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Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Olive-backed Pipit at Carn Friars

I found this Olive-backed Pipit this morning at Carn Friars while at the same time, yesterdays bird was still present at the dump allotment first thing this morning

  This morning felt promising as Redwing, Chaffinch and Brambling were heard as I stepped out of my door on the Garrison. Breakfast was the order of the day and then a brief look at the GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH still showing well at Little Porth Beach. I arrived at Porth Hellick and on the Scilly Bird News WhatsApp, Jim had put out that he had trapped a Dusky Warbler and he's gona release it at 08.30! As I had only five minutes to get to the ringing station, I ran like the devil and made it in good time. I watched Jim let it go and then made my ways over to the Carn Friars fields and found an Olive-backed Pipit! I just caught a pipit in the corner of my eye disappear over the tall Elms and from there I had no idea where it went to. I walked around into the next field and there it was feeding in, what else, marigolds. Just like the individual at the Dump allotments was doing which had already been seen earlier. This OBP was pretty mobile and I left it alone on the main track between the farm house and orchard. In the next hour, I kicked Carn Friars and throughout, Chaffinch were moving east in small flocks. Also 18 Skylark flew high east while on the deck I got 2 Reed Bunting, 4 Brambling, 350+Chaffinch and 1 Woodcock. As I approached Porth Hellick ringing station I could hear the Dusky Warbler but never saw it. With so many birds in I thought Jim would be making the most of it and that he was including, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Reed Bunting and good numbers of Goldcrest.

The forth Dusky Warbler of the year was trapped and ringed at Porth Hellick and was my second one to see in the hand.

This Olive-backed Pipit stuck around Carn Friars all day

A rather cold looking Chiffchaff

Reed Bunting

Lesser Redpoll By the end of the morning Jim's totals of note included 16 Goldcrest, 14 Chiffchaff, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Blackcap, 5 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Yellow-browed and 1 Dusky Warbler. He also retrapped a Firecrest.

All together I had up to 4 Brambling at Porth Hellick/Carn Friars including this female

Male Great Tit


  At Porth Hellick Pool there were 2 Jack snipe, 10 Teal and while listening to male Siberian Chiffchaff singing, I got a call from Tony and Ritchie telling me that they had a Long-tailed Duck at the end of the slipway at Porthloo. I found the duck snoozing on a rock and when Tony and Ritchie returned, we observed the Great White Egret making a low pass heading towards town. Joe Pender put out on the WhatsApp group that he had a male Hen Harrier high over The Roads. This was quickly followed by Rob Lambert having a ring-tailed Hen Harrier over Samson Hill, Bryher. We scanned for both harrier with no success. Are attention was turned to the duck because it had woken up and immediately we could see it was struggling when on the sand trying to make to the water. I picked it up and it appeared to have a dodgy leg. Ritchie told me that he saw it swimming and diving before it went for a rest on the rock. It was decided to release it in the water and eventually it made it's ways to the Atlantic Inn where it had a cold beer on the terrace!

There were 2 Jack Snipe at Porth Hellick hanging out with 9 Snipe

This Male Siberian Chiffchaff was singing out in the sun

This female Long-tailed Duck didn't look like it was in good shape but a quick check over, after I caught it, and we put it on the water. Later it was seen on Tresco Abbey Pool.

The Great White Egret over Porthloo with my work in the distance, Star Castle

 I made my ways to Borough Farm and walking through a long grass field I disturbed a Vagrant Hawker that was probably enjoying the warm sun. It started hawking and then I lost it!! Shite! I kicked the field all over the shop and all I got was a Brambling overhead. I returned to Porth Hellick and in the loop trail area there were 1 Lapwing2 Swallow4 Yellow-browed Warbler, and I heard the male Cetti's Warbler. 
  I ended the day at Lower Moors where I got another Jack Snipe on the scrape. Nearby there were 2 Yellow-browed Warbler, 1 Siberian Chiffchaff, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Reed Bunting but there was no sign of the Dusky warbler all day. Throughout the day, Chaffinch, Redwing and Fieldfare were moving through overhead.

This Vagrant Emperor that I kicked up at Borough Farm was only my second Scilly sighting after one I found at Holy Vale five years ago when it was mega rare. This autumn has proved to be a very good year, not just on Scilly but also the mainland. 

This cow used all it's skills to get to where the grass was greener without being zapped by the electric fence!

The name ‘GhostlyKisses’ was inspired from reading William Faulkner’s poem ‘Une ballade des dames perdues’ and seemed like the perfect reflection of her ethereal voice.

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