Adult CASPIAN TERN resting at Porth Hellick
At 11.15 this morning I was walking the Trewince fields and heard a Yellow-browed Warbler in the pine belt followed by a male Redsatart. In one of the fields there were three large gulls. I lifted my bins and was drawn to the second year bird by it's white head, beady eye and the shape of it's head and it gave me the impression of a Caspian Gull! It was sitting down so I couldn't see the legs. As it flew off, the profile of the head was spot on. As this was a first for Scilly I had to get the news out quick. I had left my CB radio in me wagon and tried to call Will 'Greedy Blyth's' Scott but got through to Martin Goodey instead and told him to put out on the radio, Caspian Gull heading left flying towards town from Trewince! He did and called me back to tell me that he called Radio 4. They said if it's news then we need to know if it's left or right? He told them that I said it was leaning left. There response was, were not interested unless we can lie about it and use it to twist a story to make believe that the left is something you should avoid and stay to the right with the Blairites and Tories. In the end Martin told me that Scilly Radio were interested. Ideal I thought! Then Martin said 'CASPIAN TERN!!' I responded 'No, Caspian Gull' He came back with 'Yes, Caspian Tern heading towards Porth Hellick' Oh dear 'No, it's a Caspian gull and it's heading towards town' Do you really think I would make the mistake of a Caspian Tern for a Caspian Gull or a Caspian Gull for a Caspian Tern? That's like mistaken a branch for a log! 'No, there's a Caspian Tern on the beach at Porth Hellick!!' I got pretty excited when I realized where he was coming from. I better make my ways down there then.
It looks good and I sent the pics off to some gull experts and was told that, there might be some Caspian Gull genes in there, as there is a definite look to it's head. Feeling on those well barred coverts, insipid greater coverts without nicely defined band, washout tailband with barred uppertail coverts, finely streaked rather than white head and the bill narrow but not that long for a Caspian Gull. So it's just a Herring Gull! One day this first for Scilly will turn up.
On the pool, 5 Jack Snipe were present but when I got to the hide, Martin told me that there were 9. I counted and got 11 Jack Snipe all on the far side. this is by far the most I've ever seen on Scilly. The Black-tailed Godwit was showing well in front of the hide. Ren called me earlier and told me that there were 11 Jack Snipe at Lower Moors. Later after leaving Porth Hellick he also told me that he to had counted 11 at Porth Hellick. After work, an hour before dark, I made my ways to Lower Moors and with others we also had 11 birds. I had seen 22 Jack Snipe in total!! singles were also seen by other birders at Newford, St Agnes and two were on Tresco where the SORA RAIL was still showing well on the Great Pool.
The only other Caspian Terns I've have ever seen were in Australia some firthteen years ago
What a cracking bird!! The last we saw of the CASPIAN TERN as it flew off east towards Normandy. Between 17.30-40, news came out that it was over Jublee Pool, Penzance! However, it must of been a different one as our bird was back on Porth Hellick beach at 18.07!
This Black-tailed Godwit was at Porth Hellick Pool with 11 Jack Snipe
5 of the 11 Jack Snipe at Lower Moors. with another 11 at Porth Hellick I had a total of 22 Jack Snipe
Yesterday with continuing strong easterlies we had the largest fall of Yellow-browed Warbler to hit the islands with 60+birds. I had 11 including 5 on the Garrison. Also there were a large number of Whinchat I got 8 including 5 at Carn friars. Other birds I observed were 3 Spotted and 1 Pied Flycatcher, 5 Redstart, 2 Willow Warbler, 10+Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 3 Skylark, 2 Black Redstart and at Holy Vale in fields the 2 Cattle Egret. I also had a brief views of the Red-breasted Flycatcher in the garden of Sunnyside Farm. At the same time a Hobby flew overhead and I also caught with the female Common Scoter at Porthcressa. However, the highlight was a Little Bunting on the grassy boatyard at Porthloo showing at very close range found by Clive Watson.
Little Bunting at Porthloo boatyard, another one was also on Tresco.
Out of the 60+Yellow-browed Warbler recorded on Scilly yesterday I managed to see 11 birds in total
Yesterday I got 5 Redstart including this female on the Garrison
I had a total of 8 Whinchat including these two at Carn Friars
That black dot at the top center is the Common scoter and at the bottom of the pic is my pet ducks, until they decided to fly off to spend a holiday on Porthcressa, Pablo and Peter.
All you can make out of this BLYTH'S PIPIT that I kicked out of a field at Porth Hellick, is the larger size from the Meadow Pipit.
2 of the 3 Ring Ouzel at Deep Point Quarry. It was almost dark when I took this pic!
Except for the drummer who must of been in the dark, the rest of them were blinded by the studio lights as there all wearing shades. Elvis Costello at his best with The Roots