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Thursday 28 February 2013


2nd winter AMERICAN HERRING GULL, Morning Point, Garrison!

  The boss gave me the afternoon off and I spent a few hours with Higgo. The 3rd winter Iceland Gull showed well at Porthmellon, but the only other birds of note were over 30 Meadow Pipit at Helvear.

  For the second time, since I've returned from the mainland, I walked around part of the Garrison. Not much going on, but when I arrived at Morning Point, as usual, there were a small group of Herring Gulls. Scanning through them my eye caught a bird giving me the impression of a possible smiths gull? I thought, no, please not again! However, it got up and showed an all dark tail extending up the sides with broad heavy barring on the rump and undertail. Also, the bill was dark tipped with what I thought was pink based. Jesus! This looked very good! It made a tight circle and then started flying out to sea. I made a quick change from me bins to me camera as it flew off and landed on the long rock at the mouth of Porthcressa Bay a long ways off. I called Higgo, Big Al and Will Scott and told them that I had just found a 1st winter American Herring Gull and picked them all up in me wagon! Will called Ritchie, Tony, Ren, Martin and Joe, but only the first two could make it. As we returned to Morning Point, Will immediately relocated the gull on the rocks just off the outlet that all the rest of the gulls were feeding from. Here we observed it for a good 10 minutes before it joined the other gulls in the water. Looking through the scope you could clearly see that two-thirds of the bill had a yellow tinge to it. In the 45 minutes we were there, we got cracking views and it was re-identified as a 2nd winter AMERICAN HERRING GULL!. When I first found the smiths, I thought the plumage was a 2nd winter and when it started to fly off, it still looked like a 2nd winter. However, the dark tail and extensive heavy barring on the rump and undertail, made me think that it could be a 1st summer or an advanced 1st winter. I was told later that apparently it's unusual for a 2nd winter to still retain all these latter features at this time of the year. It was still present when we all left. Will also had the 2nd winter Yellow-legged Gull at Porthloo yesterday. 






This is the first time that a 2nd winter has been recorded on Scilly. The other 6 or 7 records have all been 1st winters.

The 3rd winter Iceland Gull continues to show well at Porth Mellon

Up to 15 Redwing were at Carn Friars

Male Peregrine was seen all over the shop

Annie Clark just blows me away! I've been listening to St Vincent for a long time and she just get better and better. A hell of a songwriter and guitarest, multi-instrumentalist and shes touring the UK this August! Sometimes I wish I lived on the mainland. I recommend that you listen to her other material.

Saturday 23 February 2013

Yellow-legged Gull at Porth Mellon

Up to 6 Mediterranean Gull were on St Mary's yesterday, including this stunning summer adult at Old Town Bay

  After the gale force ESE that have hit the islands in the last few days, this morning at Porth Mellon in calmer conditions, I had the Iceland Gull followed by a fly through 2nd winter Yellow-legged Gull. I returned later in the afternoon and scanning with me bins from me wagon, I relocated the YLG again very briefly having a bath before flying off towards Porthloo/Tresco.
  Yesterday at Old Town Bay, there were 2 winter and a cracking summer adult Mediterranean Gull performing very well as they fed close in shore. At the same time at Porth Mellon, there were 3 Common Gull, 50+Black-headed Gull, another summer adult Mediterranean Gull and Higgo later had 2 2nd winters of the latter species. He also got a high count of 10 Common Gull at Bar Point.


2nd winter Yellow-legged Gull briefly at Porth Mellon and the Iceland Gull. If you go by the bill, this Iceland might be a possible 3rd winter?


Adult summer and winter plumage Mediterranean Gull

No sign of the female type Black Redstart from last week at Porthloo. However, I did see this 1st winter male Black Redstart? that has been around on the beach for the last month. I've observed falls and falls of Black Redstart on Scilly and never came across one in this plumage before showing a white panel with a female type body. In this plumage they normally show a buff panel. Other birders on the island also commented on saying that they too have never seen one like this before and can only guess that it's a 1st winter male. 

Young released his latest LP 'Psychedelic Pill' last November with songs and instrumentals lasting over 16 minutes! The opening track is over 27 minutes! 'Twisted Road' is about some of  his hero's and contemporaries, Hank Williams, Dylan, Roy Orbison and the Grateful Dead. He's touring the UK this May and many of my mates from Scilly are going to see him. There going to have one hell of a great time!

First time I heard 'Like A Rolling Stone'
I felt that magic and took it home
Gave it a twist and made it mine
But nothing was as good as the very first time
Poetry rolling off his tongue
Like Hank Williams chewing bubble gum
Asking me 'how does it feel'?

Sunday 17 February 2013

3 Siberain Chiffchaff at Lower Moors

Up to 3 Siberain Chiffchaff were at Lower Moors feeding together

  Worked a few hours this morning and then had the rest of the day off. At Lower Moors, I could hear a Siberian Chiffchaff just in front of me in the right hand Sallows. I located it only to discover that were up to 3 Siberian Chiffchaff in the same Sallows! All of them were calling on and off and were joined briefly by a Chiffchaff. Also in the area were 6 Woodcock, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Pied and 1 Grey Wagtail.

2 different Siberian Chiffchaff

  While in the Jac-a-Bar garden, I heard a Mistle Thrush rattling in the area and five minutes later, I was observing it at the top of a large pine. It flew off and sang very briefly out of sight in the warm sunshine. Nearby at Innisidgen there were a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 2 Whimbrel, 25+Curlew, 1 Great Northern Diver, male Sparrowhawk and my first 2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gull of the year for Scilly. Also first of the year included a Peacock Butterfly. A female Black Redstart was at Porthloo and returning to work later, on the football pitch were 2 Skylark with the female Sparrowhawk above.

Mistle Thrush at Jac-a Bar with St Martins in the distance. This could be the only one I see this year!
The dark-bellied Brent Goose and Whimbrels were all flushed by dog walkers at Innisidgen

My first Peacock of the year at Innisigden. Yesterday I also saw my first Small Tortoiseshell in the castle garden
Went to Martins and in his garden were 3 Siskin including this male

2 Skylark were on the Garrison football field

Andrew Wegman Bird (born July 11, 1973) is an American musician, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist.