Kumlien’s Gull in the garden!

20th November 2020

I really wasn’t expecting to see the Kumlien’s Gull directly in front of my window this morning hanging out with ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull

Like every morning, from the window, I scattered the bread out into the garden. The Grey Wagtail flew off to be immediately replaced by ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull. Shortly afterwards the Kumlien’s Gull flew past. I just wanted it to touch down with all the Herring Gulls already on the deck. I observed it flying low, back and forth, while I was fractionally throwing out the loaf. It was now a race between the pigs getting to the bread before the Kumlien’s Gull. Pigs can move fast when they smell grub but on this occasion, the Kumlien’s got stuck in when it finally touched the ground. It settled down and hung out with ‘Billy’ for a good ten minutes until all the gulls took flight and flew out south.

If the Kumlien’s Gull hangs out with ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull, then hopefully it will be a regular visitor each morning from now on.

I’ve now had 3 Iceland, including this Kumlien’s Gull, and 3 Yellow-legged Gull in the garden and I’ve got a feeling that it might not be long until I get a Glaucous Gull on the garden list. When we had the Laughing Gull invasion, back in 2005, in my other garden, just a stone’s throw away, there were 2 Laughing Gull most mornings and on one occasion, an Iceland Gull joined them, searching for pickings in the compost heap.

The local Carrion Crows are starting to getting braver. Normally they would fly off if I came near the window but on this occasion, it stuck around allowing me to get a decent photo of it.

So after seeing gulls from my window, what did I go and do next? I also went south down to Morning Point to see the very same gulls that were in the garden earlier on. This was confirmed when ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull turned up at the outflow but there was no sign of the Kumlien’s Gull.

There were also 3 Medittanean Gull

Only 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull

And 2 Great Black-backed Gull

At mid-day I was at the Dump Clump where there were a single Yellow-browed Warbler, Siberian Chiffchaff, Woodcock, 2 Firecrest, 7 Chiffchaff and 10 Goldcrest. A short walk to the old town end of Lower Moors and for the first time, I got to see the Great Spotted Woodpecker after only hearing it call on most days when out. There were also 4 Swallow hawking over the houses. Returning home, I had a quick look at Little Porth where there were 4 Black Redstart, 4 Mediterranean Gull, and a stranded Grey Seal pup. Although the pup seemed content snoozing on the beach in the warm sun. I informed the Wildlife Trust and then let it be.

Siberian Chiffchaff at the Dump Clump

Up to 4 black Redstart were at Little Porth

Where there was also this Rock Pipit

On the water there were 4 Medittanean Gull

When I walked away from this sleeping Grey Seal pup, folks on the beach walked close by and didn’t even notice it. I informed the local Wildlife Trust about the pup.

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Late Garden Warbler at Porthloo

19th November 2020

This Garden Warbler at Porthloo wasn’t my latest record. I had an individual at Pelistry on the 22nd November, 2006

‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull was back in the garden this morning where there were also a single White and 2 Grey Wagtail feeding around the pool area. Late morning at Morning Point, there was no sign of any white-wingers but as soon as I threw out the bread, with in seconds ‘Billy’ appeared from nowhere along with a large number of Herrind and only 5 Lesser-black backed Gull. There were also 3 Mediterranean Gull and in Porthcressa Bay, a very distant adult Common Gull. No sign of the Kumlien’s Gull but it was seen later on in the day by other observers.

There were 2 Grey and this White Wagtail in the garden

‘Billy’the Iceland Gull was in the garden when I left as I made my ways to Morning Point. As soon as the first slices of bread touched the water, from nowhere, there was Billy!

There were over Herring Gull

And from 40 odd yesterday to only 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull

Only 3 Mediterreanan Gull came in including this adult

This Redwing came in off the sea and landed on a carn with the gulls

A few hours later I was at Porthloo observing a Garden Warbler on the rocks at the west side of the beach. I wasn’t expecting that and it showed well, enjoying the sun, before returning to the large Tammisrisk bush. There were also 5 Black Redstart, 3 Pied Wagtail and 2 Chiffchaff on the beach. at Watermill there were more Chiffchaff and on the beach, 3 Black Redstart. There was another 3 Black Redstart at Little Porth with a single vocal Firecrest nearby.

I wasn’t expecting to come across a Garden Warbler today at Porthloo Beach. Like the ewarbler, as you can see from the above image, the flies were out in enjoying the warmth of the sun

There were up to 3 Pied Wagtail on the beach

At Watermill there were 5 Chiffchaff

The sun brought out 2 Red Adminal also at Watermill

I had up to 11 Black Redstart on three different beaches including this individual at Litlle Porth

The kumlien’s Gull showed off at Morning Point late yesterday afternoon with ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull

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Kumlien’s Gull at Morning Point

17th November 2020

This Kumlien’s Gull at Morning Point was the forth I’ve found on St Mary’s out of the six I’ve observed on Scilly

Got out late today and while listening to 2 vocal Yellowbrowed Warbler at Porthloo Lane, a report of 2 Dusky Warbler came on from RBA at the Porth Hellick loop trail. after seeing a single Firecrest, I arrived within ten minutes of the news goin out at Porth Hellick. Standing around for a while on the boardwalk with Will at the loop trail, all we got were a single Siberian Chiffchaff and Firecrest and for the first time, I got to see the Dusky Warbler, since finding it twelve days ago on call. Later on, after we left, more birders arrived but they also only came across the one Dusky Warbler.

Siberian Chiffchaff

As the winds were ideal for bringing in Iceland Gulls, yesterday from 15.00 onwards, I was off Morning Point and managed to get a distant immature straight through but hanging around, was the juvenile that visit’s the garden, ‘Billy’. I choose the wrong site as Scott was watching 2 new juveniles at Porthloo. However, there was a trickle of Lesser Black-backed Gull moving from east to west off the point with a very good total for this time of year of 81 and with them was a sub-adult Yellow-legged Gull and 2 kittiwake.

A few of the 81 Lesser Black-backed Gull that moved through off Morning Point yesterday

One of the 2 Kittiwake

So again this afternoon, I was deciding to do Porthloo or Morning Point. I found myself walking down the slope towards the latter sight just after 15.00 and a long ways off, I could see 2 Iceland Gull. A few minutes later when I got to the outflow to where they both were, there was only ‘Billy’ still present. It was some twenty minutes later that, prusembly the other Iceland Gull, came into join the feeding frenzy of gulls. I put my bins on the new white-winger and immediatly identified it as juvenile Kumlien’s Gull by the wing tips, rump and tail! Ideal! Quickly, I took some record shots and then put the news out. Only Dick Filby twitched the gull and we both observed it in the dull light before we both left the sight at 16.40 while the Kumlin’s was still present.

‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull, has not visited my garden in the last few days

The Kumlien’s Gull performed well off the outflow but light was shite and the weather is not all that better tomorrow!

The 2 Iceland Gull together with the Kumlin’s on the right

Totals included 2 Iceland Gull, including the Kumlien’s, 4 Mediterranean Gull, 70+Black-headed Gull, 40+Lesser Black-backed and Great Black-backed Gull

In three groups, over 270 Oystercatcher, west out of Porthcressa.

There was a single Black Redstart and 2 Blackcap at Littile Porth and a single Swallow

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Blyth’s Reed Warbler on Tresco

13th November 2020

I kayaked over to Tresco today and it paid off in finding a Pallas’s and this Blyth’s Reed Warbler which will be the 9th Scilly record if accepted

I got in my Kayak at Little Porth early this morning and as I pulled away in the dull, choppy conditions, I still had not decided which island to visit. I thought about St Agnes but I found myself goin north towards Tresco. At the Abbey Pool, there were some 20 Chiffchaff moving through and a vocal Reed Bunting nearby. I made my way towards Simpon’s Field on the Great pool and from here of note there were 4 Greenshank, 9 Redshank, 3 Wigeon, 5 Pochard and 56 Coot.

My first Reed Bunting of the year was vocal at the south end of the Abbey Pool

Some 20 Chiffchaff were feeding in just a single large Sallow in the sun next to the Abbey Pool

It was not until I got onto the west end of Pool Road that I started coming across small groups of Chiffchaff and Goldcrests again and mixed in with them, were the odd Yellow-browed Warbler and Siberian Chiffchaff. I took my time and gave it a good two hours as I walked towards Rowesfields Crossroads. Towards Borough Farm, the 4 Cattle Egret were feeding in the Rowesfields. At the farm itself and the nearby area, there wasn’t much goin on. So, instead of continuing on up to Castle Down as planned, I thought, as it was alive with warblers and crests, it might just be worth returning to Pool Road starting from the north end. At 15.00, I was making my way back from the south end, when I heard a single note that at first, I thought maybe Hume’s Warbler. That soon changed to Pallas’s Warbler when shortly afterward, it continued to call deep inside the cover. It was some ten minutes later that the warbler decided to show itself but very brief hidden at the back behind the Sallow leaves before dropping back out of sight again and after another few minutes I gave up. How much I wanted to see the Pallas’s but time was not on my side and I had to give up. however, I did get a recording of it. when it was calling. For the last hour, the Great Spotted Woodpecker was very noisy on the other side of the pool. By the green shed, there was a lot of activity with Chiffs, crests and a single Siberian Chiffchaff. My forth of the latter species so far. Immediately, I picked up an acro warbler at the far back of the Sallows. It was mostly dark in where it was feeding and I went in to hopefully see it a lot better. From inside, under the Sallows, I could see the acro moving through and what I could see appeared to be good for a Blyth’s Reed Warbler. I needed to get a record shot at least and after observing the warbler for ten minutes, I was happy that it was a Blyth’s Reed Warbler and put the news out. The bird was always feeding at the top of the canopy and rarely came down and when it did, it was always obscured by twigs, leaves etc. The dull light didn’t help the situation either and it was now 16.15. It was time I was moving on. Where I had parked my kayak at Pentle Bay, there were over 250 Oystercatcher, 34 Curlew, 7 Little Egret and also on the beach, 50+Carrion Crow.

One of the 4 Cattle Egret at Rowesfields

No chance of getting a record shot of the elusive Pallas’s Warbler and although the Blyth’s Reed Warbler showed a lot better, mostly favouring the top canopy, the light let me down

Over 50 Carrion Crow were on Pentle Beach

So, there you go. Even though I spent some time birding Pool road, it was on the second visit that it was a lot more productive. Totals included in the Pool Road area, included Blyth’s Reed and Pallas’s Warbler, 1 Firecrest, 2 Yellow-browd Warbler, 4 Siberian Chiffchaff, 70+Chiffchaff, 50+Goldcrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker and 5 Woodcock. What else was on the rest of Tresco or the other islands that are not covered? On St Mary’s, two new Dusky Warbler turned up. Mick Scott had a single in his garden at Longstone’s and at the same time, Dick Filby had another at Holy Vale. The individual that I discovered at Porth Hellick over a week ago, was still present but no sign of the individual I had five days ago along Pool Road.

And what do they say about Friday 13th?

Yesterday at the Mermaid car park, there were 5 Black Redstart including a cracking male.

And a pair of Stonechat

I also had this Whinchat at Pelestry three days ago where I also had 2 Brambling, 120 Chaffinch and 12 Linnet.

And here’s ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull hanging out with one of the pigs. This is what I wake up to every morning when I open my curtains. Great start to the day!

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Red-backed Shrike at Watermill

6th November 2020

I had to go and have a better look at the Red-flanked Bluetail at Porth Hellick this afternoon after the brief and obscured views from yesterday

I woke to dull skies and SE winds and ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull, as I opened the window. I was working up at Holy Vale and it was not until gone 10.00 that I got out in the field. As I was already in the east end of the island, I made my ways towards Pelistry where I had Firecrest, Lesser Redpoll, Woodcock, 80+Chaffinch and a Glaucous Gull flew south stright through. Next to Borough Farm, I was on the mobile to Graham when I almost trod on a Lapland Bunting on the same track where a Sparrowhawk took one in October. I also kicked another Woodcock and Redwings were in small numbers feeding in the fields nearby.

‘Billy’ was closely watching me at my window

This Lesser Redpoll was at Pelstry

My first Glaucous Gull of the year was this juvenile over Pelistry

On the mobile to Graham and I almost put my foot on this Lapland Bunting at Borough Farm

I had 2 Sparrowhawk today including this individual that was nearby to the where the Lapland Bunting was

A scan from the track down to Watermill Cove, at the bramble hedges in the north sloping fields and I got onto a distant silhouetted shrike. It’s the first week of November, SE winds and therefore, surely it’s goin to turn out to be a Brown Shrike! It wasn’t long until it came into better light and a little closer that I immediatly could see that it was in fact a Red-backed Shrike. For the next ten minutes, the shrike performed well in catching wasps and bees. It was now 14.00 and from mid-day onwards, news was coming out, that yesterdays Red-flanked Bluetail was showing very well at Porth Hellick. I was torn in what to do. Shall I continue in searching for my own bluetail or should I go and have a look at the bueaty that’s already present? An hour later and I was observing the bluetail on the Porth Hellick Loop Trial at close range with Robin and Dick. For a good ten minutes, the bluetail was always on view as it showed off in front of us before being chased off Robin to other side of the boardwalk. At Holy Vale, I flushed 2 Woodcock, some 25 Goldcrest moved through and after goin missing for a few days, the Greylag and Russian White-fronted Goose were back in the field south of the stables. I finished the day off at Little Porth and got a single Black Redstart with ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull, out on the rocks near to Pilchard Pool. Shortly afterwards just before dark, Robin saw ‘Billy’ back in the pig field. Probably waiting for me to throw some scraps out from the window. I was in the COOP mate!

This Red-backed Shrike at Watermill, was the third I’ve found this year after two birds in the spring including a cracking male

Although the Red-flanked Bluetail performed well at the loop trail, the light was unfortunately pretty dark inside where it was feeding

Both the Greylag and Russian White-fronted Geeese were back in the fields just south of the stables

Out of the 50 Goldcrest I saw today, including a flock of 25 birds in Holy Vale, this was the only pic I could get of one. Graham also had a flock of 23 feeding in the grass at the campsite. Also, there were good numbers of Robin in and scattered around on my walkabouts, there was a total of 70-80 birds and not one Yellow-browed Warbler.

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Red-flanked Bluetail at Porth Hellick

5th November 2020

I went in search of a Dusky Warbler this moening, I found one at Porth Hellick. Graham Gordon went a step higher in search of his dream find, Red-flacked Bluetail and guess what? He found one at Porth Hellick and I managed to get this record shot

‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull was waiting at the window first thing this morning. I had twenty minutes off inbetween doin taxis to the airport and didn’t know where to go. Dusky Warbler was on my mind and within twenty minutes of arriving at Porth Hellick, I had a single Brambling and Firecrest, 2 Yellow-browed Warbler and on the loop trail, a vocal Dusky Warbler! Ideal! However, I had to get back to work and as usual, it was a typical Dusky Warbler in not seeing the bird. However, if it was not seen again, I did get a recording as it moved low out of sight towards the Sussex hide.

Just after 11.00 I was feeding Billy from the window, when I heard the rattle of a Mistle Thrush and observed it flying south over the garden. At the same time I had a missed called from Graham and when he did get through to me, I already knew from the local WhatsApp group, that he had gone and discovered a Red-flanked Bluetail at Porth Hellick. There was no chance of me seeing that for a while and it was not until gone 15.00 that I finnaly got to see it. Good views through the bins from the loop trail but the light was not so good for the camera. I was also told that the Dusky warbler was still present in the same area where I had it earlier. More folks to take the airport and afterwards just before dark, I was pleased to first hear and then see a Siberian Chiffchaff at the Dead Pine Walk, Gareison.

Not so many Redwing around like yesterday

Also, Chaffinch numbers were well down from yesrerday

The Red-flanked Bluetail showed well on and off but the light inside the small coppice it was favouring was not so good for photography. I also had it on the wrong seetings. This was my fifth bluetail that I have rcorded on Scilly

I had it on the right sttings when I came across this vocal Siberian Chiffchaff at the end of the day on the Dead Pine Walk, Garrison

Earlier in the day I had this fem Wigeon at Lower Moors and when it flew off towards Porth Hellick, it showed off white axillaries. With the flight shot above attached, I put it out on the local bird WhatsApp group as an American Wigeon. It was relocated at Porth Hellick and has been left as a Wigeon sp as the axxillies appear not white enough for American Wigeon . Speaking to other birders later, I would agree that it is probably just a Wifeon.

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2 Iceland Gulls in the garden!

4th November 2020

From a single yesterday to 2 juvenile Iceland Gulls in the garden! Will there be a flock of them tomorrow? If there is, I’m afriad that there will be more pics of white wingers

Opened the curtins this morning and the closen’t bird to the window was the pale juvenile Iceland Gull with some 30 Herring Gull close behund it. 7 Redwing also shot out from the tree next to me and the Grey Wagtail was in the muddy pools. Mid morning at Porth Hellick and another 50 Redwing flew east. Everything else I saw of note were all vocal including 2 Yellow-browed Warbler, the Great Spotted Woodpecker and 3 or 4 Cetti’s Warbler, including an individual at Higher Moors. Returned to work and 2 Brambling flew east over the castle with Chaffinch. A ten minute look at Rose Hill produced 2 Firecrest but it was when I was walking back to my digs that I heard and then saw a Lapland Bunting fly south over the garden. For the next hour, the garden was the place to be and it was while trying to get flight shots of the pale Iceland Gull coming towards me, that I immediatly relised that it was a different bird, being the more typical coffee colour. 2 Iceland Gull were now over the garden with a 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull. I could hear a Firecrest in the Redwing tree to my left and a male Merlin spooked everything, including 50 Chaffinch NW out of the pine belt.

The pale Iceland Gull first thing this morning directly in front of the window

One of the 2 Firecrest at Rose Hill

The coffee coloured juvenile Iceland Gull only briefly touched the ground before flying off high NNW

While the pale juvenile Iceland Gull hung around the garden for most of the day and was still present just before dark.

This 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull circled once and then moved on. As the gulls come closer, sometimes it’s not so easy to take photos from the window as you can see from the image above.

There are also up to 50 Herring Gull in the garden area

I’ve got to leave the garden alone and get out in the field and with Graham letting me know that there was a Yellow-browed Warbler in the campsite garden, I made my ways to Lower Moors. 4 Yellow-browed Warbler and the Great Spotted Woodpecker was all I could muster and at Newford Duckpond with 7 Chiffchaff, was another Yellow-browed Warbler. While watching the Greylag and Russian White-fronted geese in they’re fovoured field, three flocks of Chaffinch, totalling over 200 birds moved east. Some 30 Fieldfare and 40 Redwing also flew over north. Got home just before dark to be greeted by the pale Iceland Gull. If it’s here tomorrow, I’ll have to give it a name

One of the 4 Yellow-browed Warbler that I had at Lower Moors

I must of seen over 100 Redwing today including 40 with 30 Fieldfare above north over the geese

I managed to see over 250 Chaffinch including this flock of 100, east, also over the geese

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Iceland Gull in the garden!

3rd November 2020

This morning, this juvenile Iceland Gull spent over an hour in the garden just outside from the window with 2 Grey Wagtail

Shortly after 09.00 , I had a missed call and then a messsage from Graham Gordon ‘Iceland Gull outside the window!’ I threw the cases into the hotel room that I was carring and within seconds I was watching the white-winger only meters away from my window from the house. The sun was reflecting off the pool that it was in, making it differicult to see the gull at first but after throwing some of Graham’s breakfast out, it came too close directly below me. And that’s where it stayed for a short while as it stared at me leaning out of the window throwing the rest of Graham’s breakfast out as far as I could. Eventually, it moved a few metters away to where I could get some better photos of it It stuck around for over an hour and other birders managed to see it from the pirate ship or the north end of the field. Later it was also seen at Porthcressa.

The Iceland Gull worked out where the food was coming from and closly kept an eye on me just meters away below the window that I was leaning out of. Hopefully it will return with the other gulls tomorrow

This Herring Gull was also observing every move I was making by taking avantage of one of the pigs to look at what I was up to in the house

For the last week there have also been 2 Grey wagtail and the odd White and Pied Wagtail

Later on in the day, I had this Firecrest at Mayplole. Yesterday I had 2 Firecrest, Whitethroat and Black Redstart at Pelistry and the Reed Warbler at Newford Duckpond

Both the Greylag and the Russian White-fronted Geese were still in the field opposite Carn Vean Cafe

I forgot to add these pics of a Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull that made two visit to the garden during the first week of August and just like the Iceland Gull, it was just hanging out meters away from my window.

Some interesting pics of the gulls fighting in the garden from August

This Great Black-backed Gull was a regular

I also forgot to put ‘Rosie’ on at roughly the same time. Not looking so rosie then as she’s moulting into winter plumage looking like the other Starling in the garden. Now it’s impossible to identify her from the rest of them

Here’s ‘Rosie’ two months before on the window sill

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Scilly record of 24 Cattle Egrets

31st October 2020

Maybe there was a record count of 24 Cattle Egret on Scilly today, and I saw 13 of them, for me and Ren, this very showy Nightingale stole the limelight at Little Porth Beach. from the egrets

Just after 10.00 this morning, I had seen the Russian White-throated and Greylag Goose at Carn Vean, the Glossy Ibis at Pating Carm Farm, and at Higher Lanes, 5 Cattle Egret. And all that time I was working. Fortunately the birds could be observed from the road or in the egrets case, a few seconds walk from my wagon into Chas Woods garden. As there were still 8 from yesterday on Tresco, later increasing to 9, it was thought that these 5 behind Chas’s garden, were probably part of the other flock of 8 that arrived on St Agnes at the same time as the Tresco birds. However, shortly afterwards, the prusumed St Agnes 8 were discovered at Green Lane just up road.

While the rest of the flock of grey geese departed a few days ago, the Greylag, behind, and one of the Russian White-Fronted Geese, decided to stick around favoring the field opposite Carn Vean entrance.

Shortly after seeing the geese, I spotted the Glossy Ibis in the pig field next to the road as I drove past.

It wasn’t long after the Ibis that I was observing 5 Cattle Egret from Chas’s garden at Higher Lanes

Early afternoon, I pitched up to the west end of Little Porth to hopefully connect with the long-staying Nightingale that I’ve dipped out on so many times.’It was here a few minutes ago’ Great stuff! Thanks Ren. Some twenty minutes later I spotted the Nightingale on the wall and got both Mick Turton and Ren on to it. For the next twenty minutes, the bird was out in the open showing remarkably well in among the boulders and seaweed until it was just below us. I wanted to stay around but work got in the way. It wasn’t until 15.00 that I got up to Green Lane and found that the 8 Cattle Egret were still feeding in the same cattle field where also a Kingfisher flew straight through. News came on that there was single Brambling just around the corner at Pelistry. A few minutes later I got the Brambling with 2 Linnet and 30 Chaffinch on the path down to the beach.

I spent as much time as I could with this Nightingale feeding just below Ren and I at the west end of Little Porth as I can’t see myself observing an individual like this again. It was out in the open in all the time the twenty minutes that I was there getting some crippling views of it.

Cattle Egrets were well spread out on the islands today, setting a Scilly record of 24 birds in total. This included 9 on Tresco, 2 on St Martins and 13 on St Mary’s including the 8 above at Green Lane with another 5 birds nearby at Higher Lanes.

It was close to high tide and I made my way to Porthloo. There were 12 Mediterranean and 120 Black-headed Gull feeding on the surf but as soon as I threw bread out, the larger gulls dropped down from nowhere including the 3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull, that I had here two days ago, quickly followed by a 2nd winter. Both birds were very brief and moved on. I was hoping that one of the white-wingers might come in and with that, while in my wagon, an immature Glaucous Gull appeared from nowhere. Like all the other gulls it was always back on and as quickly as it appeared it was gone giving no chance of a record shot. I put the news out and then I was also gone, back to work. I returned to Porthloo later on and after the Glaucous Gull had spent time behind the Sapphire out of the bay to the delight of the birders on board, it came back in and Alan Conlin immediately identified it as a Glaucous hybrid. When I first saw it earlier, I did question the appearance of an all darkish tail but didn’t see the obvious three dark outer primaries as it flew off. After a few sweeps and interacting with the other gulls in front of us, it was off again and so was I as I had to get to the airport. I finished off the day with the Glossy Ibis at Parting Carn Farm as I passed the pig field it hangs out in.

Threw out some bread at Porthloo and attracted both this 2nd and 3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull

This gull at Little Porth, is thought to be a be a juvenile GlaucousxHering Gull I believe the only other record of Viking Gull on Scilly, is a juvenile I had on Tresco in December 2017

There were up to 12 Mediterreanen Gull feeding including the 7 above.

Three days ago I had this distant immature Iceland Gull also at Porthloo

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1st INDIGO BUNTING for Scilly

25th October 2020

Mega find by Louis Cross with this INDIGO BUNTING on St Agnes this afternoon and was only the third British record!!

The moving depression acoss the Atlantic on the 23rd/24th, with a leading warm front and reaching our shores with in 24-36 hours later, surely had to produce the goods. And it did, starting off with Jamie Partridge turning up a ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK late yesterday afternoon on Gugh. Jamie’s now discovered two grosebeaks after the an individual he first encounted on St Agnes three years ago in October! No sign of the Gugh bird today but James Paker came across a Red-eyed Vireo at Lower Town Farm, St Agnes. Shortly afterwards on Bryher, Mark Telfer also tyurned up a Red-eyed Vireo next to the dump area.

I thought of twitching for the Gugh grosebeak myself this morning but opted to go and find mine own instead. As there was a heavy shower moving through, I started off at Porthloo where there were 2 Black Redstart, 6 White and 4 Pied Wagtail and single Wheatear, Common Sandpiper and Bar-tailed Godwit. At Porth Hellick, there were a single Jack Snipe, 3 Yellow-browed Warbler, 10 Chiffchaff with the vocal Great-spotted Woodpecker nearby. Another 2 Yellow-browed Warbler were at Carn Friars and it was while walking through the Salkee fields that I observed the Glossy Ibis circling the farm buildings area before flying off low north. At Holy Vale there were 4 more birds with 15 Chiffchaff. Close by at the stables, 12 White and 2 Pied and a single Yellow Wagtail were feeding.

There were 2 Black Redstart at Porthloo

Also this wet Wheatear

And 6 White and 4 Pied Wagtail including this individual

At last I connected with the Glossy Ibis after missing it by seconds in flight in the last four days that it’s been on St Mary’s after it arrived from first being seen on St Agnes. This being my forth individual that I’ve seen on Scilly

At the stables, there were another 8 White Wagtail

Altogether I had a total of 9 Yellow-browed Warbler before news broke of the Indogo Bunting

It was while I was goin through some 60 Meadow Pipit that a photo of an Indigo Bunting came on the local Scilly Bird News WhatsApp group! And that was it. I’m sure like most of the birders on the group were thinking, where was the pic taken? So I immediatly asked that question, thinking that it’s been forwarded onto the wrong group and was taken somewhere in the US and also, I really believed that Indigo Bunting is a species that I would never see on Scilly. But it wasn’t. It was taken by the Big Pool on bloody St Agnes!! Shite!! It had just gone 14.00 and forty five minutes later, I was on the Kingfisher with a small number of birders, heading straight to the latter island. I jumped off the boat and I ran like the devil, with Scott Ried close behind and we were the first two to get onto the INDIGO BUNTING from the boat. The bunting was feeding on a track next to a bonfire, north of the Big Pool and showed very well for the twenty birders that were already present when we turned up. A lot of folk had already left after seeing it.

When I first saw the INDIGO BUNTING, the light was ideal with the sun almost behind

However, it wasn’t long before the light changed with the sun going down pretty fast

After a good thirty minutes and congratulating the main man, Louis Cross, on his mega find, I made the two minute walk to the observertry garden to try and connect with the Red-eyed Vireo. I was told that it was here ten minutes ago but some twenty minutes later, Mark Preswood picked it up at close range before it flew into a nearby Pittosporum hedge and was out in the open until Fran Hicks flushed it with his gater as he drove pased just below it. I had an hour to kill and went off into Frans fields. Before I left, I had to go and see the bunting again and for ten minutes the Indigo Bunting showed extremely well as it grovelled only three meters from a few of us before we all had to go to catch the boat to St Mary’s.

This Red-eyed Vireo was only a two minute walk in the Observatry garden from the Indigo Bunting

Just before leaving to catch the boat back home, I had one more look at the INDGO BUNTING and this time it was still feeding on the same track only a few meters away! It’s predicted that more yanks should turn up from across the pond this week as the weather system looks ideal with another fast depression arriving on Tuesday followed one on Thursday.

Two days ago, I came across the the flock of grey geese, including 4 Pink-footed, 2 Russian White-fronted and a single Greylag Goose, near to the stables and have been around for a while but no sign of them today

One of the Russian White-fronted Geese turned up on Porthloo Duckpond, 17th, and swan around with my ducks, Graham Gordon at the front with Pablo Jr, white and Coal. I’ve got a pic of their parents, my other ducks I had before they escaped, swimming around with a Surf Scoter at Porthcressa!

The image above of 7 Pink-footed and the single Greylag Goose was taken last week over the stables before the 2 White-fronted Geese arrived

This Short-eared Owl has been roosting on the track up to Harry’s Walls since last week abnd was still present today

Also two days ago, this probable Sibeian Lesser Whitethroat was at Carn Friars and proved to be a different individual that I had two weeks ago in the same area from the lack of ring on it

There’s been small numbers of Red-breasted Flycatcer on Scilly so far this auntunm but I’ve only caught up with this one on the 15th at Lower Broom, Garrison

Also on the 17th, I saw my only Lapland Bunting so far this year at Borough Farm before it was taken by a Sparrowhawk the next day!

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