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Monday, 16 October 2017

Hurricane Ophelia hits Scilly

The power of Ophelia pounding the quay wall

 As expecting Hurricane Ophelia arrived overnight and the following morning there were no flying or sailing from the mainland and tripper boats were cancelled to other islands. Mid-day she picked up to gusts of over 60 mph but by late afternoon she had died down.
  About 16.15 Graham and I were just about to sea watch off Deep Point when news came on the radio that 2 Leaches Petrel were being watched from The Mermaid car park looking out into The Roads. We raced to town, calling Ren as it was a Scilly tick for him and picking other birders up on our ways, and arrived at the car park where Dick Filby beckoned us over to look through his scope. Ren beat us to it and for myself this is only my second Leaches for Scilly. We could only see a single petrel as it battled against the hurricane and was a Scilly tick for most visiting birders.

From The Mermaid car park

Waves crashing in Porthcressa Bay

'Gugh is on fire!!' Smoke from the fire on the north side of Gugh looking from Porthcressa Bay.

The storm has passed

Large numbers of Portuguese Man-of-War were washed up on Porthcressa Beach
  On land, birds were keeping their heads down low while the storm passed. However, the Red-breasted Flycatcher was still at Watermill, the American Golden Plover was at Porth Hellick and the ISABELLINE WHEATEAR was at the airfield.
 On St Agnes, out of the blue a Pallas's Warbler was discovered in the Parsonage with the Little Bunting still present nearby at Porth Killier. Also a Leaches Petrel was found on the deck and taken into care after being observed flying over the campsite.


Collard Dove

  First thing yesterday morning, Graham and I were at Maypole observing 20 Hawfinch circling before heading towards Holy Vale while we still had 10+ in Hawthorns in front of us. After this we kicked every field from Maypole to Green Farm to Pelistry to Watermill! As a result we got 5 Yellow-browed Warbler including 2 at Newford, 4 Firecrest including a singing male at Trenowth and we observed siskins and a single Black Redstart arrive in off the sea at Watermill. We also had a single Skylark over Maypole and Tree Pipit south over Watermill.
  Shortly after we left Watermill, a Red-breasted Flycatcher was found in the cove. However, in the late afternoon another RBF was discovered on the Dead Pine Walk, Garrison. As it was only a stones throw away from my digs I went to have a look and after a while of waiting around I got good views on and off in the pines.

  On St Agnes the ORPHEAN WARBLER SP and Little Bunting were still present on St Agnes.

We got 30+Hawfinch in the Maypole/Green Farm area including a flock of 20 heading towards Holy Vale while at the same time there were still 10+birds in the Hawthorns

11 of the 12 Hawfinch that flew high north over Watermill. Later we had small flocks and singles in the Peace Haven/Trenowth area. These are more than likely the Maypole birds commuting.

Altogether we had 4 Firecrest including a singing male at Trenowth

Throughout the day Siskin flew overhead in very small numbers with 12 being the largest count 
There were 4 Blackcap at Peace Haven 

Small Copper

Today I saw that John Hague put this song on his FB to go with Hurricane 'Ophelia'. I thought I ain't heard this song for a long time. I walked out the door. put my Spotify on from my favorite 3000 random songs and guess what the first song that came on? 'Ophelia!!' It happened to me while I was in Palestine. I had just seen the sign for Jericho and out of my 3000 random songs came on my phones 'Jericho!!' by the late Joe Strummer!! What are the chances of that happening!?

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