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Monday 28 May 2018

Great Reed Warbler at Porth Hellick

I would have swapped in finding this 11th Great Reed Warbler for Scilly for Shrewsbury to win against Rotherham to put them into the Championships League on the same day!! Photo by Scott Reid.

  Two days ago at 19.00, just before I was goin to watch the Liverpool game against Real Madrid at the club, I was at Porth Hellick in the rain observing a very high number of over 200 House and 3 Sand Martin and 100+swallow! The following morning, the idea was to get down early to Porth Hellick to search for a Red-rumped Swallow in with the 300 huirundines.
  It was past 09.00 in the fog and SE breeze when I got down to Porth Hellick and there were only 40+ House and 4 Sand Martin, 20+Swallow and 2 Swift. Reaching the beach I could see hirundines hawking low over the bay. As I lifted me bins 'Great Reed Warbler!' I could hear it singing to my right and I made out that it was coming from the ferns that borders the coastal path and beach. I could also see a dog walker passing to where I could hear the warbler but it carried on croaking. As I approached the bird, I started recording it singing on me mobile and could see movement in the ferns. I put the news out and stood back only for it to fly off strongly towards Carn Friars. At the same time that I could see Bobby 'Dazzler' Dawson coming my ways, the warbler gave a burst of song at the entrance of the ringing station. However, after two hours of looking and listening, there was no sign of it.
 Later on it was not til 18.30 when I got out again. Feeling very frustrated after watching my home town Shrewsbury lose 2-1 to Rotherham in the club! It was the shrews chance to get into the Championships League and they blew it!! I joined Higgo at Porth Hellick and as we entered the seaward hide, we heard the Great Reed Warbler briefly to our right. We informed the others but it had shut up by the time they turned up. 30 minutes later, Scott and I relocated it by sub-song back at the entrance of the ringing station. However, I had to go and left the site as it carried on singing. While I was gone, the other birders managed to catch sight of it briefly.

Also seen were 3 Golden Oriole on St Agnes

The Great Reed Warbler singing at Porth Hellick

Swallow having a stretch

Pair of Stonechat


  Unfortunately, the warbler turned out to be a one day bird as there was no sign of it today. Those that did get up early at Porth Hellick,got a few late migrants including, Lesser Whitethroat, Tree Pipit and as expected, Spotted Flycatcher. 

Photo by Robin Mawer

On the 21st, single Short-toed Lark were on St Agnes and St Martins and Higgo and Wayne Collison discovered this stunning male Red-throated Pipit at Popplestone, Bryher. joe Pender also had a Honey Buzzard east over Kittidown and single Osprey were on St Martins and Porth Hellick. Photo by Pete Ewer 

Photo by Alick Simmons

On the 22nd May this Bee-eater was performing in the heat haze at Lower Moors from the Hilda Quick hide. At the same time we observed a male Golden Oriole in the same bush! The Bee-eater soon moved over to St Agnes where it is still present. Bottom photo taken by Sue Clayson

A pelagic out to Pole bank on the 25th produced this Yellow-legged Gull and the highlight, Leather-back Turtle. Also seen were 2 sunfish, single Arctic Tern, 30-40 storm Petrel and 100+Manx Shearwater. Both photos by Scott Reid

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