Male WOODCAHAT SHRIKE near Veronica Farm, Bryher
Just after 11.00, Barry Nightingale watched a Purple Heron over Hell Bay Hotel, Bryher heading SE towards Samson. So when I had an hour off work, I thought that it might be worth checking out Porth Hellick. Instead I met Colin Sage in the hide and he told me that he had flushed a QUAIL on Giants Castle! He gave me directions to where the bird might be and as I headed off towards the down, although they might be working, I thought I would call a few of the guys that would be interested. Robin arrived shortly afterwards and we started walking over to where Colin told me to go. After twenty minutes, we had almost given up, but Robin thought it might be worth going over to where we tried in the area the first time and it payed off. To my left the QUAIL rose up and seemed to pause in mid air, just above the ground, where I was able to see the prominent head markings before it sped off low across the down and settled just in front of Gorse and brambles. Although I heard Quails all the time during the summer months when I lived in Shropshire, I never got to see one. All five birds that I have ever seen, have all been on Scilly and while Colin has been here, this was the third Quail that he has flushed so far!
Up to 2 Cuckoo were in the Porth Hellick area
Robin watching the QUAIL flying away from him at Giants Castle. You can just make the bird out, almost left center from Robin and just left, below the tiny peak
With Robin, Higgo and Smoothy I caught the 18.00 boat to Bryher, hopefully to connect with a Woodchat Shrike that was also found by Barry in fields near Veronica Farm. When we arrived, Smoothy made his way to the pool and the rest of us headed towards the farm. In the same fields, the first bird that we saw was the resident Hooded Crow followed by a smart male Yellow Wagtail, this being rarer than the shrike at the moment, and a Turtle Dove flew across Samson Hill. After a while of looking we decided to split up and twenty minutes later Higgo relocated the shrike in the very hedge that we were all standing next to a short while ago! Smoothy came over the hill at the right time and for the next quarter of an hour, the fine looking male WOODCHAT SHRIKE performed very well. This was my firth Woodchat Shrike this spring!
Again, we all went our separate ways, but all I could manage were 2 Greenland Wheatear and 6 Whimbrel. The others didn't do much better. From Church Town Quay, we all noted 5 Swift and what looked like 100's of hirundines above the Great Pool, Tresco.
Smoothy, Higgo and Robin observing the WOODCHAT
Both the male Yellow Wagtail and the Hooded Crow kept there distants
1st summer Black-headed Gull on the pool
View looking over Hell Bay and towards Samson