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Wednesday, 26 September 2018

4th and 5th Scilly Large Coneheads

Will Wagstaff found this Tawny Pipit on the airfield this afternoon  

  First thing this morning there was a Firecrest heard outside my home but there was no sign all day of the Wryneck at the Steval nearby that I managed to see yesterday briefly on the Garrison. By 08.30 this morning I could already feel the warm sun on me while I observing the very tame Bar-tailed Godwit that's been on Porthcressa Beach for the last few days. A lot harder to get was yesterday's Yellow-browed Warbler at Newford Duckpond with a vocal Pied Flycatcher but after thirty minutes the warbler gave itself up for the three of us present.

Ridiculous tame Bar-tailed Godwit on Porthcressa Beach is so far the only one I've this year

Up to 4 Turnstone were also feeding with the godwit

This juvenile Herring Gull kept us amused with this apple

Two Yellow-browed Warbler were found yesterday including this individual at Newford Duckpond this morning that was found by Rick Addison. The other individual was found by Graham Gordon at Mount Todden with a Firecrest

  I was watching a Whinchat, Yellow Wagtail and 2 Spotted Flycatcher at Content when a male Merlin flew through with prey and flushed over 100 Meadow Pipit. At 14.30 Will Wagstaff discovered a Tawny Pipit at the south end of the airfield. I grabbed both Graham Gordon and Andrew Gardener and raced to Old Town Cafe where I parked the wagon. Some firthteen minutes later we were with a small crowd looking up the south runway at the pipit. It's was a new species for a few and it's been a long time since I've seen one that it was like seeing a new species. The pipit was working it's way closer and we all had good scope views, thanks to Andrew. While I was using his scope, another birder asked 'Can I have a look at the scope?' I thought, why would you want to look at his scope? I asked 'Do you want to look at the pipit through the scope before you look at the scope?' He looked kinda of puzzled at me. Anyways, in the hour that we were there the bird continued to show very well feeding with 4 Wheatear. It was 15.40 and I had a taxi in ten minutes!! I ran like the devil to my wagon and within nine minutes I was at the front steps of the Castle to pick my guest up to take to the airport and was still breathing!! Just!!

This male Merlin at Content was a new bird in and the female was seen was also seen all over the shop today.

Over 100 Meadow Pipit were at Content

The Tawny Pipit showing well on the south runway

There were only 4 Wheatear at the airfield with a single Whinchat

  Shortly after leaving the pipit I collapsed from execution! No, the Tawny Pipit flew off but at 17.30, Ritchie relocated it on the road leading to the hangers on the NE end of the airfield. As Big Al couldn't walk around to where the pipit was first found, I picked him up with others and on the tarmac road, the Tawny Pipit showed a lot better than before and then it hopped over the fence onto the airfield.

  Earlier in the morning, yesterday's Ortolan Bunting on Peninnis was refound and was still showing well. After dinner I found myself on the top coastal path on the west side of Peninnis. Here the bunting was showing down to 5-10m in the bright sun. As I had not seen a Tawny Pipit for a while, I wanted another look at the airfield individual just in case it's not present tomorrow and whose to say when the next one will be? However, a Tawny Pipit was found on the north side of  Bryher Big Pool this afternoon! With Bobby 'Dazzler' Dawson and Graham, we walked across the airfield and got the male Merlin zipp across in front of us followed by the Tawny Pipit back in it's original spot. However, this was all to brief as it flew back towards the hangers and we made our ways towards Porth Hellick to search for Big Al's possible Woodchat Shrike that he had earlier on in the day but there was no sign of it.

This is only my sixth Tawny Pipit I've ever seen and all on Scilly.

Mark addison's Ortolan Bunting showed a lot better than yesterday when it was in the top fields on Peninnis. I also saw the 2 Skylark that I had yesterday in the same area.

A lot more exciting news was the discovery by Chris Timmins of 2 singing male LARGE CONEHEADS. Only the forth and firth Scilly records and the first to be recording in Britain was also a singing male on the Garrison found by Ren Hathway and Paul Stancliffe. 2003! I saw that one and as Chris potted one of the males and brought back to St Mary's, I got to see this one with others. Top pic by Ren and bottom, Bobby 'Dazzler' Dawson.

  Two days ago, there was a large movement of Swallows with over 100 on both St Agnes and Tresco. On St Mary's, more or less every I went there were large numbers of Swallow including 120+with 30+House Martin at Content. At Giants Castle I observed a Grey wagtail come in off the sea and an hour later just before dark, I found 4 Grey Wagtails together at Lower Moors. Over 100 Swallow were circling and a quick dash to Porth Hellick found an impressive 500-600 Swallow at pre-roostwith the odd Sand Martin. When I returned home and looked at my photographs of the Swallow I took at Porth Hellick I was amazed to see that there were well over 1000 Swallow coming into to roost including one photo showing at least 500 birds in the frame!!

There are well over 500 out of the 1000+Swallow that roosted at Porth Hellick in this bottom photo!! By far the largest count I've recorded on Scilly!!

  As well as Common Rosefinch being found on both St Agnes and St Mary's, the Wryneck was at Boscawen Battery, Garrison from last week was relocated and showed well in the evening while I was entertained by the Swallows. Both the Pectoral and Wood Sandpiper were still on the Tresco Great Pool

  On the 23rd, I saw the Citrine Wagtail at Porth Hellick first thing and nearby there were 2 Whinchat and Spotted Flycatcher and 8 Chiffchaff/ However,  I dipped out on the Common Rosefinch that Ritchie relocated at Watermill from last week. We continued to bird together and got a single Yellow Wagtail at Telegraph and Green Farm. At the latter site we also had a Whinchat and 3 Pied Flychatcher. At Borough Farm there was the Lesser Whitethroat and a call from Rick Addison of Wryneck on the airfield got us running up there but again, dipped. I was on the airfield earlier when there was 15+Wheatear but now there was an increase of over 40 Wheatear. While we were searching for the Watermill Common Rosefinch, Rick found a single on Peninnis.

There were 2 Whinchat at Carn Friars.

Rick Addison found this Common Rosefinch at Peninnis and Ritchie was the last one to see Watermill individual.

The World has arrived on scilly!!

The late Tom Petty covering J J Cales 'Thirteen Days' at the Troubadour that is no longer in LA!

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