2 BEE-EATER on the wires. These must be the two that Gary had yesterday on Tresco and also the birds I heard earlier on. When I arrived, they had moved on.
  I got a call from Sally Douglas, who was twitching the Bee-eaters on the Scillonian. I told her to get a taxi up to Maypole, in hope that she might relocate them. She did and had splendid views at very close range on the wires at Maypole Farm. When she called me, I was just around the corner and with in a few minutes, Higgo, Martin and I were watching them as they did figure of eights over a small field, at times, a few meters away from us! It was obvious that they were a pair. A lot of bonding and displaying was going on in mid air as they constantly called to each other. Both birds moved off and started hawking high over Holy Vale. Sally went for the WOODCHAT SHRIKE at the golf course, while Higgo and I returned to work.
   I finished work late and went to have a look at the first record of a WATER CARPET MOTH for Scilly, trapped in Mick's garden!

Sally was over the moon after seeing the 2 BEE-EATER perform well at Maypole. It was worth every penny to see these wonderful birds!

WATER CARPET trapped in Mick's garden was a first for Scilly! 

  I caught up with Ritchie in the Sussex hide at Porth Hellick and there in the Juncos, was possibly another Scilly first. A female Teal with ducklings! I think they might of bred on Tresco less than ten years ago. We thought we would go and look at Joe's male WOODCHAT SHRIKE that he had found in the late afternoon at Carn Friars. This all changed when I spotted one of the BEE-EATER from the boardwalk, hawking around the tall dead pine at Salakee. Ritchie then found the other bird and we both starting making our way up to where they were. When we got to the tall pine, there was no sign of them, but I could hear them in the next field. I went ahead of Ritchie and as I came to an opening, to have a look where they were, there was a lot of commotion and squealing, a few meters in front of me. The immature male Sparrowhawk had taken one of BEE-EATERS and with the bird clutched in it's talons, the hawk flew off low following the hedge. All the time, the other BEE-EATER was calling overhead and was obviously distressed. (See video footage)
   It was a sad end to the day, but I'm afraid that's nature.

Maybe the first record of Teal breeding on Scilly! At least one duckling was seen underneath the wing  

Not very good footage of the immature male Sparrowhawk just taken one of the 2 BEE-EATER and it was dusk when this took place at Salakee!!

A lane down Holy Vale 


  1. Although it's very gripping Spider - especially the Bee-eaters - your blog is brilliant. Please keep it up! By the way, have you heard anything by Devendra Banhart?

  2. Thanks mate. I'll try my best. Banhart is a bit like Drake, but his voice kind of reminds me of Melanie. It's ok.

  3. Thanks Martins. The photos won't win any prizes!

  4. I look fwd to following the blog. I love Scilly but I've only ever been in Oct. I still need Bee eater for the UK, so I may have to venture over one spring if they are regular. I'll do some research. A bit less of the Spurs stuff tho! I am a west ham season ticket holder - I must have done something bad in a previous life!!

  5. I'm afraid there will be more of spurs. That great footballer franco should still be leading the hammers!