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Red-Rumped Swallow returns to Porth Hellick

19th June 2020

The Red-rumped Swallow reappeared at Porth Hellick after last being seen on the 10th June. Where had it been in the the nine days that it had gone missing?

Paul Freestone found a Red-rumped Swallow at Porth Hellick, late this afternoon, and put a back of a camera shot of it on the Scilly Bird News whatsApp Group. Immediately on seeing the large nick in the left wing, I thought like others, that maybe this was the individual from the beginning of June. After dinner I made my ways to Porth Hellick and after scanning through over 40-50 Swallow, 10 House Martin and high above them, 13 Swift, there was no sign of it. I picked up some Swallows over Holy Vale and a scan from the road turned up the Red-rumped Swallow. It wasn’t long until it was over head at Porth Hellick hawking high up in the gloomy conditions. It was very much looking like the same individual from nine days ago when it was last seen. Higgo joined me and eventually the the RRS came down lower to feed where we both got better views. I returned home and it was confirmed that it was the same Red-rumped Swallow when I compared the photos taken from the first week of June. Before all this happened, the Hobby showed off above the garden.

The bottom pic was taken on the 10th June, when the Red-rumped Swallow was last seen at Porth Hellick and the top two were taken this evening. As you can clearly see from the photos, comparing all the nicks in the wings, that it is the same individual.

While cycling to Porth Hellick, I had a quick look at this worn, bleached out Herring Gull at the side of the road

Searching for the Red-rumped Swallow at Porth Hellick and there at the far side of the field was a Cormorant. Obviously I thought it wasn’t in good shape and decided to see if I could catch it. As I approached the bird, it started to move and it appeared like it was making it’s ways into cover. However, it turned and the next thing I know, after a bit of a struggle and a few attempts, it was flying and gone! Ideal!.

6 days ago, 14th June, I kayaked to Tresco and when i reached the South Beach, I lifted the kayak up and tipped out a lot of water. This wasn’t good and I had to get back to St Mary’s. I rowed non stop, returning to the latter island, in record time and as I came into Sharks Pit, the kayak was half full of water. As a result, I nearly capsized twice but some how I manged to keep afloat with a balance act. I made it safely to shore and discovered that there was a hole in the bottom of the kayak as I expected. So, I had to do somethin if I wanted to continue kayaking. That I did and got a bigger and better one, Dagger Stratos as you can see it high up on the South Beach.

As I was testing out my new kayak, I only spent two hours on the island and the only birds of note were 45 Turnstone, 4 Dunlin, 2 Curlew, 6 Grey Heron and unusual for this time of year, a single Bar-tailed Godwit all on South Beach.

Also had this single Whimbrel

Dunlin, Turnstone and a single Ringed Plover at Skirt Island, South Beach

At the Woodpile, there was this very pale interesting juvenile Stonechat

Just by the Abbey Pool I had up to 3 Meadow Brown I saw my first one of the year two ago on the Garrison

So on the 14th June, after almost sinking, kayaking to Tresco from St Mary’s, I passed 3 Sandwich Tern and on the South Beach feeding with 5 Sanderling, 6 Dunlin and 38 Turnstone, was a single Grey Plover. Wasn’t expecting to see the plover at this time of year.

Passing close to Porthloo Beach in my fancy new kayak, I got very good views of the Yellow-legged Gull. Later, while eating with friends at Porthcressa Beach, I observed the gull drop in where I took the two top pics from in the evening light.

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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