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Saturday, 27 May 2017

10th RED-FOOTED FALCON for Scilly!

This 1st summer male RED-FOOTED FALCON was found late morning by Viv Jackson where it favored Giants Castle/Salkkee area throughout the day. Viv also found the 7th record for Scilly on St Martins '14!

  Two days ago I was walking in the stiff ESE breeze towards the hides at Porth Hellick and in the Sussex hide Viv Jackson and his wife were scanning the pool. Viv said to me 'I'm glad I bumped into you. I saw a male RED-FOOTED FALCON fly low east across the airfield at 11.25!' That was an hour ago. Viv doesn't have a mobile so without hesitation I put the news out and the hunt was on to try and relocate it. It was some hour later that it was refound at Giants Castle/Salkee area but when Higgo and I got up there it had not been seen for over an hour! Higgo went off with Sammy towards Salkee and I headed towards Giants Castle. I was speaking to Robin on the coastal path to where the pines end as you hit Salkee Down and he told me that he had been looking for it all over the shop and givin up. I headed up towards the down and only took a few steps after leaving Robin and shouted 'Ere it is!' It flew overhead and made it's way on to the down where we observed it hoving. Higgo and Sammy joined us and we all observed the falcon hunting the down distantly for a good ten minutes before it flew off. After an hour there was no sign of it and I had to return to work. It was seen briefly later on and the following morning it was seen again til about 09.00 and then moved on never to be seen again!

Record shots of the falcon as it hunting over the down. This is the forth year in a row that a Red-footed Falcon has been recorded on scilly!

You do realise that a current SERVING Conservative politician was literally a MEMBER of the IRA, right?

While the mainstream media focuses on Jeremy Corbyn’s alleged “support” for the IRA, it is conveniently ignoring a Conservative politician who actually used to be a member. And even said that:
I agreed with the shooting of British soldiers and believed the more who were killed the better.

Smear. Lie. Repeat

Following last week’s release of their shambolic manifesto, Theresa May’s poll ratings have taken a significant slump in the past couple of days. To accompany this downturn we’ve see the Tories’ loyal attack dogs in the media attempting to smear the opposition with anything they can get their hands on.
This morning on Sky, Sophy Ridge conducted an interview with Corbyn that focused intensely on the Labour leader’s history with the IRA. Despite Corbyn condeming the violence carried out by both sides several times during the interview, the media have somehow decided that Corbyn ‘refused to condemn’ the IRA. Despite the fact he literally did
Aside from the media’s twisting of Corbyn’s words, there is another prime example of its blatant hypocrisy for all to see. Because a sitting Conservative Party councillor actually used to be a member of the IRA.

Tory terrorist?

Maria Gatland is a Tory councillor in Croydon, South London. But in a previouslife she was known as Maria McGuire; a member of the Provisional IRA and lover of one of it’s top dogs David O’Connell. She detailed her life in the group in a book called To Take Arms: My Year With The IRA Provisionals. And she pulled no punches in describing just what she was involved in.
As The Belfast Telegraph documented in 2008, Gatland went on an arms-buying mission with O’Connell to the continent. It reported that:
O’Connell took her to the Continent on an abortive mission to buy modern arms to replace old equipment. The old stuff would malfunction during gun battles, which she said was ‘particularly annoying for the really good snipers’. Their travels took them to Zurich, Brussels, Amsterdam and Paris, but they constantly felt they were being followed. In France, McGuire wrote: ‘At one period I thought seriously about using my gun on one of our shadows’.
But after their cover was blown by a British newspaper, they were forced to flee back to Ireland. Even after Gatland admitted in a press conference that the pair were trying to buy weapons for the IRA, they were still not arrested.

Shocking words

She also said in the book:
I remember occasions where we heard late at night that a British soldier had been shot and seriously wounded in Belfast or Derry and we would hope by the morning he would be dead.
I accepted the bombing of Belfast and when civilians were accidentally blown to pieces dismissed this as one of the unfortunate effects of urban guerrilla warfare.

A change of heart

But Gatland soon began to realise that she was being “very naive”. And after the Bloody Friday bombings, when up to 22 bombs were detonated in Belfast in just over an hour, killing 11 and injuring 130, she left. Gatland said:
I was very concerned about what was happening to my country and believed joining the IRA was the way to do something about it. I began to realise it wasn’t something I wanted to be involved in and so I left. I realised violence was not the answer and I now abhor violence.
But according to The Daily Mail, her links with the IRA were only exposed because she was accidentally called “Councillor McGuire” at a Croydon council meeting. Therefore, forcing her hand to reveal her past. At the time, in 2008, she resigned as education chief of the Conservative-run council, and considered leaving the party entirely – but never actually did.

“Deeply regret”

She currently sits on the Shadow Shadow Cabinet for Children, Families & Learning. Gatland said of her time in the Provisional IRA and rise to Tory councillor:
I wanted to put something back into the community and I think I have done since I was elected to the council. I deeply regret that I have caused problems for my colleagues who I hold in very high regard

Steaming hypocrisy

Gatland appears to have renounced her past with the IRA, and obviously this has satisfied her peers and bosses in the Conservative Party, as she is happily still representing them. But no such treatment is given to Corbyn – even though any contact he had with the IRA was in the context of the peace process in Northern Ireland.
Gatland’s past and her ascension to some height in politics shows the utter hypocrisy at the heart of UK politics and media. While it is seemingly OK to support and be actively involved in terrorism if you’re a Tory, trying to instill a lasting peace in one of the most troubled parts of the world, if you’re a left-wing Labour politician, condemns you for the rest of your career.

If you want to vote for a party on the 8th June who wants to bring back fox hunting and ivory trade, pledges to kill the NHS, kill the disabled, kill the poor, kill the economy, kill democracy,  kill education, kill pensioners and kill human rights! Also had a Tory Councilor who was an ex-IRA member, until a few days ago when she resigned after being exposed. I'll repeat that  Then vote for the lying party (Conservative) All download proceeds from before the 8 June election will go to food banks across the UK, and to The People’s Assembly Against Austerity. The hope is to get the song into the Top 40 so the BBC will have to play it.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

3 Night Heron at Porth Hellick

One of the 3 Night Heron at Porth Hellick yesterday afternoon

  Two days ago we all observed the adult Night Heron roosting in sallows at Carn Friars. Yesterday Robin went to have a look at it in the same area and discovered 3 Night Heron roosting together! In the afternoon I got a call from Dave telling me that 2 Night Heron were in front the Sussex hide. A cracking adult was trying to sleep while behind it, there was a second summer walking around. Both birds showed well before flying off towards Carn Friars to join the other adult that was roosting in the sallows.

This is the adult that's been hanging around the Porth Hellick area for the last week and has been identified a different adult from the lack of a gap in the wing that was at Lower Moors

Second summer behind and adult Night Heron at Porth Hellick

Before both birds flew off towards nearby Carn friars

On the 17th there were some 200 large gulls following a tractor at Telegraph. I quickly pulled over and immediately found this 1st summer Yellow-legged Gull. I just took a few shots in time before it flew off south.

Herring Gulls following Paddy on the tractor

Also had this near adult argentatus Herring Gull later on the same day as the YLG over Porth Hellick. A very unusual record for this time of year for both species of gull on Scilly.

This Hooded Crow spent a few days on the golf course last week

A male Garganey spent a day at Porth Hellick

Male Gadwall

Golden Plover at the airfield

Song Thrush


Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes is an album produced by T Bone Burnett featuring a collective of musicians recording under the moniker The New Basement TapesElvis CostelloRhiannon GiddensTaylor GoldsmithJim James and Marcus Mumford.[1]
The album consists of a series of tracks based on recently uncovered lyrics handwritten by Bob Dylan in 1967. Probably written in the period between his motorcycle accident (July 29, 1966) and the first recordings in the spring of 1967 in the "Red Room" in Dylan's house, where the first recordings of The Basement Tapes took place. The album was released November 11, 2014 in both a standard 15-track release and a "Deluxe Version" featuring 20 tracks.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Not a good day on Bryher!

The injured Long-eared Owl that I caught on Bryher and if you go by the island vet and 8 shooters, is now believed to have been shot!!

  Last Sunday morning I walked the golf course and saw a pair of Ring Ouzel, 2 Whitethroat, 20 wheatear and the male Dotterel. Earlier I had the singing male Western Bonelli's Warbler opposite 'Nowhere' Old Town. Later at 11.15 I got the boat to Bryher and made my ways to the south end of Samson Hill. It was obvious that birds were coming in with Yellow Wagtail, Whitethroats, lots of Wheatears, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs with hirundines overhead. On Shipmans Head I got a surprise when I came across the injured male Dotterel that I saw only a few hours ago on St Mary's. No doubt pushed off by all the Sunday golfers.
 I was getting text also from St Agnes with a Richard's Pipit Siberian chiffchaff, 2 Turtle Dove and a late Redwing and Ren had a Golden Oriole back on St Mary's at Porthloo
 Totals on Bryher included 8 Whitethroat, 30+Wheatear, 8 each of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, 4 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Yellow Wagtail and Sedge Warbler, 3 Swift, 2 Turtle Dove and 3 Tree Pipit. I missed out on the 4th Scilly record of GREAT-WHITE EGRET while I was on Bryher and before I arrived on the island, a singing male Nightengale.

  However, this was all overshadowed when I discovered Higgo's Long-eared Owl at Popplestones.
The owl was struggling to fly and after ten minutes I had it in my backpack! The wing was badly damaged and I'm no expert and I really didn't want it to be, but I thought maybe by a shotgun! On St Mary's this was confirmed by the vet and later on after seeing the photos of the hole in the wing, 8 shooters all said that it looked like it had been shot. One very experienced shooter over here said that 'It was caused by a gunshot and not a dog, cat, crows, seagulls, hit anythin, it was no doubt a gun!!The hallmarks ring out that it was hit by shotgun pellets!! If this is the case, then it is so sad to think that anyone would shot an owl. However, we have got to remember that it could of been an accident. The police are now investigating into the incident and treating it as a crime!
  One good thing that came out of this, if you can call it that, it had an X-ray and thank goodness no pellets were found in the owl!

The injured Long-eared Owl couldn't fly making it easier for me to catch it

One experienced shooter on Scilly said that the hallmarks ring out that the owl was hit by shotgun pellets. Others shooters also said that it looks like it was shot, as well as the island vet!! But like I said before, it could of been an accident. 

The male Dotterel early morning on the golf course...

And a few hours later I relocated him on Bryher!

2 Turtle Dove

Up to 8 Whitethroat were seen

And 8 willow Warbler

3 Tree Pipit

And 30+Wheatear

Stonechat breeding in good numbers on Bryher

Looking from Bryher towards Tresco and in the distance, St Mary's

The pair of Dotterel were still at the golf course until 6th when the female moved on and left the male with the injured leg with the Golden Plover 

This female Mallard fought of an intruding male after they were tangled with each other for a good five minutes. Her ducklings were always close by while the battle took place between the two adults.

Sunset from Porthloo looking towards Samson

Been listening to St Vincent ever since she started and she has got so much talent. I cannot believe that my mom went to see her live! It's on my bucket list