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Sunday, 6 May 2012


The 2 RED-RUMPED SWALLOW were finally pinned down at Longstones

  A great day right from the word go! Graham and I made our way to Green Farm/Pelistry and almost immediately saw a male Redstart and in the same field, our first 2 Turtle Dove of the year. At Pelistry there were 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Tree Pipit, 2 Whitethroat, 3 Blackcap, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Willow Warbler, another Turtle Dove, and as I entered one of the grass fields, I shouted 'HOOPOE!' and we both watch it fly some distance into a large dead pine. There were hirundines everywhere and 25+Swift in the skies. We made our way home to have a bite to eat, and within minutes of being there, Martin called to say that he had one of the RED-RUMPED SWALLOW at Maypole Triangle. We were there in seconds, but it had disappeared. Robin turned up and we drove to the riding stable and I spotted the RR Swallow from his car. Again it had gone. I went walker abouts and got another male Redstart and Whitethroat. Ralf Parks, whose here for a long weekend, informed us that there was a report of a large pipit sp on the golf course showing pale lores. We all said, it's a Richard's Pipit then. We teamed up with Tony and Ritchie on the GC and 45 minutes later, no sign.

A Spotted Flycatcher and 2 Whitethroat were at Pelistry

  With Robin we went to Bants Carn and found a cracking male Whinchat, 6 Whitethroat, the ROOK  and a summer plumage Great Northern Diver flew high above The Roads.. Again hirundines were all over the shop. Robin went to watch the finals of the World Championships Gigs and Graham and I drove around the island looking the RR Swallow. It was not until we got to Porth Hellick and while in the van, Graham relocated it on the telephone wires. It quickly moved off towards Longstones and that's where we to next. From here Graham picked it up and in five minutes, the gang arrived. Everyone connected with it and noted it had a missing tail streamer. However, the one we had at Porth Hellick, had two tail streamers. So we saw 2 birds and this was confirmed when the two tail streamer swallow turned up.

Porth Hellick crowd searching for the RR Swallow

   By now Bob Swale, whose here for 3 months doing a breeding birds survey, joined us and we all decided to try for the large pipit sp. Here I picked up a large pipit flying towards us and briefly land out of sight in long grass before flying onto the fairway. As it flew low, I couldn't help but notice how pale it was and strongly suspected that it was going to be a Tawny Pipit. It looked very good and what I could see through my bins on the deck, but when I looked at the pics that I had taken, you could clearly see that it did indeed have pale lores, suggesting maybe Richard's Pipit. However, it still looked like a Tawny Pipit and as Graham came up towards me, he had not seen the bird yet, I said to him, it looks like a 'TAWNY PIPIT with pale lores'  I immediately put the news out that it was a Tawny Pipit and as I left, the boys came up to have a look.

TAWNY PIPIT showing apparent lack of dark lores. This could possibly be explained by the pre-breeding partial moult still being in progress. According to Svensson this occasionally happens late April early May 

  Bob was still with us when we got my first Garden Warbler at Pelistry and relocated the HOOPOE in the same fields to where we had it this morning. This time it showed a lot better, distantly, and as we tried to get a little closer, we also flushed the Turtle Dove. The NIGHTENGALE was heard and seen well at Shooters Pool throughout the day on and off by other observers. I gave it twenty minutes and got 2 Willow Warbler and 1 Sedge Warbler. Graham, Higgo and Chrissy arrived, but they too had no joy. All together, what we saw on St Mary's, hirundines included, 3-400 Swallow, 80 House and 20 Sand Martin and also 50+Swift.

HOOPE kept it's distance

While observing the Turtle Dove, this Collard Dove chased where ever it decided to go and on the deck, started to desplay towards the Turtle Dove

The haunting vioce of Jesse Sykes with 'Winter Hunter'

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