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Saturday 30 December 2017

KILLDEER on St Mary's

Mark Prestwood found this KILLDEER at Parting Carn yesterday. Higgo found the last Scilly sighting in November 2002 on St Agnes.

  This afternoon at 13.30, I had an hour off from work and made my ways to Porthloo. There were some 30 large gulls in the far northern corner of the beach feeding on the surf at high tide. I could see that one of them was a lot darker on the underparts than the others. I thought that it's probably an adult Yellow-legged Gull but when it got up, I could see that it wasn't a YLG from the primary pattern which looked more like Caspian Gull.. However, as it approached me it appeared to be too dark on the wings and seemed to have red legs. The bill also came across too bright for a Caspian and as the bird came closer I started firing shots off at it. It performed really well at close range, on and off for a good twenty minutes but not good enough for me to see that it was an adult Caspian Gull! This is the one bird I've been looking for on Scilly and it was clearly staring at me in the face I just didn't see it. In the field the upperparts, legs and bill threw me and I thought that maybe it was a Caspian hybrid and let everyone know about it. It was Mashuq Ahmad who identified it as Caspian Gull when he saw the photographs, but it was too late as the gull had moved off at the same time as all the other gulls it was feeding with. I really hope it's relocated tomorrow so everyone can see it after me making a cock up!!

Only the third Caspian Gull for Scilly! The other two records were last year, Jamie Partridge found a 1st winter in October on St Agnes and two months later, Higgo had an adult on Tresco! It looks like Caspian Gull could become a regular visitor to Scilly. You can clear see it's a bloody Caspian Gull in these photos!

Lesser-black backed and Herring Gull also at Porthloo

   Yesterday afternoon I got a call from Rob Lambert 'Killdeer in field at bottom of Airport Lane!' Shite! I was in the process of carrying wine into the hotel. Higgo's reaction was like a little kid when I told him the news. I let everyone else know and ten minutes later, Rob, Lucy and I got out of me wagon and immediately saw the plover trying to force a large worm down it's throat in the chicken field at Parting Carn! I congratulated Mark who told me that he first saw it flying in and I thought it was a Ringed Plover on steroids!For the next half an hour, the side of the road became a car park briefly as more locals arrived. Because of the strong Westerly winds, No doubt the same winds the the Killdeer came on, there had only been one flight in holding only four people. Two of them were Andy Holden and Vicky Turner who were here to stay over the New Year period and the first bird they see almost off the plane, is the Killdeer!! By now the wind has died down and the second plane arrives that I have to go and meet the guest off. After this it was full on with taxis from the airport. An hour later, one of the guest whats to see the Killdeer on the way to the hotel. We arrive at the site to be told by 'Rocky' Robin and Mark that it has just flown. Later on it was flushed off the beach at Porth Minnick by a local walking his dog to never been seen again.

This is my third Killdeer for Scilly

Rob Lambert celebrating in front of Andy Holden, 925 and Vicky Turner as they arrive in time to see the Killdeer with Bobby 'Dazzler' Dawson looking on!

The Deep Dark Woods are a Canadian alternative country band from Saskatoon, currently signed to Sugar Hill Records in the United States and Six Shooter Records in Canada.[1] First established in 2005, the band consisted of singer and guitarist Ryan Boldt, bass guitarist Chris Mason, guitarist Burke Barlow and drummer Lucas Goetz. Pianist and organist Geoff Hilhorst joined the group in 2009 after the release of their breakout album Winter Hours. Founding member Burke Barlow played guitar until 2012 when he left the group and was replaced by Clayton Linthicum. Founding Member Lucas Goetz left the group in late 2014, after which the band went on hiatus. In 2017 Chris Mason officially left the group.[2]
They have released five albums to date,[3] and contributed an original song, "Charlie's (Is Coming Down)", to CBC Radio 2's Great Canadian Song Quest in 2009.[2] Their fourth record, The Place I Left Behind, was released in Canada on Six Shooter Records in August 2011, and internationally on Sugar Hill Records on October 18, 2011. The band's fifth album, Jubilee was released on September 30, 2013 through Sugar Hill Records. The latest, Yarrow, was released on October 27, 2017.

Monday 25 December 2017

Poss American Herring Gull on Tresco

Interesting Herring gull that I had very briefly on Tresco Abbey Pool showing some characteristics suggestive of  near adult American Herring gull 

  Yesterday a few of us made our ways to Tresco on the 10.45 rib. Mark Prestwood spotted a white-winged gull on the way over but it was too late before anyone else could get onto it. On Tresco, my priority was to spend as much time at the Abbey Pool scanning through the gulls coming into wash and preen before moving on. It was slow going with not many gulls coming in but I soon picked out a 3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull followed by a sub-adult and another 2nd winter. Out of all three birds, two were new YLG and one of the 2nd winters was an individual I had on the Abbey Pool six days ago. Bob 'Dazzler' Dawson managed to see the latter two YLG and also an adult HerringxLesser-black backed Gull. 
   Shortly after Bob had gone, a near adult Herring Gull got my attention. It was flying out SSW and I noticed it had an adult looking bill but appeared more like a near adult in plumage, showing a lot of immature markings on the wing with heavy mottling on the chest. As it turned it show the uppertail and I could clearly see a darkish band. Now I was thinking, American Herring Gull! I took as many shots as I could in the dismal light. The bird continued south towards Pentle Bay and as soon as it went out of sight, I immediately looked at the back of my camera. On the back on pics, as it was flying away, it had a few markings on the uppertail from the faint but distinctive band on the tail. I thought that all other features were looking good for a smiths, but I knew nothing about the primary pattern. I let all the others know on Tresco to keep there eyes out for a possible smiths but it was almost 16.00 and it was time to return home. The female Goldeneye and Pintail were also still present on the pool with 50+Teal.
  Back on St Mary's, the internet was down, as it has been for the last few days. It was not until I got to the club later that night and I just emailed the pics out to various folks before I even looked at any info on smiths as the net was very dodgy and it to also stopped working!

3rd winter Yellow-legged Herring Gull

Sub-adult Yellow-legged Gull

This is the same 2nd winter Yellow-legged Gull I also had on the Abbey Pool a few days ago. In six days I have made two visits to the Abbey Pool and observed 1 2nd, 2 3rd winter, 1 sub-adult and a 1 adult Yellow-legged Gull. I also had a different adult at Porthcressa on the 17th.

Adult HerringxLesser-black backed Gull

Possible near adult American Herring Gull. Note the darkish band on the tail with dark markings on the uppertail. This is unusual for European Herring Gull and appears to be quite immature in plumage for it's age. Thanks to Mashuq Ahmad for help on this bird Any comments welcome.

This 1st winter Herring Gull got me breifly goin until it showed it's tail.

A mixture of gulls over the Abbey Pool

What a brute!! Had this cracking adult argentatus Herring Gull at the tip today. 

Still present on island today were the 2 Black-necked Grebe and Red-breasted Mergenser in the harbour, Water Pipit at Porth Helick and a female Bullfinch at Higher Moors with single Black Redstart at Porloo and Town Beach.

Happy Christmas to everyone from myself and Greggs!

However, what might not be apparent at first glance is just how appropriate this debate about Jesus-as-sausage-roll is in light of the Gospels – and the Gospel of John in particular. Although the Gospel of John doesn't describe the nativity scene that we find in Luke and Matthew, it is a Gospel intent on describing Jesus as a food.
There is no proof of this or anythin else you read in the bible, in my opinion that is, but apparently in one well-known scene, after he has fed the 5,000 on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus launches into a speech known as the "Bread of Life Discourse". John's Gospel uses several metaphors to describe Jesus here, including both bread and meat – and scholars have argued that Jesus means what he says.
First Jesus declares: "I am the living bread." Those listening to him are understandably confused, since they don't see a loaf of bread in front of them but "Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know." When Jesus hears them doubting his claims, he repeats his claim three times, finally stating explicitly that "the bread … is my flesh".
After this conversation, Jesus makes a second claim about his body, this time that it is flesh to be eaten. In the King James Version, Jesus emphatically declares: "My flesh is meat indeed." Even if we accept a metaphorical reading of Jesus's words, there is no question that John the Evangelist understood Jesus in edible terms.

Offence and the Gospels

If Jesus as bread and meat is biblical in its origins, it might be surprising to see that the outrage over these claims is not unique to the current uproar around the Greggs advert.
The Gospel of John first describes people's disbelief of what Jesus says – they doubt he is the bread he claims to be. But the real outrage comes when Jesus declares that he's made of meat, and that people should be eating him. Even his followers, his disciples, have trouble with this: "When many of his disciples heard it, they said, 'This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?'" Jesus, seeing that what he's said has offended them, doubles down on his claims – and some of his (nameless) disciples decide to leave him.
Not unlike the current furore over Jesus the Sausage Roll, the Gospel of John depicts uproar and offence at Jesus being compared to food. It seems that comparing Jesus to food has a long history of causing outrage, then, but that doesn't mean that it's wrong – the Bible itself recognises both the comparison and the ensuing offence.

War on Christmas

Paradoxically, then, Greggs has actually provided a scripture-inspired vision of the nativity that Christians often complain is increasingly absent in the run-up to Christmas.

While there is no real war on Christmas, those anxious about what they perceive as a lack of Jesus in the advent season should take another look at the Greggs ad, which places a biblical understanding of Jesus right in the centre.

If I don't believe in Christ and therefore Christmas, then why am I wishing everyone Happy Christmas? 

Klaus Waldeck, usually known by his stage name of Waldeck, is a Viennese former copyright lawyer and downtempo musician.  Klaus Waldeck's musical career began in Vienna, Austria when he started piano lessons at the age of six. When he was fifteen his music life was put on hold when he destroyed a Bechstein piano while rewiring it.
Waldeck later attended law school. He finished law school and became a copyright lawyer. Then he heard about a case that changed his focus from law back to music. "It was during the time when George Harrison got sued for ripping off an old Motown tune," Waldeck recounts, "I realised the way forward was to work a melody until it didn't belong to anyone anymore." He eventually stopped focusing on law and concentrated on music.
Soon after deciding to leave law he moved to England. While in London, he met his vocal counterparts, former Incognito singer Joy Malcolm and Brian Amos, who worked on projects such as Pressure Drop.
In 1996, Waldeck returned to Vienna, Austria, and produced the Northern Lights EP, quickly gaining international attention through its biggest hit, Aquarius. A successful full-length album, Balance of The Force, followed in 1998. Later that year, Balance of the Force - Remixed was released.
Waldeck has produced many albums while still in Austria. Many of them are out of print and have become very scarce. The out of print albums include The Night Garden RefloweredBalance of the ForceBalance of the force RemixedNorthern lights, and This Isn't Maybe.
In 2007, Waldeck released the successful Ballroom Stories on which he's featuring for the first time his new chief-chanteuse, the well known Austrian singer zeebee.
Together with singer Valérie Sajdik, Waldeck formed the group Saint Privat in 2002. Their first album Riviera was released in 2004.[2]
On July 15, 2016, Waldeck's seventh album, Gran Paradiso was released under the Dope Noir label. The album features collaboration with Viennese singer la Heidi.[3]

Thursday 21 December 2017

3 yellow-legged Gull on Tresco

I had up to 3 Yellow-legged Gull at the Tresco Abbey Pool including this 3rd winter.

  Two days ago I made a visit to Tresco in the dull murky weather and the first birds of note were 3 adult Mediterranean Gull in the channel as the boat pulled into New Grimbsy. On land, walking along Pool Road, I found 3 Bullfinch that showed very well. At the Great Pool there were 3 Pochard, 50+Gadwall, 60+Coot, 2 female Shoveler, 2 Peregrine and a single female Pintail. 

Of all the Bullfinch I've observed on Scilly during this influx autumn, by far these 3 birds, 2 female and a male, gave the best views so far 

Female Pintail

  I arrived at the Abbey Pool and immediately found a female Goldeneye in the center. The gulls were streaming in, only staying briefly to wash and preen, before flying out again. I stayed there for a good two hours observing the gulls and all the time there were 100-150 on the deck. In that time it payed off with first 2 argentatus Herring Gull. I've only seen a few on this race on the islands. Then a strange looking adult Lesser-black backed Gull caught my eye as it was darker than the rest of the LBBG but the wings were partially albino. This was followed by 3 Yellow-legged Gull. The first was an adult and by the smaller size I would say that this is a different adult to the one I had a few days ago at Porthcressa. A 2nd winter came in shortly afterwards, followed by a 3rd winter. I'm lucky if I see one a year on Scilly and now I've had four different birds in the space of three days! A male Pintail flew in from the south with 5 Mallard and all them joined the 40+Teal and 20+Mallard already present on the water.
  I only had time to do the two pools and surrounding area and other birds of interest included 10 Chiffchaff, 7 Little Egret, 1 Firecrest and while I was at the Abbey Pool, I heard a redpoll sp a few times.
  Returning home, as the rib pulled into the harbour, the Red-breasted Mergenser and 2 Black-necked Grebe were diving inbetwwen the boatsI got a text from Darren Mason telling me he had the Red-throated Diver between Gugh and Morning Point. Also, Nigel Hudson had a Siberian Chiffchaff at Trench Lane.

  The day before Higgo and I joined 'Rocky' Robin and we all decided to scan from Innisidgen and McFardlands Down as it was pretty calm out there. We didn't really see much but it was good to see the first returning Slavonian Grebe of the winter from the former site. From the latter site we relocated the female Eider and from both sites we had 20+Great Northern Diver.

  On St Agnes Graham Gordon has had 2 Bullfinch and a single Short-eared Owl while at the same time, Darren had another Short-eared Owl on Gugh

This female Goldeneye is only the sixth I've seen on Scilly and always kept it's distance

An adult and near adult argentatus Herring Gull came in for a wash and preen


This partially albino Lesser-black backed Gull came into the pool very briefly 

 3 Yellow-legged Gulls came in including from the top an adult, 2nd winter and 3rd winter. 
Throughout the two hours I was at Abbey Pool the totals of gulls coming in included, 200+Lesser and 7-800 Greater-black backed, 800+Herring, 3 Yellow-legged, 50+Black-headsed and 2 adult Common Gull.

This male Pintail arrived from the south with 5 Malled

Just before dark I went out to the front of Star Castle and as usual there was Dave, now in her forth winter, waiting for me to feed her.

The wizard of the 12 stringer. I saw this band live over ten year ago at Hotel Cafe in California. The following days I also saw live in the Hollywood area, Ben Harper, Pete Townsend, Alexi Murdock, Jackson Browne, John Trudell, Josh Ritter, Kris Kristofferson amd Willie Nelson.