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Wednesday, 29 May 2019

12th Great Reed Warbler for Scilly

Today I found a Great Reed Warbler at Porth Hellick in the fog and a year ago yesterday, I found another individual at the same site also in the fog! This record shot was the best I could do of the mobile warbler as it flew away over the reeds.

  Woke up to thick soup this morning and as there were no flights all day, I took the afternoon off. At 15.00, Ray, Jo and I had been in the seaward hide for ten minutes when a large warbler very briefly flew low over the water from left to right and I immediatly identified it as a Great Reed Warbler. As Jo had my bins at the time, as it crashed into the reeds, I lost sight of it with my naked eye. Toby Carter joined us and it was over an hour later when we all got fleetiing views of the bird on and off in the reeds. Another hour passed and the warbler decided to start singing only a few meters left of the hide and a very small crowd got a very brief back end flight view as it disappeared over the reeds never to be seen again. Hopefully tomorrow it will give itself up and perform well for everyone. The only other bird trying to sing louder than the Great reed was the Cetti's Warbler in the same area.
   After a two day absents, it was thought that Red-footed Falcon had moved on. However, today it was seen on Porth Hellick Down this afternoon and at Lower Moors, there was a Turtle Dove.

Male Linnet

Moorhen chick and Gadwall ducklings at Porth Hellick

And the parents protecting their young

  Two days ago, Alan Bone found 2 Black-tailed Godwit at Porth Hellick. In the afternoon they made the short flight to Lower Moors. Here is where most of us caught up with them after work and I asked why can't these be Continental Blackwits as I thought that they looked good? It was only when a photo was put on the Scilly Bird News Whatsapp that a debate started on the group whether they were Icelandic or Continental jobs? I had no idea how difficult it was to identify these two races and also had no idea how rare Continental were on Scilly.
  Also seen that day there was a Golden Oriole at Porth Hellick with a singing male also at Watermill, Pied Flycatcher, Sunnyside and Marsh Harrier at Salkee.

Icelandic or Continental Black-tailed Godwit at Lower Moors. If they prove to be the latter race, they could be the first for Scilly!

I had this Hobby in the rain distantly at Higher Moors four days ago and the following day we had it over Trenowth

1st summer Red-footed Falcon from a few days ago

Live video shot during my trip in Bolivia on may 2018. This guy is just unbelievable, we got to share the stage for a song and it was sooo beautiful. Rez P is a 32 year-old Franco-Boliviano rapper and beatmaker, this guy can play keyboard, guitar, charango, Quena and even beatbox a little bit, he's so talented and I'm really happy to have met him, I can't wait for you to discover his style ! Big thanks to the Alliances Francaises of Bolivia for making this video possible (and to Sara and Marjo for lending us their flat and "Panda" and Doug Mastoor for filming us) *text at the end of the video !!!

Friday, 24 May 2019

Glossy Ibis at Porth Hellick

Glossy Ibis showing off in front the Sussex Hide at Porth Hellick

  At 10.00 this morning, I had just left Porth Hellick and all I had seen of note were a Cuckoo and the Cetti's Warbler and a pair of mating Eyed Hawkmoth,. Some fifteen minuites later, Dave Dimmock had the Glossy Ibis (that's been on Tresco Simpsons Field since it was first found by Pam Montrose two dasys ago) at Porth Hellick. I had already seen this bird briefly in flight east low over airport lane later on in the afternoon on the day it was first found. Dispite a few of us searching for it that evening there was no sign and the following day it was back on Tresco Simpsons Field.
  Today, I had to wait until 12.00 when I had twenty minutes off work to rush down and see it. However, it was on the second visit, when Jo joined me and we both got cracking views as it performed feeding only a few meters in front the hide.

This is only my third Scilly Glossy Ibis. As there were a flock of eight over the winter and singles last year, it was not such a great importace for many birders to see this indervidual as it was less than ten years ago when it was almost a mega on Scilly.

Mating pair of Eyed Hawkmoth at Porth Hellick

This Grey Heron is feasting on the Eels at Porth Hellick

Whitethroat singing at Salkee


  Yesterday evening Scott Reid observed some 6 Minkie and a Fin Whale, Pomarine and Great Skua off Porth Hellick Down as well as the Red-footed Falcon. After work, Jo and I joined up with the small crowd and in the calm waters we manged to get scope views of at 4 Minkie Whale with 100s of Manx Shearwater. This was followed by magic views of the obliging Red-footed Falcon only meters away from where we were watching the whales from!

1 of the 6 Minkie Whale off Porth Hellick Down yesterday. Today some 20 Risso Dolphin were seen off the down.

The Red-footed Falcon was inbetween myself and the whale watchers

'Shall I visit Cornwall? Don't think so!'

   The images of the falcon below were taken two days ago in the morning at Giants Castle before it returned to Porth Hellick Down

The Red-footed Falcon enjoying the morning sun at Giants Castle

There was also this Wheatear nearby on the moor

This Marsh Harrier was over Parting Carn

House Sparrow

Sunday, 19 May 2019

RED-FOOTED FALCON at Porth Hellick Down

This 1st summer male RED-FOOTED FALCON spent all day at the top of Porth Hellick Down showing down to five metres at times!

  An awsome day non-stop! Yesterday I heard, only twice in 45 minutes, what I thought might of been a Greenish Warbler at Carreg Dhu Gardens while we were eating our lunch. I alerted others and both Ralf Parks and Scott Reid heard it once on different occasions in the same area of the garden in two hours. So this morning the plan was to pick Higgo up at 07.00 and spend some time in the gardens. By myself, I spent an hour there in drizzle and all I got was a single Spotted Flycatcher. 
  At Porth Hellick I could hear a Golden Oriole singing nearby at Salkee. Returning to the road the Cettis Warbler was bloody loud and a Siskin flew north. On the wires just below the Kittidown pines, I scanned through a 150 House Martin and spotted the Red-rumped Swallow that Will Wagstaff found three days ago on Tresco. Dave Dimmock joined me but we soon found ourselves making a mad rush as news broke that the Red-footed Falcon that Will found two days ago on St Martins was at Giants Castle. No sign of the falcon but we did get 2 Golden Plover and a single Wheatear on the airfield.
  Higgo finally joined me back at Porth Hellick and both of us enjoyed close flight views of the Red-rumped Swallow over Higher Moors and the Siskin made another fly by heading south.

Spotted Flycatcher at Carreg Dhu Gardens

The best I could do with the Red-rumped Swallow in the dull light over Higher Moors

  Higgo and I split and went in search of the red-foot starting at Deep Point, where it was seen yesterday by one observer. Higgo had already made it to Porth Hellick and after seeing a male Wheatear, I relocated the 1st summer male RED-FOOTED FALCON hunched up on a rock at the top of Porth Hellick Down. It wasn't long until a small crowd assembled and we all observed the falcon in the miserable weather.
  After lunch the sun finally came out and Jo and I had a female Pied Flycatcher at Trenowth. The red-foot was still on the down and in the warm sunshine we spent nearly two hours lying on the soft heather observing the falcon spending most of it's time perched on rocks and making very short flights onto the deck to take whatever prey it could find. A superb bird to hang out with.

My first sighting of the falcon when I came across it in the clume

1st summer RED-FOOTED FALCON This was the 11th Scilly record and my forth for the island including a female that Seth and I found three years ago that was also at Porth Hellick. If the bird sticks, there will be more photos to follow,

   Jo and I returned to Trenowth and as we passed Longstones turn off, I spotted a Turtle Dove in a field nearby. Probably one of the 6+Turtle Dove that Ritchie had nearby. At Trenowth we heard a female Golden Oriole and just as Robin arrived to hopefully see it, Katherine and Chas let us know that they had a mega in their garden at Higher Lanes, TREE SPARROW!! We were in their living room with in seconds but took our boots off before goin in to find Martin Goodey in there who still got his boots on. We got some cracking views as the sparrow feeding on the deck with House Sparrow and 2 fledgling Robin. It flew off strongly towards Maypole and later on while we were back at Porth Hellick, where we had a Spotted Flycatcher, a Hobby go through and got the Red-rumped Swallow to finish off a cracking day, news came on that the Tree Sparrow came back to the garden.

The last record of Tree sparrow and the only sightings that I have seen on Scilly, was a flock of five on St Agnes in May '05

Saw these play in the States some 15 years ago at the same venue where I also saw Ben Harper and alexi Murdoch