Blyth’s Pipit at airfield

24th October 2021

This Olive-backed Pipit in the Nowhere fields at Old Town performed well briefly and was seen by many through out the day

Yesterday, Scott Reid had a vocal pipit over the school field flying towards the Standing Stones field and thought that it was probably an Olive-backed Pipit. Later on in the afternoon, on my way home from my last taxi at the airport, I stopped off at the latter field and heard a pipit call twice and like Scott, strongly suspected that it was an OBP. But could I find the bloody thing before dark? First thing this morning, after enjoying 2 Grey Wagtail from my window, in a SW breeze, I was kicking the Old Town fields, south of the beach and the church yard fields in search for of the OBP. Siskin, Chaffinch with the odd Brambling were moving west in small numbers and there were 2 Siberian Chiffchaff, one singing, at Trench Lane. It was while trudging through the Nowhere fields that at last, after an hour, I stumbled up on the Olive-backed Pipit. It flew into the Elms and showed well in the sun and was seen on and off throughout the day by other birders.

Siskin were feeding in the Standing Stone field while overhead there were small numbers moving through

Olive-backed Pipit at Nowhere fields

Siskin and Chaffinch were still moving through when I reached the airfield where I had the single Whinchat and Black Redstart at the car park. I was approaching the turning circle, when I heard what sounded like a harsh ‘type’ Tree Pipit call. It was still vocal when I turned around to see a large pipit with a short tail flying west. Blyth’s Pipit! I followed the pipit until I lost it over towards Old Town. I found the last Blyth’s Pipit on Scilly, 3 years ago over Carn Friars, also by call, without seeing it. Thirty minutes later I had relocated it in nearby fields. I had just put the news out of the airfield individual when I heard the loud explosive sparrow like call of a Richard’s Pipit! I soon picked it up on the deck by the turning circle. I left it alone as my mind was on somethin else and went and kicked the west side of the airfield. After flushing up 8 Skylark, I heard what sounded like a weak sparrow/Yellow Wagtail call and above me was the Blyth’s Pipit with a handful of Meadow Pipit. ide by side, it appeared slightly larger than the latter species. I was trying to unsuccessfully focus on the Blyth’s while it was in the air but it dropped down towards the Porth Minnick fields, still calling, where I lost it. Unlike the Carn Friars individual, after searching in the Porth Minnick area, there was no sign of it. I decided to go and kick the fields on Peninnis and for my effort there were 6 Skylark, 40 Meadow Pipit and I misidentified a Tree Pipit as a Olive-backed Pipit and not a sniff of the Blyth’s Pipit.

This Whinchat has been hanging out at the airport car park for the last week

Where there has also been this Black Redstart

Record shot of the Richard’s Pipit on the airfield and like the Blyth’s Pipit, it was not seen by anyone else throughout the rest of the day after my observations.

Only a handful of Meadow Pipit on the airfield but on Peninnis there were over 40 with 6 Skylark

Siskin on the runway

Tree Pipit at Peninnis

Small numbers of Siskin were also on Peninnis

Later on, I was at Content and I could hear a Hawfinch and looked high into the blue skies only to realise that it was so low that it nearly took my head off!! Presumably the individual seen earlier by Julian Branscombe over Watermill. The weedy field at Pungies Lane produced 9 Skylark, 9 Brambling, 20 Linnet, 30 Goldfinch and some 400 Chaffinch. Nearby, I saw my first flock of Redwing of the day with 80 birds NE with others feeding in Hawthorns and at the stables was a single Brambling. I returned home and almost dark and I could hear Redwings moving through but still haven’t seen my first Fieldfare of the autumn.

This Hawfinch with it’s precious cargo, flew south over Content

Brambling at the stables. My first Brambling of the year were 2 north over the garden two days ago

Only small numbers of Chiffchaff around at moment

Redwing at Maypole

Also large numbers of butterflies enjoyed the hot sunny weather including 60-70 Red Admiral, 15 Speckled Wood and including the one above 9 Painted Lady

This Wood Lark spent a few days at Pungies Lane, 20th-22nd

A Water Pipit was always distant at Parting Carn in the short time that I was there, 23rd

This male Siberian Chiffchaff gave itself away when I could hear it singing while scanning Porthloo Beach. I turned around to find it on the wires near to the Terrance’s, 21st

A vocal Siberian Chiffchaff was at Higher Moors, 22nd

In the last week or two, there has been a large arrival of Siskin including small flocks over the garden daily with up to 5 in the garden

Small numbers of Goldfinch coming into bath in the pig pool in front of my window

Makes a change to see a cat with a rat instead of a bird. Over a week age I found a freshly dead Nightingale at Mount Todden killed by a cat

Remainers Were Right – Brexit Means Weaker Environmental Protections!

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Bill passing through parliament which would force water companies to reduce the amount of sewage they can discharge into rivers and lakes is looking likely to be defeated by the Tories. It is seen as on of the biggest post-Brexit laws on environmental protection. The Secretary of State for the Environment, George Eustice, as advised his party to vote against the bill when it returns from the House of Lords. Environmentalist and pressure groups have asked the government not to allow nature to be destroyed for profit by unscrupulous companies. Patreon – http://www.patreon.com/MaxRobespierre Amazon – https://amzn.to/2QoRauj Facebook: – https://www.facebook.com/MaximilienRo… Twitch – https://www.twitch.tv/max_robespierre Merch – https://maximilienrobespierre1.live/m… Twitter – https://twitter.com/Robespi33645685 Buy Me A Coffee – https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Robespierre

Spotted Sandpiper at Porthloo

14th October 2021

This Red-breasted Flycatcher showed superbly in the pines at the back of the changing rooms on the Garrison

As the daylight was breaking, I could hear Siskin, while getting breakfast down my neck, twitting in the bushes next to the window and observed some vocal 70 Redwing fly out west from the pine belt. I saw my first Redwing yesterday with small numbers present with Continetal Song Thrush. For the last week, the weather has been settled with blue skies, warm sunshine and a NEE to this morning when it changed to SE breeze. However, the south west of Cornwall was covered in fog first thing and as a result I didn’t have many pickups to do giving me time to get out in the field. At Porth Hellick the 2 Jack Snipe were feeding on the pool with yesterday’s Black-tailed Godwit. Mid-morning and Matthew Naylor discovered a Spotted Sandpiper at Porthloo and with in ten minutes of Matthew putting the news out, three us were watching the sandpiper at the north end of the beach. I left the growing crowd as I had to return to work.

At Porth Hellick there were 2 Jack Snipe

and this Black-tailed Godwit that turned up yesterday

Also in the area were only 2 Willow Warbler

but double figures of Chiffchaff

In the last ten years, Spotted Sandpiper has become an almost annual visitor with this individual at Porthloo which was admired by the birders before being relocated at the other side of the island at Tolls Island.

Later on in the early afternoon, It was while in the garden, that I had a ticking bunting flying from the north towards me and immediately identified it as a Little Bunting. It flew very low overhead but continued to fly south. More than likely the individual that was seen two days ago just across the road at the cadet hut. Earlier on in the morning a Red-breasted Flycatcher was found nearby at the tennis courts, Garrison. When I got there just before 14,00, it was in the pines behind the changing rooms where it showed off at very close range giving everyone present, crippling views. Too close at times! It was while observing the flycatcher that the Little Bunting was picked up again briefly from the horse paddocks on the east side of the Garrison. I kicked the latter area but there was no sign of the bunting. As a Red-rumped Swallow was new in on Tresco this afternoon, before switching islands to St Martins, a few of us made our ways to Porth Helick in the hope that the swallow might come into roost in the reed bed there. It didn’t but we heard a vocal Great Spotted Woodpecker on the other side, NE of the pool close to the large pines. Again, another species that’s becoming an annual visitor with two birds overwintering just gone. Three days ago, a Rustic Bunting was at Longstones and I managed to catch up with it the following day. Also caught up with the Serin close by at Parting Carn which is still present today.

The Red-breasted Flycatcher showed off but in the twenty minutes that I was there it spent most of it’s time n the shade and when out in the light, I was on the wrong side

This Whitethroat spent most of it’s time out in the light in a nearby Elm from the flycatcher

In the last few days there has been a mini influx of Siskin. My highest number was today with 27 at Porth Hellick

This is all I could get on one of the 2 Siberian Chiffchaff at Lower Moors two days ago

Stonechat

The weather has been ideal for butterflies with good numbers on the wing including Peacock

Small Tortoiseshell

Only singles of Small Copper

And the highlight was this Clouded Yellow at Salkee

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11th American Buff-bellied Pipit for Scilly

5th October 2021

Twitching Jamie Partridge’s Buff-bellied Pipit at St Warna’s Cove, St Agnes, was like a new bird for me as the only one I’ve ever seen was in 1996 on Tresco.

On Sunday, 3rd Oct, Jamie Partridge discovered an American Buff-Bellied Pipit at St Warna’s Gove, St Agnes. I worked out that the only individual that I’ve ever seen, was at Borough Farm, way back in Oct’96! It would be like seeing a new species if I twitched it. As I had the afrernoon off from work, I decided to continue birding on St Mary’s and it paid off. It was very quiet and hard work but after seeing a single Spotted Flycatcher, Willow Warbler and few Chiffchaff and at Helvier, the long staying BALEARIC WOODCHAT SHRIKE, I found a probable Red-backed Shrike off Airport Lane in the late afternoon. I only had it in flight and trying to relocate it, saw a single Whinchat in nearby fields. It was not confirmed until the following morning by others, that it was a Red-backed Shrike.

The BALEARIC WOODCHAT SHRIKE has been present at Helvier for 28 days to the delight of the visiting October birders.

This was all I got on this Red-backed Shrike as it flew off towards Lower Moors from Airport Lane

This Whinchat was in nearby fields

Fortunately the American Buff-bellied Pipit decided to stick around on St Agnes and I caught up with it two days later. I had the afternoon off and at 13.00 I was observing the pipit at very close range feeding on short turf with a handful of Rock Pipit at St Warna’s Cove. It was a well marked individual and showed off for the small crowd present. I left the pipit and with a few hours to kill, I kicked Fran’s fields, but like two days ago on St Mary’s, it was dead! However, I did have a Grey Phalarope on the boat over earlier on from St Mary’s just off the Stevel, Garrison.

The Tresco American Buff-bellied Pipit from 1996, was as I remember, scope views in with a large flock of Meadow Pipit and everyone was soaked to the bone. At the time it was a British mega and only the second record for Scilly. There has now been eleven Scilly sightings including one last year. first it was on Bryher before ending up on the St Agnes.

There were also 6 Rock Pipit feeding with the star bird

Returned home and got a single Skylark on the Garrison

On the 2nd Oct, I finally connected with this Glossy Ibis at Porth Hellick

And there were now 2 Pectoral Sandpiper feeding together from the Sussex Hide

I worked on a farm for 10 years before living on Scilly. This is very upsetting to know that this is happening because of Brexit. Now your going to suffer with low standard and cheap meat in supermarkets. If it gets on the shelves that is, because again of Brexit. Our farmers are having to cull stock on farms thanks to Johnson’s Brexit crises

Boris Johnsons Response To Pig Farmers Culling Animals Due To Brexit is…repeated ‘Have you ever had a bacon Sandwich?’

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.9K17SHARESAVEMaximilien Robespierre80.3K subscribersSUBSCRIBEDBoris Johnson used the concept of vegetarianism in response to pig farmers culling their animals and disposing of the carcasses. He challenged a journalist on whether he had ever eaten a bacon sandwich as a response to the current Brexit induced labour shortages. Patreon – http://www.patreon.com/MaxRobespierre Amazon – https://amzn.to/2QoRauj Facebook: – https://www.facebook.com/MaximilienRo… Twitch – https://www.twitch.tv/max_robespierre Merch – https://maximilienrobespierre1.live/m… Twitter – https://twitter.com/Robespi33645685 Buy Me A Coffee – https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Robespierre

American Golden Plover on Bryher

20th September 2021

It was yanky waders that stole the show today including Pectoral and Buff-breasted Sandpiper and this American Golden Plover on the Big Pol, Bryher

This morning I was at Porth Hellick with Martin Goodey and while enjoying the Pectoral Sandpiper in front of the seaward hide, yesterday’s Pink-footed Goose on Bryher, came in and circled the pool and appeared to drop in nearby fields. I let Martin know that I had a rail/crake yesterday, in the ditch on the left coming from the road. For the briefest of seconds back on, it ran away into cover. My gut feeling was that I thought it might be a Spotted Crake but I needed to see it a lot better. For the next hour, to the area where I saw the bird, I waited patiently and just as I was about to leave for work, it appeared only a few meters away from me from down the bank, paused very briefly before disappearing into the undergrowth. I only observed it for a few seconds but it was enough to confirm that it was a Spotted Crake. Ideal!

This Pectoral Sandpiper has been present for five days at Porth Hellick after being found by Mark Anderson

This Grey Wagtail was also on the pool

It was busy at work but at 13.00, I was on the water kayak twitching an American Golden Plover on Bryher that’s been very mobile around some of the islands in the last week. A few minutes after parking the kayak on the beach, I was getting reasonably distant views of the plover feeding from the inlet area of the pool. It was while chatting to Steve Brayshaw, that the Pink-footed Goose came in and showed well on the water. Steve told me that the Buff-breasted Sandpiper was showing extremely well on the down nearby but after searching for it with others, there was no sign of the sandpiper. I returned to the yanky plover and this time it showed off at very close range on the south side of the pool for a few of us still present. Trevor Davis called me to let me know that the Buffy was still on the coastal path above Hell Bay. My second attempt paid off and the light was spot on as the sandpiper, typically for this species, gave me crippling views. I could have spent an hour with this corker but my next move was to spend some time on Tresco.

This mobile American Golden Plover, first very briefly seen on St Mary’s fours days ago and then Tresco after, looks like it’s finally settled down on Bryher for it’s second day.

While observing the American Golden Plover, the Pink-footed Goose, that we saw this morning at Porth Hellick, dropped in for a few minutes on the pool before flying off towards Tresco.

Also on the pool, this Grey Heron successfully caught a Eel

I lost count of how many photos I took of this Buff-breasted Sandpiper feeding on the coastal path above Hell Bay

There were only 4 Wheatear on the down

I made the five-minute row over to Tresco and just as I was making my ways towards the Swarovski hide, news came on of the Spotted Crake, that’s been on Tresco Great Pool for over a week, was now thought to be a probable Sora after Higgo seeing Mark Bakers video footage from yesterday of the bird. While in the hide, the Spotted Redshank that I discovered over a week ago, 21st, was still present and the probable Sore was confirmed from other birders who had now seen the video footage also, as a Spotted Crake. Which was a relief as I had to make a move and there was no sign of the crake. I returned home to a a very tasty massive vegetable curry that went down a treat after all that hard work twitching all those waders in a kayak.

I thought I discovered this Spotted Redshank on the Great Pool over a week ago, 21st, and still present today. However, Scott Reid had it the day before, distant and asleep and thought that it was a Spotshank. And he was right, it was.

Also saw the Pectoral Sandpiper again on the 21st, which spent over a week commuting with Tresco Abbey and Great Pool

For the third week, the BALEARIC WOODCHAT SHRIKE is still at Helvear

In the same fields as the shrike, I had up to 3 Tree Pipit

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GREAT CRESTED GREBE at Porthcressa

20th September 2021

Mega find by Mark Baker this evening with this GREAT CRESTED GREBE Grebe in Porthcressa Bay

Today was full on at work but I did manage to get half an hour off in the afternoon to make my second visit to see the Melodious Warbler that’s been present everyday since it arrived four days ago including earlier on in the morning. It was still active in it’s favoured hedge but proved very elusive in the heavily ivy covered bushes as were the 2 Reed Warbler in the area. Later on at about 18.40, I had just dropped the last cases off in the hotel room when Mark Baker messaged me with a pic of a GREAT CRESTED GREBE that he had taken in Porthcressa Bay! Mega for Scilly! I called him immediately and told him to put the news out and rushed down the track towards Morning Point. A few minutes later, mid-way along the track, I bumped into Mark and we observed the grebe with a pipefish, just off the rocks in poor light before it started making it’s way towards the point. I was already at the point when it drifted past out to sea but eventually it settled 50 meters off Morning Point. By the time I reached home it was almost dark. The nights are dragging in pretty fast it’s seems every day.

Heavily cropped shots of the Melodious Warbler at Maypole

Where there were also 2 Reed Warbler in the same hedge

This juvenile GREAT CRESTED GREBE is my forth for Scilly with the last one being nearly twenty years ago! There are less than thirty records with the last sighting in 2009.

Yesterday I kayaked Bryher and Tresco. I arrived at the former island just after 09.00 and after an hour it was clear from four days ago, that most of the common migrants had moved on. The Baird’s Sandpiper, that was present on the Big pool yesterday, seemed to have disappeared as well. I could only find one of the Rose-coloured Starling in a mobile flock of some 100 Starling over the Hillside Fields. By early afternoon my totals were not good with only 3 Pied and Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Whinchat, 14 Wheatear and a single Grey and 5 White Wagtail. Just before I left for Samson, I thought I would have another quick look at the pool to see if the Baird’s might have come in. It was while scanning the mud that I heard what I first thought was an eastern ‘type’ wagtail. On hearing it again, this was immediately ruled out and I looked up to see a vocal large pale pipit coming in from the south low overhead. ‘Tawny Pipit!’ It continued over the campsite and appeared to continue towards Tresco but could of easily came down nearby. No sign of the Baird’s on the pool and I went in search of the pipit. An hour later, Steve Holloway put the news of the Baird’s Sandpiper was on the pool. I caught up with it later on nearby Great Popplestone Beach. It was almost 17.00 when I gave up searching for the pipit and decided to go and twitch the Little Stint and Pectoral Sandpiper on Tresco. On the latter island, both waders showed well on the Abbey Pool with the Pec only meters away. I continued to look for the Tawny Pipit in the nearby area but nothin and hit Sharks Pit back on St Mary’s, just before dark.

There were only 3 Spotted and Pied Flycatcher

And 5 White Wagtail

One of the Rose-coloured Starling, center, was in a mobile flock of 100 Starling over the Hillside fields

The Baird’s Sandpiper was still on Bryher but had moved to nearby Great Popplestone Beach feeding on Sand Hoppers

Still small numbers of Dunlin on the Big Pool

I’ve only seen a handful of Humming-bird Hawkmoths so far this year including this individual near to Fraggle Cafe

Also had this Rush-Veneer in the Hillside Fields following a single I had on the Garrison yesterday with a single Red Underwing and Vestal.

Kayaked to Tresco and connected with the Little Stint on the Abbey Pool

Where there was also yesterdays Pectoral Sandpiper giving me crippling views but the light wasn’t always on my side

Two days ago, this Grey Heron was in the field opposite my window

The moon this evening looking east from the Garrison You can just make out the airport building light s to the left

The BBC edited out how bad this Brexit Disaster really is

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3 Rose-coloured Starling on Bryher

16th September 2021

Kayaked twitched a White-rumped Sandpiper on Bryher and re-identified it as a Baird’s Sandpiper

Thanks to my kayak, I had another great day. Although I did kayak dip out on a Buff-breasted Sandpiper on St Martins yesterday. So after seeing a single Pied and 3 Spotted Flycatcher from the Castle obs window this morning, I headed up to the golf course, thinking that maybe the sandpiper might have changed islands. After a quick walk around, a single Whinchat, 20 White Wagtail, 15 Wheatear and below the golf clubhouse, Wryneck. It wasn’t until early afternoon that I twitched a Melodious Warbler at Maypole and had brief but good scope views through the finder’s scope, Mick Turton. There were also 2 Tree Pipit and a single Reed Warbler in the same field. Shortly after seeing the warbler, Will Wagstaff put the news out of a White-rumped Sandpiper on the Big Pool, Bryher but it had flown off with Dunlin. It’s quite sometime since I’ve seen a White-rump. So you can have a guess what I was thinking of doin later this afternoon?

There were 4 Spotted and a single Pied Flycatcher in the pine belt opposite my window

There was also up to 4 Willow Warbler

There were up to 20 White Wagtail on the golf course

And just below the golf club house was this Wryneck enjoying the warm morning sun

2 Tree Pipit were in the same field as the Melodious Warbler at Maypole

Shortly after 16.00, I was on my ways to the latter island in my kayak for the second twitch of the day. On Bryher, I didn’t have much time and checked all the beaches in search of the sandpiper on my ways to the site to where it was last seen. From the west side of the pool, I scanned the edges and feeding with 12 Ringed Plover and 8 Dunlin, was a Baird’s Sandpiper!! Ideal! I continued scanning for the White-rumped Sandpiper but there was no sign of it anywhere. The Baird’s was distant and as the sun came out, all the waders took flight and flew off high out west. Less than half of them returned and I decided to stick it out and hope it to returns. Some twenty minutes later, it flew in and pitched down only meters from where I was standing. The next ten minutes were spent laying down in the grass observing the Baird’s Sandpiper at very close range. I had to make a move and as I made my ways past the hotel, a small flock of Starling moved through south and with them was the juvenile Rose-coloured Starling that I discovered here last Sunday. This was followed by another 150 Starling through and also another juvenile Rose-coloured Starling! It was at the Rushy Bay fields that it was alive with Starling in the Pittosporum hedge that runs parallel with the path and I spotted one of the Rosies. I took 10 steps forward and there together perched on bare branches, were 2 juvenile Rose-coloured Starling. I looked back to where I had just seen one in the hedge, thinking that it must be one of the two together but no, it was still there! 3 juvenile Rose-coloured Starling together!! Were there others hiding deeper in the hedge? No time to wait and see, I had a kayak to catch and was back home by 19.30 and ready for my dinner.

Just rowing out from Sharks Pit and I got good views of this Kingfisher from my kayak. It really wasn’t that bothered of me drifting up to it and caught a shrimp, got it down it’s neck and flew off.

This is when the Baird’s Sandpiper returned to the pool after flying off and landed only meters away from me. I fired off some shots and then settled down in the grass at the water’s edge and observed it feeding at very close range

This Baird’s Sandpiper made up for the kayak dip on St Martins yesterday. If anythin, it’s good excise. Also, Will let me know that this was the same bird he had earlier on the Big Pool. He had distant views of it asleep at the time when he found it before it flew off.

One of the 8 Dunlin the Baird’s Sandpiper was feeding with

I viewed these 3 juvenile Rose-coloured Starling together at the same time in a Pittisporum Hedge in the Rushy Bay fields!! So far I’ve seen up to 9 rose-coloured Starling this year and including these three birds, discovered five of them!

The Rose-coloured Starling were hanging out with some 200 Starling

In the next field from this afternoons Melodious Warbler, yesterday I had this Wryneck. Including the individual this morning, I’ve now seen up to 11 Wryneck so far this year. Like the Rose-Coloured Starlings, by far the most I’ve seen in one year. However, unlike the latter species, I can never get close enough to any of the Wrynecks to get a good shot with the camera. Still time for more to turn up.

Also got a record shot of this Red-backed Shrike at Content that Mark Aderson found last Saturday

A few days ago I came across the leucistic House Sparrow at Morning Point, Garrison, that visited briefly my garden over two weeks ago. In between those two weeks, it has been also seen in town, Old Town and Telegraph.

Re-joining The European Single Market – “Sensible Conversation” Needed

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Juergen Maier, the former CEO of Siemens, said that a “sensible conversation” was needed on prospect of re-joining the European Single Market. Following 8 1/2 months of Brexit damage, there now seems to be talk in public of Great Britain re-joining the Single Market. This would resolve many of the the problems importers, exporters, fishermen and others are suffering from at the moment. Patreon – http://www.patreon.com/MaxRobespierre Amazon – https://amzn.to/2QoRauj Facebook: – https://www.facebook.com/MaximilienRo… Twitch – https://www.twitch.tv/max_robespierre Merch – https://maximilienrobespierre1.live/m… Twitter – https://twitter.com/Robespi33645685 Buy Me A Coffee – https://www.buymeacoffee.com/Robespierre

2 Ortolan Bunting on Tresco

12th September 2021

Before I turned up the 2 Ortolan Bunting on Tresco, I discovered this juvenile Rose-coloured Starling on Bryher in the churchyasd.

Cracking days birding from dawn to dusk. It started off with brief views of the Western Bonelli’s Warbler still in the pines behind the cadet hut. Elsewhere in the area were 2 Pied and 6 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Whinchat, 6 Blackcap and 2 Tree Pipit. At 08.00 I was on the water, kayaking towards Bryher in the still but dull conditions. On the latter island, common migrants were in good numbers but it wasn’t until I got to the church that I found my first scarce bird of the day. I opened the gate to go through to the churchyard but stopped dead in my tracks as I half opened the gate. I noticed that there was a juvenile Rose-coloured Starling only meters in front of me preening on top of a stump! A few minutes later it was on top of the church roof then it flew off but came down in a nearby hedge with other Starling. On the east side of Shipmanshead Down were a flighty Wryneck and 2 Golden Plover. On the down, over 30 Wheatear and the cliff edge provided cover for 5 Willow Warbler new in. Four hours after arriving on Bryher, totals included single Rose-coloured Starling, Wryneck, 2 Golden Plover, Common Sandpiper, Lesser Whitethroat, Redstart, Whitethroat, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Tree Pipit, 10 Blackcap and Willow Warbler, 12 Whinchat, 7 Reed Warbler, 12 Pied and 20 Spotted Flycatcher and 40 Wheatear.

After over week, the Western Bonelli’s Warbler is still performing well in the pines behind the cadet hut and changing rooms on the Garrison

Flycatchers were in good numbers including up to 20 Spotted Flycatcher

Also 12 Whinchat

I’ve found many adults, including two or three this year but this is the first juvenile Rose-coloured Starling that I’ve discovered and did it show well in the churchyard

This Wryneck was on the east side of Shipmanshead Down

The Marsh Harrier flew from Tresco towards Samson with St Mary’s in the distance

A short hop from Bryher and I was on Samson where I arrived at low tide to find waders all over the shop feeding on the flats. In with some 40 Dunlin were 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Knot and 7 Bar-tailed Godwit. On land of note, just 2 Whinchat. At 16.00 I was on Tresco and the Abbey Pool had more mud than water and there was not a single wader in sight! It was on the Great Pool where the waders were hanging out, including a single Little Stint feeding with 10 Dunlin On the water were 4 Shoveler and the first Wigeon of the autumn and nearby were 3 pied and 2 Spotted Flycatcher and 4 Whinchat. I just had time to get up to Castle Down to where yesterday the Dotterel was still present. I didn’t get a chance to look for the plover as I bumped into a Ortolan Bunting on the track towards Cromwell’s Castle! It was while I was taking pics of it sat in the heather, that I could hear another one behind me. I turned around to find it grovelling along the track. Both birds were very vocal, calling to each other. They were in small loose flock of mobile Meadow pipit and ten minutes later, I observed the buntings disappear low over the slope with the pipits. The Ortolans had taken up my time and I had to leave the Dotterel for another day as the light was no longer on my side. Returning along the track, I kicked the Wryneck that’s been here for nearly a week, the Marsh Harrier flew by and a Redstart was near to New Grimbsy. I passed 8 Mediterranean Gull from my kayak and reached home just before 20.00 and boy, was I tired!

On Samson Flats there were up to 3 Curlew Sandpiper

2 knot

7 Bar-tailed Godwit

And over 40 Dunlin

A heavily cropped record shot of the Little Stint at the SE end of Tresco Great Pool

The morning provided me with the pink stinker on Bryher and the evening on Tresco, these 2 Ortolan Bunting!

And just as it was getting dark, the Marsh Harrier appeared over the down

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3rd BALEARIC WOODCHAT SHRIKE for Scilly

7th September 2021

Yesterday I discovered this Woodchat Shrike showing the lack of a white patch at the base of primaries and questioned it’s identification as a possible Balearic Shrike. The general consensus is that it’s the third Scilly and fortieth British record of the subspecies, BALEARIC WOODCHAT SHRIKE, if accepted.

Yesterday early evening, after the fog had given way to the warm sunshine, I checked out the Maypole area and it was alive with flycatchers with a total of 8 Pied and 11 Spotted Flycatcher. There were also single Redstart, Whinchat, Sparrowhawk, 2 Tree Pipit and 2 Whitethroat present. I was still working and had thirty minutes to kill when I made my ways down to Watermill. Just before I kicked Maypole, I spoke to Martin Goodey on the mobile and the last thing he said to me ‘Let me know if you get a shrike’ I was like ‘As if mate’ I continued down the track but decided to visit Helvear instead and perched on top of a Hawthorn out in the sun, was a bloody Woodchat Shrike! It was always distant and proved very mobile but on the wings, I noticed the lack of white on the base of the primaries and made me question it’s identification. I know that this can be a good feature for Balearic Woodchat Shrike but I wasn’t sure about the moult of Woodchat Shrike. I also found my fourth Wryneck in an equal number of days on the track by the large pines nearby I put the sighting of the shrike as a female ‘type’ Woodchat Shrike on the WhatsApp group. I did call Martin first then text him to let him know that I’ve got a Woodchat Shrike appearing to show no white primary patch but he didn’t answer. I could hear the helicopter coming in and raced to the airport. However, the airport was shut and my guests were instead taken to Tresco instead. Why wasn’t I told this? I walked the airfield very quickly where there were 5 Whinchat and over 40 Wheatear before I made my ways to the quay to meet the guests.

Good numbers of both Pied and Spotted Flycatcher in the Maypole area

In the last two weeks, the first Sparrowhawks of the autumn have turned up and last week I had two together. This individual was over Maypole.

This is the best I could do of the shrike as it was always distant but you can still see that there is no white primary patch at the base of the primaries.

Before I saw the flycatchers and shrike, in the thick fog, the Western Bonelli’s Warbler was still vocal and showing well in the pines behind the cadet hut, Garrison

There were also up to 10 Sedge Warbler in the gloom at Lower Moors

3 Tree Pipit were in the field opposite the castle obs window

And small numbers of Willow Warbler

So this morning, after searching through info but none the wiser, on Balearic Shrike last night on the net, I was back at Helvear. I needed to get flight shots and after a while, I relocated the shrike favoring Hawthorns but again it played hard to get. After getting a few records shots, I gave up on it after twenty minutes. I put the news out that it was still present and also ‘Of note, Woodchat appears to lack white primary patch Balearic or moulting Woodchat? What do others think?

The record shots of the 1st summer male Woodchat/Balearic Shrike

Later on in the day, Scott Reid managed to get some flight shots of the shrike and the identification was still being questioned by others. It was not until after 18.00 that I was back up at Helvear. That is after having a look at the Western Bonelli’s Warbler on the Garrison still behind the cadet hut and a peep at Ian Ralf’s Red-backed Shrike he found earlier on at the junction to Longstones. Got some good scope views of the Woodchat Shrike, thanks to Bobby ‘Dazzler’ Dawson but it never came near enough and it was record shots again. However, with a bit of field work, I got good views at close range but the light by now was almost gone making it hard work for photography. Some of the top notch birders, from looking at Scott’s BOC flight shots, were thinking that it was looking ideal for Balearic Shrike and it was decided in putting it out on the group as showing features of Balearic Shrike. Later in the evening, with great work from Scott, Andy Holden and others, and the general consensus is that it’s a BALERAIC WOODCHAT SHRIKE! If accepted it will be the first British autumn record as all the other sighting have been in spring/summer months and also the first record since one at Wykeham Forest, Sawdon, May 2015. Hopefully it will still be on show tomorrow for others to connect and observe this potently split.

All three top images taken of the 1st summer male BALEARIC WOODCHAT SHRIKE were taken by Scott Reid I identified the first Scilly record of Balearic Woodchat Shrike when I saw footage of a Woodchat Shrike on St Agnes in April, 1999. A lot easier to identify in the spring than in the autumn. The only one that I’ve seen before the Helvear individual, was a male in May, 2011 on St Martins.

The Western Bonelli’s Warbler was still on the Garrison

Farmers Are Facing Ruin Thanks to Brexit

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Western Bonelli’s Warbler on the Garrison

4th September 2021

I discovered this Western Bonelli’s Warbler this morning on the Garrison in the same pine, on the same branch, behind the cadet hut where I first found the Greenish Warbler less than two weeks ago! Now what are the chances of that?

The foggy conditions put the planes on hold and I found myself on the Dead Pine walk. I was chatting to Ren on the mobile and telling him what I had seen within minutes of birding, 2 Tree Pipit, Yellow wagtail, Whiteyhroat, Spotted Flycatcher and ‘I think I can hear a Western Bonelli’s Warbler!?’ His reply was ‘Goin and get it’ That I did and when I first saw it, it was in the same pine, on the same branch, behind the cadet hut where I first found the Greenish Warbler less than two weeks ago! Now what are the chances of that? It was still feeding high up in the pines to the delight of the small crowed that had now gathered but I got a call to get back to work. With the shite views I had earlier, I returned over an hour later and relocated it on call on the Dead Pine Walk. After observing it high in the canopy for a while, at last it came down to head height and showed well briefly out in the open before shooting back up into the pines. It proved very mobile and I lost it behind the changing rooms. At the airport I had up to 4 Whinchat and driving around to the hangers, I almost ran over a Wryneck in the middle of the road! After work, 18.30, I picked up the Bonelli’s on call in the same area as where I last saw it. I had a good walk around the Garrison and produced 4 Pied and 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 12 Willow Warbler, 6 Blackcap and single Garden Warbler and Chiffchaff. It was almost dark and I the Bonelli’s was still vocal as I passed the changing rooms.

Western Bonelli’s Warbler showing well on the Dead Pine Walk, Garrison

This Spotted Flycatcher has been spending a few days in the garden and on one occasion came for a bath in the pig pool

This evening I had up to 4 Pied Flycatcher on the Garrison

Also 6 Blackcap

2 whitethroat

And a total of 12 Willow Warbler

Reed Warbler at Lower Moors

Sedge Warbler

There were up to 4 Whinchat at the airport with 8 Wheatear

For the last week, this Redshank has been at Lower Moors

This leucistic House Sparrow made a brief visit to the garden on the 27th. Shortly after Joe Pender had it in his garden in town and it turned up in Tony Gilberts garden a few later in Old Town

Sunset looking west towards the harbour and Samson

Pubs Can’t Stay Open Due To Brexit

You couldn’t make this up!!

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1st SOUTHERN MIGRANT HAWKER DRAGONFLY for Scilly

2nd September 2021

Two days ago, I stumbled upon the first Scilly record of SOUTHERN MIGRANT HAWKER at Lower Moors

A very busy start at work on the 1st day of the month but when I got the chance, after a call, I had ten minutes to check out a Lesser Yellowlegs at Lower Moors. No sign of the wader and had to get to the airport to meet a flight. I took the short cut through the juncus field immediately left of the hide. I started running when I was stopped in my tracks by a blinding large male azure blue dragonfly on the deck.! I bent down, thinking it was probably goin to be an Emperor but it lacked the central black line down it’s abdomen. I suspected that it was a Southern Migrant Hawker and quickly fired off some shots and just made it in time for the arrival at the airport. Shortly after, with guest in the wagon, I pulled over and showed the BOC shots of the dragonfly to others and said ‘I think I’ve got a Southern Migrant Hawker’ They had a look at the BOC shots and I was told that it was an Emperor. Throughout the day it was non-stop and I completely forgot about the dragonfly. Until that is, the next day. I saw Bobby ‘Dazzler’ Dawson walking down the street who made me remember about the dragonfly and again with guest in the back, I pulled over. He’s the main man when it comes to dragonflies and he also thought it was a Southern Migrant Hawker. As the pics weren’t so good on the BOC, he asked me to email them to him. The internet has been on and off for the last few days and it wasn’t until later that evening that I could email the pics to him with a message ‘It’s a SOUTHERN MIGRANT HAWKER!!! He confirmed it was one after seeing the pics and went into greater detail including the markings on the thora, segment 2 of the abdomen and the relatively long pterostigma and also confirmed it was the first sighting for Scilly!!!

The SOUTHERN MIGRANT HAWKER was settled in a Heathers footprint in the dry mud at Lower Moors. It’s been amazing week for flying insects. Darren Heart had a brief BEAUTIFUL DEMOISELLE, 26th, and the following day, Martin Goodey had it or another at Porth Hellick!! Another first for Scilly! The day before, Bobby ‘Dazzler’ Dawson found thev second Scilly record of a MAYFLY in his garden!! What’s next?

Yesterday, this Wryneck popped up in front of me while driving the wagon at the entrance to the golf course Just got this record shot through the dirty window before it flew into a Pittosporum hedge nearby.

Everywhere I seem to go, I’m hearing and coming across Tree Pipits including 7 birds at Lower Moors The lower pic was taken in the pine belt opposite my window where there were two birds

While this Whitethroat was photographed from the window as it fed on the deck at very close range

Pied Flycatcher in campsite garden

In the last week there have been double figures of Spotted Flycatcher on Scilly.

There were been good numbers of Willow Warbler including on the Garrison where I had over 30. Most days I’ve been getting up to three birds at a time bathing in the garden.

Snipe at Lower Moors

Where there has been up to 2 Green Sandpiper

Good numbers of Wheatear on all islands at the moment

And on 25th August, I twitched and managed to get a record shot of this vocal Hawfinch behind the changing rooms on the Garrison

Why Does The Media Love War So Much? | George Monbiot

Julian Assange told the truth of the Afghan war and now he’s rotting in prison

For the media, what’s not to like about war? It’s great for ratings and ad revenue. It’s great for imperialist propaganda. It’s great for avoiding talking about other inconvenient stories that might otherwise get airtime. It’s great for the multinational corporation which own the arms manufacturers who advertise using the media. And in turn it’s great for the multinationals that own the media companies.

“Bloodshed is as attractive to journalists as it is to sharks” Watch Full 27min Interview ► https://www.patreon.com/posts/55718300 Join the Future of Journalism ► https://www.patreon.com/DoubleDownNews Support DDN ► https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr…SHOW LESS