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Monday 29 April 2019

Escaped Godlewski's Bunting on Scilly!

The escaped Godlewski's Bunting at Star Castle today Cracking bird!!

  Yesterday morning I searched for the Short-toed Lark on the golf course that was found the day before but there was no sign of it. In the cold foggy conditions, I made my ways to Porth Hellick. Here a Lesser Whitethroat and the Cetti's Warbler showed well and there were 2 pairs of Tufted Duck on the pool. 43 Golden Plover flew over the bay towards the airfield. I had a quick look at the Higher Moors end of Holy Vale for Graham Cundales Grasshopper Warbler that he had earler but it had shut up when I got there.

This female Tufted Duck was on the tiny Shooters Pool at the same time that there were the 4 birds at Porth Hellick

In the evening we relocated the Golden Plover on Porth Hellick Down and had the female Merlin over Porthloo

  Eating a late breakfast, news broke of a Rock Bunting behind the Woolpack, Garrison. Jo and I dropped everything and drove the minute walk down road only to be told it had gone missing by Higgo. It was an hour later that it was relocated and that's when everyone connected with it. However, when photos were put on the Scilly Bird News WhatsApp group, it was immediatly pointed out by James Lidster that Godlewski's Bunting could not be ruled out. This was quickly followed with 'Appears to have a ring on it's right leg' by Sam Viles. That it did and a red metal one with writing on it and now it was looking like we had been chasing a bird from out of a cage!!

  The bunting was never seen again that day until this morning. Driving up the track into the Star Castle garden, there it was! Infront of me wagon, feeding in the middle of the track. Guests flushed it but ten minutes later it was back on the track. Again it was flushed and flew into nearby bushes where I left it as I had people in the back that I was taking to the airport. That was the last I saw of it despite me driving up and down the track throughout day. I did have 2 Tree Pipit and Sand Martin fly through instead.

Escaped Godlewski's Bunting

 This afternoon when the fog cleared, Will Scott had a brief ring-tailed Montagu's Harrier and a high flying Purple Heron over Porth Hellick towards Lower Moors. After work, Jo and I went for a walk around Trenowth and got a flock of 5 Tree Pipit followed by 3 Whimbrel and 2 Tree Pipit at Bants Carn.

  The Woodchat Shrike was still on Bryher

Altogether we had 7 Tree Pipit between Trenowth and Bants Carn

Wilco when they were at their peak

Thursday 25 April 2019

4 Subalpine Warblers, including an EASTERN, hit Scilly!!

This cracking male Golden Oriole showed well briefly before flying towards Jac-a-bar

 This morning Will Scott found a Wood Warbler at Carreg Dhu Gardens. By the time Jo and I got there, it was 13.00 and by this time, a pair Pied Flycaycher and a Garden Warbler had also been found and we managed to see all four birds. At 15.00, I was at Trenowth searching for Golden Oriole as a single was seen yesterday on Tresco. In an hour I had seen a Garden Warbler, female Pied Flycatcher and 2 Tree Pipit. I wanted to stay longer and have a look at the male Pied Flycatcher found earlier in Jac-a-bar but a call from the boss to get back to work changed all that. As a result while returning back to me wagon, I observed a male Golden Oriole fly out in front of me and briefly perch in a Hawthorn before flying towards Jac-a-bar. Ideal!!

This Wood Warbler showed well in the large Sycomore in Carreg Dhu Gardens but the dull light made it difficult for taking photos

A Garden Warbler shared the same Sycomore

There were also a pair of Pied Flycatcher in the garden

There were 2 Tree Pipit at Trenowth


And also a Garden Warbler and this female Pied Flaycatcher

I managed to catch the male Golden Oriole as it was flying away from me

  After work, we heaed to the airfield to have a look at the 3 Golden Plover that turned up earlier but discovered that there weere now 5 Golden Plover at the south end. We didn't manage to see the female Ring Ouzel nearby but did see it two days ago. At Porth Hellick the Reed and Sedge Warblers could be heard and the Cetti's Warbler also made it's presence as gave burst of song all over the shop
   Also seen today of note were a single Turtle Dove and Osprey and the 2 Cattle Egret on Tresco.

Up to 5 Golden Plover were at the airfield

Only a handful of Swallow knocking around today

This Wood Pigeon having a stretch in the evening sun

  On the 18th April, Will Scott found a female Subalpine Warbler, probable Western, in fields south behind Garreg Dhu Gardens. I managed to get it the following day when Wayne Collingham discovered the third Scilly male EASTERN SUBALPINE WARBLER on Bryher. Wayne had gone over to twitch the Woodcaht Shrike, Nightengale and male SpanishxGrey-headed Wagtail that Paul St Perrie found earlier on in the morning in the space of thirty minutes! The next day while Jason Moss was lookng at the roosting Night Heron in the Standingstones Field, he found a male Woodchat Shrike in the same field! It was until the 22nd that Doug Page went and discovered the forth Subalp in eight days on Scilly including the dead individual found on St Agnes. Doug's was a probable male Western Subalpine Warbler on Wingletang, east of Punchbowl, St Agnes. The following day, Jason Moss scored again with a male Ortolan Bunting on Gugh

Probable female Subalpine Warbler behind Garreg Dhu Gardens (18-19th)

Male Woodchat Shrike at Standingstones Field (20th-21st)

This Rook flew high north over the Standingstones Field on the 20th while I was observing the Woodchat early in the morning, 

Up to 3 Ring Ouzel were together at Trenowth 22nd while there was also a male on the golf course

The over-wintering ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD was last seen on the 9th April on St Martins. Photoby Steve Williams

Thursday 18 April 2019

First spring EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL for Britain!

Scott Reid did a great job in finding and identifying the 5th Scilly and first spring record for Britain  of EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL at Lower Moors two days ago.  

  After gale force winds from the east over the weekend it was no surprise that some good birds turned up and it started off two days ago on the 16th  when Scott Reid found an interesting flava wagtail with a raspy call in a reedy/marshy area north of the board walk after the hides at Lower Moors. Scott called me to ask me to try and relocate it as it had gone missing and he had to go. An hour later I found it in the same spot where Scott last saw it by it calling like a Yellow Wagtail very quietly in the reeds out of sight. It then flew up into the near willows, it gave a alarm call that didn't sound raspy but maybe more like alba wagtail. Sat in the willows it looked like a female type Blue-headed Wagtail. Scott appeared and asked what I thought of the bird and I really had no idea. We observed it for a good few minutes before it flew across in front of us, calling, and landed out of sight in some willows. Both of us had our mobiles on record and got that 'buzzy' call. However, as I had a flave wagtail with a similar call last year in September and shared the recording with others, it was thought to just be a Yellow Wagtail. So I thought that it was a Yellow Wagtail with a sore throat. To me it didn't sound like the Eastern Yellow Wagtails from last year or any 'eastern' type flava wagtails of heard in the past. How wrong was I when later on from the recording on sonogram proved it to be an EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL. Also we had photos of a long hind claw and what appears to be a pale base to the bill/

Note long hind claw and what appears to be a pale base to the bill


   Scott put the news out immediately of the wagtail when he first saw it and while Robin was searching for it after it had gone missing, he observed an adult Night Heron fly into the Standing Stones field and land in the SE end. A few of us arrived and watched it fly off to Old Town Bay. Here it was quickly relocated and made a short flight towards Tolmans point. Later that evening it was seen over Porth Hellick by other birders. Satisfied with good flight views, Joanne and I went to finish our dinner at Porthloo where we got a pair of Black Redstart.
  Later on there was a report of a Hoopoe, 30 minutes after the sighting when it was almost dark, on the airfield! A Wood Sandpiper was also on Tresco.

The lack of white plumes on this adult Night Heron identified it as a different individual from last week

The small crowd gathered for the Night Heron. John getting his breathe back after cycling on a child's bike all the way from Jacksons Hill!

There were a pair Black Redstart at Porthloo just before dark

   Yesterday morning I picked up a dead probable Western Subalpine Warbler off Paul St Pierre that he brought over from St Agnes after his children found it on a track towards the campsite and then I passed it onto Ren. Shortly afterwards the adult Night Heron was relocated roosting in sallows in the SE end of the Standing Stones Field. However, it was mid afternoon when Rob and Lucy Lambert observed it land in a hedge out in the open opposite the boatyard at the west end of Old Town Bay that I got to see it. It was soon on the deck on the edge of the small field where it showed superbly at close range for the small crowd present for the next two hours.
  A search for the reported Hoopoe on the airfield later, as expected, proved a waste of time but an unusual sight was a flyover Canada Goose.

The adult Night Heron showing off for all present

Probable Western Subalpine Warbler found dead on St Agnes. If DNA proves it to be a Western, it would be the first confirmed record fr Scilly out of the 70+records of Subalpine Warbler. 

Today this 1st male Pied Flycatcher turned up in the north pine belt of the golf course. Other birds seen today included Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and Turtle Dove, all at Longstones and Will Scott found a female Subalpine Warbler sp nearby in fields behind Carreg Dhu Gardens. Also there was an Osprey on Bryher and the 2 Cattle Egret were still on Tresco.

This 4th year Yellow-legged Gull was sheltering from the gale force easterlies on the Garrison football field on the 13th

As this 1st summer Mediterranean Gull on the same day at Old Town Bay

Last week this male Ring Ouzel showed very well on the golf course but it was almost dark. Also had a female Redstart near by.

Sunset from the golf course

And Bants Carn

No photo description available.
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