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Monday, 29 October 2018


Andy Holden and I found this GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH at Little Porth. However, scrutinising the photos later on of the St Agnes individual from last week compared to this bird has proved it to be one and the same!   

  A day off from work and the wind had died off, got me up early to go shopping! I needed to pump my tyres up on me bike but had to wait for another twenty minutes for the garage to open. To kill time, I scanned the gulls at Little Porth and then made my ways up the path to the west end of the beach. Here I met Graham Cunsdale who was letting me know what he had seen already this morning. With my naked eye, I could see on the seaweed below me, a bird that appeared a fraction bigger than a Robin. It was motioness, front on and I had an idea that it might be a catharsis thrush. As the white on the belly was so bright from the light, Veery was goin through my mind! It ain't goin to be and it's just a Water Pipit. The bird was still in the same position when I lifted my bins 'GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH!!' I shouted. Graham asked casually where it was? 'It's there! Can't you see it? on the seaweed just there' There was miles of seaweed and lots of other small birds feeding in the seaweed but I was kinda of helping by pointing at where it was when saying 'It's there!' Of course he did get onto it, I took some photos, just incase it disappeared never to be seen again, and then I put the news out on Scilly Bird News WhatsApp. I took some more pics and then looked to my left to see Andy Holden. I beckoned him over with my legs. Andy told me that he picked up the thrush in his scope on the west side and we discovered that we must of both locked eyes onto the thrush at the same time. If you look at the WhatsApp group, you will see that the time we both sent out the news of the thrust was spot on 08.22!! Ideal!! More birders arrived and for the next hour the thrush showed off at very close range on the seaweed making the occasional visit to a nearby garden.

This was when I first saw the thrush, front on and with my naked eye, the belly and throat appeared bright white and I thought I got myself a Veery!! I couldn't see the spots at the time.

When the thrush was feeding on the seaweed you were always looking directly into the low sun making it awkward for viewing. 

So when it hoped into the nearby garden I was there with in seconds where the light was a little better

A small crowd assembled to see the thrush

  By far the best view that I got was when it flew off towards Parsons Field. Everyone stayed put, but I went searching and relocated it in the first garden I looked at deep under a large bush. A few seconds later it was out in the open showing a few meters aways to the delight of myself and Bobby 'Dazzler' Dawson, who had just arrived. However, it soon returned to the beach and throughout the day it continued to show well for the 30 or so birders who twitched it. What a start to the day!

After goin missing, I relocated the GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH in a nearby Parsons Field garden where it showed superbly at very close range and was my fourth for Scilly!!

While at Little Porth, Skylark, thrushes and Chaffinch were coming in off the sea in very small numbers and included these 5 Stock Dove.

  At 10.00, Higgo, Dave Willis and I were off to see if the other yank, Surf Scoter, was still present off the east end of Tresco on Joe Penders new toy, as Higgo calls it. We were there with in minutes and found the scoter between Tresco and St Helens before it flew off towards St Martins straight into the reflection of the sun on the sea where we lost it. Returning to St Mary's, we missed out on a female Long-tailed Duck that Rob Lambert alerted us to as he observed it fly past the Seahorse on his ways to St Martins.

Surf Scoter flying off towards St Martins after we had seen on the water between Tresco and St Helens.
  Viv Stratton let me know that the Hawfinch was still in Tony Gilbert's garden and the Common Rosefinch was still at Porth Mellon. The finch showed off yesterday so I chose for the latter species and it showed very well feeding with House Sparrow in the roadside weedy field. I moved on around the corner at Rose Hill and on the WhatsApp group, Kevin and Debbie heard a Tree/Olive-backed Pipit while under trees over the latter site possibly flying towards Porthloo. I kicked every field between Rose Hill and Porthloo and heard a Serin fly in and land in a weedy field with a flock of 150+Chaffinch and at least 8 Brambling. I also saw 2 Lapwing flying south, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Swallow and flushed 2 Woodcock. 

This Common Rosefinch gave some cracking views in the roadside Porth Mellon fields

Meadow Pipit having a good ole scratch!

Compassion with a male, smaller of the two and a female Sparrowhawk over Porthloo. 

  While on Porthloo Beach, John Headon put on the WhatsApp group that he had found a Olive-backed Pipit at the dump allotments. Nice one and after a short wait, it came out from the overgrown marigolds and perched in a Ash Tree very briefly before returning to the cover of the Marigolds. I went to the back of the allotments and there was the Common Rosefinch! Earlier it showed very well but this time it was almost at my feet out in the open on the bare soil. And after nearly an hour of waiting the pipit came out to play and also showed superbly at very close range for a good ten minutes. I left the pipit turned the corner by the Dump Clump and heard my first Yellow-browed Warbler of the day.
  At Lower Moors, I saw my first Yellow-browed Warbler of the day and near dark I got the Dusky Warbler in it's usual spot by the sluice. Walking through the Standing Stones field on my ways home I got 3 Reed Bunting to finish off a cracking day from start to finish!!

John Headon found this very confiding Olive-backed Pipit at the Dump allotments but earlier during the day, Kevin and Debbie heard it or another but couldn't rule out Tree Pipit over Rose Hill.

The sun had gone in but this Common Rosefinch was dancing around my feet and when I returned to the OBP, you could still hear the rosefinch in the next field.!

Just got the Dusky Warbler at Lower Moors before dark

  Yesterday it proved hard work in the blustery conditions and a late start on the airfield found 1 Black Redstart, 5 Skylark and the Golden Plover. At the Dump Clump there was a Lesser Redpoll, on Peninnis, a single Brambling and 3 Skylark with 70+Chaffinch, the 2 Yellow-browed Warbler were still at Newford Duckpond and at Porthloo there were a single Black Redstart and 2 Bar-tailed Godwit. The last half of the day was spent at Lower Moors where I got 4 Yellow-browed and 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Brambling, 1 Woodcock and the Dusky Warbler.

Golden Plover at the airfield

Lesser Redpoll at the Dump allotments 

There was another small wave of Redwing in


Female Brambling at Lower Moors

Where I also had this cold looking Chiffchaff

I first picked up this partly albino Redwing in flight and thought 'What the hell was that!?' 

She Keeps Bees is a rock and roll band from Brooklyn, New York, formed in 2006 and consisting of Jessica Larrabee on vocals and guitar and Andy LaPlant on drums. They have been compared to Patti Smith, the White StripesThe KillsPJ Harvey, and Cat Power.

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