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Yellowhammer at Porthloo

21st October 2019

Including this individual, this is only my forth Yellowhammer that I’ve observed on Scilly

It was back to work today and as it was pretty busy, it wasn’t until gone 13.00 that Jo and I could go and get the four ducks at Porthloo Duckpond and take them to the beach around the corner. Shortly after arriving, I heard a Siskin overhead and was in the process of picking up Pablo Jr when I shouted ‘Yellowhammer‘ I dropped Pablo and looked up and saw the bird heading towards Porthloo Beach. I said to Jo to forget the ducks and a few minutes later we were searching through the Greenfinch flock feeding in the dunes. It didn’t take long to relocate the bunting as it hopped around on the sand out in the open before it briefly perched in some vegetation and then flew low east over the bank. The last Yellowhammer I saw on Scilly was a spring male at the Garrison campsite 100 year ago!

In the few minutes we had the Yellowhammer, I managed to get some distant record shots

An hour before we went to get our ducks, Ben Lewis found a Citrine Wagtail at Salkee. Just before we made our ways to the latter site, we took some guest up to the airport where we saw our first Black Redstart of the autumn. So it wasn’t until 16.00 that we arrived at the cattle field that the Citrine Wagtail was feeding in. It was nearly fifteen minutes later until we heard and then saw the wagtail briefly in the far corner only for it fly off over the hedge into the next field. With that, we left the small crowd and made our ways into the Salkee fields to where it had gone to. It took a while to find the 70+Meadow pipit flock it was hanging out with, but when we did, the Citrine was always on view but still distant. A Merlin put the every up and small Fieldfare flocks moved through. Back at work, just before dark, some 200+Fieldfare tried to land in the Star Castle garden.

St Agnes was the place to be today for a change with the Spotted Sandpiper, Red-backed Shrike, Common Rosefinch and the Lapland and Snow Bunting still present. A Waxwing at The Hump was probably yesterdays bird from St Mary’s.

Black Redstart have been very thin on the ground this autumn and this individual at the airport was my first

After three birds last year, I really thought that Scilly was goin to miss out on a visit from Citrine Wagtail this year but it wasn’t to be and hopefully this individual will stick around for a few days at Salkee.

There were a lot more Fieldfare in today than Redwing.

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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