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Saturday 23 November 2013


1st winter LESSER GREY SHRIKE performed very well in a paddock next to Newton Links car park Elmarie Humphries

  Since we left Scilly, we went to the small venue, Islington Assembly Hall, to see Ed Harcourt. Overnight, As soon as we shook Ed's hand straight after the show, we drove all the way up to Glasgow to see a disappointing Queens of the Stoneage at the The Hydro. A few nights later at the SECC and at last we were going to see Bob Dylan and his Band, for the first time. It was exactly how I expected to be, but not once did he pick up a guitar. If he wasn't playing the piano then he was at the front singing with one hand on his hip. Many times when he walked from mike to piano, dressed in a black cowboy suit, he looked like he was going to fall over. He only said a few words 'Thank you my friends' and he didn't sing 'Roll on John'  Ed Harcourt was amazing and he signed my guitar.

  From Glasgow we started making our ways south along the east coast stopping off at a few places along the way. As we were not far away from where the LESSER GREY SHRIKE was, Elle and I thought we would like to see it and were not disappointed. From the car, you could relax as the shrike sat on posts nearby. After a few minutes of observing it, the bird disappeared for a good half an hour. It returned to it's favoured paddock and showed superbly at very close range. 2 Chiffchaff were also in a garden across the road from the paddock.
  Just before this, I called up will Scott from Bambough Castle car park looking over towards the Farnes and through his scope he could see us both waving to him. He also told me to go a few minutes up road to Stagg Rocks and from here there were Long-tailed Duck, Eider,Common Scoter 2 Great Northern Diver and singles of Velvet Scoter and Red-throated Diver


All pics above taken by Elmarie Humphries



What a bird!!

  We joined up with our friend Jason at Golf Course to do a few hours ringing. Highlight were 4 Tree Sparrow, 2 Coal Tit and a single Goldcrest. A total of 28 birds were trapped at the feeding station.

Up to 4 Mottled Umber and a single November Moth were also at the golf course
A few days ago we drove over to a very bitter cold and wet Holy Island

The late Floyd "Red Crow" Westermnan performing Kris Kristofferson's song 'They Killed Him' at the Rainbow Warrior Festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico in August of 1988. This song stuck out as one of the most moving of the entire 12 hours of music at the Green Peace festival. Authentic, powerful, moving and real.  Watch the whole festival at I feel that this song fits this day of the JFK anniversary very well and unfortunately Dylan, who also covered this song, didn't sing it when we saw him at the SECC in Glasgow.

Saturday 16 November 2013

Yellow-browed Warbler trapped at Porth Hellick

I love Siberian Chiffchaffs and this one was at Lower Moors

  Before light, Elle went off bird ringing and I made my way down to Lower Moors. By the Shooters Pool, there was, although I didn't hear it, a superb Siberian Chiffchaff. More Chiffchaff arrived overnight 13 Fieldfare flew overhead and there were 2 Grey Wagtail on the pool.

Siberian Chiffchaff

While watching my first Firecrest of the autumn at Porth Hellick, Elle called me to say that she had just trapped a Yellow-browed Warbler, her second in three days! The fifth Yellow-browed Warbler trapped this autumn. Why do the birds always stay in the palm of Elle's hand?  
It was off to mainland on the boat where we were going to see some bands playing including Ed Harcourt, Queen of the Stoneage and Bob Dylan! On the trip, just off the Eastern Isles, were very large numbers of both Gannet and Kittiwake feeding. With them were over 50 Common Dolphin, a few side by side to the boat. When we reached Penzance, with Paul Semmens, we had a total of 5 Sooty and 4 Mediterranean Shearwater, 1 Arctic and 5 Great Skua, 1 Puffin, 6-700 Gannet and 1000+Kittiwake.
Very large numbers of Gannet and Kittiwake just off the eastern Isles
adult and 1st winter kittiwake
5 Sooty, 4 Mediterranean Shearwater and 5 great Skua were sighted

Sunday 10 November 2013

Siberian Chiffchaff trapped at Porth Hellick

Siberian Chiffchaff ringed at Porth Hellick this morning. An unringed individual was also nearby on the loop trail.
   While Elle was ringing at porth Hellick with Jim, first thing this morning, I nipped down to Lower Moors and got this female Reed Bunting, 15+Water Rail, 3 Feldfare, 8 Redwing, 10+Chiffchaff and a single Linnet flew north. Nearby, the Yellow-browed warbler was still at Rose Hill. However, when I reached Porth Hellick I observed 3 of the latter species in the same row of trees with another calling at same time nearby! I had only been there a few minutes when Jim called to say they had trapped a Siberian 'type' Chiffchaff. After the Siberian Chiffchaff being ringed, it was released and in to the net was a cracking Yellow-browed Warbler! Magic stuff! I also had a male Merlin, 4 woodcock and a Siberian 'type' Chiffchaff on the other side of the pool.
Up to 6 Yellow-browed Warbler were at Porth Hellick. 4 together on the loop trail, Ritchie had one at the crossroads and the individual trapped. Up to 20+Chiffchaff were also in the area

Siberian Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff for comparison
I also managed to get a record shot of the bird in the field after it was released

Yellow-browed Warbler ringed at Porth Hellick

2 male and a female Stonechat were so close to the nets

An unringed Siberian 'type' Chiffchaff was also at Porth Hellick

Goldcrest were everywhere with at 20 at Lower Moors and 15 at Porth Hellick

Yesterday this Clouded Yellow was at Carn Friars with another at Parting Carn

Also had up to 3 Red Admiral and single Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell

Jerry Fulton Cantrell Jr. (born March 18, 1966 in Tacoma, Washington) is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter best known for his work with the rock band Alice in Chains, as lead guitarist, backing and co-lead vocalist, main songwriter, and co-lyricist. He performs lead vocals on his solo projects, and is part of Alice in Chains' harmonizing dual-vocal style. He resides in Los Angeles and spends time on his family ranch in Oklahoma.
Cantrell toured in support of Alice In Chains' first studio album in 14 years, Black Gives Way to Blue, and is now touring in support for their newest studio album, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, which was released on May 28th, 2013