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Monday, 2 October 2017

6th CLIFF SWALLOW for Scilly

Observing the CLIFF SWALLOW at close range in flight by Tresco Abbey was ideal but the dull rainy conditions made it not so ideal for the camera.

  This morning the ISABELLINE WHEATEAR was still on the north end of the airfield near to the turning circle. While nipping up runs to the airport I had a sneak look now and then through other birders scopes. Just after 16.00 I was looking at the 2 Brent Geese that were found at the east end of Porthcressa Bay and had a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull at Porthloo.

This Mediterranean Gull and Little Egret were both at Porthloo

Pale-bellied Brent Geese



  Earlier before the geese, I was talking to Ian Grant and he told me that his old man, Martin Grant, found a pale-rumped swallow over the Great Pool and Initially thought it was a Red-rumped Swallow until he released that it had a square tail! He discussed it with Ian, who was on St Mary's at the time and they concluded it had to be a Cliff Swallow! Other observers later saw the bird and questions were being asked if it might be a Cave Swallow as it appeared paler on the rump and collar. As a possible Cave Swallow a lot of us were keen to see it and Will Scott arranged twelve of us to go over on the Rib. After thirty minutes of searching along Pool Road where it was last seen, Higgo and Chesney pinned it down by the abbey. I was by the David Hunt hide but Will and I ran like the devil and within five minutes we were observing the swallow hawking around the building with some 40 hirundines. It was distant and now and again briefly settled on the side of the abbey and while perched, it was identified by having a dark bib, the 6th record of CLIFF SWALLOW for Scilly!  Higgo went off to look for the 3 Bee-eater that were seen earlier nearby. I think they've drowned in this crap weather!
  The boat was leaving at 18.30 but Jeff Dent asked me if I would like a lift to quay in his buggy. This would give me more time to observe the swallow and when every one had gone, except for 'Rocky' Robin and Jimmy Almond, who I arranged to come on the buggy with me, we all got very good flight views as the swallow flew just above our heads for at least twenty minutes! As a result I got soaked to the bone but it was worth it!!

Hopefully the swallow will stick around for awhile and everyone can catching up with it. This record is hot on the heels of last years Cliff Swallow at Porth Hellick that was found by Graham Gorden. You can read the account here and better pics as well

Earlier this evening I thought it's about time I played another song from the great Tom Petty on my blog. So I started listening to him on Spotify, deciding which one to choose when my daughter interrupted me calling on FB. We had been in conversation for nearly an hour and started surfing the net when I read that Tom Petty was dead!! Man, strange things happen to me and that was one of them. Anyways, it emerged from 'The Independent' that 'Confusion surrounds news of legendary singer Tom Petty after an early report that he has died aged 66. Conflicting reports emerged after he experienced a heart attack at the age of 66. The singer-songwriter was reportedly rushed to the UCLA Santa Monica hospital on Monday after being found unconscious in his Malibu home.
According to an initial LAPD source via CBS News and Variety, he was taken off life support soon after. Yet later tweets from CBS and the LAPD claim that the department has “no information about the passing of singer Tom Petty” and any information has been “inadvertently provided”, with both apologisng.
Here's footage of him messing up from the beginning, stopping and starting before he pulls it off! 

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