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Red-rumped Swallow at where else, Porth Hellick

3rd June 2020

I was testing out my bike, after it had been fixed, and as a result, found this Red-rumped Swallow at Porth Hellick Pool.

At 15.00, I got a call from the bike man, Chrisy Evans, to tell me that I could pick my bike up that he had repaired after I had salvaged it last year out of a ditch. I decided to try the bike out and cycled the coastal path. I arrived at Porth Hellick and here, a male Golden Oriole almost knocked me off my bike as it flew out of from the Sallows at head height only a meter in front of me. I followed it along the track at speed as it flew almost at ground level in front of me before rising and turning off over the reeds towards the loop trail! Is this bike goin to bring me some good luck? Imagine explaining that one. It was that damn male Golden Oriole that Joe Pender found two days ago that made me swerve out of the way and land in a bramble/nettle patch as it almost flew into me.

I continued along the track until I reached the coastal path over looking the pool. A quick scan through the 2 Swift, 5 House Martin and 50+Swallow, while still sitting on the bike in the drizzle, and I couldn’t believe it, Red-rumped Swallow!! Anythin I do, this bike is staying close to me. I made my ways to the pool, without the bike, and pointed out the swallow to Barry Payne who just happened to be on the boardwalk next to the pool. Scott was the only other birder who also connected with the bird as it was gone after 30 minutes leaving the other hirundines to continue hawking over the pool. I also left the area after searching for twenty minutes with Martin and cycled the rest of the coastal path and saw nothin of note. The bike did the job and because there was light rain during most of the day with a cold northerly wind, I would of stayed at home if Chris had not called me to say my bike was ready to go.

For the second morning, Martin had 2 Golden Oriole singing just outside from his house. The highlight for me in the last few days, was a stunning male Golden Oriole that I observed very briefly at the top of the pine belt out in the open in the garden! Unfortunately, while thumbling around to get my camera out of the bag, it flew off west towards Star Castle. If only it had stayed for a few more seconds then I would of got it.

I guess the dull wet conditions dropped this Red-rumped Swallow into Porth Hellick arriving with a large number of Swallows for this time of year The RRS is top right in the bottom photo This is the third Red-rumped Swallow I’ve been lucky to find this spring. Imagine if I had that bike throughout spring. I might of found ten by now

I also spotted this juvenile Swallow in with the flock that’s arrived from the south and is not British bred.

On Monday, I kayaked to Tresco in the calm hot conditions. Looking from Castle Down towards Tresco Channel and in the distance, the Garrison on St Mary’s

On the South Beach there were a high number for this time of year of 36 Sanderling

The Dunlin had gone down from 22 last week to only 7 It was while walking along the beach that a vocal Siskin flew in off from the south


On the Abbey Pool there was a single Little Egret with 3 Grey Heron

And like the egret, another unusual record for this time of year, a male Pintail

The other pair of Pochard that lost all 5 ducklings were on the Great Pool. Hopefully this little chap will survive if it keeps close to it’s parents on the Abbey Pool Also on the Great Pool were 2 Mediterranean Gull with 5 Black-headed Gull

Only a handful of Swallow breed on Tresco and there were also two pairs of House Martins building under the eves near the Flying Boat area

Looking from Middle Down towards the Great Pool with St Mary’s in the distance

On the east side of Tresco looking from the south end of Castle Down towards Round Island lighthouse

And the Marsh Warbler that I found on Sunday was re identified by two top notch birders, Adam Hutt and James Lidster, as a Reed Warbler. When I told Higgo, he just couldn’t believe that it was a Reed Warbler. He told me that he heard 14 species come out from the songster and while listening, he closed his eyes and thought of Worcester! Worcester? Now if I close my eyes and thought of a place that I’ve visited in the past it would be like, the Himalayas, Austrailia or even Wales, but Worcester? Well the Porth Hellick individual is a Reed Warbler mate. So all those Marsh Warblers you thought you were listening to in Worcestershire, a long time ago, must of been Reed Warblers. It’s so sad that the Marsh Warblers disappeared from that area and Graham Cundale told me yesterday that he used to ring the breeding Marsh Warblers in the county.

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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