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Subalpine Warbler at the Garrison

7th May 2020

I came across this male Subalpine Warbler, probably Western, on the top path between the Steval and Woolpack Fort and it proved to be very mobile and active.

For a change I was up early this morning and stepped outside to listen out for Golden Oriole. With no luck I thought that maybe it would be a good idea to try Holy Vale but again no sign. As I approached Maypole triangle, I bumped into Will who had just that second had the long staying ring-tailed Hen Harrier move through. I returned home and I had seen nohin of note. However, Later on, I successfully twitched the Red-rumped Swallow that was found earlier on at Porth Hellick. On the way back I caught the Marsh Harrier fly across the road at Parting Carn and the Cetti’s Warbler made me deaf for ten minutes when it burst into song on the path at the dump.

After seeing good numbers of Red-rumped Swallow only two months ago in Egypt, it’s always good to see one on Scilly

It wasn’t until after 15.00 that I was on the Garrison and seeing the same species that have been around for the last few days, althouigh in lower numbers. Single Garden, Reed Warbler and 4 Whitethroat, 5 blackcap, 2 Willow Warbler and 3 Spotted Flycatcher. On the top path between the Steval and Woolpack Fort, I was just about to call Higgo. Then I thought, what if he’s on the otherside of the island? He won’t hear me shout. I grabbed my mobile out of my pocket and observed a pale dingy sylvia warbler fly low from my left to the right of the path and into cover. I had an idea what it was and it wasn’t long that I was looking at a stonking male Subalpine Warbler sp? It showed well on and off and proved to be very active and mobile. Within a few minutes it was already at the Woolpack and it was here where I got reception and put the news out. However, when Higgo and Robin arrived it had disappeared and was never seen again for the rest of the day.

There were up to 5 Blackcap including this female in the garden

Only a single Garden Warbler compared to the four I had on the Garrison two days ago.

Only 5 Whitethroat compared to the 12 I had two days ago also on the Garrison

And only 3 Spotted Flycatcher compared to the 10 I also had two days ago. Also two days ago on the Garrison I had a single Turtle Dove and yesterday a female Cuckoo appeared to come in off the sea at the NW end and flew up the slope towards the pines

The male Subalpine Warbler was never heard to call but is more than likely a Western.

After dinner I found myself at Bants Carn scanning distantly through some 250 hirrundines, 200+Swallow, 40+House Martin, 10 Sand Martin and 2 Swift, hawking over the pines above Bar Point and it was not until five minutes later that I picked up the Red-rumped Swallow. Shortly afterwards I locked onto another individual with only a single tail streamer. I only had them both briefly as the hirundines dispersed and I made my ways towards Trenoweth where I counted some 70 House Martin and later on this had increased to over 100 as they stuck around the area for the next hour but only a handful of Swallow and no sign of the Red-rumped Swallow. I could hear Carrion Crows goin crazy in the bottom fields and as I turned, there was the Hen Harrier flying straight through. I also saw in the area 2 Garden, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Tree Pipit, 1 Cuckoo and 4 Swift.

Returning to Bants Carn, the fog was rolling in from the North and a Great Northern Diver started looning. Only the second time I’ve heard this On Scilly and at home I got a window tick as 3 Swift were above the pines when it was almost dark. Yesterday a single Spotted Flycatcher and 2 Stock Dove were also garden/window ticks.

2 Garden Warbler were feeding in the fields at Trenowth with Blackcap and a single Sedge Warbler

There were 3 Whimbrel nearby

On the golf course there were 5 Greenland Wheatear

A Great Northern Diver started looning out in The Roads in the eerie conditions

Sunset this evening

Three days ago, there were a family of 5 young Starling out and about on the Garrison. This is the earlist record that I’ve observed of Starlings out of the nest.

I had this Black Redstart in the horse paddocks on the east side of the Garrison five days ago

The revolving door of the BBC and the Tories It’s busy!

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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