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Wednesday, 5 October 2011

3rd Scilly LEAST SANDPIPER on Tresco!

Cracking shot of the juvenile LEAST SANDPIPER on Tresco Great Pool Bryan Thomas
  I got a day off to go and see the Least Sandpiper on Tresco. As I arrived at New Grimbsy, I thought it would be a good idea to have a look at the Great Pool and then slowly walk towards the South Beach, where the sandpiper was first found yesterday morning. Then it moved to both pools, favoring the NW end of the Great Pool. From the Swarovski hide, on the far side, there was the juvenile LESSER YELLOWLEGS (my third this autumn) 3 PECTORAL SANDPIPER, 1 Whimbrel, female Pintail, 4 Dunlin and good numbers of both Green and Redshank. After a while of being in the hide, it came out on the radio that the Least Sandpiper was on the South Beach. Great stuff, it's still here. I was just approaching the South Beach, when I flushed a Snow Bunting on the path in front of me. I quickly took some shots and then went on to the beach and found the waders roosting close to the shore. Up to 6 Dunlin, 20+Ringed Plover, Turnstone, Sanderling and a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, but could I find the sandpiper. It took me a good ten minutes to relocate the juvenile LEAST SANDPIPER feeding halfway up the beach in the seaweed. I could clearly see the pale legs, but without seeing this feature, then I could understand why it was easily overlooked. After observing it through the scope, I tried to get a little closer to get some shots of the bird. However, the fog rolled in with heavy drizzle and I had to find some shelter. 

There is just one other Scilly record that has been accepted by the BBRC although David Hunt almost certainly discovered one in '65

1962  4th October, Big Pool, St Agnes
1965  24th August, Tresco Great Pool

It was nice to find this Snow Bunting, but my mind was on other things with the Least Sandpiper just around the corner

Bryan Thomas

juvenile LEAST SANDPIPER Robin Mawer

  Walking along Pool Road, the dark morph juvenile HONEY BUZZARD flew overhead and low towards the other side of the Great Pool.A few minutes later, the Buzzard came out and started calling. There were also 1 Willow Warbler, 10+Chiffchaff and 2 Pied Flycatcher and on the Abbey Pool, Ivan picked out an adult YELLOW-LEGGED GULL. It was not until 14.30 that I saw the Least Sandpiper again. This time briefly feeding knee deep in the heavy mud at the NW end of the Great Pool, before flying off in the direction of the South Beach. Returning to New Grimbsy, a quick look in the Swarovski hide again, found the Lesser Yellowlegs in front of the hide, instead of ten miles away like this morning!

What a cracking shot by Chris Lewis

This HONEY BUZZARD perfored really well overhead, but as you can see, the light was crap!

Juvenile LESSER YELLOWLEGS on the Tresco Great Pool.

  I joined Higgo at 18.20, at his home called 'Higgo's Pool' with a few other birders. When I arrived, both the Juvenile SOLITARY SANDPIPER and juvenile LESSER YELLOWLEGS were on the pool at very close range! With in five minutes of being there, the NORTHEN WATERTHRUSH called and came in and landed on the island! 3 American birds, 2 megas, on a tiny pool, a few meters apart from each other at all times and not another bird in sight! Where else could you exsperience this in the UK? The waterthrush was on show until 18.50, when it went to roost and shortly afterwards, the lesserlegs flew off towards Porth Mellon. The sandpiper woke up and stated feeding. It was almost dark and just before we left, we did a bit of pruning to make room for the crowds on Saturday.

Notice the ring on the right leg

The Northern waterthrush has been in this area now for 18 days and is the longest staying UK record! Lets hope it stays for everyone who arrives on the weekend



Solitary Sandpiper and just below, Lesser Yellowlegs

You can just make out the Northern Waterthrush on the right and to the left, the Lesser Yellowlegs. It was almost dark when I took all these photos. So here are some superb photos of the lesserlegs when it visited Porth Mellon last week below, taken by Mark Rayment

What a way to wake up at home and the first thing that Higgo sees when he open his eyes,and that's about mid day, is guinness and 3 American birds!

Liam dressed like a prat, but good music from Oasis

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