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Monday, 8 June 2015

30 Red Kite a Scilly record!

12 Bee-eater on St Agnes equaling the Scilly record and is the second highest number to be observed in the UK after 18 in Oxfordshire and I've forgot what year that was. 

  This morning, St Agnes awoke to sound of Bee-eaters around the lighthouse. However, when the birds were spotted, there wasn't 7 that were seen yesterday evening, but 12 Bee-eaters! Mid-morning and Ren called to say that the gulls were going crazy above town. I rushed out from the castle and saw my first Hobby of the year, but that wasn't what was putting the gulls up. We soon discovered why when Higgo called to say that he was on Bryher when he could hear the gulls mobbing something. He looked up and spotted a Red Kite coming in off the sea with a flock of gulls following the kite. A closer look at the gulls turned out to be a flock of 30 Red Kite! There has only been over 10 records on Scilly. We continued to scan the skies when Bob Dawson text to say that, from St Agnes he saw them the kites pitch down on Annet and joined the sub-adult COMMON CRANE.  We were all hoping they would make there ways over to Mary's and shortly afterwards I got one low over Lower Moors. For the next hour I was getting calls and text from everyone with maybe up to 8 Red Kite seen on Mary's. I caught up with 3 at Rose Hill and at Pelistry, I got 5 Red Kite Afterwards, the birds just disappeared into thin air and no more were seen.
  Things were only just beginning when contacts from Cornwall told us that the Black Stork that has been in the SW of Cornwall since yesterday was observed leaving Porthgwarra and heading in our direction. Again all eyes were to the skies and an hour later both Ren and Will Scott picked the stork up flying from the ESE low over Lower Moors and out towards Morning Point where it was lost to view. Later we discovered that a local flushed it at close range on the SE slope of the Garrison and fly off towards Peninnis. Shortly afterwards, Doug Page observed it come in off the sea from the SW at Troy Town, St Agnes. Luckily I've seen two already on Scilly, but how much I would of liked to see this one. Maybe it might reappear tomorrow back in Cornwall where all our Red Kite have come from. Of the latter species, over 180 were seen at St Just airport, Cornwall with smaller numbers in the area.

3 Red Kite over pelistry

  Higgo and Robin had twitched the Bee-eater on st Agnes and were hoping to catch the Black Stork maybe. I finished work at 17,53 and just made it for the super boat to Agnes. I got 5 Bee-eater in the post office area, but for the next hour, that was all I saw. I followed these five wherever they went, when I realized that there were 6 then 7 and they continued to increase and were getting very vocal until there were 12 Bee-eater hawking in the air together! They all came down and perched in a Tamarsik and showed very well in the bright sun. It couldn't get better than this, but it did when I just caught 2 Night Heron flying away from me in the direction of Gugh. They were back on, but they looked like one adult and an immature bird. Later, Bob Dawson told me that some visitors had two heron come into the Big Pool at 22.30 last night. Obliviously the same birds. The Bee-eater, on occasions, got up to hawk together and I started counting, 1,2,7,9,13! 13? I counted again and got 12. once more up they got . 1,6,10,13,16,19! Only joking, but I got 13 again. So difficult to get it right when there dancing around and there dipping behind hedges.
  I left the Bee-eater and I could still hear them and glimpsed 5 birds while talking to Doug at the post office just before I caught the boat back home. What an amazing day!

Bee-eaters with St Agnes lighthouse

10 Bee-eater

12 Bee-eater

10 Bee-eater

8 Bee-eater

I spent a lot of time with these amazing birds and this and the forst photo are two of my favorite images

  Yesterday morning I Kayaked over to St Martins and in the hot sun and walked the coastal path hopping to see the adult Purple Heron that was last seen on the 3rd. The only birds of note were singles of Whitethroat, Swift, Wheatear and Sanderling. I also had up to 6 Painted Lady's and 2 Rush Veneer. Back home in the Star Castle garden there were 8 Humming-bird Hawkmoth feeding on the flowers with singles also seen in town

  While observing the 4 Bee-eater at Pungies Lane two days ago, a text came through from Paul St Peere telling me that he had just watched 2 Bee-eater leaving Porthgwarra, SW. This morning the 4 Bee-eater from yesterday on St Agnes had rose to 6 Bee-eater! Are two of the birds the Porthgwarra individuals? Later in the evening there were 7! Who expected that this morning they that there would be 12 Bee-eater!

Rush Veneer at the Daymark

  It seems that the 1st summer Squacco Heron has left us and the last time it was seen (3rd) was when I had it in front of the ISBG hide and as you will hear from this video, it was very vocal.

I've got 4 Mallard type things over a month old from down the road, because the lady had too many. Chesney's girlfriend, Loopy Lucy and myself dug out a pond and they love it!


  1. Utterly glorious looking birds, bee eaters. Wonder if they'll make it as far North as Nottinghamshire in my lifetime...

    1. They were amazing Simon. I think you might get one up your ways. Last year a single was found in my home county, Shropshire and when I lived there over 20 years ago, there were 3 at Ludlow. Just down road, a pair breed, but were unsuccessful in Herefordshire a few years back. So you never know mate.