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Friday, 26 October 2018

Possible Blythi Lesser Whitethroat at Lower Moors

The 'Eastern' Lesser whitethroat that has been at the Standing Stones Field for over a week is of possibly the race of Blythi. 

  The first stop today at midday, after doin taxis, was to track down that 'Eastern' Lesser Whitethroat at the Standing Stones Field. Yesterday. I finally heard it give a 'tac' call twice with a rattle at the end. Shortly afterwards I played the race of Lesser Whitethroat (halimondendriand out of the blue the whitethroat almost landed on my head. Now it was showing very well but as the bird was rattling, I turned the recording off and switched my mobile to recording the whitethroat instead calling just above me. Anyways, I thought that I had it in the bag but it's turns out that both blythi and minula also give this rattle but by appearance I think we can rule out minula. 
  So today Adam Hutt was very interested in seeing the whitethroat and we found it with in a few minutes in it's large favoured Sallow. We played both halimondendri and blythi and this time it was blythi that it responded to. Adam also noted that it pointed more towards blythi by the poorly defined ear coverts, partly white supercilium, brown near the crown and sandy upperparts. However, to be 100 percent, we needed a photo of a spread tail and I'll have to leave that to another day. There was also a Yellow-browed Warbler in the same Sallow. Adam had not seen the 2 Richard's Pipit that were near to the hangers on the airfield still and they were still there when I took him up to see them. Earlier I also had a Black Redstart nearby.


Possible race of blythi Lesser Whitethroat

  I had just finished work when Graham called and told me that he bumped into Michael Johnson who was searching for a Nightjar species at Giants Castle that he flushed two to three hours ago! Graham said that he had seen record shots on the back of  Michaels camera and thought they looked very interesting. Michael had last seen the bird fly towards Porth Hellick Down. Michael, understanbly, didn't want the news to go out nationally as he couldn't ruke out Cuckoo. I let others know and hoped they would pass the news on to other birders only on Scilly. We needed as many people as we could get to kick the down but after an hour and half it was getting dark and we decided to wait on the beach for it to hopefully come out and start hawking while others were in the pines or still on the downs. It was bloody cold standing around in a northerly and I was ready to go after half an hour of waiting. Graham was around the corner with a small group pf birders and I walked over and told him I'm goin/ Do you wanna to come? I hadn't even finished my sentence when Graham was already in the front seat of me wagon! Then it started to feel like I was in an episode of Father Ted where the priests are all watching mass and get bored and come up with all kinds of excusing to get out in watching anymore of it on the TV. The other birders looked a little cold as well and one of them stepped forward to Graham, 'I'm an AA mechanic, so I better come along with you just incase you break down' Another whispered in his ear 'I'm an expert at fixing punctures' Then another explained that he was strong and they might not be able to fix me wagon at all if something went wrong, so if he came along then he will push it with us in it! That's when the rest of them pushed forward and made it clear that if all of us came along then it would be a lot easier to push the wagon. I guess it would but there were twenty of them and me wagon only takes eight!! Maybe I should get job as bus driver in Nepal.

This pale Kestrel switched our attention from kicking the down when we first saw it distantly in the pines but after seeing the dark claws we returned to searching for the nightjar sp. 

Here are the record shots that Michael took of the Nightjar species when it was flying away from him after he flushed it off Giants Castle. Looks very interesting and note the pale marking on the wing and there will be a few of us out tomorrow giving it our best shot in trying to relocate it.

  Yesterday I was given the day off from 09.00. It proved to be hard work and highlights included 2 Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Siberian Chiffchaff at Porth Hellick and nearby on the loop trail there were 3 Yellow-browed Warbler, a 'Northern type' Willow Warbler and the Cetti's Warbler. By mid-morning there was a small arrival of winter thrushes and Chaffinch and while at Carn Friars a female Brambling dropped in. While watching the 2 Siberian Chiffchaff calling to each other, a Redpoll flew over three times in thirty minutes and appeared to be on the large side. Later on, Steve Williams staying on St Agnes also had a large Repoll flyover but there was no sign of the Grey-cheeked Thrush at Cove Vean on the latter island.

A 'Northern type' Willow Warbler was at Porth Hellick loop trial

There was a small arrival of winter thrushes mid-morning including 100+Fieldfare with the largest flock over 60 and 40+Redwing.

I moved on to Holy Vale and feeding with 20+Greenfinch in a weedy field was a Reed Bunting. I ended the last hour of light at Lower Moors and checked if the 'Eastern' Lesser Whitethroat was still in the Standing Stones Field. With 2 Yellow-browed Warbler the whitethroat stayed at the back of the large Sallow it was feeding in not really showing well at all. However, it gave a 'tac' call twice with a rattle at the end. I played the race of Lesser Whitethroat (halimondendri) and out of the blue the whitethroat almost landed on my head. Now it was showing very well but as the bird was rattling I turned the recording off and switched my mobile to recording the whitethroat calling just above me. Anyways, I thought that I had it in the bag but it's turns out that both blythi and minula also give this rattle but by appearance I think we can rule out minula.

This Reed Bunting was feeding with 20+Greenfinch at Holy Vale

There were 2 Siberian Chiffchaff calling to each other at Porth Hellick

2 Black Redstart were at the airport including a single at the terminal building and this individual performing very well at the hangers

 Two fays ago in the morning, I got the 2 Richard's Pipit distantly near the hangers on the airfield. At Lower Moors, the sun was shining on the Dusky Warbler that was very vocal and showed well with 2 Yellow-browed Warbler nearby. The day before, at dusk, Will Scott found a Rustic Bunting at Longstones. in the afternoon I managed to get some time off and on arrival Jack Morris said he had the bunting in his scope! I thought, does anyone else know this? Do you really want to shout that you've got the Rustic Bunting in your scope? Then I starting thinking, how the hell did he get it in his scope without anyone seeing him doing it? Anyways, I looked through Jacks scope and observed the bird feeding with 40+Chaffinch and a female Brambling for a good minute. There was also female Serin in the same field but I had to leave that one behind as I had to return to work.

In the morning two days ago, this Dusky Warbler showing very well at Lower Moors. However, by the evening, Rik Adinson went and found another together with James Lidsters individual near to the hides and today both birds were still present.

I saw up to 7 Yellow-browed Warbler yesterday including this one at Content

Only my second Scilly Great White Egret spent all day in the shallows at Pendrathen

Great White Egret has become annual in the last few years on Scilly with all being flyover. So it's a relief that it looks like this individual might be settling down after being first found on Tresco Great Pool three days ago. It wouldn't surprise me if another arrives and joins this one. 

Male Blackcap

This 'Northern Willow Warbler was at Lower Moors until dusk when I took this photos

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