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Saturday, 25 February 2012

WILSON'S SNIPE at Lower Moors

Presumed to be the same WILSON'S SNIPE from 2011 that was last seen on the 24th December.

  I thought I would return to Lower Moors and try for the Short-eared Owl this morning. For the forth time this year, after returning back from the mainland over 2 weeks ago, I ventured into the ISBG Hide. From here there were 7 Snipe and the Jack Snipe on the far side. 4 of them appeared black and white, but one individual stuck out from the rest. All I could see was the upper part of the bird and after 10 minutes, it started moving. Thinking that it was possibly the Wilson's Snipe, that was last reported on the 24th December last year, for the next 20 minutes I was glued to it. Then it stretched it's wings and briefly showed it's axillaries, before moving deeper into cover. A quick glance on the camera and yes it looked very good. I was late for work and there was no way I would be going home for a while.  When I found time I went to Ren's and he too seemed to think it looked good. However, I still needed to see the pics up on the computer and have a closer look. After work I rushed to the Scillonian Club and showed the pics to both Higgo, 925 and Big Al. 'Higgo, think I got that bloody snipe?' He looked at the pics on the camera and said 'Put the news out boy, It's a WILSON'S SNIPE!'

WILSON'S SNIPE at Lower Moors

If you like electric swing music, then have a listen to this 'Chambermaid swing' by White Mink

Friday, 24 February 2012

Yellow-legged Gull at Porth Mellon

Pulled over to the side of the main road overlooking the tip and scanning with me bins picked out the 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull that I had last week at Porthloo. From the road, this gull was a long ways off and when Tony arrived to look at it, it had moved on. Later I also caught up very briefly with the 2nd winter Iceland Gull nearby.

  One of the locals, Angie Greenlaw, got my attention to tell me that she had just been watching a Short-eared Owl down Lower Moors. It was not until an hour later that I could get down there and when arrived at the hides, there was another local, Steve Sherris, ready with his camera. He showed me some good pics of the owl he took earlier on and then told me that he found it two days ago, the same day that Smoothy also saw it. While waiting, on view was a Kingfisher, Jack Snipe and 12 Redwings flew out SE.

Jack Snipe, Kingfisher, Pied Wagtail and Teal

  The fog was closing in and at 17.00, after almost an hour of waiting for the SEO, we decided to leave. I walked with Steve towards Old Town, we had a chat and then I turned round and made my way to me wagon at the Rose Hill end. As I was nearing the hides, I heard a Firecrest close behind me and when I turned, bloody el, there it was! I could of touched the Short-eared owl as it was at arms lengh away. It was all too brief and disappeared over the trees.
  Yesterday I had 2 Rusty Dot Pearls at home, attracted to the outside light. Also a few days ago, single twenty-plume Moths at both home and Star Castle.

The light was crap and by the time I got me camera on the SEO, it was always flying away from me.

I got an email asking, 'where's the music gone?' and that was it. It's time I'm afraid, but I'll try to keep up. I first heard this song in '97 on the Bob Harris Show. 'Sweet Surrender' by Sarah Mclachlan.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Yellow-browed Warbler on Tresco

 Yellow-browed Warbler at the Heliport

  A spring like day with bright sunshine and Smoothy and I, with 30 other people, went to Tresco. It started off slow with a male Shoveler and the male Scaup on the Abbey Pool. Reaching Rosefields Crossroads, we could hear a Firecrest nearby and after pishing, it gave itself up and showed well. No sign of the Bullfinches or the Dusky warbler along Pool Road from last week, but on the Great Pool were a pair of Tufted Duck and Pochard, 17 Redshank, 4 Greenshank and only 2 male Pintail. The Buzzard was also out in the sun.

Male Shoveler with Gadwall on the Abbey Pool

  We decided to split up. Smoothy heading off in the direction of Bourough Farm and I returned to the Abbey Pool. Here I located a Yellow-browed Warbler with a single Blackcap and 2 Chiffchaff feeding together in the sun. I've never seen a YB Warbler in February and like last weeks Dusky Warbler, it could of quite easily be one of the birds from Lower Moors, St Mary's, that were still present at the beginning of January and hoped across to Tresco. Who knows? Trying to get closer to the warbler, I ventured into the marshy bit and flushed a Jack Snipe.

This was the first Yellow-browed Warbler I've seen in February

  I followed the coastal path towards the the Block House and came across the 2 1st winter male Eider off South Beach, we had already seen the other 1st winter male in St Mary's Harbour earlier on, and the pair of Long-tailed Duck off Pentle Bay. All birds were quite distant, but the Scaup that was first on the Abbey Pool, I disturbed as it fed close in shore. Off the Block House itself roosting on the rocks in the channel were 15 Grey Plover, 17 Bar-tailed Godwit, 40+Curlew, 7 Little Egret and with a small flock of Turnstone, a single Purple Sandpiper. I didn't see one last year.

Male Scaup off South Beach with Hugh Town in the back ground on St Mary's

The pair of Long-tailed Duck were a long way off

Up to 40+Ringed Plover and 30+Sanderling were feeding just below the Block House

  Back on St mary's we looked off Bar Point just before dark and found the 7 dark-bellied Brent Geese that have been around in this area for over a week now and in the Roads there were 7 Great Northern Diver.

Late yesterday evening I came across this 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull at Portrhloo. It was only present on the deck for a minute, before making a circult above my head and flying in the direction towards Tresco. That night I sent the images to Graham on St Agnes, telling him to look out for it while seaching through the gulls. A few days later he found a different 1st winter on Periglis! 


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Blue-winged Gull

For the first time I managed to get some cracking views of the female BLUE-WINGED TEAL at Lower Moors since it's arrival at Porth Hellick at the end of November last year.

On Porth Mellon Beach the 2nd winter Iceland Gull also put in a good performance.

In the 10 minutes that was in the hide, the BLUE-WINGED TEAL showed very well

Sunday, 12 February 2012


DUSKY WARBLER showing well at Harry's Walls

  First thing this morning in the still, overcast conditions, Graham and I took a look at Lower Moors and feeding with 5 Teal on Shooters Pool was the female BLUE-WINGED TEAL. Just up road at Harry's Walls, we located the DUSKY WARBLER by call in Clive and Janes garden. It showed and was feeding very well on large caterpillars in the company of a single Chiffchaff. The male Peregrine also flew over and just off Sharks Pit was the 1st winter male Eider. A look from Star Castle found a Black-throated with 16 Great Nothern Diver.

Both the DUSKY WARBLER and Chiffchaff followed each other aound the field

  At 10.30 we were heading towards Tresco and on the Great Pool there were 2 male and a female Pintail, male Pochard, female Tufted Duck, male Scaup and a Little Grebe. We moved on along Pool Road and were surprised by the lack of birds. I went through a gap in the Sallows and when I returned, I found Graham sitting under the pines. As I approached Graham, 'There's a DUSKY WARBLER in here!' I heard it to my right and when it called again, Graham believed that he heard it. For the next ten minutes we heard the bird a few times behind the bushes in front of us. However, for the next half an hour of seaching up and down the track, there was no sign of it. Graham moved further up road with me close behind. Then I heard it and as I turned around, I saw it dive into cover to my left. Another seach and nothing and we decided to go and have a look at the Abbey Pool.

Male Scaup

2 male and a female Pintail and you can just make out the Little Grebe behind the middle Pintail

 After seeing a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull in Pentle Bay, Graham wanted to go and look for the warbler again. There was no sight or sound, but while I was going through a flock of over 50 Chaffinch nearby, Graham shounted 'i've got a Bullfinch and we both saw 2 birds. Walking back to Carn Near to catch the boat we got a Lesser Redpoll at Well Cover and the 1st winter Spoonbill off South Beach.

Lesser Redpoll at Well Cover

1st winter Spoonbill off South Beach

Yesterday, both Graham and I got the 2nd winter Iceland Gull from me wagon at Porthmellon