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Sunday, 5 June 2011

Not another bloody BEE-EATER!

1 of the 2 Humming-bird Hawkmoth at Vine Cafe, Bryher  

  It was a tough ole day. With Robin and Higgo, in the blazing hot sun, we headed for Bryher. Here we went straight to Gerald Langsdon's house near Hell Bay Hotel. On the way, I saw my first 2 Humming-bird Hawkmoth of the year showing very well feeding next to Vine Cafe. Why were we going to Geralds? He told Mac Mace, who lives next door, that he had a 'little' owl land on his windowsill just before dark, three nights ago. In turn, Mac told Joe and he let everyone know about it. We had to investigate and when we spoke to Gerald, we discovered, as we expected, that it was a SCOPS OWL!!  Even though it was more than likely roosting nearby, if it was still on the island, there was no chance of us finding it and we moved on. 

The last Scops Owl to be recorded, was a bird that Will had in trees next to the Great Pool, Tresco, 3rd April, '89. However, there was a male keeping everyone awake for three nights from May 22nd at Watermill only two years ago. They didn't know what it was at the time until Gaz, who wanted to kill it, told me that it sounds like a lorry when it's reversing. That evening I went to listen and there was no sound of it or for the rest of the week. Another one that got away, but one day, one will be pinned down. 

The windowsill where the SCOPS OWL landed briefly 

Robin Mawer 

2 Humming-bird Hawkmoth   

Spider sp? at Vine Cafe 

Psilothrix viridicoeruleus at Shipsman's Head. Thanks Mark 

    The rest of the day on Bryher didn't produce anything. 2 Swift and a single House Martin were the only birds of note. At 14.30, Higgo returned to St Mary's and Robin and I made a brief stop off at Samson. Here it fared a little better and we got good scope views of the female Marsh Harrier over the south island. 2 Whimbrel were with 12 Curlew and one of the Jackdaws was hanging out with the Carrion Crows. 
  While we were making our way to Bryher earlier on this morning, there were at least 60 Common Terns, first of the year for me, just off Samson. However, while on Samson there were only two birds. This year the Common Terns arrived late on the islands, the first being sighted over a week ago, and for the first time it looks like there not breeding on Samson. They stopped breeding on Tresco not long ago. Lets hope that it doesn't go the same way on Samson.
   Returning home from Samson, a call from Higgo found us scanning the channel for a Hobby. We got it heading straight for Tresco.

The female Marsh Harrier spent most it's time over south Hill on Samson busy playing with crows and gulls  

  On St Mary's I went looking for the Honey Buzzard that Ritchie had earlier on over the same area as where I had it three days ago. As I scanned around, from the entrance of Porth Hellick, and picked out a BEE-EATER sat in the pines above Porth Hellick House! The bird flew across the field and returned out of sight  behind the pines. As it was only a field away from Mick's house, I gave him a call. I thought I would go and quickly look at the pool, after all, it's only another bloody Bee-eater. Don't take that the wrong way, I've seen 10+ of these stunning birds this spring, but there could be something better on the pool that's just about to fly off. There wasn't, but I did get a surprise from the Sussex hide in finding a summer plumage Dunlin. Robin arrived and we went looking for the Bee-eater but there was no sign of it. We returned to the hides and there was now a Sand Martin with the 10 House Martin. 

Summer plumage Dunlin at Porth Hellick in front of the Sussex hide. 

Depressaria daucella  I found 4 of them at Holy Vale. Thanks John 


  1. Depressaria daucella very common in West Cornwall on hemlock water dropwort

  2. Your beetle is Psilothrix viridicoeruleus.
    Mark Telfer