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Saturday, 8 October 2011


Juvenile UPLAND SANDPIPER feeding in a ploughed field at Maypole Triangle!

  A YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER has been at Newford Duckpond for the last few days. So after doing a 07.00 taxi, I drove down to have a look for my first one of the year. There were 4 Chiffchaff and 1 Blackcap in the area and then I heard that distinct call and saw it briefly in the large Willow. After a few minutes it came out showed pretty well.


  It wasn't until mid-afternoon that I had time to have a look at the back of me garden. In the Sallows, I could see some movment and put my bins up. Chiffchaff, YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER! Another and this one showed a lot better and was joined briefly by the SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF and 4 Chiffchaff.

The YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER stuck to the top branches

SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF only showed briefly

  At 15.45, I was on the path at Lower Broom watching a pale looking Chiffchaff with two other birders, when the radio came alive. A Jim Lawrence calmly said 'Calling all birders. Calling all birders' When you hear someone on the radio saying that, you listen as you know it's going to be something good and the mind plays games thinking what is it going to be? 'There is an UPLAND SANDPIPER in the ploughed field at Maypole!' I don't think any of us was expecting that, but were very pleased with what we had heard. The two birders I was with, increased to four! With them, I picked up in town, Bryan, Tim Vaughan and Higgo and flew to Maypole. There were already over 40 birders looking at the bird when we arrived. We joined them and found that the sandpiper was in a furrow out of sight. The first view I got, through Tony's scope, was it's head poking up from the furrow. Then it was on top showing at the far end of the field. I could see further up the road, birders getting better views than me and ran towards them. Here, the bird was a lot closer showing off it's bright /oranagy/yellowish legs. Whilst I was filming it, a Small Marbled landed on my camcorder! Jim had looked over into the field to check for Wheatear and got a shock when he stubbled on an Upland Sandpiper! I discovered later that Martin Wally saw it very briefly touch down on the airfield just by the windsock, before flying off showing those amazing bright yellow legs.
  I had to do a taxi at 16.15 and just before dark, I returned to watch it settle down in one of the furrows, presumed to go to roost, with only two other birders also present.
 This was my firth Scilly Upland Sandpiper, including 2 together in the famous October '99

This is the 16th record of Upland Sandpiper for Scilly

1883 12th October, shot on Scilly
1922 22nd September, shot, Tresco and now in the Abbey Collection
1960 17-28th November, St Mary's Airfield
1968 26th September-12th October, commuting with St Mary's Airfield and Tresco.
1968 4th October,St Mary's, then in Cornwall two days later
1972 7-28th October, St Mary's, commuting with St Mary's Airfield and the Golf Course
1982 18th-31st October, St Agnes, Big Pool, briefly visiting St Airfield and Pelistry, 29th
1983 15-16th October, St Mary's. This is the famous individual that was fed earthworms from the hand near the hospital
1984 23rd-27th October, St Martins, fields near Seven Stones Inn  
1986 22nd October-17th November, St Mary's, Maypole fields
1990 10-24th October, St Mary's Airfields, brief visits to St Agnes, 15th and Tresco, 20th
1993 6th October-18th November, St Mary's, Content and Telegraph fields. At Telegraph it was feeding with a American Golden Plover
1995 12th October, St Mary's, Four Lanes briefly and with others, we observed it flying off east. It was relocated in Cornwall, 21st October at Polgigga.
1999 7th-31st October, St Mary's, Airport Lane, joined by a second bird from the 11th after being seen at the Daymark, St Martins the day before. The only time 2 have been recorded together in Britain

Robin Mawer

Nick Bond

Just before dark

It looked like the old days with maybe something like over 150 birders on site

Mayploe Triangle being used as car park

'Do you know how to set this bloody tripod up? If only I had my glasses' 'You can start Higgo by turning the tripod up the right way'

Stackridge with'Something about the Beetles'

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