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Friday, 14 October 2011

Possible eastern race Reed Bunting?

The puzzling Reed Bunting trapped at Porth Hellick

 Driving to work this morning and there was an immature Black Redstart on the roof of Sunnyside Farm. When I reached work, there were over 50 Swallow and a single House Martin flying around Star Castle. At 08.30, I was talking to 925 on the quay, when me mobile went off. It was John Brown and he told me that he and Graham Dunlop had just trapped a funny Reed Bunting at Porth Hellick that just didn't add up!. They asked me to bring some papers on buntings and then with 925, I picked up Bryan and Higgo. Graham got the bunting out in front of me and asked whats that? It looked like a straight forward female Reed Bunting to me and that's what everyone esle could see. However, nothing added up right. They both said that for Reed Bunting, the measments on the imarginations, were 5 mm too short. Also the bill was small with a light pink triangle at the base of the lower mandible and the legs werwe an off pink. Ren joined us, but I had to return to work and left them to it. Later on, more people got to see the bird and it was suggested that it could be a possible Reed Bunting of one of the eastern races!? They released the bird and found a feather in the bag that it had been in and was taken out for DNA.

Steve Young Visit Steve's website

A dark upper mandible with a paler lower mandible. Also there was a small pinkish triangle at the base of the lower mandible

Off pink legs in stead of reddy brown of a Reed Bunting

Steve Young

Small bill. This feature was also noticed in the field when it was released 

The imarginations were 5mm short of Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)  
Any comments welcome

 Mid-morning and it was obvious that the SE winds, with fog drifting in and out, was playing it's part in birds being found all over the shop. The radio was a alive throughout most of the day. It was one bird after another and to give you an idea of what it was like 'There's a Yellow-browed Warbler in the Parsonage. Red-breasted Flycatcher at Cove vean' Then someone would butt in 'Bluethroat showing well on Porth Hellick Beach' Immediately followed by 'Yellow-browed Warbler on Pool Road, Tresco. Two Ring Ouzel on the west side of Penninis' Then it was my turn, if I could get in there 'YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER at the entrance of the campsite from the football pitch end' Then 3 Ring Ouzel flew over as I was talking on the radio 'Also 3 Ring Ouzel have just flown over towards the pine belt on the west side' I had first found the YBW in Ted's garden with 3 Blackcap and Chiffchaff. After this, I had to get back to work and listen to the radio going crazy.
  One thing that came on the radio, that everyone was commenting on later was 'There's a Greater Yellowlegs on the Lesser pool' He put it right 'That's a Lesser Yellowlegs on the Great Pool' We knew what he meant the first time.

1 of 3 Ring Ouzel over the campsite, Garrison 

A very mobile YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER at the campsite, Garrison

Adult female Peregrine over the campsite

Whitethroat, Dead Pine Walk, Garrison

  Four days ago, 11th October, there was a mobile Red-throated Pipit and on the 13th, it was finally pinned down on the golf course. I got there to find that the bird had just disappeared in the long grass. Me mobile went off and I had to return to work. I left Higgo and 35+birders with the bird and walked towards the golf building. I was nearing me wagon, when I saw 2 pipits in front of me. I put me bins up and bingo! There was the RTP! I took some shots and then it flew over to the otherside of the golf course. Work called again and then I was just about to put the news out when on the radio it said that the RTP was showing well. They've got it, so I thought, and continued my walk to me wagon. Later I returned and saw a very drab RTP on the chicken wire. This was nothing like the bird I had and like everyone else, thought it was a Meadow Pipit. That was until it got up and called. I blamed the light for it looking a drab individual and thought nothing of it.
  Last night, Martin called to say that there are 2 RTP on the golf course. He heard one flying away towards Bishops View, while at the same time, one was calling from behind him. Later he met another birder who told him also that there are 2 RTP!

Here's the drab individual, looking more like a Meadow Pipit Nathan Casburn

And here's the one that I found. A very well marked bird Everyone seems to agree that there are two different birds present on the golf course

Martin Goodey

Other birds seen today on Scillyof note included, 1 from yesterday, to less than 15 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER, 2 possibly 3 RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER, all on St Agnes, 12+ Ring Ouzel, 10+FIRECREST, 15+Black Redstart and a single Short-eared Owl. On his last day, Neil Glenn found a RICHARD'S PIPIT at Carn Friars at 17.45. The NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, UPLAND SANDPIPER, WILSON'S SNIPE and 2 LEESER YELLOWLEGS were also still present. 

'Beetlebum' by Blur

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