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Wednesday, 24 April 2013


Male IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF at lower Moors

  Just after 08.00, I was about to walk through the COOP door when I bumped into Higgo 'There's a IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF singing at Lower Moors!' Bloody 'ell! Higgo could hear a Iberian Chiffchaff all the way from Lower Moors! A twenty minute walks away from where we were. All I could hear were sparrows on the roof tops above us.
  It was not until mid-afterrnoon that myself, 925 and Lucy in the dense fog, made are way down to Lower Moors. Off Trench Lane we found Higgo in a field and he told us that it was here a short time ago. After about twenty minutes I went off searching for it and as I climbed over the gate out of the field, I could hear the chiff in sub-song nearby. I quickly shouted the others over and with it still being vocal, we located it in the Sallows next to the small car park at Trench Lane. Here it showed well on and off, sometimes in full song. For a few minutes we lost it, until Nigel picked it up bathing in the stream on the main path leading towards the hides before it disappeared deeper into cover.

 By the chiffy being very vocal, it was easy to locate when it went missing. For most of us, this was a new species and only the second Scilly record after Will finding a singing male at Holy Vale in spring '92. However, I was told today that there was a singing male singing in The Parsanage some 33 years ago in spring '80. The birders who found it put the news out, but no one was interested in seeing it! 
Also today, a Short-toed Lark turned up on the golf course, the male Woodchat Shrike from yesterday was still at Telegraph and the PALLID SWIFT briefly flew over Porth Hellick at 16.00 where there was also the first Reed Warbler of the year.
  Yesterday, 925, Mad Max and I went looking for the female Woodchat Shrike at Pelistry and found it showing well in the cove below the coastal path. We also saw are first Common Sandpiper in the area.

First heard this in 2004 when it first came out and I've always thought it was a great song. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit "Danko/Manuel" from "Live From Alabama. Danko/Manuel"is the second track on the LP 'Dirty South' by the 'Drive By Truckers. Isbell writing of the song is a departure from the usual southern gothic lyrical style written by Cooley and Hood. Originally Isbell tried to tell the story of Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, and The Band's demise, but found the scope of the concept too difficult to actually do justice to their story, and instead shifted the concept to a telling of life of a musician through the eyes and actions of Danko and Manuel. Isbell stated that the horn parts for the song came to him in a dream.

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