RED-EYED VIREO at no. 32 Sallyport, Rens garden Bryan Thomas
From first thing to late evening, it was another fantastic day! It all started at Porth Hellick. I went through the main gate and started walking down the path. At very close range, I flushed a CORNCRAKE from the long grass to the right of me. In the short flight, I managed to get on to it before it came back down on the edge of the field. 15 minutes later, Ritchie, Tony and Robin arrived, hoping that they might see it. However, it was soon abandoned when the heavens opened and we all made a quick dash to the cars. Two years ago, I flushed a Corncrake in the very spot where I flushed this one.
Tony gave me a lift to Rens. Yesterday, Ren asked me to take the day off for today as he believed that there was a American land bird somewhere to be discovered. With these ideal winds, I felt the same, but it was going to be hard work. I arranged to be at his house at 09.00, but arrived half an early. Good job I did. I was texting Graham, when Ren shouted 'FLIP-FLOP, THERE'S A RED-EYED VERIO SPIDER!!' Me, I didn't know what to do. 'Where's me bins, quick where are they?' I ran up stairs and checked every room and couldn't find them. The reason why I couldn't find them, because I had not even been upstairs in the twenty minutes that I had been there. I found them in the very place I had just been texting. 'Where the bloody ell is it?' I ran as fast as could, to where Ren was looking, and slammed myself into the door! I'm surprised that the vireo didn't fly off from me making a bang with my head on the door window. It didn't and I looked with my bins to find it preening out in the open at the top of Ren's Hawthorn. After about four minutes, it moved deeper into the bush and that's when both Higgo and Bryan came rushing through the door They came barging through and looked at an empty Hawthorn. They didn't even wipe their feet when they came in or take off their shoes.
Then Tony called to say that they were watching from the Dutchy offices. We all rushed up there and found that there was no sign of it, until Martin relocated it, two gardens down. About 15 people were present and here we observed it for a good 30 minutes, on and off, before ending up looking into Rens garden.
Ren had done it! He had found an American land bird and what's better than finding it in your own garden! This is the second vireo he has had in his garden. Altogether I have been lucky to see 15 Red-Eyed Vireo, all on Scilly except for the first one that was on The Lizard, Cornwall, October '91. That was also with Ren and like todays bird, it showed very well feeding in the Sycamores. This is one of my favourite birds, until I see the Canada Warbler tomorrow, also in Rens garden!
All these shots I took through Ren's back door window when we first saw it
Awesome photos by everyone. Note the red eye, making this an adult RED-EYED VIREO
Looking for the vireo in the gardens from the Dutchy building
I wanted to move on, because I had a feeling that we were going to find something else. We checked a lot of places and after getting a pastie, we made our way towards Lower Moors. As Graham had 2 Aquatic Warblers on St Agnes yesterday, I thought it would be a good idea to kick the long grass/weedy field next to the standing stones field. We flushed a Whitethroat and as we reached the small pond at the end of the field, a 1st winter CITRINE WAGTAIL flew up and landed in the reeds! Here it was on full view before making a short hope to a puddle on the edge of the field. As Nigel lived two minutes away, he was the first to arrive and we all got cracking view of less than a few metres away. It then flew off, calling, towards Lower Moors. Here we found it feeding with the juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER, but when the others had arrived, it had flown back to the small pond. It's believed that this is the third Citrine this autumn, as last weeks bird on St Agnes and then Tresco, had markings on the breast.
Note the clean breast
Juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER was feeding with the 1st winter CITRINE WAGTAIL at Lower Moors
The first Clouded Yellow of the year was at Lower Moors. We also had a Humming-bird Hawkmoth at Old Town Stores
Next stop was the airfield. With permission, I got Ren into the control tower and looking down, we could see that all 7 juvenile BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER were still present. From here we made our way to Porth Hellick and found that our first 2 Wigeon of the autumn had arrived on the pool. At 16.30, Ren got a lift home with Higgo while I continued on. It was high tide at Pelistry Beach and I immediatly found a Common Sandpiper on the next beach along towards Mount Todden. However, this looked different and gave me the impression of a Spotted Sandpiper! Before I could get the scope up, it was off and in the blinding sun, it flew around the corner towards Watermill and out of sight. Damn! For the next hour I tried to relocate it and it was not until I reached Innisidgen that I saw it fly past back towards Pelistry. As it was getting dark, the light was pretty crap. what I observed looked very good for a spot sand. How far have I got to walk until I nail it? By now I called for help, but when I got to Watermill, I found it feeding on the seaweed in the cove. A juvenile SPOTTED SANDPIPER! It was off again and it flew all the way to Pelistry. However, when Robin and I got there, we could not find it.
Today has been one of those days that will stick in my memory for a long time. There are now up to 5 PEC SANDS on Tresco! One of the AQUATICS, the PEC and the LESSERLEGS were still on St Agnes but there was no sign of the Baird's Sandpiper
A very high count of 29 Stock Dove flew over Green Farm
Porth Hellick first thing this morning
So, is it Canada Warbler tomorrow??