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Scilly record of 24 Cattle Egrets

31st October 2020

Maybe there was a record count of 24 Cattle Egret on Scilly today, and I saw 13 of them, for me and Ren, this very showy Nightingale stole the limelight at Little Porth Beach. from the egrets

Just after 10.00 this morning, I had seen the Russian White-throated and Greylag Goose at Carn Vean, the Glossy Ibis at Pating Carm Farm, and at Higher Lanes, 5 Cattle Egret. And all that time I was working. Fortunately the birds could be observed from the road or in the egrets case, a few seconds walk from my wagon into Chas Woods garden. As there were still 8 from yesterday on Tresco, later increasing to 9, it was thought that these 5 behind Chas’s garden, were probably part of the other flock of 8 that arrived on St Agnes at the same time as the Tresco birds. However, shortly afterwards, the prusumed St Agnes 8 were discovered at Green Lane just up road.

While the rest of the flock of grey geese departed a few days ago, the Greylag, behind, and one of the Russian White-Fronted Geese, decided to stick around favoring the field opposite Carn Vean entrance.

Shortly after seeing the geese, I spotted the Glossy Ibis in the pig field next to the road as I drove past.

It wasn’t long after the Ibis that I was observing 5 Cattle Egret from Chas’s garden at Higher Lanes

Early afternoon, I pitched up to the west end of Little Porth to hopefully connect with the long-staying Nightingale that I’ve dipped out on so many times.’It was here a few minutes ago’ Great stuff! Thanks Ren. Some twenty minutes later I spotted the Nightingale on the wall and got both Mick Turton and Ren on to it. For the next twenty minutes, the bird was out in the open showing remarkably well in among the boulders and seaweed until it was just below us. I wanted to stay around but work got in the way. It wasn’t until 15.00 that I got up to Green Lane and found that the 8 Cattle Egret were still feeding in the same cattle field where also a Kingfisher flew straight through. News came on that there was single Brambling just around the corner at Pelistry. A few minutes later I got the Brambling with 2 Linnet and 30 Chaffinch on the path down to the beach.

I spent as much time as I could with this Nightingale feeding just below Ren and I at the west end of Little Porth as I can’t see myself observing an individual like this again. It was out in the open in all the time the twenty minutes that I was there getting some crippling views of it.

Cattle Egrets were well spread out on the islands today, setting a Scilly record of 24 birds in total. This included 9 on Tresco, 2 on St Martins and 13 on St Mary’s including the 8 above at Green Lane with another 5 birds nearby at Higher Lanes.

It was close to high tide and I made my way to Porthloo. There were 12 Mediterranean and 120 Black-headed Gull feeding on the surf but as soon as I threw bread out, the larger gulls dropped down from nowhere including the 3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull, that I had here two days ago, quickly followed by a 2nd winter. Both birds were very brief and moved on. I was hoping that one of the white-wingers might come in and with that, while in my wagon, an immature Glaucous Gull appeared from nowhere. Like all the other gulls it was always back on and as quickly as it appeared it was gone giving no chance of a record shot. I put the news out and then I was also gone, back to work. I returned to Porthloo later on and after the Glaucous Gull had spent time behind the Sapphire out of the bay to the delight of the birders on board, it came back in and Alan Conlin immediately identified it as a Glaucous hybrid. When I first saw it earlier, I did question the appearance of an all darkish tail but didn’t see the obvious three dark outer primaries as it flew off. After a few sweeps and interacting with the other gulls in front of us, it was off again and so was I as I had to get to the airport. I finished off the day with the Glossy Ibis at Parting Carn Farm as I passed the pig field it hangs out in.

Threw out some bread at Porthloo and attracted both this 2nd and 3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull

This gull at Little Porth, is thought to be a be a juvenile GlaucousxHering Gull I believe the only other record of Viking Gull on Scilly, is a juvenile I had on Tresco in December 2017

There were up to 12 Mediterreanen Gull feeding including the 7 above.

Three days ago I had this distant immature Iceland Gull also at Porthloo

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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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