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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

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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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