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Painted Lady’s arrive on Scilly

22nd February 2021

This Painted Lady at Sharks Pit was part of a very small influx on Scilly today with a total of four. Also a single was in Cornwall and it was my first February record

With the sunny still conditions, another day of kayaking was on the cards but it was cut short due to the wind increasing. Before I was out on the water, it was white-wingers in the first few hours of the morning starting off with ‘Ralf’ the Glaucous Gull on the bird table. At Porthloo, the 2 Iceland Gull were joined by what appeared to be the juvenile that I had in January and at the beginning of this month on Samson and Scott had it also on Tresco over a week ago. I was loaded with my gear to put in the kayak and walking past the front garden of Avalon, Sharks Pit, was a migrant Painted Lady. I thought that maybe it was the first UK record for this year. I put the news out on the Scilly wildlife WhatsApp group to see that Darren Heart had just beat me to it with a single at Watermill! Later in the day, a single was on St Martins but news came on after on the group of a pic of a Painted Lady from yesterday at Pilots Retreat! Other firsts of the year out enjoying the warmth of the sun, seen on Scilly by other observers included resident butterfly species, 3 Peacock, 2 Red Admiral and a single Small Tortoiseshell.

This Painted Lady feeding in the warm sun at Sharks Pit has probably just arrived from the south and possibly North Africa

While the long staying pale-headed Iceland Gull was flying around with ‘Billy’ at close range at Porthloo, what appears to be the Samson/Tresco juvenile Iceland Gull was distant on the rocks of Taylors Island at the same time looking very similar to the pale-headed individual.

There were also 3 Common Gull present

Just after 11.00, I was parking up on Pentle Beach, Tresco after passing the Eider off Skirt Island. As I approached the Abbey Pool, I could see that the Little Gull was still present with the 6 Pochard. 4 Linnet and 10 Meadow Pipit were on the Heliport. A quick skirt around the Great pool produced a single pale-bellied Brent Goose with the 2 Canada Geese. Scott first had the Brent Goose last week. No sign of the Tufted Duck but there were now 2 male Shoveler. Goldcrest were in full song on both sides of the pool and I could hear the Jackdaw on and off. My first spring migrants were 2 White Wagtail at New Grimsby. Later on, Robin had 8 at Longstones back on St Mary’s. As predicted, the wind was picking up early afternoon and after struggling in the choppy conditions into the fresh SSW in my kayak, I was back at Sharks Pit at 14.45 to find ‘Ralf’ waiting for me back at home.

I passed a small number of Kittiwake on my ways to Tresco

The light was spot on but like yesterday, the Little Gull continude to favour the center of the Abbey Pool and record shots were all I could manage

Hopefully the 3 pairs of Pochard on Tresco will successfully breed this year

The pale-bellied Brent Goose that was found last week by Scott was still on show at Simpsons Field

There were 2 White Wagtail with 2 Pied Wagtail on the beach south of New Grimsby



This Chaffinch was in the dunes next to my kayak

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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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