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Sunday, 19 May 2019

RED-FOOTED FALCON at Porth Hellick Down

This 1st summer male RED-FOOTED FALCON spent all day at the top of Porth Hellick Down showing down to five metres at times!

  An awsome day non-stop! Yesterday I heard, only twice in 45 minutes, what I thought might of been a Greenish Warbler at Carreg Dhu Gardens while we were eating our lunch. I alerted others and both Ralf Parks and Scott Reid heard it once on different occasions in the same area of the garden in two hours. So this morning the plan was to pick Higgo up at 07.00 and spend some time in the gardens. By myself, I spent an hour there in drizzle and all I got was a single Spotted Flycatcher. 
  At Porth Hellick I could hear a Golden Oriole singing nearby at Salkee. Returning to the road the Cettis Warbler was bloody loud and a Siskin flew north. On the wires just below the Kittidown pines, I scanned through a 150 House Martin and spotted the Red-rumped Swallow that Will Wagstaff found three days ago on Tresco. Dave Dimmock joined me but we soon found ourselves making a mad rush as news broke that the Red-footed Falcon that Will found two days ago on St Martins was at Giants Castle. No sign of the falcon but we did get 2 Golden Plover and a single Wheatear on the airfield.
  Higgo finally joined me back at Porth Hellick and both of us enjoyed close flight views of the Red-rumped Swallow over Higher Moors and the Siskin made another fly by heading south.

Spotted Flycatcher at Carreg Dhu Gardens

The best I could do with the Red-rumped Swallow in the dull light over Higher Moors

  Higgo and I split and went in search of the red-foot starting at Deep Point, where it was seen yesterday by one observer. Higgo had already made it to Porth Hellick and after seeing a male Wheatear, I relocated the 1st summer male RED-FOOTED FALCON hunched up on a rock at the top of Porth Hellick Down. It wasn't long until a small crowd assembled and we all observed the falcon in the miserable weather.
  After lunch the sun finally came out and Jo and I had a female Pied Flycatcher at Trenowth. The red-foot was still on the down and in the warm sunshine we spent nearly two hours lying on the soft heather observing the falcon spending most of it's time perched on rocks and making very short flights onto the deck to take whatever prey it could find. A superb bird to hang out with.

My first sighting of the falcon when I came across it in the clume

1st summer RED-FOOTED FALCON This was the 11th Scilly record and my forth for the island including a female that Seth and I found three years ago that was also at Porth Hellick. If the bird sticks, there will be more photos to follow,

   Jo and I returned to Trenowth and as we passed Longstones turn off, I spotted a Turtle Dove in a field nearby. Probably one of the 6+Turtle Dove that Ritchie had nearby. At Trenowth we heard a female Golden Oriole and just as Robin arrived to hopefully see it, Katherine and Chas let us know that they had a mega in their garden at Higher Lanes, TREE SPARROW!! We were in their living room with in seconds but took our boots off before goin in to find Martin Goodey in there who still got his boots on. We got some cracking views as the sparrow feeding on the deck with House Sparrow and 2 fledgling Robin. It flew off strongly towards Maypole and later on while we were back at Porth Hellick, where we had a Spotted Flycatcher, a Hobby go through and got the Red-rumped Swallow to finish off a cracking day, news came on that the Tree Sparrow came back to the garden.

The last record of Tree sparrow and the only sightings that I have seen on Scilly, was a flock of five on St Agnes in May '05

Saw these play in the States some 15 years ago at the same venue where I also saw Ben Harper and alexi Murdoch

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