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Probable Mealy Redpoll at Sunnyside

29th December 2020

This probable Mealy Redpoll at Sunnyside showed very well but the light made it hard work for photography

The plan was to meet up with Martin Goodey at Morning Point but he got delayed after finding an adult Glaucous Gull on top of the seal carcass at Porthloo. About 13.30, I teamed up with Richie Aston at the point and out of the 100 odd Herring Gull, the 2 Iceland Gull, including ‘Billy’ who was in the garden eailer on, also came in. It wasn’t long until they were joined by one of the juvenile Glaucous Gull from yesterday. All three white-wingers showed well. More than can be said for the new juvenile Iceland Gull that we just got onto as it passed overhead straight through towards Poerthcressa Beach. That’s two new Iceland Gull in an equal number of days and the eighth so this far this autunm and I’ve managed to see seven of them. We also got the back end of what appeared to be a hybrid adult HerringxLesser Black Backed Gull, as it was flying away. Although the wind had dropped considerably, there were some 500 Kittiwake out at sea with less numbers of Gannet and altogether only 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull compared to the 300 yesterday.

‘Billy’ is starting to visit the garden more regularly since an absense of two weeks after arriving on Scilly nearly two months ago when it first turned up in the garden.

All white-wingers, including the Iceland and the juvenile Glaucous gull, showed off superbly but the new in juvenile Iceland Gull flew straight through and was too fast to get a pic of it.

There were also up to 8 Common Gull, including this 1st winter and 7 Mediterranean Gull

This was the all I could get on what appears to be a hybrid adult HerringxLesser Black Backed Gull, as it was flying away

The Great Northern Diver was still in Porthcrssa Bay

You would think that the last thing we would want to see is another white-winger? As it’s an adult Glaucous Gull, we couldn’t resist a look at Martins bird at Porthloo and after ten minutes of snapping it off at very close range on the beach, we made our ways to Sunnyside, with Rob Lambert in the back, to have a look at the probable Mealy Redpoll that Will found nearly two week ago at nearby Rose Hill and put it out as a Mealy Redpoll. This bird has been feeding in the same weedy field at Sunnyside for over a week. During this time, it kept on being put out as a redpoll, them thinking that they had a Lesser Redpoll. As a result, I and others left it until Scott saw it yesterday and realised that it was Wills probable Mealy Redpoll. When I first saw it, you could clearly see that it wasn’t a Lesser Redpoll but which race it was, then I have no idea. The experts on the mainland and further afield are leaning towards Mealy Redpoll. Like the other two of the latter species that I’ve seen on Scilly, this individual was showing very well but dark clouds overhead for photography was goin to be a probablem. The light was goin pretty fast and it was decided to return tomorrow if it was still present. After seeing a Firecrest in the same field, We nipped back to Porthloo to see if anythin had come in why we were away. There had, and with the Glaucous and 2 long staying Iceland Gulls was the new juveile Iceland Gull that Richie and I had eailer at Morning Point. This time it showed a lot better but it was almost dark and again it made it hard work for photography.

The adult Glaucous Gull at Porthloo showed off at very close range with the 2 Iceland Gull

Very Intersting bird. If this does turn out to be a Mealy Redpoll, then it will be only my third Scilly record of this race. Or is a species? With redpoll taxa change all the time, I just can’t keep up.

This Firecrest also showed well in the same fied as the redpoll


What a handsome brute

Except for the few markings above and behind the eye and down the neck, the new in juvenile Iceland Gull almost looks identical to the long staying pale-headed individual, which in comparison in the image above with the Glaucous Gull, has a clean head and neck

Stonechat in good numbers

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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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