Citrine Wagtail on Bryher

14th April 2021

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My first spring Citrine Wagtail on Scilly turned out to be this cracking male that I kayaked twitched and was found by Higgo and Wayne Coingham at Stinky Porth, Bryher

A change in wind direction to light ESE and you know that it’s goin to be good on Scilly. While out with the pigs this morning, 3 Yellow and a single alba Wagtail flew SE over the garden followed by ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull and my fourth Black-headed Gull dropped in to take scraps from the pigs food. Yesterday Jo Pender had a Bee-eater fly over from Porthloo towards the golf course. Just before 13.00 this afternoon, Martin Goodey had it or another at Porth Hellick/Carn Friars. It wasn’t long after that I was observing the Bee-eater at the far side of the pool viewing from Carn Friars very briefly to see it flying off in the direction of Salkee. I was just about to make my ways over when Higgo and Wayne Coingham discovered a male Citrine Wagtail on Bryher! I’ve seen many autumn Citrine Wagtail but a spring job would be like a new species.

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Record shot of Bee-eater taken by Martin Goodey at Carn Friars before I saw it distantly over Porth Hellick

I left Porthloo at 15.10 in the kayak and thirty minutes later I was at Rushy Bay, Bryher. Ten minutes I was watching both the Great White Egret and Citrine Wagtail on the Big Pool. The egret was in my face but the wagtail was at the far side and before I knew it, it was up and away out west to sea until I lost it! I was devasted and thought, oh well, at least I did get on to it before it moved on. It was ten minutes later, while taking pics of the egret, that I could hear the Citrine Wagtail and it sounded like it pitched down on nearby Stinky Porth Beach. Sure enough, a quick scan along the north side of the beach, found it feeding with 3 White Wagtail. In the next hour, it switched with the beach and the pool but didn’t really allow me to get all that close to it. It was while kayaking over to Bryher that I reminded myself that I in fact seen summer plumage Citrine Wagtail in Nepal and Oman. Also while kayaking, 7 Wheatear and 2 Goldfinch flew from the south in off the sea towards Tresco. There were some 10 Wheatear also around the pool but returning to the kayak, there were a single Tree Pipit, Redwing, 2 Whitethroat and Blackcap, lots of Chiffchaff, all in the Rushy Bay area. It was while scanning through the 15 Wheatear that a female Ring Ouzel flew from the west over Samson Hill.

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Again the Great White Egret was very obliging on the pool but it was the wagtail that I was more interested in.

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Although I spent a good hour with the Citrine Wagtail, it proved to pretty active on both the pool and the beach and wouldn’t allow me to get close to it but well worth the kayak twitch.

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There were also up to 3 White Wagtail on the beach

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While spending time with the wagtails, the Great White Egret flew overhead towards Rushy Bay where I caught up with it later on

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At the latter sight I also had this Tree Pipit

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Also over 20 Meadow Pipit

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And some 15 Wheatear nearby

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I had time to nip over to Samson in the kayak and here there were 3 White and a single Pied Wagtail, 2 Chiffchaff and Whitethroat, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and including the individual above, 2 Whimbrel. On the west side in the sun, over 20 Wheatear and 3 continental Song Thrush

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Unfortunately out of the sun on the east side of the island, was this smart Dunlin

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Yesterday I had this Ring Ouzel with 6 Wheatear at Pungis Lane

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And this distant female Marsh Harrier later on in the evening distant over the reeds at Porth Hellick

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Great White Egret on Bryher

12th April 2021

You can’t mistake a Little Egret for a Great White Egret, can you? Well I did! I found this Great White Egret on Friday at the Big Pool while on Bryher and passed it off as a Little Egret as I thought that GWE have a yellow bill all year round and it didn’t appear to look all that big.

There is no excuse, I cocked it up!! Fortunately, The Great White Egret was still present on Bryher today. As I approached Rushy Bay this morning in my kayak, it flew along the coastline just meters away from me before settling on one of the islands out of the bay. Here, it would of been impossible to get near it from the shore but with the kayak, I gently rowed up to the egret and snapped off some shots before it was pushed off by a Grey Heron. Shortly afterwards, I relocated the egret on the Big Pool and observed it walk up from one end to the other through the middle and then continue along the shoreline. I left it alone and for the next two hours, except for a single Whitethroat and very small numbers of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff, I didn’t see anythin else. I had one more look at the egret, that was still on the pool and then started making my ways to Tresco, expecting to see nothin really.

The first sighting of the Great White Egret, was on Friday really but I didn’t know that at the time, otherwise this morning, it was while kayaking into Rushy Bay where I took this pic

Even though the egret showed superbly at very close range on the Big Pool, the light wasn’t on my side. This is only my forth Scilly record. This includes two in the last two years as it mega status that was on Scilly not long ago, is now turning out to be an annual visitor. With less than ten Scilly records, this I believe could be only the Second spring sighting on the islands. As it’s easily approachable, could this be a Great Egret from the good ole USA?

I also did have a Little Egret distantly in the Tresco Channel

The only Whitethroat was next to the Big Pool

Altogether I only had 3 Blackcap including this male

Only the odd Willow Warbler seen

Up to 13 Wheatear in total

Good numbers of Dunnock on the island

Grey Plover

Rock Pipit

I arrived at South Beach, Tresco, just after 16.00 and as Bryher was pretty quiet, I was expecting to cover the two pools in a jiffy to get home early. That didn’t go to plan and as I started to do the circuit of the Abbey Pool, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff were very vocal all over the shop with a total of 20 and 15 respectively. It was while at the east end of the pool that I kicked a Grasshopper Warbler at the side of the track that I was on. It gave good flight views as it flew into a nearby gorse bush. Two minutes later, it returned to where I had flushed it from but could I see the thing? Along pool Road, there wasn’t much goin on until I got near to the entrance of the David Hunt Hide. I could hear a Coal Tit ahead of me and ran ahead to find it feeding on the over hanging branches of the path. This was a mega for me as it’s only my third Scilly record and they were individuals over ten years ago on St Agnes! The sun was in my eyes as I looked up to have a good look at it. It proved very mobile and flew deeper into cover. I waited around in the area and refound it further west along the path. This time the light was on my side and it showed very well before moving on to the Great Pool side with the local Blue and Great Tit that it had now attached to. Great stuff! While in the hide, a flava wagtail with a raspy call flew over east and the 4 Cattle Egret, that I had early in with the cattle off Pool Road, were now at Simpson’s Field where there was also 4 Shoveler, single Tufted Duck and Common Sandpiper. At the woodpile, I just got onto a distant Brent Goose flying east over the Roads towards St Martins. I returned to the Abbey Pool to find that the Swallow had increased from 50 early to 110 Swallow with 20 Sand and 4 House Martin. Leaving Tresco in the kayak shortly afterwards, I bumped into a stunning summer plumage Great Northern Diver that just kept coming closer and closer and wouldn’t leave me alone. In the end I got home at about 20.30 and fed the pigs. I did feed them also before I left early on this morning as well

Over 20 Willow Warbler were counted at tye Abbey pool with only the odd ones and twos along Pool Road

And what a bonus to come across only my third record of Coal Tit on Scilly along Pool Road

The 4 Cattle Egret are still with us

Just got onto this Brent Goose distantly flying east

Leaving Tresco in the evening light, I couldn’t believe my luck when this cracking Great Northern Diver appeared in front of me while kayaking towards St Mary’s

Last Friday while on Bryher, I stumbled onto this Hoopoe at Fraggle Rock

And on the same day on Tresco, this Yellow-legged Gull was at Simpson’s Field

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Hoopoe in the garden!!

5th April 2021

I’ve seen Hoopoe all over the shop abroad and many on Scilly included two already this year. To get one only meters away from your bedroom window, where I took this pic of it having a good ole stretch, makes this individual pretty special out of the other 100s I’ve seen.

My nose felt freezing as I ventured outside to work this morning in a blowing bitter cold NNE. As I worked over last Friday, I finished early this afternoon and the first place that I was goin to was the warmth back home and to stay indoors. However, the sun came through mid-afternoon and I ended up at Rose Hill where I kicked a Tree Pipit. The pipit showed well very briefly and 4 Siskin flew east. For next few hours, all I had seen of note were the Great Spotted Woodpecker, 10 Stock Dove and at Content in the horse paddocks, yet another male Pied Flycatcher. My third male in equal amount of days.

This Tree Pipit at Rose Hill, showed very well compared to the three I had yesterday

This Great Tit nearby was keeping a close eye on me

Five of the 10 Stock Dove near Content

Feeding with the doves were over 30 Wood pigeon

This Pied Flycatcher kept it’s distance in the horse paddocks at Content and was my third male in three days.

Returning home, I immediately put the heater on and sat next to it for the next hour. In that time I had a quick look out of the window to see if the Gold and Greenfinch had increased on the feeders. Stuff the finches! Meters from the window there was a Hoopoe actively feeding!! I first took some record shots before settling down and getting the tripod out. Within minutes, it started stretching it’s wings and at the same time, raising it’s crown. I couldn’t believe that I had a Hoopoe directly in front of my window, although it was slowly moving away from me towards the stable in the paddock as the light was fading. Not long ago I was waking up to ‘Ralf’ the Glaucous Gull on my bird table every morning for two months. Now hopefully the first bird I see tomorrow morning is this Hoopoe.

This was the first pic I took just incase it decided to make a move and disappear

One of the local Song Thrush doesn’t know what to make of the exotic visitor in his garden

All images of the Hoopoe were taken from the bedroom window and hopefully there will be more to come tomorrow. Do you think that it will visit the bird table if I put Leatherjackets on there? In less than a year I’ve had three most colourful species of migrant in the garden. First a male Golden Oriole, followed by a Bee-eater and now this Hoopoe.

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Samson, Bryher and Tresco

4th April 2021

Bryher turned up 2 Ring Ouzel at the campsite

The sea was inviting and early this morning I set off towards Samson in the still water. Rowing out of Sharks Pit, the Canada Goose flew south overhead followed by the Iceland Gull circling above me. As it was goin to be a sunny day, I thought I would hit Samson first before all the crowds arrive in their boats. After an hour of stomping around the island, there were a single Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Wheatear, and my first Tree Pipit and 2 Whitethroat of the year. The pipit flew straight north. When news broke of a Red-throated Diver off Samson, viewed from St Mary’s, within seconds I scanned to calm waters to the east but like before, all I could see were 4 Great Northern Diver.

This Willow Warbler was feeding with 3 Chiffchaff in the only large Tamarisk Bush on Samson

My first Whitethroat of the year popped up out of a Holly Bush only to disappear deeper into it out of sight

3 Wheatear were spening their time on the west beach

A few minutes of leaving Samson, two ribs turned up and I arrived at Rushy Bay, Bryher. I had only been on the island for twenty minutes, birding the south and west side of Samson Hill and already I had notched up a total of 15 Willow Warbler, 20 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap, 3 White Wagtail, 3 Wheatear and 4 Swallow flew straight through north. Hopefully this was goin to continue while walking around the rest of the island. It was mostly more Willows, Chiffs and Blackcaps but when I reached Popplestones, new migrants started appearing including 2 Whitethroat, 2 Tree Pipit and a male Pied Flycatcher. At the campsite nearby there were 2 Ring Ouzel and 2 Redwing. By the time I returned back to my kayak, I had counted 20 Blackcap, 30 Willow Warbler, 50 Chiffchaff, 12 Wheatear and in small groups moving through north, 15 Swallow. I just had time to quickly cover the two pools on Tresco and here the only species of note were 5 Willow Warbler, 15 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, 1 Wheatear, 80 House Martin, 20 Swallow with less than 10 Sand Martin. The 4 Cattle Egret were enjoying the evening sun on Simpson’s Field. My time was up and with more species of migrants on Bryher, it does question what else was on the rest of Tresco?

Unfortunately, this was all I could get on the male Pied Flycatcher as it was very active spending all it’s time deep in cover

The 2 Ring Ouzel performed very well at the campsite

i saw my first Tree Pipit of the year fly north while on Samson earlier followed by two birds on the deck on Bryher

There were also some 15 Meadow Pipit in the area

Chiifchaff were all over the shop with over 50 counted

Alsoscattered around the island were over 30 Willow Warbler

With only 12 Wheatear altogether

Well over 50 Robin on St Mary’s yesterday but today on Bryher, there were less than ten

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Wryneck at Maypole

3rd April 2021

This Blue-headed Wagtail performed well at Porth Hellick pool this afternoon but no sign of the Ashy-headed Wagtail that was still present yesterday but only in the morning.

Cracking day and here was me thinking about goin kayaking. I got out in the field later than I wanted and did the loop around the Garrison. all of note were fly through Ring Ouzel near the Stevel and in the east horse paddocks there were a single Kestrel, 2 White Wagtail and a male Merlin. The latter species, I had on a post yesterday only meters from my window. During the stroll, Darren Hart found a Hoopoe at Pelistry and that made my decision to slowly make my ways to the east of the island on me bike. The stables was full of horse riders but I still managed to get the first Pied Flycatcher of the year for Scilly that performed well in the warm sun. I had just arrived at the last field on the left before the beach of Pelistry Lane and the Hoopoe flew across the field and sat in a tree and was on view but distant for a good ten minutes for the small crowd present. It moved to feed on the deck and was still present when I left and observed 4 Siskin fly west over the farm immediately followed by 3 Jackdaw goin south.

The 2 White Wagtail showed well in the east horse paddocks of the Garrison

With 2 Redstart on St Martins earlier in the day, I was hoping to bump into one while birding but was rewarded with my earliest returning record of Pied Flycatcher instead.

My second Hoopoe in less than a month but this individual, found by Darren Hart, kept it’s distance at Pelistry

It had just gone 13.00 and as I approached Maypole Triangle from Holy Vale on me bike, I took the right turning at the junction and at the side of the road was a Wryneck! This was only my third spring sighting of this species in spring, including one 27th March, 100 years ago! I moved as fast as I could, but slowly, struggling to get my camera out of my rucksack. It was too late as a car flushed it and I watched it fly across the field towards Maypole Farm. I spent over an hour trying to relocate it, but nothin. At Porth Hellick, I got what I presume is one of yesterday Blue-headed Wagtail from yesterday, on the pool but nothin else of note except the 3 Shovoler and on the down there were 2 Wheatear. I finished the day off back on the Garrison where there were 2 Redwing and a single Fieldfare. Throughout the day, Swallows and Sand Martins were trickling through but only 2 House Martin and both Willow Warbler and Blackcap were at most of the sights that I visited.

This smart looking Blue-headed Wagtail showed well at Porth Hellick

While taking pics of the wagtail, the 3 Shoveler dropped in and landed at close range from me.

2 Wheatear on Porth Hellick Down were the only ones I saw all day

There were 2 Redwing in the east horse paddocks on the Garrison

Altogether I had a total of 12 Blackcap including this male at Maypole where I had 4 while searching for the Wryneck

Also 15 Chiffchaff and including this individual at Porth Hellick, 12 Willow Warbler

Also a small influx of Robin with at least over 50 birds including this very scruffy individual

While this Robin, that was chasing the one above, was in good shape

Well over 120 Linnet scattered around the island with the highest count being 46 at the stables

Yesterday I kayaked over to Tresco after work and spent a short time there before dark. With very small numbers of hirundines on St Mary’s, I was kinda of surprised when at Abbey Pool and there were some 150 hirundines hawking including, 60 House and 60 Sand Martin and 30 Swallow. Otherwise all I noted in the general area of the two pools were, 6 Willow Warbler, 4 White and 2 Pied Wagtail, 6 Sandwich Tern, 5 Shoveler, single Tufted Duck and off Pool Road, the 4 Cattle Egret.

Only a fraction of the 150+hirundines hawking over abbey Pool

Including over 60 House Martin

Fly catching in the evening light off the roofs of the town were 4 White and 2 Pied Wagtail

The 4 Cattle Egret have now been present on Scilly for nearly five months after arriving in October

Robin Mawer caught me returning back to St Mary’s

I got a cracking shot of the sunset taken from his bedroom window

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ASHY-HEADED WAGTAIL at Porth Hellick

1st April 2021

There was putative Ashy-headed Wagtail two years ago also at the same sight but no one got a recording of the call. Todays individual, found by Martin Goodey, could be the real deal with good sound recordings and if accepted could prove to be the first Scilly record

Just before work, I did a quick loop around the campsite in the strong easterlies and got 6 Chiffchaff , 2 Blackcap and a single Willow Warbler. Just after 16.00, Martin Goodey attached pics of a flava wagtail onto the Scilly Bird News WhatsApp group that he had taken at Porth Hellick Beach. The response from other birders were that it looked good for ASHY-HEADSED WAGTAIL. I had to wait until I finished work and the first sighting I got of it were cracking flight views as it flew only meters from me from the pool to the beach at head height. Instead of getting the camera on to it, I pointed the recorder at it as it flew by. After this, it was just observed in flight before heading off east from the pool and despite a few of us searching for over an hour, there was no sign of it. However, I did get my first Swallow and House Martin of the year with a handful of Sand Martin and 11 Greenshank also dropped into the pool and a Siskin flew south.

Willow Warbler at the campsite I also had two yesterday at Newford Duck Pond

Martin Goodey took these images on the beach where he first discovered the ASHY-HEADED WAGTAIL

These 11 Greenshank dropped into Porth Hellick

I was still at Porth Hellick when the boss called me and asked me to take him to Porthloo from the quay. That wasn’t my plan but at the former sight, I scanned the beach and got the same species that were here yesterday including 2 Black Redstart, 2 Mediterranean Gull a single Sandwich Tern and the 2 Iceland Gull. Shortly afterwards I was on the west side of the golf course where I got 2 male Ring Ouzel feeding in the sloping fields. Two days ago, I had two garden ticks including one of the Canada Geese from Tresco, NNW in the morning and later in the afternoon, a vocal Green Sandpiper flew over NE.

There were 2 Black Redstart showing well at Porthloo Beach including this cracking male

While on the water there were 2 Mediterranean Gull

And the 2 Iceland Gull including ‘Billy’ above

The light was fading as I went in search of Ring Ouzel at the golf course and came across these two males in the west sloping fields

I’m getting 2 Greenfinch daily in the garden but the Chaffinch have dropped to five birds

Also this evening, I had up to 4 Diamond-back Moth at Porth Hellick. Yesterday I had four on the campsite

This Silver-Y was also at the campsite

This Herald Moth was at Holy Vale

Where I also had up to 18 Twenty Plume Moth

Including at work and the campsite area, there were a total of 9 Red Admiral yesterday

And a single Peacock also at work

On the 29th March it was T-shirt weather and I kayaked over to Bryher. Here I got the first Willow Warbler of the year

In off the sea from the west was this Short-eared Owl over Hell Bay trying to escape the gulls from mobbing it

A few of the 8 Chiffchaff present had messy faces from pollen while feeding around flowers from further south where they have just migranted from. There were also 2 Firecrest and 3 Kestrel on the island

Wheatears are still a bit thin on the ground with only ones and twos being seen

Stonechat

On the coastal path of Shipman’s Down I almost stood on my first Oil Beetle and Green Tiger Beetles of the year

Also got my first Speckled Wood of the year totaling seven of them.

Looking from Shipman’s Heads Down towards St Mary’s in the distance with Tresco Great Pool in between

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My first Sand Martins of the year

21st March 2021

Mid-morning and I was scanning from Morning Point and picked up this brute of a Glaucous Gull, distantly off Gugh, only to observe it heading directly towards me and land on top of a rock only meters away from me!

As well as the Glaucous Gull at Morning Point, in ones and twos from in off the sea from the south, 10 Meadow Pipit, 8 Linnet and 4 Goldfinch, in the forty minutes that I was there. Before this I had a single Firecrest and 3 Chiffchaff at the campsite nearby. When I returned home, the odd Meadow Pipit could be heard over the garden now and then, heading north.

This Glaucous Gull arrived all the way from Gugh and pitched on the rocks at very close range allowing me to get some pics of him

as you can see, the Glaucous Gull was a beast and all the gulls made sure they didn’t get in his path and got out of the way

Yesterday it was predicted that it was goin to be a calm day but I had to wait until gone 14.00 for the NE to calm down. Walking the South Beach, I thought I heard a Snow Bunting flying nearby but took it for a distant Turnstone as I only just caught it because the sound of the waves against the shore. Some ten minutes later I turned the bend onto Pentle Bay and again, I could hear that twitter call. Only meters away from me was the Snow Bunting from yesterday on Samson! I didn’t have much time, so I took a few snaps and left it alone. The Iceland Gull and female Eider were both off Skirt Island. In the last few days, the first Sand Martins of the year have been seen on St Mary’s in ones and twos and yesterday a Swallow was on St Martins. As I approached Abbey Pool, I was thinking that’s it’s about time there was one on Tresco. Nothin!! Ten minutes of following the pool around and 17 sand Martin arrived in from the west, circled the pool, and continued east until I couldn’t see them no more. I did the circuit of the Great Pool next, anti-clockwise and the only species of note included a single Cattle Egret, the four geese, Russian White-front, Siberian Greylag goose and the Canada Geese, the Great Spotted Woodpecker, 12 Chiffchaff, 18 Linnet and a Woodcock. There was no change with the wildfowl from yesterday. An hour later, I returned to the Abbey Pool to find that there were now 28 Sand Martin hawking high above the water. Was this flock part of the 17 or were they all new birds just in? Who knows but it does make you think of how many Sand Martin have moved through today? Returning home and the 3 Cattle Egret that have been on St Mary’s, flew over me towards Tresco to join the other individual that I saw earlier, to roost. I’ve now had all three species of egret from the kayak.

well, I didn’t think that I was goin to bump into this Snow Bunting at Pentle Beach after finding it yesterday on Samson.

Only the 1 Cattle Egret on the Great Pool as the other three were on St Mary’s

Will these 2 Canada Geese stay and breed?

It was good to see the Russian White-fronted and Siberian Greylag Goose showing well instead of 100 mile away or flying off

There were up to 28 Sand Martin hawking high above the Abbey pool

Finally the sun came out when I was nearing the end. Altogether I counted 8 Great and 5 Blue Tit, on the island

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Snow Bunting on Samson

20th March 2021

First picked this Snow Bunting up on call as it flew north straight through while I was kayaking just off Samson. It pitched down on the north beach of the island and that’s where I took this image

Just after 09.00 this morning, I was carrying my kayak up to the top of South Beach, Tresco and a Wheatear flew ahead of me. At the same time, I could see another male above me on the bank. I was expecting more in migrants, after seeing these 2 Wheatear but walking around the two pools in the still but gloomy conditions and it was the same old stuff, although there were now from 2 to 3 male Shoveler on the Abbey Pool. Pool Road held only a single Firecrest, 8 Chiffchaff and the Great Spotted Woodpecker. There were 7 Great Northern Diver from Skirt Island to Carn Near where there was also the female Eider off the former sight. It wasn’t long before I was in the Tresco Channel and sitting on a rock off Samson was the first returning Sandwich Tern of the year.

Up to 2 Wheatear were at the South Beach

The first returning Sandwich Tern of the year was off Samson. However, a quick two hours around Tresco, five days ago, produced a very early Common Tern that flew from the west to south straight through, close inshore, as I was just about to get in my kayak on the South Beach to return home. Not surprisingly, it was the first of the year for the UK. Some twenty years ago, my earliest record of Common Tern was an individual perched on Tregs wall, 25th March. In Salop, I had a single on the 27th March at Crosemere with 2 summer plumage Black-necked Grebe.

I had only been on Bryher for a few minutes and doing the circuit around Turfy Hill, I kicked a Short-eared Owl from roosting in the braken only to see it disappear behind the small hump. After this it proved hard work and nearly three hours later of walking the island, of note were 8 Chiffchaff, 6 Goldcrest, 2 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, 22 Linnet and at the Big pool, a single Wheatear. The male Pintail in Hell Bay, paid a visit from Tresco I guess. After spending an hour on Samson and only seeing 2 Skylark, I returned to me kayak to return home. I had only been rowing for a minute when I heard, what I thought was a distant Snow Bunting coming from the south. I quickly got the mobile out on time to record it as it flew north straight through directly over me. I swapped my mobile for my bins and just caught it as it pitched down at the far north end of Samson. Five minutes later I was back on Samson but could I find the bloody thing. I had almost given up in searching for the bunting, when I heard it twitting and there it was, only meters away feeding at the top of the beach. For the next ten minutes I lay down with it and as always with these smart-looking buntings, it walked up to me making life a lot easier in getting pics in the fading light. It was now 18.15, I had to get back and just after 19.00, I was cycling home after putting the kayak away at Sharks Pit, St Mary’s.

This Pintail in Hell Bay, I guess is the male from Tresco.

This is only my third spring Snow Bunting after the individual last year in Hugh Town that turned up just a few days later in March last year. Before this, a cracking male in May on Castle Down, Tresco, some 16 years ago.

My kayak just above Samson Flats where the Snow Bunting was hanging out

Before I left home this morning, I fed the birds in the garden and I’ve now got from two last week to 7 Chaffinch visiting with over 50 House sparrow.

Just 2 Great Tit

And now it appears there are just 2 Robin

And a pair of Collard Dove

I made a brief visit to Tresco five days ago and still present on the Great Pool were the Russian White-fronted and Siberian Greylag Goose. Underneath them as they flew off, were the 2 Canada Geese.

18 yrs ago today the Iraq War began. Never Forget how the Media Sold, Enabled & Whitewashed the War

The composed picture of Blair smiling while taking a selfie with the backdrop of death and destruction sums up Blair’s character.

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Hoopoe at Cove Vean

7th March 2021

Hoopoes are a delight to see aboard but there even better when they turn up on Scilly and show off like this individual did at the top of Cove Vean Beach, St Agnes today.

A few days ago I was working out if to go and kayak to St Agnes today or tomorrow as both days were ideal weather conditions for getting on the water. As a Hoopoe was discovered yesterday on the island, my mind was easily made up and just after 09.00 this morning, I found myself carrying my kayak across Gugh Bar where I had landed. Ten minutes later, I flushed the Hoopoe next to the boatshed at Cove Vean with no idea that it was there. And for the next hour of searching all over the shop in the nearby area, I couldn’t relocate it anywhere. As Hoopoe have a knack of returning to the same spot, I had a plan and decided that I would walk St Agnes and return later in the afternoon. It was a cracking day but the sharp NE made it bitter cold on the face. It was a slow process of gettin around as everyone I bumped into wanted to have a chat. Richard told me that I was probably the first visitor this year to St Agnes, take away builders and other workers. By the time I made it around the island, of note, I had seen a single Mistle Thrush behind the Turks Head, 2 Black Redstart, single Blackcap and White Wagtail and 20 Chiffchaff. Mid-afternoon and I flushed the Hoopoe again immediately on my right as I entered the beach from the Wingletang coastal path. Fortunately this time, it only made a short flight and came back down on the beach. I scrambled behind a rock and for the next hour it actively fed showing very well but it was always in the shadows of the all Pittosporum bushes overlooking the beach. After my fill, I sneaked off and left it in peace before climbing into my kayak and returning back home to St Mary’s. Before I set off to St Agnes, the Black Redstart was still at Little Porth and the 2 Iceland Gull were still at Porthloo.

Just before I headed out to St agnes in the kayak, as usual the 2 Iceland Gull were hanging out at Porthloo

Looking from Cove Vean towards Tresco in the distance with my kayak just below the yellow sign on the left of the picture.

Oystercatchers, 21 Curlew and this Redshank, were the only wadrers I came across

In less than a week, I’ve managed to see 3 male Black Redstart including this individual just below the Nags Head.

There were at least four pairs of Stonechat along the coastal path

And up to 8 Great Tit scattered around the island

St Agnes lighthouse from Horse Point

This Hoopoe performed very well actively feeding in the sand but it spent it’s time in the shadows of the Pittosporums overhanging Cove Vean beach

From Cove Vean looking towards Gugh

Two days ago, there were up to 17 White and 28 Pied Wagtail commuting with the garden and the horse paddocks on the east side of the Garrison. At 09.27, before I took this record shot of the wagtails, while feeding the pigs, above me the gulls were going crazy and above them my earliest ever record of an Osprey flew straight through east.

In the garden, I have up to 4 Robin visiting the bird table

Also got up to 4 Song Thrush battling it out over the apples

And guess what? 4 Blackbird including a female with a white tail Also some 50 House Sparrow but only a handful of Chaffinch and so far a single Greenfinch.

Why Rishi Sunak Will Be The Next Prime Minister The man who gave a pitiful 1% pay rise to NHS workers | Grace Blakeley

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COMMON SEAL on Scilly!

3rd March 2021

Nearly two weeks ago, Graham Cunsdale came across this COMMON SEAL in the bay at Porth Hellick. A mega find by Graham with only a handful of records on Scilly. So I felt very lucky to be the only other observer to also see it, when I stumbled upon the mamalal in the same bay four days ago, 28th February.

This morning, I was approaching Carn Near, Tresco in the kayak, and changed my mind and thought that Bryher might be the island to visit today. But not before I took some record shots of the returning Iceland Gull that was at Porthloo last week., off Sea Carn. Before I set off from St Mary’s, I had the 2 long staying Iceland Gull at Porthloo. Arriving at the south end of Bryher, Rushy Bay, in the warm sun, just after mid-day, I immediately came across 6 Chiffchaff moving through together followed by 8 White and 3 Pied Wagtail feeding in the cattle field and a Sparrowhawk flew through. All new birds in but it kinda went cold after that until I reached Popplestone Bay, nearly two hours later. Here there were another 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Linnet, 18 Redwing and a single Skylark with over 100 Meadow Pipit. As I stated climbing Shipman’s Down along the coastal path, I got my earliest ever record of Wheatear! So good to see and it showed pretty well. However, the 2 Black Redstart sharing the same rocks as the Wheatear, including a stunning male, kept their distance. A Grey Wagtail was also present and seemed out of place in the heather but it soon moved off south and on top of the down were 2 Golden Plover. After that, it proved hard work and returning back to St Mar’s, I stopped off at Samson where I got a single Skylark, 2 White Wagtail, 2 Meadow Pipit, 2 Snipe, 26 Curlew and 6 Common Gull. The Lesser Black-backed Gulls had arrived to breed with well over 100 scattered around the island.

There were up to 8 White and 3 Pied Wagtail in the Rushy Bay fields

Always feels good to see the first Wheatear of the year and this male proved to be my earliest ever after a single on the 7th March at Baggy Moor back home in Salop.

There was an arrival of over 100 Meadow Pipit

From Hell Bay to Popplestone, I had up to 3 pairs of Stonechat

The Great Tit on Bryher were very vocal

I only came across 2 Chaffinch

Leaving Bryher towards Samson in the gloomy conditions, I passed 5 Great Northern Diver including this cross billed individual

These 2 White Wagtail were on Samson

And more White Wagtail with four birds briefly in front of my window where I took this record shot two days ago. Later on at the stables I had another 5 each of White and Pied Wagtail, 8 Redwing and a single Linnet

The COMMON SEAL at Porth Hellick four days ago showed well on a rock in the bay basking in the evening sun but was moved off by the rising tide. This seal has swam a long ways with colonies in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Teesmouth and eastern England.

After Matt Hancock tries to defend himself from giving 30 million Covid contract to his friends, I thought that I would share this short video again that I put on here six months ago, exposing other corrupt Tories giving covid contracts to their close pals and donors

EXPOSED: Conservatives hand Coronavirus Contracts Worth Millions to Friends | Peter Geoghegan

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