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20th October 2019

100s maybe 1000s of Redwing arrived on Scilly today

The wind had changed to NNE over night and as a result, first thing this morning, there was an obvious large arrival of winter thrushes as I observed some 60 Redwing and 25 Fieldfare, west over Porth Hellick. An hour later I was on the airfield and 100s of Redwing were still moving through mostly going SSE out to sea. There were also 3 Skylark, 2 Wheatear and a single Golden Plover in the area. At 08.55, Tony Gilbert called me from the other side of the runway asking if I had seen anythin? We were talking for a short while about Liverpool losing against Man United this afternoon and what I had for breakfast, poached eggs, four as usual, beans, tomatoes, loads of mushrooms and then, a bowl of muesli with yogurt, melon, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, banana, apple, peaches, plums, oh yes, it was a gooden! Tony had cornflakes! Anyways, it was then when I heard what I first thought was an alba wagtail but that immediately changed and I couldn’t put a name to it. I wasn’t being rude to Tony, but I told him shut up as I wanted to hear it again. That I did and it was a disyllabic call and I had no idea what it was as I searched the skies above me but could I bloody see it?? It made one last call and it seemed to be going ENE towards Porth Hellick. ‘Did you hear that Tone?’ That he didn’t and I was left puzzled to what it was and thought that it’s one that has got away. Suddenly the pager went off on Mega alert ‘Scilly CHESTNUT-EARED BUNTING!!’ on west side in 3rd field from south end at 08.55 then flew towards Peninnis Farm! Was it that that I heard just now? Timing was spot on if it left Peninnis when they last saw it flying towards the farm. I soon found out that Tim Vaughan and Dick Filby were the birders who observed the bunting at Peninnis and I immediately called Tim to find out what the crack was? He told me to have a listen on xceno-canto at CE Bunting and see if it fits. Tony played the first few flight calls from the website and I said no to all of them and started to think that maybe I had heard something else. We continued onto the calls and bingo! It was spot on what I could hear. I contacted Tim to let him know and as my mobile data is not working at the moment he put the news out for me.

Now, it was a case of kicking every field in the Salkee, Porth Hellick, Carn Friars area but after two hours with Richie Aston all we had seen were 2 Yellow-browed Warbler and 500+Redwing and 200+Fieldfare. Elsewhere at the same time, new in were 1+Waxwing at Old Town Church and Salkee, Water Pipit at Little Porth, a Yellowhammer and Hen Harrier at Peninnis where there was a Little Bunting with another at Lower Moors and in their usual field were the 2 Pink-footed Geese at Sakee. The BLUE ROCK THRUSH, now been here for a month, was still mobile off Peninnis Head but there was no sign of yesterdays Red-eyed Vireo that Bobby ‘Dazzler’ Dawson found opposite Porthloo Duckpond. While on St Agnes there were Red-backed Shrike, 2 Lapland Bunting and the Spotted Sandpiper and Subalpine Warbler that were found two days ago.

Redwing piling into St Mary’s this morning

With less numbers of Fieldfare

Yellow-browed Warbler at the Porth Hellick Loop Trail

There were 6 Pied Wagtail and 2 White Wagtail at the airfield


I had my dinner then Jo joined me as we got out in the field in search of that bunting. At Green Farm area, winter thrushes were all over the shop with over 500 Redwing, including 200+in one field and 200+Fieldfare. A single Swallow moved through, a Brambling flew east overhead with Chaffinch and there were 2 Jackdaw over Mount Todden with 30+Carrion Crow. A Richard’s Pipit was seen by others at Maypole and the Hawfinch that we both saw yesterday was just around the corner opposite the stables but we went the other way towards Normandy. In a weedy field with some 40 chaffinch was a single Brambling but when we left four of the latter species turned up. A quick walk around Trenowth produced another 200+Redwing but that was it. Unfortunately, all the new arrivals, buntings, thrushes, pipits etc, were very flighty and quickly moved on. Hopefully tomorrow it will be a different matter where birds have settled and they can be observed by everyone.

Some 500 Redwing were at Green Farm area with another 200 at Trenowth

But only 100+Fieldfare in the same area

2 Jackdaw were hanging out with the Carrion Crows at Mount Todden

I duno what it is, but I have a knack in finding Northern ‘type’ Willow Warbler and yesterday I had this individual at Lower Moors although Ren did have a grey ‘type’ at The pottery today.

This Northern ‘type’ Willow Warbler was still at Content two days ago but there was no sign of the second bird it was feeding withthe day before

Where there was also this Firecrest


Graham Gordon saying one last goodbye to Jo two days ago at Porthloo Beach as it was time for them to meet their parents since the first day they were born at Porthcressa Beach.

However, it didn’t go to plan. They reunited for a few seconds but they turned around and came back to shore and waddled up to us.

So plan two and we let the ducks go at Porthloo Duckpond where they teamed up with the other ducks on the pond.

Do you really think that we would just leave them there. Yesterday we picked them all up and went to their and our favorite beach where we all relaxed in the warm sun before returning them back to the pond. This is what we will be doin most days with them. Maybe we might take them somewhere else.


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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