I returned to Scilly and the first bird I see of note of all things, is a Sub-adult Iceland Gull at Porthloo that's been around the islands in the last two weeks.
Last Sunday, I made that long trip down the M5 on a National Express bus to Penzance. I was on the front seat behind the driver and slept very well. However, there were an old couple on the opposite side to me and they were chatting to the driver a lot. A hell of a lot! They commented on everything that they saw ahead of the bus on the road. 'Look Pat, there's a van with two old horse carts on the back' She rose up a little from her seat and said 'Oh yes, and just in front is the wagon with the horses in' It wasn't, it was a Tesco lorry! No, it was a horse cart. They asked Paul, the driver, where he was from? 'Newcastle and it's just started snowing there' In his Irish accent, the old man replied 'Match?' Paul responded with 'Newcastle played yesterday against Spurs' The couple chuckled 'No, was there much snow?' The driver told a joke to them and they both laughed. It was a crap joke. Anyway, Pat came out with 'I'm suprised I can laugh after my operation' Paul the driver replied ' Oh, you had an operation around your face or somethin?' 'No, on my foot!' I only just managed to keep it together.
The following morning, the 11th, I was back at work on Scilly. I had just spoken to both Tony and Ritchie who were parked outside Star Castle, and then I rolled down the hill. I had only been in town for a few minutes when they called to tell me that an Iceland Gull flew past them and landed at Porthloo. At the latter site I joined them and had distant views of a sub-adult Iceland Gull preening on the rocks.
Later I was driving down Old Town Hill, when I got cracking flight views of a Woodcock that slowly flew low across directly in front of me! At work I found my second Scilly record of a False Black Widow on the wall of the toilet. The other record I had was just round corner in the castle garden, February 2011. At the moment, also in the castle garden, there are up to 8 Meadow Pipit and a female Sparrowhawk.
Makes a change to see a white-winged gull in pretty suroundings instead of a tip!
The 3 Ring-necked Duck that arrived on Tresco in October last year, over -wintered and all moved over to Porth Hellick
Male and female Ring-necked Duck at Porth Hellick
All 6 Greenland White-fronted Geese that also arrived in October last year, were still present on Porth Hellick
Grouper is the solo project for ambient musician Liz Harris, of Portland, Oregon. Harris' music is a mixture of softly-strummed guitar, Wurlitzer keys, and her delicate, dreamy vocals, all of which are heavily drenched in reverb. In 2008 she was praised as "druggy and sexy and arty and pretty". A review on Drowned in Sound called her "deeply meditative, almost spiritual.