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Sunday 26 October 2014

Possible this, possible that!?

Robin Mawer did a better job than me by getting all 3 Short-toed Lark in the same shot on the airfield

  Guess what? It's Sunday! So like the last two Sundays I find myself searching around the airfield. Just before I got up there, a single Short-toed Lark had come on the pager, but I was observing the 3 Short-toed Lark with 9 Skylark feeding on the edge of the runway with a single Snow Bunting and 2 Wheatear. Overheard, very small numbers of Chaffinch and Redwing seemed to be coming in off the sea with a male Sparrowhawk. Last week I was the only one to see all 3 Short-toes. However, this time everybody caught up with them and later in the afternoon, a brief Red-throated Pipit joined the larks! Like to have seen that.
  A short walk down the road to see the juvenile Red-backed Shrike at Porth Hellick that was discovered yesterday. Here the bird performed well, at very close range at times, but mainly stuck to the center of the bramble field behind the hides that borders the coastal path. 7 Swallow were also present in the area with single Yellow-browed Warbler and Firecrest at Higher Moors. At Newford, out of the 3 Yellow-browed Warbler seen yesterday, I only heard one, but there was a possible Siberian Chiifchaff by the pond. Porthloo could only 3 Black Redstart, 7 Pied and 1 White Wagtail.

The 3 Short-toed Lark were pushed all over the shop by dog walkers, shooters and workmen

This Juvenile Red-backed Shrike is more than likely the only one I'll see this year

  The last week continues to be quiet and the only yanks to arrive from Hurricane Gonzalo were all on Tresco, First, a male Green-winged Teal was on the Great Pool, (20th) followed on the 22nd by a pair of American Wigeon on the Abbey Pool. The day before the wigeon, I flushed a dark Mallard flying out of the black and white wood at Lower Moors. I only saw the bird briefly back on and observed purple speculum without white borders. I shouted out 'Black Duck!' Some two hours later, birders at Juliets and on the Scillonian, saw 6 Mallards, including a darker individual showing off white underwing and purple speculum, flying out in the direction between Tresco and St Martins. It was just a little too far to claim it as a Black Duck. So it went down as a possible? I thought it would of been relocated elsewhere, but there hasn't been a sniff of it. I still reckon it will turn up in the next month and might be hiding out off Tean or Samson. 925 also had a possible American Golden Plover over town, 21st.

Only a handful of Redwing around at the moment

At Content I've had up to 80 Chaffinch, 50 Goldfinch, 40 Linnet and early last week 17 Blackcap

This Sedge Warbler has been present in the weedy Content field for a week and I last saw it on the 24th

An interesting snipe that I had at Porth Hellick. Note on the bottom pic between the record shots of the two Snipe. On the left hand individual, the shorter tail, equal black and white barring on the flanks and more black on the tertials.  The other feature is the left hand bird appearing more black and white in plumage, but Snipe can vary so much. So it will have to go down as a possible?

Mark William Lanegan (born November 25, 1964) is an American alternative rock musician and singer-songwriter. Born and raised inEllensburg, Washington, Lanegan began his musical career in 1984, forming the grunge band Screaming Trees with Gary Lee Conner,Van Conner and Mark Pickerel. During his time in the band, Lanegan also started a low-key solo career and released his first solo studio album, The Winding Sheet, in 1990. Since 1990, he has released a further six studio albums and has received critical recognition and moderate commercial success.

Sunday 19 October 2014

3 Short-toed Lark on St Mary's

2 of the 3 Short-toed Lark on the airfield

 Except for the warm sunshine, the day kinda of started off like last Sunday on the airfield. The Wheatears and pipits had all moved on, but last weeks Snow Bunting was joined by two more a few days ago and I found all 3 birds near to the turning circle. I flushed a Short-toed Lark by the burnt out helicopter and watched it pitch down behind me. Further down the runway, 7 Skylark got up with another 2 Short-toed Lark. They all circled and landed just in front of me and I counted 12 Skylark and 3 Short-toed Lark! One the latter species took off with 8 Skylark and left the other 2 feeding with the remaining birds. A Swallow also flew through.

All 3 Snow Bunting together

The 2 Short-toeds I had last Sunday were not seen throughout the rest of the week until now. A quick call to Graham on St Agnes and he told me that there was no sign of the Short-toed that's been present at Castella Down for the last two weeks. I can only assume that the third bird has made the short hop over. The only other time I've seen 3 Short-toed Lark together was also on the airfield in May '11!

 I was on way to see Ren when news came out that the Barred Warbler was showing very well at Carn Gwarvel. On arrival, the warbler was on show for a good twenty minutes, feeding almost at ground level in the warm bright sunshine at very close range. A few hours later I was at Content and the only birds of note were 2 Brambling with over 80 Chaffinch, 80+Meadow Pipit, 17 Blackcap and 8 Swallow flew through. Yesterday in the same fields I had, a Sedge Warbler and just across the fields at Trenowth, male Ring Ouzel with 30+Redwing. Friday just gone at the latter site I had, single Siberian Chiffchaff, Mistle Thrush, 2 Ring Ouzel and also 30+Redwing.


This Barred warbler has been in the area, dead on a month now, when Mark Anderson found it in the Peninnis allotments! I've observed some good Barreds in my time, but nothing like this one. 

This juvenile Grey Heron also put on a good show at Salkee

Greenshank at Porth Hellick

This Scilly Shrew (Lesser-toothed Shrew) was not in good shape and when I picked it up from the road at Porth Hellick, I found that there were a few fly eggs attached to it's fur at the rear end. As you can see from Robin Mawer's pic. I started to gently take them off and found out that there were more and more deeper in. It was some 30 minutes later that I had finally taken out the last cluster of eggs. The shrew went on it's way into the undergrowth.

When Robin drove around the corner, he thought I had collapsed on the road.

  19 days into October and everyone's commenting that this is the worse October that they've ever experienced. I have to agree and I do remember Oct '92 was also quiet, but we did have a cracking Parula  Warbler to look at on the Garrison to brighten up our days. Hopefully the tail end of hurricane Gonzalo that hits us on Tuesday will bring something in equal to a Parula.

Amazing music!

Sunday 12 October 2014

Interesting flava wagtail

1st winter Richard's Pipit at the golf course

  I arrived at the airfield at 08.30 hoping to see yesterdays Snow Bunting and get better views of the Short-toed Lark than what I did a few days ago. I immediately noticed that there was an increase of Meadow Pipit, with well over 100 and feeding with them were the Short-toed lark and a grey and white flava wagtail, which looked good for a Eastern 'type' Yellow Wagtail. However, when it called, it sounded like a Yellow Wagtail and it was always distant. there were also 6 Pied wagtail, 3 Wheatear, 3 Skylark, 1 Whinchat and I relocated the Snow Bunting. At the wind sock, I joined Ian Grant who had just turned up. I scanned and put him on the lark that was feeding on the edge of the runway. Seconds later, I found another Short-toed Lark feeding with the pipits! There were 2 Short-toed Lark and later I found out that the St Agnes bird was still at Costella Down. A Ring Ouzel came in and we got are first Black Redstart of the autumn.

Grey and white flava wagtail?

Snow Bunting on the edge of the runway. There were another 2 birds at Peninnis

1 of the 2 Short-toed Lark on the airfield

Small numbers of Black Redstart arrived on the islands today including this one on the airfield 

  At Content in the weedy fields of note there were 8 Blackcap and single Whitethroat and Redwing. After dipping on a Richard's Pipit at the golf course before we hit Content, we tried again after it came on the radio that it was showing well. That it was and for the next 30 minutes the pipit was at times only 20ft away. 40 Swallow also moved through and at Trewince there were over 100 Meadow pipit and 3 Wheatear. The juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was still in the Pelistry area and as Ian had not seen it, we went for it. There were 50 Swallow at Pelistry Farm and some of these could of involved the birds we saw earlier. Later I was told over 150 Swallow came into roost at lower Moors. On the road, near to the Kittidown Crossroads, there was a vocal Yellow-browed Warbler and an hour later after trampling through fields, we were rewarded with only 160 Meadow Pipit. At Porthloo, there was another Wheatear and the last bird of the day was a Common Sanpiper at Carn Leh.

Richard's Pipit with Round island 

A very vocal Yellow-browed Warbler was at Kittidown Crossroads

Up to 50 Swallow were at Pelistry

This adult male Peregrine was spooking everything over St Mary's

There were a large influx of Meadow Pipit and we must of seen over 400 birds

I got this Garden Warbler at Content yesterday along with my first Redwing of the autumn 

Marcus Füreder (born November 27, 1974 in Linz, Upperaustria) better known by his stage name Parov Stelar, is an Austrian musician,producer and DJ. His musical style roots in the combination of JazzHouseElectro and Breakbeat. Parov Stelar is known as one of the pioneers of ElectroswingHe won three Amadeus Austrian Music Awards in 2013 (Best Live Act, Best Electronic Act, Best Album) and one in 2014 (Best Live Act). Parov Stelar worked with Lana Del Rey,Bryan Ferry and Lady Gaga. He released six albums, more than twenty EPs and sold more than 250,000 albums independently. The track Booty Swing reached top chart positions in the electronic US and Canadian iTunes charts. His tracks have been used on hundreds of compilations worldwide as well as in TV shows, TV series, movies and advertising spots which brought him international recognition.