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Friday, 2 October 2015

Red-throated Diver at Porthcressa

A cracking summer plumage Red-throated Diver showing very well at Porthcressa Bay

  This morning I got a text from Andrew Gardener saying that he had the summer plumage Red-throated Diver in Porthcressa Bay. This is the bird that was seen flying towards St Martins in The Roads on the 30th September by Paul Semmens. The two visits that I made to see the bird found it over 100 miles away towards Peninnis! I was told that it showed well at high tide earlier on and decided to return just after 18.00 two hours before high tide. I was rewarded briefly with it performing at only a few meters away from the shore as I tried to hide among the boulders . However, I was always looking directly into the sun.

If only the light was behind me. This is only my 6th Scilly record. The last two sightings were a W/P showing off at close range off Town Beach. The other was another S/P that was ridiculously tame off the east end of the Tresco beaches and was even observed swimming through Bryan Thomas legs!!  

  I had an hour and at Green Farm there was an obvious fall of Blackcap with up to 30 including 15+in a single Hawthorn with a Lesser Whitethroat and Whitethroat. Nearby there was a Firecrest, 12 were on St Mary's today, Wheatear, 7 Chiffchaff and 2 Siskin and 2 Skylark. 

Blackcaps and a single Whitethroat Altogether over 200 Blackcap were seen on st Mary's including over 60 at Porth Hellick/Carn Friars.

  A Great-spotted Woodpecker that was seen briefly on Tresco two days ago was observed flying over Trenowth towards Bar Point before returning to Tresco. On Tresco Great Pool were 6 Wigeon and 2 Jack Snipe and nearby 2 Firecrest. On St Martins there were up to 3 Yellow-browed Warbler with 2 on St Mary's and St Agnes. The latter island hosted a very rare sighting in the form of a male Wigeon on the Big Pool and 2 Firecrest. The only Wryneck reported was on Gugh where there was also a Redstart. A Redpoll was at Longstones and the Pectoral Sandpiper was joined by 2 Jack Snipe with a single of the latter species also at Lower Moors

I want to see one of these. Graham Gorden came across this 'schmidtii' Small Copper a few days ago at Apple Carn. Bob Dawson noted that 'the iridescence I gather is caused by 'interference': light hitting the wing interferes with light being reflected, and can be blue, green or gold (and probably a bunch of others!). Apparently a male holding a small territory and went eagerly in pursuit of a female who solicited briefly then scooted off. From looking online the 'white' form is a single recessive gene aberration and more often seen in the third brood, which we're well into now. Quite possibly the 'white' males are disadvantaged (e.g. can't warm up as much or as quickly, or perhaps sustain courtship flights). This one is certainly far easier to approach than normal coloured males, plus holds only a very small territory. All pics by Bob Dawson

Looking from Trewince towards Star Castle this evening

Laura Beatrice Marling (born 1 February 1990) is an English folk singer-songwriter and musician from EversleyHampshire. Her debut album Alas, I Cannot Swim, her second album I Speak Because I Can, and her fourth album Once I Was An Eagle were all nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2008, 2010, and 2013, respectively. She won the Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist at the 2011 Brit Awards, and was nominated for the same award at the 2012 and 2014 Brit Awards.

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