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Sunday, 21 April 2013

Merlin takes ST Lark

PALLID SWIFT in the evening light over St Mary's with Samson and Bryher in the distance

   Yesterday it turned out to be the best day of the year and at 14.00 I set off to samson in the canoe. I passed the female Eider and 2 Great Northern Diver (one in stonking summer plumage) but on the island the only birds of interest were 3 Willow Warbler and 10 Wheatear. After an hour I went on to twitch the Hoopoe and Short-toed Lark that had turned up on Bryher this morning. Walking towards where the former species was, I met Robin and he told where to go for the lark on Shipmanshead Down. 'It's inbetween the two small patches of gorse looking from the highest point towards St Agnes' I got the Hoopoe in flight over Watch Hill and in 15 minutes of being on Bryher, I was going to see the lark. I easily found the two gorse bushes and there was a bird right in the center of them. However, not the one I wanted to see. A female Merlin was busy plucking, what I can only guess, was Wagstaff's Short-toed Lark. Shite!

  A short paddle across the channel and I was on Tresco. Lots of Willow Warblers singing and at Rosefields Crossroads was a Firecrest. No sign of the 3 Ring-necked Ducks.

2 Great Northern Divers were just off Samson

This is what I would of seen if I had ran up to Shipmanshead instead of taking my time. top three pics taken by Robin Mawer

The ramains of the ST Lark. I was also told later that the pallid Swift was nearly taken a Peregrine. Two years ago, Ritchie and I observed a Sparrowhawk take a Bee-eater
While I was on Samson, this female Woodchat Shrike was at Pelistry. Robin Mawer

This Arctic Tern was in Porthcressa Bay, 19th April.
Will also found this female Dotterel on Shipmans Head a few days ago, but there was no sign of it today. Robin Mawer
The next day, after the Pallid Swift was found at Porth Hellick, I had it fly low infront of me while driving me wagon past Porth Mellon. It was only there for a few minutes and I managed to take a some pics before it disappeared. It was two days later when Paul semmens relocated it hawking off Penninis Head and was last seen at Porth Hellick yestreday.
While watching the swift from the top of Airport Lane, the 6 Greenland White-fronted Geese made a large circle around the island before flying off east. The following day there was no sign of them
Looking from porthloo towards Samson Robin Mawer

Many music fans know Pete Thomas and Davey Faragher as longtime members of Elvis Costello's band. Many are familiar with the ubiquitous guitar playing of Val McCallum. Relatively few have experienced them together as Jackshit The Band. In this clip, they kidnap John Horton's classic "I'm Coming Home" and take it for wild and reckless spin around the block.

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