For the last four days, a male grey harrier has been seen on and off briefly on St Mary's and was thought to be a Hen or Montagu's Harrier. It was yesterday in the evening that it showed well at Lower Moors and was re-identified as an adult male NORTHERN HARRIER!!
I was scanning from the airport lane looking down on Lower Moors at the time it was there but did not see it. It was only later when Scott Reid joined me and a call from Bobby 'Dazzler' Dawson, put us on the harrier as we observed it go to roost to the south of Higgo's project pool. we were a long ways off and would never be happy with those brief distant views.
Just after 05.00 the following morning, Scott and I were at the side of the Dump Clump looking north. However. ten minutes later we found ourselves on top of the ISBG hide looking NW to catch the harrier leaving it's roost site. Being higher above the reeds and it payed off. At 05.55, Scott picked it up heading low east towards Longstones. We quickly put Bobby 'Dazzler' and Wayne Coingham on it as the bird flew a little higher over the trees. Out of sight, we decided to go and search for it but nearly two hours later the only birds of note were 5 Wheatear and 3 Whimbrel on the golf course.
Adult male NORTHERN HARRIER leaving it's roost at Lower Moors
From 15 a few days ago to only 4 Whimbrel on the golf course
It was 09.20 while at home when Ren called me to say he had the harrier at Porth Hellick loop trail!! I called Higgo but no reply. As he had not seen it I went to his digs and got him out of bed! It was some ten minutes later that we got to Porth Hellick, as I picked more birders on our ways but we thought that it would be a better advantage looking from airport lane looking over Porth Hellick. Gathered in a line, we scanned and then I picked it up over the loop trail and everyone had finally seen it! It performed very well but nothing like when Higgo, Tim and I observed it over Salkee Down as it was hunting low over the heather showing very well before flying over high towards Porth Hellick Down. It was here while on the down that Ritchie and I observed it on thermals and circle high into the blue skies. Still high above us it drifted NNE towards Pelisty where we lost it. At mid-day it was picked up on St Martins. Later Ren had it over Twince and while cycling to Porth Hellick, the harrier flew in front of me at very close range towards Longstones! Early evening It came into Lower Moors and then it was observed flying high NE towards St Martins. There was no sign of it at the roost at Lower Moors later in the evening.
Viv Jackson also heard a Bee-eater and saw the Marsh Harrier over Lower Town, St Martins this afternoon and great news on Tresco where Pochard having bred with 6 young!
Male NORTHERN HARRIER being observed at Porth Hellick
A single Golden Plover was on the airfield
Two days ago, I was full on at work from 07.30 to 20.00 and it came out as no surprise when Terry and Paul relocated the St Martins Laughing Gull on St Mary's in the afternoon. It was also no surprise on the location that it was favoring, Porthloo Duckpond. Although Terry and Paul first saw it at Juliet's Garden!! Later on when I got down to the duckpond, the gull had moved on.
Just before 20.00, I picked up six drunk old men from the winery and started making my ways back to Star Castle. However, a call from Robin found me diverting to the duckpond as the gull had returned. I told the guys in me wagon that were goin to see an American gull! 'American golf!' One shouted from the back. Before I could say anythin another replied 'No, he said American girl!' What!? 'No gull!' Another spoke up 'Yes your right he did say girl' As we pulled into the side next to the duckpond, I could see the American girl on the wall at the side of the road. I pointed to where it was and behind me I heard 'I can't see anyone on the wall' This was crazy! 'You've drunk so much Johnny that you can't see!' Johnny reminded them 'Well we have been bloody drinking all day playing bridge on the train down to Penzance!' One of them got out of me wagon and walked towards the wall to have a closer look at the girl that wasn't even there! This was so stupid and when he understood that I said gull and not girl, not just was he disappointed but he still couldn't see the bird that was almost under his feet!
He got back in the wagon, I took some pics and then I took the drunks to the hotel as they were eating at 20.00. Even though the drive should of took a minute, we got there at 20.10!!
The 1st winter Laughing Gull turned up at Ploo Duckpond on St Mary's after spending over three weeks on St Martins! It was still present today making a brief visit to St Martins before returning to St Mary's
Chris and Juliet found and took this pic of a Woodchat Shrike at Beady Pool, St Agnes, 4-6th May. Note the ring on right leg! On the 5th there were also 2 Black Redstart and an Osprey in the area. The latter I got to see on St Mary's.
On the 7th May, Bob 'Dazzler' Dawson spotted this Adult Roseate Tern sat out on the Bacon Boy off Rat Island. This was only my sixth Scilly Roseate! All pics by Robin Mawer
On the morning of the 30th April, a birder was in the seaward hide at Porth Hellick before first light and heard my Spotted Crake that I heard singing the day before! Also at the latter site, the Red-rumped Swallow was still present showing very well at Kittidown.
I saw my first Spotted Flycatcher at Trenowth, 7th May
The Iceland Gull is still hanging around in the bays of town
While feeding Dave, on the right, look who came down to have a look? This odd plumage 2nd winter Herring Gull I ain't seen since April at Morning Point
Israeli airstrikes hit north Gaza Strip (VIDEO)
The northern Gaza Strip has been hit by a series of Israeli air strikes.
Israeli warplanes reportedly launched eight airstrikes on Beit Hanoun Saturday, and images of fiery explosions and smoke-filled skies were shared on social media. There are no reported injuries from the strikes, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The Israeli Defense Force outlined their targeted attack on a terror tunnel along the strip, “making this the 9th terror tunnel that the IDF has destroyed in recent months”. The IDF said they used advanced technology to “locate, track, and destroy the .5 mile-long” tunnel, adding that the it “did not enter Israel”.
The explosions come soon after the IDF shut down the Gaza border crossing on Saturday after it was damaged by Palestinian demonstrators during a wave of recent Great March of Return protests.
The IDF criticized Palestinian protesters for allegedly making the border unsafe as Israel and “countries around the world provide Gazans with humanitarian aid through crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip”.
On Friday, some 15,000 Palestinian protesters started fires on the Palestinian side of the crossing, damaging gas pipelines leading to the enclave, the IDF said. The Kerem Shalom crossing is used by trucks carrying goods and food supplies between Israel and Gaza.
READ MORE: Days ahead of moving embassy to ‘capital’ Jerusalem, US has ‘no position’ on Israeli border there
The IDF again used lethal force against the people who they said attempted to harm Israeli troops. One Palestinian was shot dead and at least 170 were injured, some critically, across the Gaza strip on Friday, which brought the number of those killed by Israeli forces during the six-week protest to 44 people.
The increased tension comes as Israel’s Independence Day approaches, with celebrations set to coincide with a ceremony marking the relocation of the US Embassy, scheduled for Monday, May 14.