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The Glaucous Gull is now watching the football with me!

25th January 2021

Crazy as it sounds, it really did look like the Glaucous Gull was peering into the room from the bird table, to see how the game between Man United and Liverpool was goin. I reckon he’s a Liverpool fan Does anyone know of Glaucous Gulls on bird tables or supporting Liverpool?

This moening first thing, the Glaucous Gull appeared on the bird table as usual and stuffed his face. I left him and in the garden ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull, to it and at 09.00, I was setting off in the kayak towards the Eatern Isles. The conditions were spot on and it felt like an early warm spring day. I didn’t see anythin of note until I came across a 2nd winter Scandinavian Herring Gull sat on Crow Rock. At the west of the Eastern Isles there were Razorbill, Guillimot, Great Northern Diver and feeding south off Crow Sound, some 100 Kittiwake. A breif stop off at Little Arthur, flushed 3 Snipe and a scan to the north picked up the 3 Common Scoter and 3 Slavonian Grebe. However, when I went out searching on the water for the two latter species, I could only find the Slavs and they vanished after shortly picking them up as well. From the Eastern Isles to Samson, all I came across were 8 Great Northern Diver and off the South Beach of Tresco, the Eider off Skirt Iland.

Looking from the Eastern Isles towards Tresco and St Helens in the distance

This butch, 2nd winter Scandinavain Herring Gull, was sat on Crow Rock before flying off towards Tresco. This is my second record of this race in a week and there are less than 10 Scilly records!

I encounted both Guillemot and Razorbill in very small numbers

A few of the Kittiwakes flew in closer off the Eastern Isles

Fulmars were paring up off the Eastern Isles

Looking towards the Daymark on St Martins from the Eastern Isles

The Eider was still hanging out off Skirt Island

I only came across 9 Great Northern Diver today

On Samson it was unusally quiet with 100 Turnstone, 180 Black-headed Gull and at a minimum, 140+Rock Pipit of interest. Still no sign of the 4 Spoonbill or 4 Brent Geese and I guess they’ve moved on. As the Humpback Whale was still being sighted off the south of Samson, I thought I’ll give it a try and see if I could relocate it. After twenty minutes, I gave up as the swell was pretty high and I couldn’t repeat Christmas day when I kayaked with the whale. Although the conditions on that day, were a lot worse than today. I reckon I’ll have another chance in the next few weeks to experience that close encounter with the beast again. Returning home, the Fulmars and Grey Seals were checking me out and both species showed superbly and wouldn’t leave me alone until I was nearing Green Island. I returned home to relax and look forward to the big game and somethin to get down my neck. Just before dark, the Glaucous Gull took what he could off the bird table and just stood there. Chatting to Martin Goodey on FB while I stuffed my face, I told him that the Glauc is been standing on the table looking into the room for awhile now. I was ingrossed in the game and it appeared that the Glauc was as well in the way that he was looking in the direction of the laptop. I think he was really eyeing up my dinner.

Looking from the Eastern Isles and to the left, St Mary’s with my next desinatation, Samson way off in the distance.

Love Fulmars and there were 40 odd birds checking me out with Grey Seal

Altogether on both the west and east beaches of Samson there were some 140 Rock Pipit with another 30 I had on Little Arthur in just the bay where I parked in How many numbers winter on scilly?

Some 180 Black-headed Gull were off Samson

You know when the Glaucous Gull has arrived on the bird table as it suddenly goes all dark in the room

Just before dark, he flew off to roost but I know he will be back first thing tomorrow morning

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The Glaucous Gull is now on my bird table!!

22nd January 2021

Has anyone ever had an Iceland or Glaucous Gull on their bird table? I reckon this is goin to become a regular thing if the Glaucous Gull sticks around

I guess it was only a matter of time that ‘Gloria’ was goin to try out the bird table after spending over two weeks staring at it from the pig’s water trough only a few meters away, where he favors to hang out when visiting. Maybe it was too much for him while he was observing both the Pheasant and ‘Stumpy’ the Herring Gull stuffing themselves on top of the table. just like ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull, when he first landed on the bird table a few weeks back, I wasn’t quick enough with the camera as I was in the kitchen baking strawberry cheesecake muffins. However, this morning at 07.30, I could hear the sound of heavy wing beats outside and I thought that it was probably the Pheasant flying onto the bird table. I opened the curtains shortly afterward to see ‘Gloria’ fly off! He returned within minutes and through the window, I got not even a record shot of him, with the mobile. Over an hour later he was back on the table and this time I got him with the camera and with the window open while I was hiding behind the sofa.

Unfortunly the light was shite and ‘Gloria’ the Gloucous Gull was only on the bird table for a few seconds. ‘Gloria’ always reminds me of Van he Man’s song of the same name Although I’ve always favored Hendrix’s cover.

I had to get to work and it wasn’t until the afternoon while back home, that I was chatting to a Guardian reporter, Steve, when from nowhere ‘Gloria’ came almost through the window! He just sat there on top of the table. The light was good and I was thinking that this could be the last time he’s up there. ‘Erm, just a sec Steve. Erm, I’ve got a Glaucous Gull on my bird table only an arms length away and I need to back off to get a pic. Just hold on’ The reporter must I thought he was talking to a looney as I never heard him say anythin. Like in slow motion, I backed off, grabbing my camera at the same time, and started firing off shots. My mobile was on loudspeaker and I was whispering but kinda shouting to the reporter so not to scare off the gull ‘Just a sec. Just hold on a sec’ I hope he could make out what I was saying and not hearing somethin else. Gloria was giving me those aggressive-looking eyes and then stuffed itself, still watching me closely when lifting back up again to get the grub down it’s neck. It didn’t take me long to realise that Gloria wasn’t bothered about me. Although I was only meters away from it in my room. I fired off some more shots and then got back to Steve. ‘Sorry about that but I’ve got a male Glaucous Gull called Gloria just outside my window on the bird table’ Again, no response Then after an hour he came back ‘OK Shall we carry on. You were saying that….’ I don’t think he was impressed and as it turned out, Gloria stayed put on the table for a good five minutes while Steve and I continued to chat like Gloria wasn’t there. He returned again later on for one last bite before flying off to roost. If he sticks around for a while, if I’m not hiding behind the sofa, chatting to the reporter or morris dancing, I reckon this is goin to be a regular thing of him on top of the table if there is somethin on there for him to stuff his face with. Also during the day, ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull was in and out and I caught up with it during the afternoon at Morning Point. Yesterday for the first time, the pale-headed Iceland Gull, that’s been on St Mary’s for over two months, paid a visit with both Billy and Gloria also in the garden! And no, I’m not giving the other Iceland Gull a name as well. If you add the pig’s names that I also shout out to from the window when feeding them, then you got me calling out now, ‘Gloria, Lola and Layla. Come and get it’ And the odd one out ‘Billy’

When the Glaucous Gull wasn’t on the bird table, it was Starling, sparrows, robins, thrushes, Dunnocks, or this Pheasant.

After two weeks of staring at me making every move when at the window and also at the bird table, from the pigs trough, yesterday he made the decision to find out what was it that the Pheasant was feeding on the table. Today he couldn’t keep off the bloody thing.

The Glaucous Gull, now named by others ‘Gloria’ Don’t ask me why? Although by his large size, it is a male. Anyways, Gloria spent most of the day just in front of the window and on and off on top of the bird table after first being very briefly on it, yesterday!!

‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull back at home and later on at Morning Point

There were only 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull at Morning Point

Being present on St Mary’s for nearly two months, the pale-headed Iceland Gull finally paid a visit while at the same time the Glaucous and the other Iceland Gull were in the garden

Also had 2 Linnet and this Raven briefly touch down before being pushed on by the local crows

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Beached in a kayak with 100s of waders

17th Jamuary 2021

I was sat in my kayak beached from the tide goin out and Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Turnstone and 4 Purple Sandpiper, including the individual above, continued to feed less than a meter at times as they passed either side of the kayak.

Fed the juvenile Glaucous Gull from my window first thing and at 09.00 I made my ways down to Sharks Pit, passing the 2 juvenile Iceland Gull at Town Beach. I was back in the with the 100s of waders at the east beach of Samson again in the warm sunshine. As they fed on the shore, With the kayak, I drifted in and beached myself. The tide went out and with five minutes, I didn’t know where to point the camera as the waders were at arm’s lengths away! Scanning with my bins I picked out 4 Purple Sandpiper and it wasn’t long until they too were almost touching the nose of the kayak. I was in another place with the waders and just sat there for nearly an hour in my kayak. I could have easily stayed longer but it was so still and inviting to get back on the water and try out somewhere else. I made the move when a Peregrine scattered everything including, 250 Oystercatcher, 27 Common Gull and 170 Black-headed Gull and only a single Mediterranean Gull. No sign of the family of Brent Geese or the 4 Spoonbill but I did get an adult Yellow-legged Gull on Green Island.

Less numbers of Sanderling from 200 two days ago to 120 today

Only 5 Dunlin

And some 100 Turnstone

This Ringed Plover with colors rings on both legs, never came closer enough like most of the 250 Ringed Plover

And the stars of the show were 4 Purple Sandpiper

I could only pick out a single Mediterranean Gull Out of the 170 Black-headed Gull.

A Peregrine spooked everything including the 27 Common and 170 Black-headed Gull

This smart adult Yellow-legged Gull was on top of Green Island

Back on the water and I rowed down the Tresco Channel to New Grimbsy and back up again. Continued through the south of Tresco to Round Island and back up past the west of St Martins. The six to seven miles I kayaked, of note, all I got were the 2 Eiders. Robin tried to put me on the 3 Slavonian Grebe just north of the Eastern Isles but I just couldn’t locate them and had to make do with close-up views of the 3 Common Scoter. For my effort of Kayaking all over the shop I also counted up to 25 Great Northern Diver, 9 Grey Heron and 50+Curlew. It had gone 16.00 when I returned to Sharks Pit and as I was close by, I decided to try Lower Moors for an owl that was seen yesterday evening. The Cetti’s Warbler was noisy and my first Siberian Chiffchaff of the year was very vocal near the Shooters Screen. I stood still by the hide and the light was still good as up to 3 Woodcock started flying around. Snipe were calling and I heard 12-15 Water Rail all over the moor and at 17.10, a Short-eared Owl flew through at close range. Ideal!

Both male Eiders were atill present with one off Pentle Bay, Tresco and the other off Middle Town Beach, St Martins

The 3 Common Scoter were off the north end of the Easten Isles

Altogether, I had a total of 25 Great Northern Diver

Stopped off at the Eastern Isles to have a pee, where I kicked up 3 Snipe, after being sat in the kayak for three hours since leaving Samson.

This Common Sandpiper has decided to overwinter at Porthcressa and yesterday, I got to see it for the first time.

This 4th winter HerringxLesser Black-backed Gull hybrid at Morning Point, is presumed to be the same bird that Richie and I had over a week ago that we observed very briefly flying away from us at the same sight.

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First Cetti’s Warbler for Tresco

15th January 2021

This morning I kayaked to Samson where I discovered that there are now 4 Spoonbill and on the west beach, this new juvenile Iceland Gull.

For the first time since Sunday, the conditions were ideal for getting out in the kayak and by 08.30 I had reached Samson when the tide was just turning and where it proved to be pretty productive. Some 5-600 waders were feeding on the shore including, 220 Sanderling, 200+Ringed Plover, 100+Turnstone, 6 Dunlin, 34 Curlew, 2 Redshank and 2 Purple Sandpiper. There was also 6 Mediterranean Gull and a high count of 23 Common Gull. A quick stomp over between the two hills and nothin of note. It was only when I was rowing east out towards Tresco that I caught the 3 Spoonbill touching down on a group of rocks just off Samson. Then, with my naked eye, I picked up a distant white-winger coming from Bryher and before I could get my bins on it, it disappeared behind the North Hill of Samson. It looked good for an Iceland Gull but I had to check it out just incase it turned out to be a Kumlien’s Gull. I took the chance and found myself back on Samson scanning the west beach. It payed off as there it was on the shore and proved to a new juvenile Iceland Gull. As I returned to my kayak, a Spoonbill flew in from the west overhead and towards Tresco. I looked at the rocks just off Samson to see that there were still 3 Spoonbill sat on top. So there are now 4 Spoonbill altogether and I’m guessing the loner is the 1st winter that’s been making the odd visit to St Mary’s in the last two weeks.

While the 3 Spoonbill were on the rocks off Samson, this 1st winter flew in from the west, NE towards Tresco

And just before the Spoonbill appeared from the west, this juvenile Iceland Gull flew in from the north from Bryher and proved to be a new arrival making it now four Iceland Gull recorded already this year on Scilly

On the east shore of Samson there were some 5-600 waders including this Purple Sandpiper

In with the high count of 23 Common Gull were up to 6 Mediterranean Gull including this 1st winter

As there have three cases of covid on Tresco, I was told that it was sound to visit the island. Near to Skirt Island there was the female Eider and I thought I had turned up another adult Scandinavain Herring Gull. However, when I returned home, a quick check at the images proved it to be the same adult I had nine days ago at Morning Point. I didn’t have much time and just managed to do the two pools and Pool Road. The wind was predicted to increase later on and I needed to return in the next two hours and it had already gone mid-day. It was the same old wildfowl on the Great Pool with the male Shoveler, female Tufted Duck, 4 Wigeon and Teal, Gadwal and Mallard. However, there was no sign of the female Pintail or the 7 Pochard from last week. The sun came out while walking Pool Road and as a result I got 3 Firecrest with the 15 Chiifchaff. This made it 4 Firecrest altogether as I heard one earlier at Rosefield Crossroad. I also head the Great Spotted Woodpecker nearby and the Buzzard flew towards Abbey Woods. Returning back east along the road, I stopped off at the David Hunt hide for the second time. It was while in the hide that I could hear a vocal Cetti’s Warbler calling to my left. It continued to call when I rushed out to try and see it. All I got was a glimpse now and then, as it stayed down low in the reeds. As there has never been a record of Cetti’s Warbler away from St Mary’s, this makes it the first record for Tresco. Maybe it’s one of the youngesters from this year expanding it’s range just a little bit further out from St Mary’s. I could feel the wind picking up as I heard yet another Firecrest passing the west end of the Abbey Pool. My guess is that this is probably the fifth bird of the day. Who knows but where have they all come from as there has been a single on every visit I’ve made to Tresco this winter? It was shortly after 1600 and I was back home feeding my mate the juvenile Glaucous Gull only meters away in front of my window before he flew off to roost. I don’t think there are many folk who can say that they’ve got a Glaucous Gull that hangs around waiting for you to come home and an Iceland Gull as well!

This adult Scandinavain Herring Gull near to skirt Island, proved to be the same adult I had nine days ago at Morning Point.

Up to 4 Firecrest were along Pool Road with possibly a different bird on the west end of the Abbey Pool

There were also up to 15 Chiffchaff

It’s great to come home to a Glaucous Gull begging at such close range, only meters away from your window. If this continues with ‘Billy’ the Icland Gull, who also begs waiting patently at the window, I’ll have to give him a name as well.

And here’s the pro ‘Billy’ whose been begging at my window now for two and half months. It’s even landed on the bird table!

And here’s poor old ‘Stumpy’ who hangs out with ‘Kirk’ the Song Thrush every day

yesterday at Morning Point, I had this 2nd winter Yellow-legged Gull and observed a Sparrowhawk in off the sea.

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Red-throated Diver at Innisidgen

10th January 2021

This Red-throated Diver flew directly overhead and flew east out to sea while I was kayaking in Crow Sound off innisidgen

Despite the frosty morning first thing, out in the kayak, I was warm as toast and found myself taking off my wooly hat as I set out east towards the Eastern Isles from Shark Pit, St Mary’s. I passed the 1st winter male Eider at Pendrathen where 2 Raven flew out east towards St Martins, and within thirty minutes of leaving the shore, I was at Hats Boy in Crow Sound, where I successfully twitched a Red-necked Grebe with Richie Asten yesterday. The grebe was only my third Scilly record and a lifer for Richie! It was now gone 09.00 and out on the water, the conditions were ideal for scanning for the grebe, but all I could manage were Great Northern Divers. After an hour, I ventured into the Eastern Isles and at the north side, while I was watching 2 Common Scoter, news came on that the Red-throated Diver from last week, had been relocated back off Innisidgen. As I was like a few minutes away, I had to go and have a look at it. Again I was in familiar waters and like a few days ago in the kayak, I just couldn’t find the danm thing. I had been out SE of Tolls Island for over an hour and was having a great time observing Kittiwakes catching Anchovies off the surface of the water and then being harassed by the Lesser Black-backed Gulls. I decided to move in towards the east of Hats Boy and it was there that I could see a diver flying towards me. I lifted my bins up. Shite! It was the Red-throated Diver! I fumbled for my camera and just managed to fire off two shots as it flew past. It circled and then flew east out to sea. Boy, I was lucky to get that one. All the time, the diver was feeding north of Hats Boy and I must have rowed straight past it when I left the two scoters.

Looking south out of Crow Sound first thing this morning

The 1st winter male Eider off Pendrathen first thing this morning

Fulmar were in small numbers off the Easten Isles

These 2 Common Scoter, north of the Easten Isles, were always in the sun

Some 60-70 Kittiwake were feeding in Crow Sound

With the Kittiwake were also 3 Common and this Mediterranean Gull

I just managed to grab my camera in time as the Red-throated Diver flew east out to sea. This was only my seventh Scilly record and two of them have been in superb summer plumage.

Leaving Grow Sound, I headed NE towards St Martins in search of the 3 Slavonian Grebe that has been around for a few days but drew a blank. It Wasn’t until I was close off to Middle Town Beach, St Martins, going through roosting waders that included Turnstone, Sanderling, Curlew, and 13 Bar-tailed Godwit and 3 Grey Plover, that news came out from Gary Prescott of 9 Purple Sandpiper on the east side of St Martins at Great Bay. The light was spot on for photography and I pulled up and made the few minutes walk to the bay. When I reached the latter site, I only found 3 Purple Sandpiper roosting on rocks some 50 or so yards away from the shore with Turnstone. Plenty of impunity to catch up with the sandpipers again in the next month. More Great Northern Divers were run over, as I made my ways towards the south side of Tresco. It wasn’t until I got to Skirt Island that I got the female Eider. The sun was still shinning when I reached Porthloo, back home on St Mary’s and there was ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull with the Glaucous ‘type’ Gull from the garden, flying above it. I had been out in the kayak from 08.00-16.00. Eight hours with only one stop off to twitch the Purple Sandpiper at St Martins but I could have easily carried on if it wasn’t for it getting dark

Gary Prescott from St Martins, took these images of me Kayaking north of Easten Isles

There were up to 13 Bar-tailed Godwit and 3 Grey Plover roosting with Turnstone just off Middle Town Beach, St Martins

2 Purple Sandpiper are just below the Turnstone roosting at the Great Bay, St Martins

I only counted 3 Guillemot throughout the day

And only 12 Great Northern Diver altogether

One of the 4 Little Egret returning to Tresco to roost from st Mary’s passing Skirt Island, Tresco with the Daymark of St Martins in the distance

The first bird I observed of the day was the male Eider off Pendrathen and the last bird I see at the end of a very long day in a kayak, is the female Eider looking east out towards the Eastern Isles, off Skirt Island, Tresco

Yesterday, there was an influx of both Lapwing and Golden Plover and this was part of a flock of 35 Golden Plover at the golf course

I also had up to 10 Goldfinch and 12 Redwing in the garden

Two days ago while watching the Humpback Whale distantly off Spencers Boy from Star Castle with Richie and Tony, this Spoonbill flew east towards town. It was getting dark at the time.

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A cracking winters day kayaking

7th January 3021

Yesterday off Morning Point, with the Adult and juvenile Glaucous Gull, was this adult Scandinavian Herring Gull. The last records were of two adults that I had in Dec/Jan 2017 and before that, I had another adult some ten years ago.

It was just getting light when I looked out from my window, and I could just make out a shape on top of the water trough only metters away from me. It was the hybrid GlaucousxHerring Gull. I fed him, it’s a beast in size, and it was still getting light when I got in my kayak at Sharks pit. The conditions were spot on with not a breath of wind and I wasn’t goin to miss out the oppunity of kayaking with the Humpback Whale again that I observed off the east side of Peninnis Head yesterday. While waiting for news on the whale, at 08.30 I was on Tresco and listening to the vocal Yellow-browed Warbler along Pool Road where there were also the 4 Cattle and 3 Little Egret feeding in the fields nearby. All the suspects that arrived before Christmas were on the Great Pool except for a male Shoveler. Single Tufted Duck, 4 Wigeon, 46 Teal and the Great Spotted Woodpecker flew towards the Abbey Woods. The Russian White=fronted and Greylag Goose from St Mary’s, were relocated by local birders visiting the island a few days ago, in the Church Fields. Sure enough they were still presnt,along with the Jackdaw from November. I was itching to get back on the water and while passing near the tip, the Buzzard flew through and all that was on the Abbey Pool with the Mallards and Teal were the 7 Pochard and the female Pintail. The bright warm sunshine did bring out the insect eating birds including 12 Chiffchaff and 20+Goldcrest.

With my knacked eye, I thought I had found another 7 Cattle Egret but in turned out to be 4 Cattle and 3 Little Egret in the cattle fields noorth of Pool road

The Russian White-fronted and Greylag Goose were distant in the Church Field

At the same time as observing the geese, the Jackdaw was vocal overhead

the female Pintail from last year was on the Abbey Pool

I had up to 12 chiffchaff altogether out emjoying the sun

This Stonechat was at Pentle Bay

From Pentle Bay, Tresco looking through the rainbow towards st Martins during a heavy hail shower

The other reason, I got out in the kayak was to search for white-wingers. They can’t all be on St Mary’s? Can they? So my next stop was Samson and a quick look around produced only 4 Snipe, 7 Meadow Pipit and 2 Linnet A single Dunlin was with 34 Turnstone. The 3 Spoonbill were on top of their usual huunt, Green Island and at the same time, the family of 4 pale-bellied Brent Geese flew overhead towards St Mary’s. There only some 60 gulls in the area and not a sniff of a white-winger. When leaving Tresco, the vodaphone network had gone down and I had no idea what was goin on with the whale. What news I did get before it cut off, was that there were 3 Common Scoter, 2 Slavonian and from December, the Red-throated Diver, all off the Easten Isles. That was way off in the distance and as I passed the south of Tresco again, there was a Common Scoter. The network was full on when I reached the south end of St Martins and thanks to Robin, who was scanning from Innisidgen on St Mary’s, he was giving me directions to both the grebes and the diver. However, I only came away with seeing a single Slavonian Grebe It was getting on and I had to return home. Off Pendrathen, I got the 1st male Eider from last year, that was seen eailer on by others and the Brent Geese ended up in the bay there. The Humpback Whale was seen but it was too late by the time I heard about it due to my network not working for half of the day.

The 3 Spoonbill circled Green Island before settling on top of the island

At the same time, the family of 4 pale-bellied Brent Geese flew over towards St Mary’s where I saw them later

I’ve made many visits to samson since July and I saw my first Robin on the island today Infact I saw three birds altogether.

i had this Common Scoter off the south Beach, Tresco

Off samson were 17 Shelduck. Looking towards easten Isles

Altogether I had a total of 13 Great Northern Diver

And finished the day off with the 1st male Eider off Pendrathen, St Mary’s

looking out west towards Bishop rock

I didn’t see one white-winger all day until I was walking home and it was almost dark and there was ‘Billy’ waiting for me at Porth Mellon.

Yesterday, I spent an hour aat Morning Piont and in with the 250 Herring Gull was an adult Scandinavian Herring Gull. A lot rarer than the 2 Glaucous Gull that were also present. The last records were of two adults that I had in Dec/Jan 2017 and before that I had another adult some ten years ago. Except for a 2nd winter Yellow-legged Gull, there was nothin else of note and when I returned home, I was pointing my camera out of the window at the hybrid juvenile GlaucousxHerring Gull. It’s bigger than any of the Herring Gulls making it a male I hope he sticks around like ‘Biully’ the Iceland Gull who had already been in the garden earlier on.

This adult Scandinavian Herring Gull off Morning Point yesterday, was the first sighting of this race since when I had an adult at the dump and a different adult on the Abbey Pool in Dec/Jan 2017.

The juvenile Glaucous Gull from yesterday was most of the time the closest bird to me off the point.

Scanning SE from Morning Point at the distant rock, The Wras, I also had this adult Glaucous Gull, prusumed to be the Porthloo individual, with a 2nd winter Yellow-legged Gull preening to the top right of the picture.

The hybrid juvenile GlaucousxHerring Gull spent all day more or less in the garden wuth ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull making the odd visit.

He looks slightly pissed off with the 2 noisy Herring Gulls. I bet he wished he was back home right now

Also almost spending all the time in the garden and looking like it should be in a Asian forest, is this tailless Grey Wagtail.

And this Pied Wagtail has also turned up in the last few days All pics taken from my window.

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Hybrid GlaucxHerring Gull in garden

5th Janurary 2021

Two new Glaucous Gulls arrived today, including a juvenile Glaucous Gull that I found at Morning Point and in the garden, this hybrid juvenile Glaucous Gull turns up. So that’s half a Glaucous Gull in the garden. Still waiting for my first one and just maybe in the next week I’ll get a genue one.

Mid-morniug and I was keen to go and get some photos of a juvenile Iceland Gull that John Headon had found on the Porth Mellion industrial estate rooves to establish if it was a different individual to the one day bird from last week. As I was working, I couldn’t go immediatly but that changed when I was asked to go shopping. I nipped back home to get my COOP catd and a look out of the window saw what I thought at first, because of the darkish primaries and with my naked eye, a juvenile Kumlien’s Gull! I grabbed my bins only to see that it was infact a hybrid juvenile Glaucous Gull. As it was dropping it’s wings, it was the mud from the pig field that made it appear like it had Kumlien’s gull primaries. Also it’s bill was plasted in mad at the time when I first saw it, appearing darkish like that also of a juvenile Kumlien’s Gull and not that pink base of a Glaucous Gull which it revealed when it cleaned the mud off in one of the large puddles out in the field. ‘Billy’ came in and landed next to the new white-winger and by the time I had rattled off some shots of both birds, John’s gull had moved on, which he had reidentified as a small juvenile Glaucous Gull. Ideal!

This hybrid is very tame and one poiint I thought it was goiun to come through the opened window where I was taking photos from

‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull didn’t take to the new arrival

After seing the adult Glaucous Gull still at Porthloo, I made my ways over to Porthcressa and scanning through the gulls roosting distantly out on the rock, I picked out a juvenile Glaucous Gull which I thought was probably Johns bird. At first a few of us were happy that it was a big individual and I had turned up the second Glauc of the day. However, later on in the afternoon, while I was at Morning Point, it came out that the Porthcressa Glauc was thought to be small and was infact Johns bird after all. Well I thought I had turned up a new Glauc but it didn’t matter. While freezing at the Morning Point, a big juvenile Glaucous Gull came in and hung around being joined by 3 Mediterranean and an adult Yellow-legged Gull. It was still present when I left and when I returned to work to continue fencing the pig field, the Glaucous hybrid dropped in and with ‘Billy’ it stuck around until dark when they both flew off north to roost.

I had a quick look at the roosting gulls at Porthcressa and relocated John’s small juvenile Glaucous Gull.

Including this individual, I’ve now found 3 juvenile Glaucous Gull at Morning Point in a week! Today, two new birds arrived with the hybrid in the garden. I’ve got to get in my kayak at the first oppuntunity as there has to be more white-wingers out off Samson or Tresco.

This adult Yellow-legged Gull stayed further out off the point

Returned home and the hybrid Glaucous Gull had returned and was the only gull in the garden. Later on, just before dark, ‘Billy’ arrived and they both just sat there only meters away from me sitting out of the window before flying off north to roost.

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Everything appears to have cleared out

4th January 2021

I managed to see up to 6 Black Redstart including thos beauty at Porthloo

I spent most of the day out around Lower Moors/Porthloo area and first thing at Sunnyside, the redpool sp was still present. It’s thought to be a Mealy or a Lesser Redpoll. Myself, I have no idea but it’s a cracking bird, whatever it is. Although the first bird I saw was a Firecrest, when I entered the Rose Hill end of Lower Moors, otherwise it proved to be very quiet. Everything it appears has cleared out. this includesthe little Bunting and both the Dusky and Yellow-browed Warbler and it wasn’t until I got to the Old Town end of the moor that I had my first Chiffchaff out of the two that I saw altogether at the moor compared to the 10-15 before last week. Returning back towards the Rose Hill end of the moor, I heard Carrion Crows goin crazy and observed two birds mobbing the Hen Harrier, heading east, straight through in the direction of Longstones. I did also saw 17 Redwing and kicked up to 4 woodcock.

There were only 2 Chiffchaff at Lower Moors

And only 4 Goldcrest including this showy individual

Up to 17 Redwing were feeding in the fields

There were more Chiffchaff feeding in the weedy field at Rose Hill and at Porthloo there was another 3 Chiffchaff on the rocks enjoying the sun with 3 Black Redstart. As always, the 2 juvenile Iceland Gull were on the beach and the adult Glaucous Gull was getting stuck into the seal carcass. At three different sights, I saw another 3 Black Redstart including the only male that was at Porth Mellon.

The adult Glaucous Gull was guarding it’s prized possessions

The pale-heasded juvenile Iceland Gull has made Porthloo it’s home.

Two of the 3 Black Redstart showed superbly in the bright sunlight at Porthloo

An equal number of Chiffchaff were also feeding in the same area on the beach as the Black Redstart

If only this male black Redstart at Porth Mellon showed like those at Porthloo

Or this Pied Wagtail which was part of the four also at Porth Mellon

Yesterday, Richie Asten and I nade a visit to Porth Hellick and we saw 4 Goldcrest but not a single Chiffchaff from Higher Moors to the beach. However, there was a Reed Bunting and the Cetti’s Warbler near to the Sussex Hide. I didn’t take one single photo while we were at the moors. Later on, a scan out towards Samson from Star Castle and we picked out one of the 3 Spoonbill and from Pendrathen, there was the female Eider was still off Pentle Bay, Tresco

Close encounter with the Humpback Whale off Scilly!

2nd Janurary 2020

Although the Humpback Whale, nicked named ‘Pi’ by Martin Goodey, because it has the mathmatical symbol for Pi next to its dorsal fin, it was a bit lumpy out in The Roads where the whale was feeding. This was making it differcult to stay staedy on the boat to get the giant beast anywhere in the center of the image when it fluked

With up to 5 whales off the south end of Scilly yesterday, ideally it would be great to get out there with them and into the action and I ain’t goin to do it in my kayak. However, this afternoon, with the St Agnes gang, I joined them on John Peacock’s boat ‘The Spirt of Agnes’ We steamed out a mile or so, south of St Mary’s, where 2 Fin and a single Humpback Whale had been seen an hour ago by Richie. Some 50 Razorbill, 30 Guillimot with larger numbers of Kittiwake but after thirty minutes of scanning the open sea to the area where they were last seen, nothin! As we approached Morning Point, the Humpback Whale that Richie and I had fifty meters off shore from the Woolpack, Garrison, just before 10.00 this morning, had been spotted off the Stevel. John didn’t get too close to the mamal and we all had awesome views as it surfaced at close range on and off, showing off it’s white undertail as it fluked. A Yellow-legged Gull flew straight through distantly over the whale towards Samson with other gulls and the many Kittiwake feeding in The Sound. Another amazing experience with the HumpBack again but I’m still waiting for the flat still conditions, so I can get out there in my kayak and have a great ole time with this impressive beast. That is if it sticks around for the next month.

This image of the Humpback Whale, was taken from the Woolpack, Garrison, mid morning, when Richie and I had only 50 meters off shore.

Some 50 Razorbill and 30 Guillimot, many like this one were in summer plumage, were out at sea.

Most of the 200 Kittiwake were feeding in the area of the whale, in The Roads.

We passed south of Peninnis lighthouse

Looking NE towards the rocks of Morning Point with Porthcressa Beach behind and Trewince in the distance.

The Humpback Whale south off Samson with Castle Down, Tresco, in the distance

Just got onto this 3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull flying away over the whale towards Samson with the other large gulls that it was with.

Richie and I finished the day off at, where else, Porthloo, where there was only the adult Glaucous Gull and no Iceland Gulls. Although ‘Billy’ made his usual visit to the garden first thing this morning

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4 Fin Whale off Scilly!!

1st January 2020

These 2 Fin Whale, 200 yds south of the airport, was a new species for me after seeing my first Humpback Whale from my kayak, last week on Christmas Day!

The first day of 2021, was one to remember for a lot of folk on St Mary’s. Just before 09.00 this morning, Rob Pentecost picked up the 2 Fin Whale from yesterday, close in, south off Peninnis from his house. I had never seen one before and with Richie, we scanned like crazy from my window but no joy as it had moved on east around the corner of Peninnis out of sight. However, ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull appeared as usual. Shortly afterwards, the 2 Fin Whale were seen from Peninnis and it wasn’t long after that Richie and I were also observing them some 200yds from the south turning circle of the airport. A Great Skua also flew west. After seeing my first Humpback Whale from my kayak on Christmas day, I had no idea that I would be observing 2 Fin Whale on New Years Day a week later. We left after an hour, only to return again, as one of the 7 Humpback Whale!! Yes that’s 7 from yesterday!!! Was at the mouth of Old town Bay where it fluked once for us. We were just leaving, when Richie discovered the third Fin while, close into Peninnis. That’s 3 Fin and a single Humpback Whale in the space of an hour!! Later on, up to 4 Fin Whale were seen altogether by other observers!

The first day of 2021 was ideal for whale watching. Looking SE out to sea from my window first thing this morning

The 2 Fin Whale off the south of the airport

The 2 Great Skua that I had a few days ago were the only ones that I saw last year. The first day off 2021 and this Great Skua flew west close in while observing the whales.

This Humpback Whale was close in at the month of Old Town Bay and must of been a wonderful experience for those on ‘The Spirt of Agnes’

And shortly afterwards, Richie discovered this Fin Whale just a 20 yds, SW from the Humpback Whale off Peninnis. The Fin Whale is the second largest mamal after Blue Whale.

Whale watchers scanning out from Peninnis at the Fin Whales

We returned home to have a bite to eat but I ended spending the next hour scanning for the whales from my window. While scanning south, Robin put the news out that the 4 Cattle Egret were in the Trewince fields. I scanned to the east from the window and snapped off the egrets before returning to scan to the south again at the sea but there was no sign of any whales. Richie and I finished the day off with the Humpback Whale off samson and the three white-wingers at Porthloo. The 2 Iceland and the Glaucous Gull. The idea today was to join others in a bird race on the first day of the year but those pesky whales got in our way.

A heavly cropped taken from my window of the 4 Cattle Egret at Trewince

This Gannet landed in with the Herring Gulls close in below us

More whale watchers enjoying the Humpback Whale off Samson from Star Castle

Looking towards St Agnes from the Garrison this evening

One of the 4 Fin Whale south of St Mary’s taken by John Peacock from ‘The Spirt of Agnes’

And the Humpback Whale at the mouth of Old Town Bay taken by John Peacock

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