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Little Gull at Porthloo

4th February 2021

I first found this Little Gull very briefly at Porthcressa and 30 minutes later I relocated it at Porthloo Even though the light was bad, unfortunately, I had the camera on the wrong settings at the time

Up early, open the curtains and there is ‘Ralf’ the Glaucous Gull, I can’t shout Gloria anymore from out the window, waiting for me to top up the bird table. That I did and ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull arrives. I leave them to stuff their faces and passing Porthcressa in the rain, on my ways to my kayak, I just catch a Little Gull flying out north over town. Shite! This is a very scarce bird here and i can’t even remember the last one I saw on Scilly. I went in search of it and half an hour later, I relocated it at Porthloo with the 2 Iceland Gull. Only Robin and Scott connected with the gull before it flew west out of the bay. Great start to the day!

‘Ralf’ waiting for me to top up the bird table so he can feast himself

While ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull waits on the deck

I worked out that the last Little Gull I saw was at Trench Pool, Salop, also in February, some four years ago. The last one on Scilly was the 12 birds with 2 Common and a single Black Tern and a Grey Phalarope at Little Porth at the end of October, somethin like twelve years ago.

The rain had stopped, the sun was out and I was rowing towards Samson. I had a good walk on the latter island and as a result, all I could muster were a male Merlin, 3 Snipe, 9 Meadow Pipit, 2 Linnet and a vocal Water Rail. The highlight was coming across a coconut washed up on the West Beach all the way from the Caribbean! The tide was just turning when I was back in my kayak and there were hundreds of waders on the flats. I beached myself and got crippling views as some 150+Ringed Plover and Turnstone, 200+Sanderling, 4 Dunlin, a single Grey Plover, 40+Curlew and 19 Purple Sandpiper passed within an arm’s length from me sat in my kayak. Of the latter species, 19 is probably the highest number in over ten years on Scilly. There were also 16 Common and 2 Mediterranean Gull and 4 Great Northern Diver nearby. I made my first visit of the year to Bryher and parked at Church Quay. After speaking to one of the locals, Neil, I did the circuit of the island and of note I came across 7 Chiffchaff, 34 Meadow Pipit and another vocal Water Rail. 12 Great Tit I thought might have been a high count for Bryher? The sun was still warm on my face as I returned home but in a few days time it’s turning bitter cold and the wind is increasing. I don’t think I’ll be out in the kayak for awhile maybe.

Still 2 Linnet hanging out on the small island

There were also up to 9 Meadow Pipit

But the highlight was coming across this coconut, all the way from the Caribbean, washed up from the recent storms on the West Beach

There was a very high number of 19 Purple Sandpiper on the Samson Flats

Also 150+Turnstone and Ringed Plover

Only 4 Dunlin

And some 200 Sanderling

Spot the Purple Sandpipers?

At the moment I’ve got 2 vocal Firecrest in the trees above the house and up to 3 Chiffchaff regularly feeding in the hedge immediately right of the window where I took these pics

Any ideas what’s goin on here with this Starling? It appears to be feeding and getting around alright spending a lot of time at the bird table. That is when it’s not pushed off by ‘Ralf’

Made a visit down to Morning Point a few day ago and guess who was there showing off his flying techniques

Large number of Herring Gull alsol

but only the odd Lesser Black-backed Gull

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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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