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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!

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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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