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Friday, 6 May 2016

RED-FOOTED FALCON at Porth Hellick

Yesterday in the space of over two hours in the golf course area, St Mary's, I found Golden Oriole, Red-rumped Swallow and Woodchat Shrike, all in this order. 

 Today and yesterday the ENE winds turned up the goods as expected. This morning Seth Gibson and I were up at Porth Hellick at first light hoping to relocate the probable Red-footed Falcon that we both saw yesterday evening with Robin, Big Al briefly at Porth Hellick while observing the Red-rumped Swallow. 
  The male Marsh Harrier put in an appearance around the pool with over 70 House and 2 Sand martin and 35 swallow, but it wasn't until we got to the ringing station, while on a female Pied Flycatcher, that Seth picked up a falcon hawking back and forth over the hangers. RED-FOOTED FALCON! Although it was a long ways off, you could see it was catching insects in mid-air and we starting moving quickly towards it. Seth picked up the falcon again, this time it was a little closer, before it headed east over towards Porth Hellick Down. We alerted others and slowly toured the island but drew a blank and we both had to get back to work.

As the bird was streaked on the underparts, this would point to 1st summer female RED-FOOTED FALCON as you can clearly see in these images in the crap morning light! If accepted this will be the 9th Scilly record after the 1st summer male that Will Scott found at Longstones '14. The year before Viv Jackson found a female on st Martins!

  The idea for the rest of the day was to try and re-find the falcon, As it was seen twice at Porth Hellick, it seemed the ideal place for us to search for it. As a result I got yesterdays Red-rumped Swallow again and a redpoll sp flew east. Later on in the evening, I relocated the female Woodchat Shrike at the golf course, where there were 10 Wheatear and one of the Iceland Gulls was hanging out , when Bob Dawson contacted me to say he had a Black-tailed Godwit at Porth Hellick. That would finish the day off nicely and as I made my ways down towards the pool, the male Marsh Harrier showed well over the reeds. I joined Martin and Robin in the seaward hide and observed the summer plumag Black-tailed Godwit feeding on the far side. Just as Robin left the hide, Martin said 'What's that?' My reply was 'bloody ell it's a Night Heron!' It was an adult and it circled the pool for a good few minutes, touched down briefly in the NE corner of the pool and then resumed circling the area. Joe Pender just got on to it before it disappeared into the sallows near to the road. Both Robin and Dawson got the heron. Later on, Dawson told me that he heard the Night Heron over Normandy, just before we saw it, although he didn't actualy see it.

  Also today on St Mary's, 925 had a House MartinxSwallow and Turtle Dove on the Garrison. The male Iberian Chiffchaff and SNOWY OWL were on Tresco. Of the latter species, pellets have been found on the down and contain both Red-legged Partridge and almost all Brown Rat. Also on the down there was the second spring record of Golden Oriole on Castle Down and on the Great Pool there was odd record of a female Goldeneye.

Red-rumped Swallow at Porth Hellick. A single observer claimed one over the chicken fields at nearby Parting Carn yesterday and this morning at Lower Moors.

This male Marsh Harrier has been around for over two weeks

Cracking summer plumage Black-tailed Godwit on the pool

Adult Night Heron at Porth Hellick. 

 Yesterday morning Ritchie got me racing to Deep Point where him and Tony observed the adult male Montague's Harrier come down behind the carn at Deep Point. Unfortunately, when a few of us got there, it had moved on, but we did get a Tree Pipit fly in off the sea. In the afternoon from 14.00, I had a few hours off work. I was at the east end of the golf course, when Higgo called to say that he had just found a female Woodchat Shrike in the campsite fields, Bryher. Just as I put the phone down, a flash of yellow flew ahead of me in the pine belt, 1st summer male Golden Oriole. I continued into the Trewince fields and picked up a some 30 House Martin in the distance and as they flew north, for a split second I caught sight of a Red-rumped Swallow before disappearing towards Content. For the next hour I went searching for it to no avail. I did get 2 Turtle Dove and a single Swift. I returned to the golf course and saw some movement in the center wall of the course. I lifted my bins up and got a shock when I saw a female Woodchat Shrike looking directly at me. It proved very mobile and I took some record shots before getting back to work.
  Early evening and Martin had relocated the Red-rumped Swallow at Kittidown. Here I got much better views feeding with 50 House Martin. I moved on with Seth to look for a report of another Red-rumped Swallow in the Lower Moors area. All we got were over 40 House Martin, 20 Swallow and our first Whinchat of the year.
  Before all this happened, Seth had a Richard's Pipit over the campsite, 07.00

  On Bryher, Higgo observed some 200 House Martin move east in the hour over the head of the Snowy Owl on Shipmans head. 2 male Redstart were also present and a Yellow Wagtail was on Tresco.

  On the 4th May, we had a small influx of 13 Turtle Dove with 10 birds on St Mary's. I managed to see 5 of them at Porth Hellick and there were 3 on Bryher.

1st summer male Golden Oriole at the golf course. 

Female Woodchat Shrike proving mobile also on the golf course 

And of course both juvenile Iceland Gulls were on the golf course

altogether I got 5 Tree Pipit including this one at Content

Also up to 5 Spotted Flycatcher

Willow Warbler and male Blackcap

Last week there were 3 Golden Plover at the airfield.

In the Reins is a joint EP by Calexico and Iron & Wine, released by Overcoat Recordings on September 13, 2005. Iron & Wine's Sam Beam wrote all of the songs, which were recorded by the two bands together at Wavelab Studio in Tucson, Arizona. The album peaked at #135 on the Billboard 200. Both later collaborated on a cover of Bob Dylan's "Dark Eyes" for the I'm Not There soundtrack, while Calexico's Joey Burns was featured on Iron & Wine's third LP, The Shepherd's Dog.

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