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Wednesday 26 August 2015

Subalpine Warbler on the Garrison

Lots of Pied flycatcher around at the moment including this one on The Garrison

  Just before breakfast on the 23rd , I had a quick walk around The Garrison and was rewarded with an immature Subalpine Warbler sp? With the sun behind me, I was walking on the top path towards the Steval, when I noticed a pale warbler perched out in the open on top of a dead bush. Lifting my bins up I could see that it was a Subalp and as I got my camera to take a record shot, the bird flew low towards me and landed in deep cover on the south slope. I put the news out and after an hour of searching with no sign, Will Scott text to say that the Western Bonelli's Warbler that he found yesterday in his garden at Longstones, was showing well. Although I saw it briefly yesterday, I wanted to see it in better light and I had enough of looking for this thing. An hour later the only birds of interest in the pine belt area were 5 Pied and 2 Spotted Flycatcher and no sign of the warbler. However, a return later saw it very briefly in the tops of the pines.

Wood Warbler in the same pine belt at Sandy Lanes as the Western Bonelli's Warbler

  In fact, in the last week things are starting to pick up. It all started on the 19th when a very early Lapland Bunting was feeding on the coastal path above Great Bay, St Martins. Looking for the bunting turned up a Wryneck. Later on in the thick fog on St Mary's, Gethin Jones found a juvenile Woodchat Shrike in the Salakee fields. Shortly afterwards, Mick Scott had a vocal Citrine Wagtail over his garden at Longstones heading west. Two days later, Bob Dawson found a Western Bonelli's Warbler at Porth Killier followed by another Western Boneill's in Will Scotts Longstones garden. The latter species I relocated in the nearby Sandy Lanes pine belt where it stayed until the 24th. Today 925 flushed a Wryneck near to the Pottery on The Garrison and while I was searching for the Bonelli's at Sandy Lanes, I came across a Wood Warbler in the same pines

On the 23rd I had up to 4 Pied and 2 Spotted Flycatcher on the Garrison

Up to 3 juvenile Mediterranean Gull are at Porthloo and yesterday the first Black Redstart of the autumn was also on the beach.

Great day for butterflies on Sunday with Holly Blue, Small Copper and up to 5 Clouded Yellow.

There are Rabbits everywhere at work in all kind of colours. If you include the football pitch just up road, I'm not going over the top when I say 60-70 and there mostly black! 

And Dave is still with us

Here is my singing angel covering Lana Del Ray song 'Born to Die' at Old Town Inn over the weekend

Monday 17 August 2015

Emperor Dragonfly at Lower Moors

Although this Emperor Dragonfly has been at Lower Moors since last month, I finally caught up with it and proved to be a new species for me! 

  Except for the Palagics turning up the goods, with cracking views of a FEA'S PETREL yesterday 11 miles NE of St Mary's, in the two weeks that's just gone, it's been pretty quiet. However, the last few days has seen a bit of movement. A 90 minute seawatch off Deep Point yesterday evening was hard work but paid off when 6 Black Tern flew past heading east.  Green sandpiper, Wheatear, Willow Warbler have been in double figures and yesterday over 20 Pied Flycatcher were on St Mary's. I saw my first 3 Pied Flycatcher of the year today, but the highlight was my third Osprey of the year gaining height over Lower Moors drifting east towards Tresco.

I saw my first ever Emperor Dragonfly yesterday only to find my own briefly today hawking over Newford Duckpond. It's been a good year so far with singles also at Porth Hellick and on St Martins

In the dull light, this Osprey was rising all the time heading east towards Tresco

This worn tiny Common Blue (2/3 the size) got both me and Ren going when we flushed it at Lower Moors yesterday. A call to Will Scott and an hour later he identified as a 2nd generation Common Blue 

There were small numbers of Common Blue in the same area with Long-winged Coneheads and Blue-tailed Damselfly

Up to 3 Snipe are at Porth Hellick with 11 Greenshank

Yesterday I had 2 Spotted Flycatcher at Carn Friers. 

Out of 356 yachts in the Fastnet race, this was the leading boat. A 131 ft. Trimaran " SPINDRIFT 2 " going west past Peninnis lighthouse today.

Born to a Belgian mother and an Italian father, Mélanie De Biasio learnt ballet from the age of 3, and started playing the Western concert flute at 8 years of age. At the age of 12, she joined the Ensemble de l'Harmonie de Charleroi with whom she toured Canadafor a month. During her adolescence, she further improved her voice and diction.

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Pectoral Sandpiper at Porth Hellick

Adult Pectoral Sandpiper showing very well at Porth Hellick
  Yesterday, the first Pectoral Sandpiper of the year turned up at Porth Hellick, but never came close enough in the 30 minutes when I was there and it flew off south after being spooked by a Peregrine. However, early this morning Bob Dawson text me to say that he had the pec on Porth Coose, St Agnes. Late morning it had returned to Porth Hellick and later on, we were all getting crippling views as the bird fed with a juvenile Dunlin. The Greenshank have increased from 6 to 8 and early on I had a juvenile Mediterranean Gull with 50+Black-headed Gull at Porthloo. A quick look off the Garrison looking towards Samson this afternoon, saw over 200 Manx Shearwater, including a raft of over a 100.

Adult Pectoral Sandpiper

juvenile Dunlin

Both this juvenile Wood Pigeon and adult Goldfinch came down for a drink 

This Willow Warbler was nearby 

Adult Great-black backed Gull

Grey Herons at Lower Moor

My first Comma of the year was at Porth Hellick where I also had a Clouded Yellow

Pearl Jam cover live a master piece 'Masters of War" is a song by Bob Dylan, written over the winter of 1962–63 and released on the album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan in the spring of 1963. The song's melody was adapted from the traditional "Nottamun Town". Dylan's lyrics are a protest against the Cold War arms build-up of the early 1960s. However, it's still oppropriate to this day!!