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Wednesday, 1 May 2019


Andy Shirly found this ASHY-HEADED WAGTAIL at Porth Hellick. If accepted it will be only the second UK record! 

    Yesterday morning I had 4 Tree Pipit NE over Star Castle. As the escaped Godlewski's Bunting was seen earlier by other observers just a stones throw away from my digs, I went to have a look at it. I found it groverling on the track from Star Castle to the Steveral where it showed very well. Later, Jo and I had our lunch at Carreg Dhu Gardens where we saw a Garden Warbler in the large Sycomore.

It might have escaped from a cage but the Godlewski's Bunting is still a stunning bird to see in the field.

Garden Warbler at Carreg Dhu Gardens

   Throughout the afternoon, the ring-tailed Montagu's Harrier was spending it's time on Tresco but at 15.00, Will Scott had it at Green Farm. I made my ways to the SE end of the airfield where I thought I could scan overlooking Porth Hellick. However, I spotted the harrier before I got there and then saw it again high over Lower Moors. I returned to the SE end of the airfield some thirty minutes later and there it was over Porth Hellick.
  An evening down at Porth Hellick payed off as Jo and I flushed a sub-adult Night Heron from above the boardwalk. Briefly it landed on the pool before continueing towards the bay.

Record shot of the ring-tailed Montagu's Harrier at Parting Carn

This sub-adult Night Heron at Porth Hellick was the third this spring


  This morning, Porth Hellick was the place to be. It started off with a Red-rumped Swallow that Jim had trapped. He also trapped and ringed Garden Warbler and Whitethroat. Only three of us made it in time to see the swallow being released. Mark Prescott saw the ring-tailed Montagu's Harrier over the Salkee Fields as he made his way down to see the swallow in the hand. Over an hour later I returned as Andy Shirly found an interesting blue-headed 'type' wagtail. Photos were put on the Scilly Bird whatsApp Group and it was identified as the first ASHY-HEADED WAGTAIL for Scilly! The Marsh Harrier from yesterday also flew high overhead. I had just left Porth Hellick when news came out of a Blue-headed Wagtail had joined the other wagtail. Both birds were still present when I returned at 16.00 and later on just before dark, over 40 House, 15 Sand Martin and 100+Swallow came into roost on the pool. The female Merlin scattered them all and there was no sign of the Red-rumped Swallow or Night Heron that we were all hoping for.

 Viv Jackson also had 2 Hoopoe and a Woodchat Shrike on St Martin

This is my second Red-rumped Swallow in the hand 

Just got a record shot after the RR Swallow release. It was later seen at Lower Moors before returning to Porth Hellick

In all top photos, note the small white spot in the lores which could possibly put it down as a hybrid. If it's still present tomorrow, we need to get a recording of it's call so we can clitch a postive ID

The ASHY-HEADED WAGTAIL spent most of the day with cattle behind the hides at Porth Hellick

Marsh Harrier high over the wagtail field

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