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Sunday, 19 October 2014

3 Short-toed Lark on St Mary's

2 of the 3 Short-toed Lark on the airfield

 Except for the warm sunshine, the day kinda of started off like last Sunday on the airfield. The Wheatears and pipits had all moved on, but last weeks Snow Bunting was joined by two more a few days ago and I found all 3 birds near to the turning circle. I flushed a Short-toed Lark by the burnt out helicopter and watched it pitch down behind me. Further down the runway, 7 Skylark got up with another 2 Short-toed Lark. They all circled and landed just in front of me and I counted 12 Skylark and 3 Short-toed Lark! One the latter species took off with 8 Skylark and left the other 2 feeding with the remaining birds. A Swallow also flew through.

All 3 Snow Bunting together

The 2 Short-toeds I had last Sunday were not seen throughout the rest of the week until now. A quick call to Graham on St Agnes and he told me that there was no sign of the Short-toed that's been present at Castella Down for the last two weeks. I can only assume that the third bird has made the short hop over. The only other time I've seen 3 Short-toed Lark together was also on the airfield in May '11!

 I was on way to see Ren when news came out that the Barred Warbler was showing very well at Carn Gwarvel. On arrival, the warbler was on show for a good twenty minutes, feeding almost at ground level in the warm bright sunshine at very close range. A few hours later I was at Content and the only birds of note were 2 Brambling with over 80 Chaffinch, 80+Meadow Pipit, 17 Blackcap and 8 Swallow flew through. Yesterday in the same fields I had, a Sedge Warbler and just across the fields at Trenowth, male Ring Ouzel with 30+Redwing. Friday just gone at the latter site I had, single Siberian Chiffchaff, Mistle Thrush, 2 Ring Ouzel and also 30+Redwing.


This Barred warbler has been in the area, dead on a month now, when Mark Anderson found it in the Peninnis allotments! I've observed some good Barreds in my time, but nothing like this one. 

This juvenile Grey Heron also put on a good show at Salkee

Greenshank at Porth Hellick

This Scilly Shrew (Lesser-toothed Shrew) was not in good shape and when I picked it up from the road at Porth Hellick, I found that there were a few fly eggs attached to it's fur at the rear end. As you can see from Robin Mawer's pic. I started to gently take them off and found out that there were more and more deeper in. It was some 30 minutes later that I had finally taken out the last cluster of eggs. The shrew went on it's way into the undergrowth.

When Robin drove around the corner, he thought I had collapsed on the road.

  19 days into October and everyone's commenting that this is the worse October that they've ever experienced. I have to agree and I do remember Oct '92 was also quiet, but we did have a cracking Parula  Warbler to look at on the Garrison to brighten up our days. Hopefully the tail end of hurricane Gonzalo that hits us on Tuesday will bring something in equal to a Parula.

Amazing music!

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