Bonnie 'Prince' Billy at The Acorn, Penzance, last night. Great gig!
Mid-afternoon yesterday, I left Scilly to go and see Bonnie 'Prince' Billy in Penzance with Paul Semmens and his girlfriend Clare. I arrived in the town at 16.30 and the idea was to go and wait at the stage door of the The Acorn, where he was playing. Here I was hoping to catch him and to sign my guitar. However, I thought I needed to do some shopping first and Bonnie can wait. After 30 minutes I really didn't feel like hanging around for hours at the stage door. As I came out of Sports Direct, I spotted the cult figure at the top of street in a American baseball cap and shades. He was a long ways off up street and I lost sight of him. I started walking up the hill and there he was standing still looking around. 'How ye doing Billy? I'm coming to ye show tonight' He shook me hand and then we had a good chat about music. He agreed to sign me guitar. 'Shit! I brought my daughters guitar by mistake' I told him of the other signatures that I have got on my guitar and he said 'Shit! What a bummer' Anyways, he signed Teans guitar and then walked into the British Heart Foundation Charity shop. The gig itself was tremendous from start to finish. He played with the Trembling Bells and they performed a new collection of songs written by the band, some of which appear on the forthcoming collaborative album The Marble Downs on Damon Albarn's Honest Jon's label. It would of been good to hear some of his well known songs. Someone shouted out 'I see the Darkness' which he sang with Johnny Cash on JC's album, American 111, Solitary Man. They finished the night with an old Merle Haggard song 'Bootle let me Down' I like to thank Paul and Clare for their company and who also put me up for the night .
Mike Hasting on lead guitar with Bonnie in the background
When I left Scilly yesterday, Higgo had been texting me throughout the morning with his finds. First was Hobby, then male GOLDEN ORIOLE, Appleglade, followed by SHORT-TOED LARK, Shipman's Head and finally a female WOODCHAT SHRIKE at Samson Hill. He also had good numbers of common migrants. In the evening the Bryher Short-toed turned up on St Mary's Airfield.
This morning I was returning home on the Scillonian and in Mounts Bay there were 7 Common Scoter and 2 Eider. Also from the boat, 38 Swallow, mainly in one's and two's, flying froim the south and a male Blackcap landed briefly on the deck. Already Chris Ridgard had found 2 RED-RUMPED SWALLOW at Lower Town, St Martins and Big Al had a male GOLDEN ORIOLE in the gorse near the Woolpack, Garrison. When Ritchie arived to have a look, he found a female and at the same time 2 males were also on display. They all flew into the pines never to be seen again. Higgo called to say that he had a brief RED-RUMPED SWALLOW at Shipman Head Down.
Male GOLDEN ORIOLE out in the open at the Woolpack, Garrison Ren Hathway
I was told to have the rest of the day off work and headed up country. After having dinner with Martin and Ren, I walked the coastal path from Porthloo to Bar and saw 60+Wheatear, 100+Swallow, 40+House Martin, 12 Swift, 1 Common Sandpiper and on the golf course, 150 Whimbrel, 1 Skylark, 1 Black-headed Gull and my first male Whinchat of the year. At Trenowth, a Siskin flew over and a walk through the the horse paddock, Newford produced not one bird. However, I kicked the next field and 25+Blackcap, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Tree Pipit came out. I also had another Tree Pipit and Whitethroat on the Garrison, with 20 Swift, 50+Swallow and 25+House Martin.
Up to 60 Wheatear and over 100 Swallow were on the coastal path between Porthloo and Bar
Good numbers of both House Martin and Swift today
150 Whimbrel were on the golf course. This one was one of the 20 at Bar
6 Dunlin, Little Egret and Common Sandpiper at Porthloo
4 Yellow Wagtail were on the airfield
Cuckoo at the Garrison
A record shot of the Tree Pipit at Newford
As many as 10 GOLDEN ORIOLE were seen today including, 5, above the Great Bay, St Martins, 2, Bryher and 3 on the Garrison. There was a CORN BUNTING, Marsh Harrier and the first Wood Warbler of the year on Tresco. Higgo had another good day on Bryher with total of 15 Tree Pipit.
1 SHORT-TOED LARK
2 LESSER WHITETHROAT
2 REED WARBLER
40 WILLOW WARBLER
6 TREE PIPIT
60 HOUSE MARTIN
12 SEDGE WARBLER
1 RED-RUMPED SWALLOW
2 FEMALE 'TYPE' GOLDEN ORIOLE
15 TREE PIPIT
MALE RING OUZEL
1 TURTLE DOVE
1 GREEN SANDPIPER
50 WILLOW WARBLER
Stunning sunset yesterday evening looking from Porthloo Robin Mawer
This was the opening song and it blew me away! Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and Trembling Bells 'I had a Date (With an Open Vien)