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Sunday, 18 September 2011

BLUE-WINGED TEAL at Newford Duckpond

NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH at last pinned down at Lower Moors in the black and white wood!

  At 11.30, I arrived at the Rose Hill end of Lower Moors and gave Graham and 6 visiting birders a lift in me wagon to Newford Duckpond to see a juvenile drake BLUE-WINGED TEAL. The duck was only found half an hour ago before we arrived and like the juvenile SOLITARY SANDPIPER it was feeding next to, it showed down to a few meters in front of us all! On the 26th October '99, while driving past Newford Duckpond in me wagon, I flushed a pair of Blue-winged Teal, but only the female returned and performed just like this juvenile bird is now.

This is only the 7th Scilly record of Blue-winged Teal.

1977 24/8-27/10 Juvenile female, Porth Hellick and then from the 12/9, Tresco Great Pool.
1982 8-20/9  Female, Porth Hellick
1989 7/10 1st winter female, Porth Hellick Pond
1999 26/10 pair, Newford Duck
2000 10/10-1/11 1st winter drake, Tresco Great Pool

Juvenile drake BLUE-WINGED TEAL at Newford Duckpond Chris Griffin

  At 12.00, we had all returned to the black and white wood hoping to get a climpse of the Northern Waterthrush that had showed briefly this morning. With in ten minutes of being there, I heard it call once and with Robin, we made our way towards to where I thought it might be. I let the others know nearby and they all started looking in the area, leaving Martin alone. That paid off, because as soon as everyone moved away, the bird came out in front of him. Just before 13.00, we could hear it calling very close by and all of us advanced towards to where it was. After peering over a small pool, there it was! The NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH was feeding on the edge showing well, on and off, to crowd of 12 birders! It was 13.00 and me mum told me that I had to be home for dinner. It was Sunday roast, but not even that could take me away. For the next 20 minutes the bird performed really well before that roast got the better of me.
  This was a new bird for me and a few others and is the firth Scilly record.

Other Scilly records of Northern Waterthrush include

1958 30/9/-12/10 Covean Beach, St Agnes. It was trapped on the 30/9
1968 3-8/10 in bulb fields near Tresco Great Pool
1982 29/9-4/10 Bryher 
1989 29-30/8 Porth Killier Beach, St Agnes


 It was a warm sunny afternnon and at 14.00, mum, Gayna and I set off from town, for a steady walk around the island. It wasn't until we got to the airfield that I saw any birds of note and that included the 4 juvenile BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, but there was no sign of the Dotterel. At Porth Hellick there were the 2 juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER and when we reached Watermill Cottage, mum and Gayna thought they were looking at a parrot when Mark Anderson showed them the BEE-EATER on the wires. Mum kept calling it a bee-keeper. Just around the corner both the juvenile SOLITARY SANDPIPER and juvenile drake BLUE-WINGED TEAL were performing very well in front of a small crowd. Ritchie gave us a lift back to town from here, to the relief of Gayna and mum. I was quite happy to walk, but felt like I should join them.

2 juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER feeding together at Porth Hellick

Mum ticking off the BEE-KEEPER

Then the juvenile SOLITARY SANDPIPER at Newford Duckpond

Followed by the juvenile drake BLUE-WINGED TEAL also at Newfordduck Pond

Note the broard white wing bar in front of the speculum making this a juvenile drake

Gayna and mum walking through Holy Vale

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