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Tuesday, 15 November 2011


I saw up to 14 Black Redstart on Castle Down including this cracking male

  I don't know what's going on with me and Dusky Warblers at the moment. I was coming down the coastal path from Castle Down towards Gimble Porth when in front of me I could hear a DUSKY WARBLER! Surely it's got to be a Wren taking the piss out of Dusky Warbler. But no it wasn't. The bird flew out of the bracken across my path and landed tpo me right out in the open. Here it showed very well, calling all the time, but it was all too brief and it flew into the Rhododendron Hedge nearby. It was now out of sight, however, I could still hear it. Unless it came out, there was no chance of me seeing deep in there. I had no time to wait and left it alone with it still calling. This is the third Dusky Warbler I've now found on Scilly in just over three weeks. The first was at Lower Moors, 24th October, followed by one at Porth Hellick, 11th November and both birds were still present yesterday. early this evening in the Scillonian Club, the lads said if I was letting them go out of me pocket!?

Acracking start to the day looking east from Star Castle

  I stopped off at Porthloo early this morning on my way to the quay. There was 2 Black Redstart, including a new bird and a juvenile Greenland Wheatear

  In blusty SE with blue skies, I arrived on Tresco at 08.30. On the Great Pool there was a female SCAUP, 16 Redshank, male Shoveler, 45 Teal, 24 Gadwall and 6 Mute Swan. As I came out of the Swarovski hide, 2 'grey' geese were flying east over Middle Down. They were my first Pink-footed Geese of the year. Along Pool Road there were a lot of Chiffchaff, including a 'easten' type. 2 Redpoll and the Buzzard flew over, a female Brambling was with 25+Chaffinch and there was also a Firecrest. Mid-way along the road and I could hear a Pied Flycatcher! I located it at in the top of a Sallow and then it disappeared. It's the first time I've seen a Pied Fly in November. But on the mainland in the last few days there's been House Martin, Whinchat, Garden Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, a Nightengale and only last week, Pied Flycatcher! What's going on? At the SE end of the pool, the long staying 1st winter LESSER YELLOWLEGS was feeding with 12 Redshank. Here the Greenshank were very vocal and next thing I knew, 10 birds are up in the air and flying out very high NNE.
  On the Abbey Pool there was that TuftedxScaup hybrid thing from St Agnes. Low numbers of Teal, Mallard and Gadwall and a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull, there was nothing else of note.

2 Pink-footed Geese heading out east

'easten' type Chiffchaff with over 30 Chiffchaff

9 of the 10 Greenshank moving out

male TuftedxScaup on the Abbey Pool

  I met a visiting birder, Fred Slater, and he told me that there were lots of Black Redstart and a single Wheatear on Castle Down. I wasn't going to go on top of the down,  but with that 'easten' race Black Red in Kent, you never know.  I kicked 2 Short-eared Owl from beneath me feet and there was a female Merlin all over the shop. Walking along the costal path, I counted 14 Black Redstart, including 2 males and from the cliff face, flushed a Woodcock. Just arrived from in off the sea, maybe? Then as I made my way down to Gimble Porth and I heard the DUSKY WARBLER...

This is where the Dusky Warbler was before disappearing into the Rhododendron Hedge

This male Black Redstart performed really well

There were up to 14 Black Redstart altogether

2 Short-eared Owl were pushed out from roosting in the heather having no idea they were there.

Woodcock flying up the valley after being flushed off the cliff face

Herring Gulls over South Beach

 Returning to the quay I had a quick look at the Great Pool and found the LESSER YELLOWLEGS showing very well, but as it was getting on for 16.00, the light was crap!

Tresco Channel looking from Carn Near while waiting for the rib to come in

'No Ceiling' by Eddie Vedder from the movie 'Into the Wild' My daughter Tean and I like playing this song and thinking of singing it at the folk night this Saturday. Well me trying to play it on guitar and Tean singing.

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