Design a site like this with
Get started

Woodchat Shrike at Carn Friars

30th August 2020

Two days ago, a Woodchat Shrike turned up at Carn Friars and after work, I teamed up with Martin and Richie in the early evening and the shrike showed well at close range.

This morning at 08.00, I was battling the choppy conditions as made my ways towards Tresco in my kayak. Thirty minutes later I was on the South Shore and within twenty minutes I had seen a single Bar-tailed with 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Mediterranean and a single juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and 46 Sandwich Tern. As I approached the Abbey Pool, I could hear the Citrine Wagtail but it was not until ten minutes later that I saw it fly off towards the heliport. It soon returned and proved to be very mobile making another flight back to the latter sight again. When I left, it was still flighty and vocal back around the pool. Could this be a new Citrine Wagtail that’s possibly just arrived and not quite settled down yet?

The few minutes that the very flighty Citrine Wagtail settled down on the Abbey Pool that I managed to get these pics

On the south side of the Great Pool there were a female Shoveler feeding with 18 Teal and a Pied Flycatcher was on Pool Road. Some 50 Swallow started alarming and a Merlin went through them and with ease, flew off with a juvenile in it’s claws. Birders were already at the Swarovski Hide where there was a single White Wagtail feeding with the Citrine Wagtail. To cut a long story short, there was only one individual and not two birds. Also viewed from the hide of note were a single Snipe and the female Pochard. Returning back to the kayak, a Swift flew north.

This female Shoveler on the Great Pool was new in and an early arrival for Scillyy

Unfortunately I had the camera on the wrong settings when I took this Merlin taking off with a Swallow. Photos I took before and after this Merlin are all B&W images until I noticed later on.

It was while I was in the kayak, taking pics of a Grey Heron only meters away from me, that news of a shrike sp came on the Scilly Bird News WharsApp Group, that there was a shrike sp at Gweal Hill, Bryher. In a short time I was trampling over the hill but the was no sign of the shrike. I stuck around on Bryher for the rest of the day and it was dead with just 6 Blackcap, 3 Willow Warbler, 14 Wheatear, 2 Snipe and a single Knot. There were only 5 Dunlin altogether on Tresco but when I passed Porthloo in my kayak back on St Mary;s, as well as seeing yesterdays Curlew Sandpiper, there were also 27 Dunlin feeding on the beach.

I couldn’t get any closer to this Grey Heron in my kayak as it just continued feeding as though I wasn’t there. Although the B&W images ain’t all that bad on this heron, I would of liked to have seen them also in colour.

Like the heron, I was only meters from the 10 Mediterranean Gulls in my kayak

There were up to 60 Turnstone on the south Beach

On Bryher there were up to 14 Wheatear

Yesterday afternoon, Robin found only the second Curlew Sandpiper of ythe year at Porthloo Beach

Although the Woodchat Shrike showed well at Carn Friars two days ago for those who were present, the light conditions were dismal as the sun disappeared behind dark clouds shortly after I arrived

Stunning cat! Anyone who says that their cat doesn’t kill birds, then they haven’t got a clue. If it’s not killing birds then it’s hunting rodents, amphibians, large insects, etc

It’s Time to Overthrow the Oligarchs who are in bed with the Tory Party & Restore Democracy | George Monbiot


Citrine Wagtail on Tresco

26th August 2020

A kayak over to Tresco late this afternoon, thinking that maybe a yank wader might have dropped in after Hurricane Frances, paid off instead with the finding of this Citrine Wagtail from the east, on the Great Pool

Unusually with no flights to meet at the airport, I finished work early. The tail end of Hurricane Frances had moved through yesterday and overnight and I thought that a yank wader might have dropped into Tresco. Before I kayaked over to the latter island in the calm waters, I had a quick look at the Ruff at Porth Hellick and some 45 minutes later at about 15.15, I was on the South Beach of Tresco where there were up to 12 Mediterranean Gull after passing two juveniles at Porthloo. Not much else on the shore or the Abbey Pool. I think the time is up for seeing any birds on the Abbey Pool as the helicopter is in and out throughout the day. This will continue also through the winter. I have not seen a wader on the pool except for flyovers. Scanning Simpson’s Field from the far east side, I got on to a small duck for a few seconds a long ways off before it swam out of sight. I thought it was a Garganey and shortly afterwards I was showing the one BOC record shot I managed to get to both Geoff Robertson and Nick Skilbeck. By the photo I had, we couldn’t rule out Blue-winged Teal and Nick and I decided to try and see if we could see it from the Swarovski Hide and there, although on the far side, it proved to be a Garganey.

This Ruff has been at Porth Hellick for the last two days aftyer being first seen at the airfield, 23rd.

There were up to 12 Mediterranean Gull as I pulled into Tresco South Beach and this juvenile was not the least concerned about me being only meters away from it in my kayak

This the record shot that I got that suggested maybe a Blue-winged Teal but it was taken a long ways off

Even though it was at the far side, it proved to be a Garganey and the second so far of the year as I had an individual also on the Great Pool over two weeks ago

Nick had to return to St Martins where he was staying and I left the hide a few minutes after him. It was while walking on Pool Road that I heard a single call of a Citrine Wagtail that sounded like it was heading west over the Great Pool. I rushed back to the hide and there it was vocal on the right but out of sight behind the reeds. A few minutes later it came out into the open where it showed well but the light was not on my side with the sun blinding me from the reflection off the water. When Geoff arrived, the wagtail had disappeared but it wasn’t long until it returned to where I first saw it. Some 30 minutes later it walked deep into the reeds and I decided to make my ways back to the kayak. There were also a female Pochard and 7 Teal on the pool. There were a lot of folks on the beach but I still managed to see 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Dunlin and single Wheatear and White Wagtail. I set off from Tresco and 25 minutes later I flushed a Common Sandpiper off a platform near to Porth Mellon back on St Mary’s.

The Citrine Wagtail showed well to the right of the Swarovski Hide but the light just wasn’t on my side.

On the south, I was treated to these 2 Black-tailed Godwit

While Dunlin and Turnstone showed supurbly as I kayaked passed them.

This juvenile Peregrine was causing havoc over the beach and flushed off most of the birds including the godwits

Three days ago, 23rd, I kayaked over to Tresco where I had a personal record of 6 Knot on the South Beach. Also present were 100 each of Ringed Plover and Sanderling and a single Black-tailed Godwit All 6 Knot are in the above pic of a mixed flock of waders

On the 21st, after work, I seawatched from Deep Point but was cut short after an hour from a call for me to get back to work. I returned again for another half an hour. From 18.00-19.00 and 20.00-20.30, I observed all goin from east to west, 41 Great, 2 Balearic and 90 Shearwater and 15 Fulmar.

A few days ago I had this Hornet Hoverfly at Porth Hellick

“Migrants don’t buy influence and subvert democracy, that’s billionaires”

The Enemy of the Working Class Travels by Private Jet not Migrant Dinghy | Zarah Sultana MP

Record number of Mediterranean Gull for Scilly

16th August 2020

3 Mediterranean Gull hanging out with below, a single Black-headed Gull, in Tresco Channel

While kayaking off Samson at low tide this morning, I counted 30 Mediterranean Gull. Later on, off Tresco, I identified a 1st winter that I didn’t see off Samson making it a Scilly record of 31 Mediterranean Gull!! They were all juveniles except for 7 adults and a single 2nd winter. I think before this the record was 26 birds at Porthloo. Throughout the day while kayaking or on land, Med Gulls seemed to be all over the shop and I reckon there are probably 40-45 individuals knocking around the islands. Who knows, but it’s more than 31 and there’s a good chance the record could be short-lived. I also had 11 together on Tresco Abbey Pool, although birds were moving in and out of the pool and Ren also had 15 at Porthcressa, St Mary’s. There’s be an obvious large arrival of Mediterranean Gull on Scilly in the last day. I also had 4 Little Egret off Samson.

In the last day there has been a largest arrival of Mediterranean Gull on Scilly All photos taken while kayaking

This adult appeared came acroos as a hybrid MediterraneanxBlack-headed Gull

Yesterday after work, I kayaked over to Tresco and in the evening light I had a handful of juvenile Mediterranean Gull fly catching around Tresco abbey Pool. One of the individuals appeared to be a MediterraneanxBlack-headed Gull hybrid

After counting Mediterranean Gulls, I made my ways towards Bryher. After walking around for two hours the highlight was a Redstart in the garden west of the pool where there were 2 Dunlin. Otherwise it was hard work with only 2 Willow Warbler and Blackcap and single Chiffchaff.

Just got a record shot of this Redstart before it disappeared

And only 2 Willow Warbler while on Bryher


A short kayak to Tresco to check out the pools and the only waders were 11 Greenshank, 8 Redshank, a single Common Sandpiper and Kingfisher. No sign of the Whinchat or the Wood Sandpiper that flew south towards St Mary’s that I had here two days ago. On the South Beach, there were still good numbers of waders. 3 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull isn’t unusual but a 2nd winter is for this time of year on Scilly.

Yesterdays Whinchat in the evening light flycatching next to the David Hunt Hide

There were up to 3 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull on the south Beach

And with them and 100s of other large gulls I picked out this 2nd summer Yellow-legged Gull All photos of gulls taken while kayaking.

Migrants Are Not Your Enemy. Corrupt Politicians Are | Professor John Ashton

Garganey at Tresco Great Pool

13th August 2020

After work I kayaked across to Tresco and for my effort found the first Garganey so far this year on Scilly on the Great Pool, although a long ways off

A quick look for the Pied Flycatcher that was reported earlier in the morning in the Garrison pines, found it near to the cadet hut and was my first this autumn. The calm conditions got me in my kayak after work and I arrived on Tresco just after 17.00. I kayaked two days ago to Tresco and on the South Beach this evening, I saw the same waders. 13 Dunlin, 50+Turnstone, 140 Sanderling, 30+Ringed Plover and the first Knot of the year. There were also 2 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and 2 Wheatear on the beach.

This juvenile Knot was the first of the year

There were also 2 Greenland Wheatear on the beach including this male

Before reaching Tresco, I had this Peregrine off Porthloo and I got pretty close to you in the kayak

Both pools were absent of waders but a scan from the David Hunt hide produced a Garganey feeding a long ways off on the Great Pool but I managed to get some record shots in the dull light. New in were 7 Teal and 2 Little Egret also on the pool and a handful of Willow Warbler were on Pool Road. Otherwise there was not much else of note and I made the return home passing Mediterranean Gulls only meters away on the calm water.

Heavily cropped shot of the juvenile Garganey on the Great Pool

Yesterday I had this Osprey pass west over the airfield in the evening. Again it’s a heavily cropped shot as the bird was pretty high up and distant.

The last day of July, Mick Scott and Ross Newham turned up a Black Kite and I managed to connect with from the castle, a long ways off, over Longstones. On the 4th August, while playing football at Carn Gwarvel in the evening, I observed 2 Black-tailed Godwit fly south. In the last week Willow Warbler have increased and I seen single Whitethroat at Porth Hellick and Lower Moors and Porth Hellick. The two latter sites I’ve also had the first Water Rail of the autumn, 11th and a Hobby flew west over the garden. Also, Jim has trapped 3 juvenile Cetti’s Warbler at Porth Hellick and I heard one near to the hides a few days ago.

At Higher moors I came across a pair of chiffchaff busy feeding 4 youngsters as well as chasing off the Willow Warblers

There were up to 6 Willow Warbler also at Higher moors with two also on the Garriso, 11th

Reed Warbler

Meadow Pipit appeared to have had a good breeding season on St Mary’s

Great Black-backed Gull regally end up on the bird table and spend their time appearing through the window. Look the bill on that thing? And the individual that I took a pic at Morning Point, also spends it’s time on the bird table

EXPOSED: Conservatives hand Coronavirus Contracts Worth Millions to Friends | Peter Geoghegan

Aspie Nomad

Define yourself. Defy your limits.


Go to for archives from the 2010-19

Discover WordPress

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

The Atavist Magazine

Go to for archives from the 2010-19


Longreads : The best longform stories on the web News

The latest news on and the WordPress community.