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Thursday, 18 October 2018

'Eastern' Lesser Whitethroat at Lower Moors

The possible EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL was still showing well at the airfield yesterday while the Tresco individual was last seen on the 14th 

  My plan this morning was to twitch the GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH found by Graham Gordon and Laurence Pitcher yesterday in the late afternoon at Cove Vean, St Agnes. However, it had not been seen by 10.00 and I decided to stay and work with birding now and then when I could. There was a small arrival on the easterlies of winter thrushes overnight. The largest counts were 40+ Fieldfare and Redwing and mixed in with them at Pelistry were 3 continental Song Thrush. Nearby at the stables were 3 Black Redstart and a single Wheatear with 4 Skylark overhead. At the airport I was watching 2 Black Redstart when James Lidster stepped off the plane and later in the afternoon he joined me at Standing Stones Field after I found an 'Eastern' Lesser Whitethroat. However, the whitethroat proved to be elusive and we didn't get any features or call to help us identify to which race it was. There were also 3 Yellow-browed Warbler, 1 Brambling, 1 Yellow wagtail and now 7 Reed Bunting.  I returned later in the evening with Ritchie Aston and saw the Lesser Whitethroat on and off but always hard to observe. Jim joined us just as we were gonna leave for the Red-breasted Merganser in Old Town Bay but stayed in the field as it flew off.

  Later in the day, when everyone had left St Agnes after dipping on the Grey-cheeked Thrush, it was sen again behind the boatshed at Cove Vean twice but very briefly.

The 'Eastern' Lesser Whitethroat proving hard to get at the Standing Stones Field, Lower Moors

There were also 3 Yellow-browed Warbler in the area

And a personal record on Scilly of 7 Reed Bunting

This Wheatear was with 3 Black Redstart at the riding stables

 Yesterday morning I was at the airport with taxis and got the possible Eastern Yellow Wagtail with another interesting flava wagtail. Also feeding with the wagtails were 11 Skylark and 30+alba wagtail. A Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and the female Merlin put them up a few times.
  Shortly afterwards I was walking through the Rose Hill fields and saw my first Common Rosefinch only to watch it fly low into the fields behind Porthloo Duckpond. I also had a total of up to 8 Yellow-browed Warbler including 3 in the Rose Hill area and singles later on at Trenowth, Holy Vale, airport end of Lower Moors and 2 at Old Town end of Lower Moors. At Pelistry I had up to 5 Black Redstart with the single Redstart with a single of the latter species on Old Town Beach with 2 Black Redstart.

Another interesting flava wagtail at the airfield

The possible EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL was only present in the morning on the airfield

Blown up photo showing the curved long hind claw of the poss EYW

There were a mix of White and Pied Wagtail feeding the 2 flava wagtail

Also 30+Meadow Pipit

And 11 Skylark

Everything splits when she comes through

There were up to 5 Black Redstart and the Redstart at the riding stables

2 of the 8 Yellow-browed Warbler that I saw. 

There were 15+Chiffchaff at Trenowth with 12 Blackcap

I saw this band live in California at Hotel Cafe but it was a small venue of 200 and he played his 12 stringer instead. Amazing gig!!

Monday, 15 October 2018

BOBOLINK at Trenowth

The possible EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL was finally pinned down at Pelistry stables this morning and showed very well 

  By 08.30 I had been up to airport four times taxing and while waiting for a plane to come in, my first 4 Redwing of the autumn flew over north. An hour later Hugh Pulsford had a Cetti's Warbler at Pelistry and with Marc Reid and Jim Almond, we made ours ways up there. I had just got out of me wagon when Gary Bellingham came on the radio saying that he had the interesting flava wagtail in the field that's sloping down towards Hoy Vale behind the stables. I ran like the devil and in the forty minutes I was there, a small crowd of birders had formed and we all heard the rasping call and 2 Redwing flew out NE. However, the wagtail appeared to not have a pale base to the bill and the hind claw was playing games with different birders who were saying from looking at photos on the backs of cameras, that it's the right lengh hind claw or it's too short for Eastern Yellow Wagtail. Later when goin through my photos of the wagtail showing it's hind claw, it appeared to have a long curved hind claw for a possible EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL. Next door in the stable paddocks there were now 6 Black Redstart with the Redstart and I had to get back to work. There was no sign of the flava wagtail when I returned nearly two hours later and I went in search of it in the area. The only bird of note was a Yellow-browed Warbler at Pelistry but no sign of the wagtail.


Long curved hind claw is noticeable on this possible EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL but doesn't appear to have a pale base to the bill. While I was observing it, I heard the rasping call like when I heard it yesterday at nearby Peacehavan but when I left the wagtail, I was told that it also gave a more Yellow Wagtail like call as well. At 17.20 this evening while at the airport, I heard a rasping flava wagtail. I looked up to see a Merlin chasing it, twisting and turning and so close to the wagtail being in it's talons. The Merlin was still chasing it when I came away to look after the guests that had just arrived.

There were both White and Pied Wagtail feeding with the possible Eastern Yellow Wagtail 

  Just before 16.00, Joe Pender found the first yank to arrive from Hurricane Calum. A Surf Scoter between Tean and St Helens. Shortly after that, news broke of a Grey Catbird in Cornwall at Lands End!! Only across the road and it must of overshot Scilly. Me, I had an hour kill and had no idea where to go but ended up at Trenowth. Somewhere that I ain't been for along time. I kicked the fields and got 6 Redwing and single Pied Flycatcher and Firecrest. It was when I was returning to me wagon that the radio crackled and I could just make out an unusual call overhead. I immediately switched the radio off and heard what I thought was like a high pitched dink' type call. The bunting like bird continued to give this call as it was flying away from me at 40-50ft before dropping down in some nearby Elms but I couldn't see it. I quickly called Graham Gordon and rolled off to him of what I just observed and he simply said  'BOBOLINK!!' I came back with 'Your joking!?' I had no idea what they sounded like and I checked if I could get internet and I did and listened to the flight call of Bobolink. It was no mistaking that call. The recording was spot on!! I was late for work and put the news out on the radio and also said that I'll be searching for the bird and sorting out access when I've finished work. I told Scott Reid to put out the news on the Scilly Bird News WhatsApp group as I was just about to drive guests to the airport. Thirty minutes later and in the time we had before the bird possibly went to roost, despite a brief search with Ren and Ritchie, there was no sign of the Bobolink.

Pied Flycatcher at Trenowth

While racing up to Trenowth in search of the Bobolink, we stopped very briefly to have a look at this 1st winter Common Gull right next to the road at Telegraph

Another lesser known band from serbia