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Monday 28 April 2014

Red-rumped Swallow on St Mary's

Red-rumped Swallow at Porth Hellick

   I was just with Ren when a text came through from Will Scott. He had just found a Red-rumped Swallow at Higher Moors. Within minutes we arrived at the sight and found the bird hawking with 15+Swallow, 3 House and a single Sand Martin pretty high up. And that's where it stayed for the ten minutes that we were there, up in space, it was so bloody high up! Even higher was our first Hobby of the year and that disappeared into the clouds. Early evening I git a call from Robin to tell me that the RRS was over Trewince. It was still up high with the same bunch of hirindines and disappeared over towards Telegraph. At Porth Hellick, yesterdays Black-tailed Godwit was on the pool with a single Snipe and female Tufted duck. This morning I was shown a blurred photo of a bird taken from a phone in a garden at Normandy. It turned out to be a Hawfinch and later in the day, it or another was found by Bob Dawson in the Parsanage on St Agnes.

Later in the day the swallow briefly landed on the wires.

  Yesterday morning I had a single Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Golden Plover on the airfield. At 10.15, Higgo and I tried out tresco. We had only been there a few minutes and had seen 2 Black-tailed Godwit and the juvenile Iceland Gull on the heliport. And that was it for the next 3 hours, nothing! And it was the same when we went to Bryher to look for the Red-throated Pipit that Higgo discovered the day before. The only bird of interest was the Hooded crow. When we returned to St Mary's, written on the board was TREECREEPER on Tresco!

Managed to see 3 Black-tailed Godwit yesterday. This one on the airfield and 2 on the heliport on Tresco

These 3 Golden Plover were also on the airfield yesterday
This female Tufted Duck turned on Porth Hellick Pool two days ago
Where there was also this Greenshank having a good ole wing stretch
White Wagtails have been unusually low numbers this spring
Male House Sparrow at the campsite

This juvenile Iceland Gull can always be found hanging around on Tresco heliport

Our breeding Stonechat show a lot of white on there rumps.
We saw our first Red squirel after being introduced last year on Tresco

To me this guy gives a taste of Peter Gabriel. Wouter "Wally" De Backer, better known as Gotye, is a Belgian-Australian multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. The name "Gotye" is a pronunciation respelling of "Gauthier", the French cognate of Gotye's given Flemish name "Wouter". This 2011 single "Somebody That I Used to Know" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, making him the fifth Australian-based artist to do so and the second Belgian (after The Singing Nun in 1963).

Friday 25 April 2014

Woodchat Shrike at Longstones Lane

This cracking male Woodchat Shrike was discovered in fields off Longstones Lane and was even heard singing.

  It's been not a bad week. On the 18th a few of us observed an Osprey fly from Bar Point to Tresco. Two days later I watched it being mobbed by a Carrion Crow over Porth Hellick. At the latter site on the same day, I flushed a Jack Snipe off the lower beach path and the Yellow-legged Gull came in for a wash on the pool. My first Cuckoo and Reed Warbler of the year were singing with a single Grasshopper and 2 Sedge Warbler. Nearby at Carn Friars there was a male Ring Ouzel in the horse paddocks. While observing the Osprey, thinking he would see from his bedroom, I called Will Scott and as a result he scanned from his house and got it up over Pungies Lane. He thanked me, walked down road and found a male Woodchat Shrike!

Record shots of the Osprey over Bar Point (top pic) and Porth Hellick

Male Woodchat Shrike off Longstones Lane (20th-22nd)

Yellow Wagtail at Pelistry. There's also been 2 Blue-headed Wagtail around and today a possible Ashy-headed Wagtail was on St Agnes 
This Whitethroat was on the Garrison
2 male and female Ring Ouzel have been favouring the paddocks below the golf course for the last week

While this single male Ring Ouzel was a one day bird at Carn Friars (20th)

The first year Yellow-legged Gull can be found all over the shop on St Mary's
First summer Herring Gull on the golf course
Only a few Whimbrel around at the moment
There has been 2 Common Sandpiper at Lower Moors
There's still a single Snipe at Porth Hellick yesterday
Also yesterday, 2 Golden Plover were on the airfield. Up to 26 were on the golf course three days ago

Joe Pender picked up this dead male Hawfinch in his garden in Hugh Town

Caravan Palace is a French Electro swing and Gypsy Jazz band based in Paris. The band's influences include Django Reinhardt, Vitalic, Lionel Hampton, and Daft Punk. The band released their début studio album, Caravan Palace, on the Wagram label in October 2008. The record charted in Switzerland, Belgium and France, where it reached a peak position of 11

Thursday 17 April 2014

BEE-EATER at Lower Moors

The Lower Moors Spotted Crake have a good ol stretch 
   Yesterday, just after 07.00, I was at Lower Moors hoping to catch the Bee-eater that roosted in the area the night before. As usual the Spotted Crake was putting on a good performance, but no sign of the Bee-eater. I decided to go and have a look at the back of the moors near to the junction going up to the airport. Here I found Will Scott looking pretty happy as he had pinned down the bird sat in a dead sallow warming itself in the morning sun. Within minutes everyone was on top of us observing the BEE-EATER, doing what else, catching ants.


The BEE-EATER was flushed by a Blackbird and disappeared over the moor. It wasn't until 12.15 that Robin saw it fly over the moor and 45 minutes later, Doug page was observing it on St Agnes. 

The Spotted Crake shared the flooded willow with a single Water Rail and both birds were on show throughout most of the day.
  I was given the rest of the day off and in a breezy SE I made my way around the SSW of St Mary's. First I had my first Whitethroat of the year at Star Castle, followed by a Tree Pipit at Lower Moors. A stunning male Redstart in the Salkee fields, most of the Wheatear had cleared out, but I came across small flocks of Meadow Pipit totaling over 70 birds altogether. Up to 20 Swallow were at the airfield with a single Sand Martin. In the late afternoon, Elle and I kayacked to Tresco and got 2 Whimbrel, lots of Sandwich Terns and the juvenile Iceland Gull was on the heliport.

Whitethroat at Star Castle

Tree Pipit at Lower Moors

2 White Wagtail were on the football pitch
Yesturday on the golf course I counted up to 4 Ring Ouzel and Will Scott had a high total of 167 Wheatear

Female Chaffinch

Male Stonechat
  Azorean Yellow-legged Gull? My ass!! Sunday just gone, I came across a messy looking 1st year large gull on the airfield. I questioned if it was a Yellow-legged Gull, but thought it was too dark above. I called everyone up to come and have a look. All agreed that was an interesting gull and the darkness of the bird, questioned me to think maybe a possible Azorean YLG. No one, including myself , had really no idea what to look for and after some time it was decided to put the news out as a possible Azorean YLG. The only reason for this, so birders visting the island could come and have a look themselves and make their own minds to what they think it is. I sent the pics to Martin Elliot and he identified it as a YLG but thought that it was possibly from the Atlantic region. ie, Portuguese coast, Canery or Madeire Islands.

With only one or two sightings a year, this Yellow-legged Gull was still a good record

Over a month ago 'Match of the Day' played the great intro to 'Stagger Lee' while showing the faces of  various managers in slow motion. However, they stopped the music just before Nick Cave was just about to sing. If  you have a listen to this one hell of a song, you'll understand why. A long time ago my band played this song a lot.