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Monday, 31 October 2011

SCAUP at Porth Hellick

For over 6 weeks now this WILSON'S SNIPE has been present at Lower Moors.  

 I had an early taxi this morning and on my way to work, I thought it I would check out Lower Moors. On the flooded island was the WILSON'S SNIPE feeding with two Snipe. Returning to the wagon, I heard the DUSKY WARBLER near to the Shooters Pool. The bird was very vocal and while trying to take some shots, in the crap light, I heard a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER nearby.  3 Swallow were also flying around in the area.

Superb shots of the WILSON'S SNIPE

This Snipe was just below in front of the ISBG hide

Footage taken by Martin Goodey

DUSKY WARBLER near to the Shooters Pool

  In the back of me garden, there were a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER with 5 Chiffchaff. Throughout the afternoon, there were heavy down pours and I watched 3 Chiffchaff and a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER at the campsite, Garrison, from the shelter of a large pine.
   Late afternoon and I went to look for the Water Pipit at Porthloo, that's been in the area for the last week now, and managed to get 1 Grey, 3 White and 6 Pied Wagtail, 3 Black Redstart and a late Whinchat instead.
  Just before dark, I tried for yesterdays juvenile SCAUP from St Agnes that was now on Porth Hellick. However, when I got there, there was no sign of it on the pool. Fortunately, close inshore, it was with 6 Mallard in the bay.

SCAUP at Porth Hellick Will Scott

I saw up to 3 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER today, including this one at the Garrison

Whinchat and White Wagtail  Both were very distant

After the Northern Waterthrush, that was still on Higgo's Pool this morning, the Scaup is the rarest bird on St Mary's! All of yesterdays birds on St Agnes, were still there today and on Tresco, it or another WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER had joined the Lesser Yellowlegs and Pectoral Sandpiper on the Great Pool, but there was no sign of the Spotted Crake.

Comedy sketch, Miss Webb, Tean, teaching the scales to her pupils.

Sunday, 30 October 2011


   A pleasant early morning and I had seen my first RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER of the year in the Sallows at Holy Vale. This bird was found two days ago by Steve Hall and was very mobile, often chased off by a Robin. Also in the same Sallows were a probable SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF (it wouldn't call in the half an hour I was there) 8 Chiffchaff and 2 Woodcock. 09.30 and already news had come out from St Agnes of the Palla's Warbler, the CA Lesser Whitethroat, the Common Sandpiper and new in, OBP and the rarest of the lot, after the whitethroat, female Scaup in Porth Killier. I think it would be a good idea to go to St Agnes.

Can you make out the flycatcher?

Later, Will Scott did a lot better than me  


  On the Seahorse, Tean and I joined 925, Higgo and Ivan Laken and made our way straight to Periglis for the whitethroat. Passing Porth Killier, we got the late Common Sandpiper, but there was no sign of the Scaup. On arriving at Periglis, Graham put us on it. Just a few meters away, perched in the dead Mallow preening. For the next 20 minutes, The CENTRAL ASIAN LESSER WHITETHROAT Sylvia curruca halimodendri was out in the open allowing us to have crippling views. It looked more like a Whitethroat than a Lesser Whitethroat. Sandy-brown upperparts, longish tail with buffy flanks and washed out underparts. The greyish head was restricted to the forehead and ear coverts. At times, the contrast with the whitish throat was not that obvious. I know diddly-squat on the races of Lesser Whitethroat and if accepted this will be the first record for Scilly of this race.

Note the the amount of white on the outer-tail feather

The Mallows where the whitethroat favoured

 Next stop was the Paronage for my first PALLAS'S WARBLER of the year. After a 15 minutes wait, the bird came from Fran Hicks garden and into the Parsonage. Here it moved to the tops of the Elms and moved straight through. I waited for it to return, but after 20 minutes I got intchy feet and split from the others. I found Graham near the Fruitgage and we went off and kicked some fields. There were a Black Redstart and Whinchat with 2 Stonechat on the beach below the campsite. We were approaching the Chapel Fields, when Graham got a call from Steve Williams, who's staying at the Parsonage, and he told Grayham that he had the OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT on the road in front of him next to the hall. We came around the corner and there it was moving from one side of the road to the other at close range in the now, strengthening southly wind and driving rain. However, this bird proved difficult and quickly flicked through an opening into a field. Here we saw it very well, but it was always on the move and flew out towards the cricket pitch where we lost it. 10 minute later and everyone
was looking for it and when the rian got heavier, we went and had a cuppa at Graham's. We had been in there a while and then Alan, a birder staying on Angy, came and told Graham that they had pinned down the pipit. We braved the rain and after a few minutes, Ivan relocated it, but we were in the wrong place. And when it was seen by other birders, we were on the wrong side of the hedge.
  This is the third OBP that I've seen this autumn. Including this one, Grayham's has now found 3 birds this autunm! While Graham was having his breakfast this morning, near the cricket pitch, an OBP came in and landed briefly in front of him, before moving on. All morning he spent searching for it and it was not until early afternoon when Steve picked it up on the road that Graham saw it again.

Immature Black Redstart at Periglis Beach

PALLAS'S WARBLER in the Parsonage Steve Williams

OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT at the Chapel Fields Steve Williams

By wearing a cape, Grayham thought he could get there a lot quicker by pretending to be Batman. That explains why he's got a Batman cover on his bed. He must be a fan. Not that I go into his bedroom. No! No! I noticed it when the door was a jar. I just wanted to clear that just incase people got any funny ideas.  
A crazy bunch of loons waiting in the rain for the OBP to come out.

Here's my singing angel, Tean, singing one of her songs she composed all by herself 'I Saw You There' last night at Old Town Inn.

Friday, 28 October 2011


925 was woundering, 'What the hell was Benny off Crossroads doing up in the mountians of Thiland?'
Benny was woundering, 'What the hell is 925 wearing?' pic taken by IIya Maclean
Can you think of a better caption?

  Today didn't feel like November was just around the corner. It was a stunning, still, warm day. There were 2 Brambling at the campsite, Garrison, this morning with 20-30 Chaffinch also in the area. In fact, small flocks of Chaffinches were seen or heard throughout the day, all over the shop on island.  With Ritchie, we walked the Dead Pine Walk and Ritchie spotted the juvenile SPOONBILL overhead, heading west towards Samson to where the adult bird was.

2 Brambling were at the Garrison

Juvenile SPOONBILL flying over Ritchie and I

Chiffchaff at work

What an action shot of a Black Redstart at Porthloo.

  In me back garden, most of the Chiffchaffs took advantage of the clear night skies with only 7 remaining. In the fields nearby there were 3 Blackcap and Snipe, 30+Goldfinch, 15+Linnet and a Lesser Redpoll.
  A quick look at Porth Hellick and the only bird of note was the YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER that's been present here for the last few days.

In the fields there were lots of Silver Y and a single Painted Lady

Lesser Redpoll at Telegraph

YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER at Porth Hellick loop trail

The view that I see every morning from where I work

New birds found today included a RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER, Higher Moors and a COMMON ROSEFINCH, Longstones, St Mary's. There was another of the latter species on St Agnes, where there was also a PALLA'S WARBLER trapped. However, out of all these birds the rarest was a BULLFINCH on Gugh. The NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH was on both pools today, but there was no sign of the UPLAND SANDPIPER.

The amazing Radiohead singing 'Paranoid Android' from the album 'OK Computer'

Thursday, 27 October 2011

RED-EYED VIREO at Tremelethen

The third RED-EYED VIREO this autumn Will Scot

  It was overcast with light rain at first light and I was standing by the side of Newford Duckpond listening to Redwings going over. I was joined by Nit and Ralph and a closer look in the bushes found 3 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER feeding together with 7-8 Chiffchaff.

Up to 3 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER were at Newford Duckpond

This immature Grey Heron was in the field opposite to the duckpond

  By late morning the sun had come out and there was a Lapwing in the field next to where I work. At Rose Hill I was listening to another YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER with 5 Chiffchaff and nearby at Porthloo there were 3 White and 5 Pied Wagtail and the 2 Black Redstart.

Lapwing at the Garrison

There were 3 White Wagtail at Porthloo

And 2 Black Redstart

This Fieldfare was being blown all over the shop by the NNE. There were also the 5 Skylark in the same field at Green Farm.

  Just before 17.00, I was just leaving the airport, when Steve Hall came on the Radio to say that there was a RED-EYED VIREO at Porth Hellick House! The third one of the autumn and I was seconds away from where it was. In the ten minutes that I was there looking, I did not see it, but returning 45 minutes later, there werre 40+ birders on the road and I managed to see it briefly in the Pittosporum Hedge in the Trethallan Farm fields just off Carn Friars Lane. Jamie, the finder of the vireo, saved the day and hopefully it will show a lot better for everyone tomorrow.

RED-EYED VERIO in the Pittosporum Hedge Will Scot

A crowd shot and there will be a pic of the vireo later. The Northern Waterthrush and Dusky Warbler were still present on St Mary's and the Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat was still showing very well on St Agnes, but no sign of both the Radde's Warbler or Bluethroat on the same island.

A slow melancholy moody song by a great and intelligent singer Sam Phillips