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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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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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