Design a site like this with
Get started

1st INDIGO BUNTING for Scilly

25th October 2020

Mega find by Louis Cross with this INDIGO BUNTING on St Agnes this afternoon and was only the third British record!!

The moving depression acoss the Atlantic on the 23rd/24th, with a leading warm front and reaching our shores with in 24-36 hours later, surely had to produce the goods. And it did, starting off with Jamie Partridge turning up a ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK late yesterday afternoon on Gugh. Jamie’s now discovered two grosebeaks after the an individual he first encounted on St Agnes three years ago in October! No sign of the Gugh bird today but James Paker came across a Red-eyed Vireo at Lower Town Farm, St Agnes. Shortly afterwards on Bryher, Mark Telfer also tyurned up a Red-eyed Vireo next to the dump area.

I thought of twitching for the Gugh grosebeak myself this morning but opted to go and find mine own instead. As there was a heavy shower moving through, I started off at Porthloo where there were 2 Black Redstart, 6 White and 4 Pied Wagtail and single Wheatear, Common Sandpiper and Bar-tailed Godwit. At Porth Hellick, there were a single Jack Snipe, 3 Yellow-browed Warbler, 10 Chiffchaff with the vocal Great-spotted Woodpecker nearby. Another 2 Yellow-browed Warbler were at Carn Friars and it was while walking through the Salkee fields that I observed the Glossy Ibis circling the farm buildings area before flying off low north. At Holy Vale there were 4 more birds with 15 Chiffchaff. Close by at the stables, 12 White and 2 Pied and a single Yellow Wagtail were feeding.

There were 2 Black Redstart at Porthloo

Also this wet Wheatear

And 6 White and 4 Pied Wagtail including this individual

At last I connected with the Glossy Ibis after missing it by seconds in flight in the last four days that it’s been on St Mary’s after it arrived from first being seen on St Agnes. This being my forth individual that I’ve seen on Scilly

At the stables, there were another 8 White Wagtail

Altogether I had a total of 9 Yellow-browed Warbler before news broke of the Indogo Bunting

It was while I was goin through some 60 Meadow Pipit that a photo of an Indigo Bunting came on the local Scilly Bird News WhatsApp group! And that was it. I’m sure like most of the birders on the group were thinking, where was the pic taken? So I immediatly asked that question, thinking that it’s been forwarded onto the wrong group and was taken somewhere in the US and also, I really believed that Indigo Bunting is a species that I would never see on Scilly. But it wasn’t. It was taken by the Big Pool on bloody St Agnes!! Shite!! It had just gone 14.00 and forty five minutes later, I was on the Kingfisher with a small number of birders, heading straight to the latter island. I jumped off the boat and I ran like the devil, with Scott Ried close behind and we were the first two to get onto the INDIGO BUNTING from the boat. The bunting was feeding on a track next to a bonfire, north of the Big Pool and showed very well for the twenty birders that were already present when we turned up. A lot of folk had already left after seeing it.

When I first saw the INDIGO BUNTING, the light was ideal with the sun almost behind

However, it wasn’t long before the light changed with the sun going down pretty fast

After a good thirty minutes and congratulating the main man, Louis Cross, on his mega find, I made the two minute walk to the observertry garden to try and connect with the Red-eyed Vireo. I was told that it was here ten minutes ago but some twenty minutes later, Mark Preswood picked it up at close range before it flew into a nearby Pittosporum hedge and was out in the open until Fran Hicks flushed it with his gater as he drove pased just below it. I had an hour to kill and went off into Frans fields. Before I left, I had to go and see the bunting again and for ten minutes the Indigo Bunting showed extremely well as it grovelled only three meters from a few of us before we all had to go to catch the boat to St Mary’s.

This Red-eyed Vireo was only a two minute walk in the Observatry garden from the Indigo Bunting

Just before leaving to catch the boat back home, I had one more look at the INDGO BUNTING and this time it was still feeding on the same track only a few meters away! It’s predicted that more yanks should turn up from across the pond this week as the weather system looks ideal with another fast depression arriving on Tuesday followed one on Thursday.

Two days ago, I came across the the flock of grey geese, including 4 Pink-footed, 2 Russian White-fronted and a single Greylag Goose, near to the stables and have been around for a while but no sign of them today

One of the Russian White-fronted Geese turned up on Porthloo Duckpond, 17th, and swan around with my ducks, Graham Gordon at the front with Pablo Jr, white and Coal. I’ve got a pic of their parents, my other ducks I had before they escaped, swimming around with a Surf Scoter at Porthcressa!

The image above of 7 Pink-footed and the single Greylag Goose was taken last week over the stables before the 2 White-fronted Geese arrived

This Short-eared Owl has been roosting on the track up to Harry’s Walls since last week abnd was still present today

Also two days ago, this probable Sibeian Lesser Whitethroat was at Carn Friars and proved to be a different individual that I had two weeks ago in the same area from the lack of ring on it

There’s been small numbers of Red-breasted Flycatcer on Scilly so far this auntunm but I’ve only caught up with this one on the 15th at Lower Broom, Garrison

Also on the 17th, I saw my only Lapland Bunting so far this year at Borough Farm before it was taken by a Sparrowhawk the next day!

The Most Incompetent Government of My Lifetime | Professor John Ashton

“The circuit that needs breaking is the clique that’s running this disaster”

Support DDN:…00:00

The most incompetent government of my lifetime 01:47 Second Wave is here 04:44 Coalition government? 06:04 Education Crisis 07:15 Circuit Breaker 08:16 A government run by magical thinkers 09:30 A divided kingdom? 10:15 Fast moving numbers 11:34 The coming economic crisis 13:05 Time for the best people to take charge 14:28 We need to play our part 16:12 Local Leaders 16:49 We can still do this together


Personal Scilly day record of 25 Yellow-browed Warbler!!

11th October 2020

There must of been over 70 Yellow-browed Warbler on St Mary’s today and I got a personal Scilly day record of 25 including this individual at Carn Friars where there were three birds

Day off!! And for the first time this year, not a single call for me to get back to work. After feeding the 70 Herring Gull outside my window, I made my ways to the airfield in the cold NNW and got the Pectoral Sandpiper near to the turning circle. A few minutes later, a call from Tony Gilbert got me onto a Hooded Crow also on the airfield. There were also 40 Meadow Pipit, 3 White Wagtail, 3 Wheatear, 2 Sparrowhawk and single Skylark and Grey Wagtail flew over.

This Pectoral Sandpiper arrived during the week and has been communing with the airfield and Porth Hellick

This Hooded Crow could be the individual that’s been on Tresco for the last two months after I first saw it flying low across the water from Samson while I was kayaking.

At Porth Hellick, it was turning a lot warmer with the drop in the wind and the sun coming out. 3 Crossbill flew east and the Wigeon with 3 Teal were on the pool. Around the hides were 4 Yellow-browed warbler with another four around the loop trail. Goin by the numbers of Yellow-browed Warbler sightings coming on the Scilly Bird News whatsApp group, it was pretty obvious that there had been a large arrival of the species over night and at Carn Friars a bit of pishing had 3 Yellow-browed Warbler together at very close range. Also at the latter sight there were 3 Swallow, 2 Siskin and a single Whinchat. Returning to Porth Hellick, I found an eastern ‘type’ Lesser Whitethroat, probably ‘blythi’ in a Sallow near to the beach. Shortly afterwards it flew off towards Carn Friars where I lost it. It wasn’t long until I reached Salkee and found another eastern ‘type’ Lesser Whitethroat, probably ‘blithi‘ I also got my first 7 Redwing of the autumn. News came on that yesterdays SWAINSON’S THRUSH, that was found by Steve Dodgson on Bryher, was still there and also a Radde’s Warbler was at nearby Vine Cafe and on St Martin’s, Chris Townsend’s Red-eyed Vireo was still present. As I missed out on the SWAINSON’S THRUSH at the Standing Stones field a few days ago, I thought I would get the kayak out and twitch both birds on Bryher. If the BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER wasn’t a one day bird on Tresco, two days ago, I was goin to kayak twitch it the following the morning. Not long after the Radde’s turns up on Bryher, Craig Robinson goes and finds another Radde’s Warbler on Tresco. That changed my mind to stay on St Mary’s and search for my own Radde’s.

It had only gone mid-day and already I had under my belt, 11 Yellow-browed Warbler. Breaking my personal day record of 7 birds I had on Tresco in November a long time ago.

Whinchat at Carn Friars

Eastern ‘type’ Lesser Whitethroat, probably ‘blythi’ I had briefly at Porth Hellick. Note the ring on the right leg in the top image

Hunger got the better of me and at home I scanned the pines from the window for a Yellow-browed Warbler and instead I got a single Chiffchaff and Blackcap. However, I did get a garden tick in the shape of a Redstart in the middle of the field. Belly full and I was out again and for my effort and I got another 14 Yellow-browed Warbler including 5 in the east end of the Standing Field and another four in the area of Lower Moors. On the pool there were 6 Snipe with a single Jack Snipe. Passing Sunnyside, I paused to have a look at the 5 Pink-footed and 2 Greylag Geese from the road in the field opposite the farm. At Content there was a single Yellow-browed Warbler and my first Woodcock of the autumn. It was getting dark and I could of finished off adding more Yellow-browed Warbler to the 25 that I had already seen but decided to bird other areas where I knew there wouldn’t be a sniff of one and there wasn’t. Earlier on, news included an Olive-backed Pipit heard over telegraph and a Citrine Wagtail called over Normandy and just before dark, a Dusky Warbler was found at the west end of Little Porth Beach. I rushed for the latter species, only to be told that it had gone missing five minutes ago and was not seen again. Hopefully it will stick and give us all a second chance in seeing it tomorrow.

This Redstart was a garden tick

There were also 4 Stonechat in the garden

This Jack Snipe was hanging out with 6 Snipe at Lower Moors

A pish in the Standing Stones field and out came 4 Yellow-browed Warbler with a vocal individual nearby. Including the 70 odd on St Mary’s, there were also 15 on St Agnes, 4 on Gugh, 10 on Tresco, 5 on Bryher and 2 on St Martins. Probably over 100 Yellow-browed Warbler on Scilly today! By far, YBW was the commonest migrant on the islands.

5 Pink-footed Geese stretching their wings a few evenings ago over Porth Hellick before returning to the Sunnyside fields

Grey Wagtail also from a few evening ago at Newford Duckpond

George Monbiot on Tory Corruption

“Behind closed doors oligarchs sit down with ministers and say ‘this is what we want’ & ministers say ‘sure, here it is’.”

Join the Future of Journalism: Support DDN:…

American Golden Plover at Telegraph

5th October 2020

Yesterday afternoon, I found this distant American Golden Plover overhead while at Telegraph and managed to get this record shot before heading off towards the airfield. Today it was relocated at Castle Down, Tresco and was identified as a juvenile.

Another busy day at work but an hour off, mid-afternoon, and I managed to find a single Yellow-browed Warbler and Northern ‘type’ Willow Warbler with 2 Goldcrest at Content Lane. There were also 40 Meadow Pipit, male Merlin and a single Snipe in the area and later on just before dark, there was a Common Sandpiper just below the Mermaid car park wall.

Most years, I find Northern ‘type’ Willow Warbler on Scilly and Content seems to be the place that I come across them with this being my forth for this sight.

Unfortunately, the Yellow-browed Warbler didn’t show as well as the Willow Warbler in the same trees.

On one occasion, I had three Northern ‘type’ Willow Warbler together at the Higher Moors area five year ago in November including a interesting cracking frosty individual with a wing-bars and bright orange legs

Although it was my day off yesterday, I was still dragged into work. However, I still managed to find an American Golden Plover. It wasn’t until mid-morning that I got out and was listening to the Yellow-browed Warbler at Newford Duckpond where there were also 4 Siskin and a male Sparrowhawk. There were single Sand and House Martin hawking with 3 Swallow at Watermill Cove with a vocal Yellow-browed Warbler that’s been there for a few days. At Innisigen I got a single Pied Flycatcher and in the tall pines, 3 noisy Crossbill. It wasn’t long until I returned back to work and at 13.30 with Graham Gordon, I was back out in the field. We just happened to be at Deep Point when a Wryneck was found in the quarry. Despite arriving within minutes of it being first seen, we dipped. Will Scott flushed a possible GREAT SNIPE at Trewince at about 15.45 . An hour later, I decided to go and kick the nearby Content fields while Graham went home to make dinner. I had only just arrived at the latter sight when I picked up a high flying golden Plover flying towards the airfield and with my bins, I could make out it was a ‘lesser’ Golden Plover from the narrow wings. I immediately called Graham, to tell him what had just observed and thought that it’s probably goin to turn out to be a American Golden Plover if it is refound that is. Still busy talking to him, I flushed the 5 Pink-footed Geese out the Pungie Lane fields, with no idea they were there, having my head down while walking. Immediately after speaking to Graham, I could hear a Spotted Redshank but when I searched for it in the air, it turned out to be the ‘lesser’ Golden Plover coming from the south. It did a big loop and flew back south towards the airfield again, giving that Spotshank ‘type’ call three times. I knew that Pacific Golden Plover sound like Spotshank and the other ‘lesser’ American Golden Plover, don’t. Well, that’s what I thought anyway. I put out on the WhatsApp Group ‘Had a narrow winged plover over Telegraph towards airfield Sounded like Pacific in the three calls it gave Spotshank call’ In the drizzle and blustery conditions, a few of us searched the airfield and golf cause before it got dark and not a sniff of it.

Fortunately, I had my recorder on and despite the howling wind, I still managed to get a sound recording of it as it flew past overhead. I sent the recording off to James Lidster, who told me that yanky plover can also give the spotshank call. I had no idea. Jim sent the recording off to the main man, Magnuts Robb. And this morning, I was told by Jim that Robb’s reply was ‘Undoubtedly an American Golden Plover’ I was happy with that, although Pacific Golden Plover would have been the second Scilly record. Later in the day, the American Golden Plover was relocated with 3 Golden Plover at Castle Down, Tresco. Maybe it’s a sign that’s yanks are on there way or did the plover just make the short flight from southern Island in these strong NW. Looking at the next few days weather, it looks promising for more yanks to arrive on Scilly from across the pond.

This is all I got on the 5 Pink-footed Geese as they flew off south after I flushed them out of the fields bordering Pungies Lane

I found this Yellow-browed Warbler at Parting Carn on the 30th September and it was my first of the year. I saw two more later that day at Lower Moors

After work, a look in the garden a few days ago and there were 2 Whinchat in the evening light with a Spotted Flycatcher nearby

Why Billionaires Should Pay for the Coronavirus Crisis | Grace Blakeley

“Not working people who sacrificed their lives to keep our economy going” Full 25min Interview with Grace Blakeley: Join the Future of Journalism: Support Grace Blakeley’s work: Support DDN:…

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.