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Saturday, 17 September 2011


1st winter female BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER in the black and white wood, Lower Moors 

  Where the hell do I start? Bryan and I arrived at the hide at 06.30, ready for the waterthrush sp to come out from it's roost. A visiting birder had been in the hide since 05.00! He didn't know when it got light. Higgo, Ritchie, and the rest of the guys arrived some 5 minutes later and all we had seen, was nothing! I was not feeling well and had my head down and waited for the shout. At 07.50 Ren said 'Your not going to see much looking down there' He was right, and I casually lifted up my bins and said 'There it is!'  Higgo was the first on it and everyone was shouting, give directions? My reply was 'It's over there' What a stupid thing to say, but it was true. Everyone did get on to it before Ritchie watched it fly off towards the other hide. It was on show for, on and off, at least 4 minutes, but it was too bloody dark! On the views we had, we still couldn't rule out Louisiana Waterthrush and it was decided to put the news out to Birdnet as a waterthrush sp.

   I had to get to work and left them to it. Just after 10.00, Higgo called 'Guess what Chris Ridgard's found?' He had relocated it, I thought 'The waterthrush!' 'Just a BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER in the black and white wood!!' Whilst looking for the waterthrush in the wood at Lower Moors, he pished and he saw movement and a few Blue Tits came out followed by a warbler that was black and white, and instantly chris knew he was looking at a BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER!! Then it disappeared. Higgo was nearby and Chris told him what he had just seen. Higgo said to him 'Did it look like a humbug?' to which chris said it did 'Yes' And Higgo said 'Oh FLIP-FLOP!' And Higgo without seeing it himself, rang the boys at Birdnet to tell them the good news.

  I had to get down there and it was like forever (over an hour) till I got there. When I arrived in the wood, it had not been seen again and found birders looking around the area. I decided to look elsewhere and listen out for Blue Tits. I ended at the airport end of the wood and could hear Blue Tits and quickly advanced to where they were. I noticed Ren nearby and beckon him over. As he came closer, I could see a silhouetted warbler hugging the branches above me head and with out me bins, shouted at Ren 'I've got it!' We got our bins on to it and obsreved it moving through with about 3 Blue Tits. I called Higgo 'I've found it!' Ren went off to find everyone while I ran out into the open and shouted 'Any birders in the wood, the BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER is over here!' Birders started coming out of the wood work and made there way towards me. I immediately relocated it again and got everyone on to it. After seeing the two birds that arrived on Scilly, one on Garrison and the other was on Tresco, Great Pool, in October '96, it was so good to watch this humbug climbing around in front of us. 

Chris Griffin

Superb shots of the 1st winter female BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER Please visit Ashley's site

A very hard bird to photo with the wind blowing all over the shop!

The Black and White Warbler is showing well to the left

   I had a look at the juvenile SOLITARY SANDPIPER at Newford Duckpond and from the control tower the juvenile Dotterel was still with the 4 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER. Anytime that I had after this was spent looking for the waterthrush in the wood and seeing the Black and White Warbler on and off showing very well. Simmon Colenutt, whose staying at Star Castle, came into the wood to see the B&W Warbler and told Ritchie and I that he had just pished out the waterthrush! On his brief view, he thought that it was a Northern Waterthrush! We spent some time looking around the area where he had seen it, but to nothing. However, both Graham and chris relocated it in the same area and saw it very well at close range and confirmed that it was the third NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH for Scilly!
  As Ren, Higgo and I were walking towards the hides, the waterthrush flew out of the ditch, on our right hand side and flew back into the wood, calling a few times. We also got the juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER in front of the hides while waiting for the waterthrush to come into roost. A few birders in the hide had twitched the waterthrush and just before dark, Vicky Turner spotted it on the otherside. I could not get on to it, as it was too bloody dark, but we all heard it call 4 times before, it once again, flew into the horse paddock.

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