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Sunday, 9 September 2018

Baird's, Buff-breast and Pectoral sandpiper on Scilly

Paul St Piere found a juvenile Pectoral and this juvenile Baird's Sandpiper today on Tresco Abbey Pool 

  Yesterday after work I had a look at Higher Moors and observed a large warbler very briefly flying away from me into cover. Damn, that looked good for a Barred Warbler! I pished and Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Reed and Willow Warbler came out but not the bird in question. I thought I would play the song of Barred Warbler on my mobile to hopefully get it to pop out but there was no internet and had to walk all the way down to the hides at Porth Hellick to get reception. I returned to Higher Moors and played the song and out blasted Barry Manilow, if you can even blast out Barry Manilow? The first thing that went in my mind was 'What the hell is Barry Manilow doin on my Spotify?' I had accidently got onto my Spotify and right now you could hear Barry Manilow all over St Mary's singing 'Mandy' I was trying desperately to turn it off but panicking I flicked onto the next song and out came 'Copacabana!!' I can't stand that song and I can't stand Manilow. However, it was so loud it was like I was having my own personal Barry Manilow in concert at Higher Moors. I was repeatedly pressing, flicking, pushing on my mobile. Anything I could do to stop 'I can't Smile Without You' It worked! It did stop and after a very short pause, Engelbert Humpadong, what a stupid stage name he chose for himself. started to sing 'Please Release me' Oh dear. I didn't realise it at the time but my Spotify was on radom of dodgy singers and now you could hear at top of his voice, Neil Diamond, singing 'Jingle Bells' A?? Jingle Bells?? I'm sorry but I will never understand how Diamond ever got onto 'The Last Waltz' with Ronnie Hawkins (The hawk) and The Band, Neil Young, Van the Man, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Muddy Waters and so many other greats. Diamond just didn't fit in this crowd.
  Anyways, if there was a Canada Warbler at Porth Hellick and Neil Diamond singing from a mobile at Higher Moors at full blast, everyone would be getting crippling views of the warbler while Steve Young would be the only one listening to 'Sweet Caroline!' at Higher Moors!! That is a fact!!

  So, there I was trying to get my head together and pressed gently on my mobile and out came Barred Warbler. I mean, out came a Barred Warbler!! The recording had been playing for a less than a minute and there it was out in the open at the top of a willow for a few seconds only to fly across the path and back into cover again. I continued to play the song and got cracking flight views as the warbler passed twice across the path I was standing on. I got reception down road and put the news out but after searching in the area with others later, there was no sign of it.

Paul St Piere also had a Wryneck at Bryher campsite

Juvenile Stonechat

  So today at 07.15 this morning, Mark Halliday and I were at Higher Moors hoping to relocate yesterday's Barred Warbler that I found but with no sign of it we moved on to Porth Hellick where there were 3 Teal and my first Grey Wagtail of the autumn. On the beach there were 2 Whimbrel with 9 Greenshank. I suggested to go to the golf course to look for maybe a Buff-breasted Sandpiper but there were golfers all over the shop and we ended up at the airfield instead. Dog walkers were in force and as we walked up the southern runway 'A up!' Mark calmly said 'What's this? Buff-breasted Sandpiper!' The yank flew in low from the west runway and landed on the tarmac in front of us. However, after entaining us for a good fifthteen minutes it flew off east and was lost in the burning sun. With others, we searched for the sandpiper but only 5 Wheatear were of note on the airfield. Later we discovered that Dave Scanian had it or another over Peninnis 45 minutes before us.
  At Lowers Moors there were 4 Snipe and a single Spotted Flycatcher. While we were there, there was a report of a Citrine Wagtail at Old Town Bay but unfortunly it could not be seen when a few of us arrived shortly afterwards.

This Grey Wagtail at Porth Hellick was my first of the autumn

Mark Halliday was just ahead of me when he observed this juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper come in to land on the airfield

  I wanted to get to Tresco and check out the pools. After dropping Mark off I was preparing to get my gear together to kayak across to Tresco when Paul St Piere called 'Got a Baird's and Pectoral Sandpiper on Tresco Abbey Pool!'  My reply was that I'll be there very shortly and as I arrived at the shore of South Porth Beach on Tresco some thirty minutes later, I could hear a calidris wader. Although I had never heard a Baird's before, I strongly expected that that is what it was going to be. Scanning over 80 Sanderling I heard it again and picked it up on it's own away from the main flock. It then flew back towards the Abbey Pool and for the next thirty minutes I observed it at close range feeding and taking a bath before flying back to the beach. What wasn't at close range on the NW side of the pool was the juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper. While this was all goin on, Darren Mason found a Icterine Warbler at Newford Duckpond back on St Mary's 

I could hear the Baird's Sandpiper as I paddled into South Porth Beach and this was my first sighting of it

On the Abbey Pool the juvenile Baird's Sandpiper showed a lot better and was my second this year on Scilly after the adult that was on the nearby Great Pool over three weeks ago

Like the Baird's Sandpiper, the sun could be a pain while observing this juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper also on the Abbey Pool and these were the only waders on the pool. However, When Scott arrived later in the afternoon, he had a juvenile Knot/

  After chatting to the main man, Paul St Piere, I went for a walk along Pool Road and at the SE end of the Great Pool was a Whinchat and with 16 Teal and 19 Greenshank was a single juvenile Black-tailed Godwit asleep. From Simpson's Field there were 7 Dunlin, 6 Redshank, 6 Yellow and 4 White Wagtail and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull flew straight through but despite scanning, there
was no sign of the Spotted Crake seen two days ago.

  It was now gone five and on Pentle Bay was the Black-tailed Godwit feeding with over 100 Sanderling, 80 Ringed Plover and 12 Dunlin. The clouds were turning black and the wind was getting a lot stronger and as a result it was a pretty exciting ride returning back to St Mary's in me kayak. What a cracking day!!

Juvenile Black-tailed Godwit at Pentle Bay was my second of the year

Right after an awesome day I'm goin to listen to 'The Last Waltz' and skipping out Neil Diamond!!

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