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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Spotted Sandpiper at Porth Hellick

Joe Pender found this cracking Spotted Sandpiper at Porth Hellick this afternoon

  I spent half the afternoon with others on Bryher searching for yesterday's Rock Thrush that was reported on Shipmans Head. Despite five of us searching all over the shop there was no sign of the thrush but I got the best views of the long staying male SNOWY OWL on the down in the rain. The only other birds of note that I saw were 2 Cuckoo, 3 Wheatear and the resident Hooded Crow.

I lay on belly in the drizzle to get these pics of the male SNOWY OWL and as a result got soaked to the bone!

It's been two years since I've seen the resident Hooded Crow on Bryher 

  At 16.55 as the sun was coming out, I was returning back to St Mary's when I got a call from Joe Pender telling me that he had just found a Spotted Sandpiper in front of the Sussex hide, Porth Hellick! No Way! I alerted others on the boat and they all looked at me as though I was crazy! I guess that's not surprising because out of the sixty folks on board, only two of them were birders! On dry land I went to look for me wagon. Everyone had made their ways up there and twenty minutes later, I still ain't found me wagon. In the end Hannah and Sammy picked me up and we joined the packed hide and everyone knew that I had lost me wagon. Higgo said 'If you canna find ya wagon, then wat chance have ya got finding a bird!' Anyways, the sandpiper was showing very well in front of the hide.

I've seen a lot of Spotted Sandpiper on Scilly but this is only my second spring individual with spots after Nigel Wheatley found one on the Tresco Abbey Pool, 31st May-1st June '04. Higgo, Bryan Thomas and I also had the only Scilly record of Spanish Wagtail after observing the sandpiper.

 We were told that the Red-rumped Swallow was performing well at the beach end around the pillbox. For the next thirty minutes, the swallow was hawking, at times, arms length away with handful of House Martin and Swallow. The sun was still out and we returned to the hide to find the spot sand was at the far end. However, some twenty minutes later and it was directly below us showing of those spots in the sun!

The Red-rumped Swallow was all over the shop hawking at the beach end of Porth Hellick

The Spotted Sandpiper briefly showed well at close range before making it's ways to the far end corner.

  On Saturday Graham Gorden returned to St Agnes, after being gone since the end of March, and the following morning found a stunner in the form of the second Scilly record of a male EASTERN SUBALPINE WARBLER singing at Tamisk Farm. However, on the 12th, Paul St Perrer discovered a male Subalpine Warbler singing on Bryher which was thought to be also of the Eastern form! He also had a singing Quail that day nearby. Two days later, 14th, also on Bryher, Richard Thewlis heard a Red-throated Pipit over Shipmans Head Down where the male Dotterel was last seen til 15th.

  On Tresco the IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF was still in song commuting with Pool Road and Well Cover.

Record shot, in Robin Mawer style, of the second Scilly record of a male EASTERN SUBALPINE WARBLER on St Agnes, 15th. Fortunately I saw the first record that Doug Page found also on St Agnes. 

This male Hawfinch was found by Sammy Richard's and Hannah Buckley at Telegraph, 11th 

2016 takes away another great! Guy Charles Clark was a Grammy Award winning American Texas country and folk singer, musician, songwriter, recording artist, and performer. He has released more than twenty albums, and his songs have been recorded by other artists including Jerry Jeff Walker and Johnny Cash. He hung out with some of the greatest songwriters like Towns Van Zant and Micky Newbury. Like them, he never made it to the mainstream because they didn't want to. 

Clark was born in Monahans, Texas and eventually settled in Nashville, where he helped create the progressive country and outlaw country genres. His songs "L.A. Freeway" and "Desperados Waiting for a Train" that helped launch his career were covered by numerous performers.

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