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Saturday, 28 September 2013

Purple Heron at Lower Moors

Juvenile purple Heron showing very well in front of the hides at Lower Moors.

  Today turned out pretty bloody good. From first thing this morning, I got texts telling me that the Bluethroat was still present at Higgo's Pool. Mid-morning, like yesterday, I saw it briefly before I got the call to return to work. Throughout the day, the fog was in and out and as a result it stopped the planes flying. While in the Coop, Ritchie called to say that him and Robin had what they thought was a Little Bunting in the same fields as where Ren had a Common Rosefinch yesterday at porthloo. With in minutes, I was looking through Robins scope at a cracking Little Bunting.

This is the best I could get of the male Bluethroat at Higgo's pool

The Little Bunting was always distant feeding in the furrows. As the owners were away, it was hard work arranging access to the area.

  With Subalpine Warbler, Buff-breasted Sandpiper and the first Yellow-browed Warbler of the year on St Agnes, I thought I should go and kick some fields at Content. I had only just climbed the gate when Darren Mason was on the phone telling me that he had just had a Purple Heron fly over the golf course and landed on Taylors Island, porthloo! From the beach we scanned the island and got an adult Grey Heron. However, when we moved further up road, into Robins fields, I scanned the rocks and said I've got it! Through Robins scope you clearly see it was a juvenile and after ten minutes it took flight. It did a lot of flapping around before coming down into Porth Mellon. At the latter site, we were told that it was observed landing on the rocks near to Sharks Pit. It was flushed by two birders and flew out of sight back over the golf course.

This was the first sighting of the juvenile Purple Heron on Taylors island, Porthloo. As you can see the bird was a very long ways off

The light was pretty crap as it flew overhead at Porthloo Beach

  Bob Dawson text me to say that he had just found an AQUATIC WARBLER at the Big Pool, St Agnes! He also found one last year at Porthloo Duckpond. When he returned to St Mary's he joined up with me and we both went up to Content. We got a single Pied Flycatcher and Willow Warbler when we were stopped short again by a call from Darren to say that the Purple heron was in front of the hides at Lower Moors. The bird was on show when we arrived and for the next 30 minutes it gave everyone cracking views. On our way down to the moors, there was a Redstart on the side of the road at Parting Carn. Later I got a call from Higgo to tell me that the Bluethroat was showing well on his pool. With Robin, we all had brief, but good views, in the fading light. We also observed over 250 alba Wagtail, 350+Swallow and single Yellow and Grey Wagtail come into roost in the phragmites. A male Merlin was dashing around and 4 Whimbrel flew overhead

After the call from Darren, we couldn't resist seeing the juvenile Purple Heron at close range and raced down to Lower Moors and were not disappointed.  

Is this the first time that 2 Wrynecks have been photographed together in the UK? At 07.30 I had just dropped some guest off at the airport when Andrew Gardner text me to say he had a Nightingale opposite Robins House, Porthloo. There was no sign of it, but we did get these 2 Wrynecks together.

  As it was early in the morning, Robin was fast asleep in his cosy bed, unaware of the birds showing in front of his window. So to get his attention I threw small stones at his window. For an hour! No response. There were four of us standing just below his window and if he did open his curtains, we were all going to shout 'Messiah, Messiah, Messiah' Just like in the Monty Python movie 'The life of Brian. But he didn't.

When Higgo and I were searching for the Bluethroat, we got a fright and dived into cover as we thought the Abominable Snowman was coming straight for u!. But as it came closer we identified it as Chris Bonnington. We were relieved until we recognised that it was in fact Robin, and we dived back into cover again!

2 Roseate Terns roosting on a boat out in Porthcressa Bay. Two days ago Ren spotted a Roseate Tern roosting in Porthcressa Bay with Sandwich Terns. Later on, another adult was found by Ralph Parks 

A few of the crowd enjoying the Roseates. Note how Paul Buxton is hiding his face from the camera.

Here again we see Paul trying his up most to hide from the camera by trying this time to hide behind a tripod while we were all getting crap views of a wet Wryneck! Can you believe it? A tripod!!
And here is that wet wryneck at where else? Porthloo. Up to 7 Wrynecks were seen on St Mary's today.

And for those who have not seen 'The life of Brian' which I'm sure you all have, here is the snippet from 'He's Not The Messiah'


  1. Hi Kris

    Do you know if the Purple Heron has been seen feeding at all? I'll be arriving on the 12th. Would be nice to think it could stick for a couple of weeks! :o) Things can all change by then of course.



  2. As far as I'm aware Richard, it has not been observed feeding, unless maybe during the night?