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Little Gull at the Abbey Pool

21st February 2021

I kayaked to Tresco this morning and on the Abbey Pool was a 1st winter Little Gull. This is hot on the heels of seeing my first Little Gull in maybe 12 years on Scilly that was over two weeks ago at Porthloo.

For over two weeks, the windy conditions have stopped me from getting out in the kayaking until today. After feeding ‘Ralf’ the Glaucous Gull on the bird table first thing this morning, I arrived at Tresco just before 10.00. There was nothin of note on the Great Pool except the usual crowd including the single Shoveler, Tufted Duck and only a female Wigeon. Ren had a hirundine sp late yesterday afternoon very briefly over the Duchy Office and as I was approaching the Abbey Pool, I was thinking Sand Martin maybe. Instead I got another Little Gull after an individual I had over two weeks ago at Porthloo, St Mary’s. I spent nearly an hour with it but it continued to feed more or less in the center of the pool. Very briefly it preened on the water before it was back on the wing hawking over the water. The 2 Canada Geese were also present with 6 Pochard and off Skirt Island there was a distant Common Scoter. It proved to be a new bird as at the same time, Robin was watching the 3 Common Scoter off the Eastern Isles. At Rosefields Crossroads, there was the Great Spotted Woodpecker, Firecrest and I could hear the Jackdaw nearby. Altogether on part of the island that I covered, I also had 10 Goldcrest, 12 Chiffchaff, 30 Teal and a single Redwing.

‘Ralf’ the Glaucous Gull stuffing it’s face off the bird table this morning

Heavily cropped shots of the Little Gull hawking over the Abbey Pool

This Tufted Duck was still present on the Great Pool

I hoped over to Bryher and it was pretty quiet with only 6 Redwing and the highlight was a migrant Rusty Dot Pearl Moth on Shipmans Head Down. At 16.00, after seeing the 3 Spoonbill feeding off the East Beach of Samson, I beached myself on Samson Flats. I sat there and the usual happened with 100s of waders feeding at very close range each side of the kayak. This included 150 Sanderling, 200 Ringed Plover, 60 Turnstone, 12 Grey Plover, 15 Curlew, 1 Whimbrel, 6 Redshank, 7 Dunlin and 11 Purple Sandpiper. I also counted 24 Common and 2 Mediterranean Gull and as I had just left the flats off back home, I got onto a pale Iceland Gull overhead flying from east to west towards Samson. I only got the bins on it for a few seconds but I could clearly see it had a pale greenish bill with a black tip ruling out ‘Billy’ the juvenile Iceland Gull back home and this individual was possibly a 2nd winter bird. Returning to St Mary’s, I was entrained by some 50 Razorbill before I reached Sharks Pit just before 18.00.

This migrant Rusty Dot Pearl Moth was the highlight on Bryher

There were up to 12 Grey Plover on Samson

This Purple Sandpiper is less than a meter from the nose of my kayak

The 3 Spoonbill still hanging out off Samson

Yesterday during the storm, we had a wreck of Boarfish only on Little Porth and Porthcressa. I saw well over 250 but Ren counted 307 in total. The two pics above of the wreck were taken by Ren Hathway

The gulls took advantage of this and from the spines, this Herring Gull was struggling to swallow one of them but after five minutes it disappeared down it’s neck

I observed many Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls flying off out of the bay with Boarfish Later on, a Herring Gull passed me off the Stevel out to Samson still holding a fish on it’s bill

Even the crows into the act I came across the odd dead fish in the streets dropped from the gulls flying overhead.

By 16.00, the wind had subsided a little and while the sun was out, there were 22 Bar-tailed Godwit roosting on Porthloo.

The 15th got me a window tick in the shape of this Mistle Thrush in the far corner of the horse paddock before very briefly perching at the top of the pine belt and then flying off NE. The following day, I heard the Jackdaw from Tresco fly over the garden also NE.

In the last week, I’ve had to 3 Yellow-legged Gull off the Garrison including this adult passing straight through off The stevel

The pale headed Iceland Gull is spending all it’s time also at Porthloo

While ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull has been visiting Morning Point

And most days in the garden Here with ‘Ralf’

The bird table is on it’s last legs

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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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