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Mandarin at Porth Hellick!!

16th October 2019

Can you believe that this Mandain created a stir at Porth Hellick!? I need to find out if John Nicholas still keeps his plastic ducks up road.

This morning just after 08.00, I got a text from Gerald Breton about a female Mandarin at Porth Hellick. Soon as I could I made ways down there just in case it was slightly obscured and it just might be a female Wood Duck. Unfortunly, it wasn’t the latter species. So I left the sleeping Mandarin with the 14 Greenshank and 15 Snipe and didn’t think anythin of it. Except that it’s probably jumped the fence from John Nichols garden about a mile away. As I returned back to the wagon I heard the Cetti’s Warbler and 2 Yellow-browed Warbler and got the Whinchat on the wires. Over an hour later everyone started getting excited, not because the ROSE-BREASTED GROSEBEAK was still on St Martins or the YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO was Lower Moors and the BLUE ROCK THRUSH was at Morning Point or what about the Red-eyed Vireo at Old town Church? No, it was the Mandarin!!

The sleeping Mandarin at Porth Hellick

It had been calm and sunny all day but I couldn’t get out until late afternoon. At Content, the 2 Northern ‘type’ Willow Warbler were still feeding together but there were only 2 Yellow-browed Warbler. Nearby, the Short-toed Lark was still in the field off Pungies Lane with the 2 Whinchat and my first 5 Redwing of the autumn flew over.. I also had a single Whinchat at the airport with 3 Skylark overhead while waiting for a plane to come in.

The 2 Northern ‘type’ Willow Warbler were still at Content. Note that the top individual is healthy while the bottom two images show the warblers right eye is not in good shape

I only had 2 of the Yellow-browed Warbler at Content with the northerns.

Just around the corner from the warblers was the Short-toed Lark off Pungies Lane


Meadow Pipit

The light was still good after 17.00 and Jo and I ventured down to Porth Hellick. In the Sussex hide, birders were getting stuck into the Mandarin and earlier Jim Almond called to ask if I was goin to Porth hellick so he could have a Scilly tick! I did get the opportunity to photo both the Mandarin and the BLUE-WINGED TEAL together and then Ren called also looking for a Scilly tick….

The Mandarin hanging out with the BLUE-WINGED TEAL at Porth Hellick.

And the BLUE-WINGED TEAL showing superbly in front of the Sussex hide.

The White-rumped Sandpiper was still performing well at Tolls Porth and both Sam Jones, top two images, and Mark Rayment got some cracking shots!

When we go mothing at night, we also find a lot of moth caterpillars. In one night we had five species including this Bright-line Brown Eye


Early Thorn


and Small Magpie

Walnut Orb Spider at Star Castle

Banded Snail

I can’t work out whose more pleased to see each other. Is it Graham Gordon or Graham Gordon?? Also, if you didn’t know, Graham Gordon has had a transgender as you can see from the implants and he’s, now a she! I mean the duck, just in case you were confused.

Also, if your wondering why Graham Gordon is called Graham Gordon it is because, when Graham was a small kid, he went off for a stroll along Porthlow Beach. I went after him, as any of the gulls above him, I mean her, could take it away at anytime, and he would never be seen again. Graham was waddling towards a rock and top of that rock was a gull. I raised my bins and I could see that it was a possible juvenile Yellow-legged Gull. I could also see, as Graham kept getting closer to that rock, the gull was paying more intention to her, and not me walking close behind Graham. I took advantage of this and got very close to the gull until the YLG flew off. If it wasn’t for Graham, well then I would never have seen that YLG. Graham Gordon, that’s the one who lives on St Agnes, does not like YLG one bit and as Graham Gordon the duck had found one herself, then she was renamed from Grey to Graham Gordon. i hope that clears everything.

Graham Gordon at two days old

And here’s Graham Gordon at two days old. You can really see the likeness in this 1920’s image to what he looks like today

Hanging out with her three brothers

And this is today! Now look at her, she still a beauty!!

And Graham Gordon is off leaving Coal, Feather and Pablo Jr behind

Today Graham Gordon flew for the second time and we believed she was leaving us as she flew off over Porthlow Bay only to observe her returning back to the beach and landing near to Jo. I guess Graham Gordon has been raised in the same way as that other duck at Porth Hellick.

Author: Kris Webb 10

I love to throw sticks at trees! I also can’t get enough of music! I also blog about my observations on Scilly and wherever I go around the world and what’s sometimes on my mind. I’ve visited over 30 countries and some more times than once. I’ve worked and volunteered in Nepal, USA, Peru, Gambia, Costa Rica, 3x Australia, and refugee camps in Palestine The profile image is one I took while in Palestine of a brave Israeli holding high the Palestinian flag in front of the Israeli Offensive Forces during protests in Belin

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