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Saturday, 22 October 2011

4th Scilly SCARLET TANAGER at Sandy Lanes!

1st winter male SCARLET TANAGER Prints available from Martin's website

  Mid-morning and I was just watching 3 male Blackcap at work, when the radio crackled. It was broken up and all I could make out at the end of what someone was saying was, Sandy Lanes. However, I knew it was something good by the sound of that persons voice. It was a few minutes later when it came across that there was a SCARLET TANAGER at Sandy Lane! I jumped in me wagon and called everyone who didn't have a pager. I got through to Ren 'Scarlet Tanager!! I'll be there in two secs' And I was. We picked up the Rugby boys on the way and then drove off to Holy Vale. Running up Sandy Lanes, we were told that the bird was not on show and joined the growing crowd of 40+ that were seperated by Mick's wagon. The bird was last seen flying into possibly the hedge nearby next to the wagon and everyone was waiting patiently for it to come out. A very happy Steve Bird, of, came up to Ren and I, to tell us that he and his partner, Gina Nichol's, found this mega! He also told us that they were walking up Sandy Lanes from Holy Vale, and Steve said that it would be good to find a Scarlet Tanager. And guess what? One popped up in front of them!! Amazing! Ren and I waited for twenty minutes and then there was a mad rush further up the lane. When everyone arrived to where the bird had just been seen, there was no sign of it. After ten minutes, Will Scot, Martin, 925 and his old man and myself, decided to check out the private fields nearby and if we did get it, then we would sort something out. We were steadly walking around the grape vines, when news broke that the tanager had been relocated. Will and I raced like the devil up the slope, leaving the others behind. I arrived to find 60 birders looking into the same field where it was last seen. Everyone was giving directions to where it was and then it was there in me bins, front on distantly, at the top end of the field. It was lost to view as it flew into the pine belt only to fly out and perch in a hedge a lot closer. Here in the bright sun, it was out in the open, side on and was on view for good five minutes, showing off it's bright lemmony green underparts contrasting with black wings. What a Bird!
  Graham arrived from St Agnes and as I was at the front of the crowd leaning on the gate. I let him in my space as I had to move on and later discovered that the tanager showed really well in the same area.
  I said to Ren, when I first grabbed him from his house, that there is no way this is the same bird from Cornwall. However, Viv Stratton, who has seen both birds, is adamant that it is the same bird.

There have been three other records on Scilly

1970  4th October  1st winter male was at Porth Hellick, St Mary's  
1975  28th September-3rd October  1st winter male at Gimble Porth, Tresco
1982  12-18th October  1st winter female on the loop trail, Porth Hellick, before moving to Higher Moors, St Mary's

Bryan Thomas

Steve Williams

The tanager is just off center at four o clock. Very hard to see 

The bird flew into the hedge to the right..

And was relocated further up the track 20 minutes later

Birders who arrived today to day twitch the Northern Waterthrush, also cleared up everything else that was on St Mary's. That included the Upland Sandpiper, Wilson's Snipe, 2 OBP and of course the Northern Waterthrush and Scarlet Tanager, as well as other good stuff! Not a bad days birding. Some were not so lucky, but still had a good day.  

'Borderlord' by Kris Kristofferson Bothh rock bands Acetone and Galaxo covered this song.

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