3rd March 2021
Nearly two weeks ago, Graham Cunsdale came across this COMMON SEAL in the bay at Porth Hellick. A mega find by Graham with only a handful of records on Scilly. So I felt very lucky to be the only other observer to also see it, when I stumbled upon the mamalal in the same bay four days ago, 28th February.
This morning, I was approaching Carn Near, Tresco in the kayak, and changed my mind and thought that Bryher might be the island to visit today. But not before I took some record shots of the returning Iceland Gull that was at Porthloo last week., off Sea Carn. Before I set off from St Mary’s, I had the 2 long staying Iceland Gull at Porthloo. Arriving at the south end of Bryher, Rushy Bay, in the warm sun, just after mid-day, I immediately came across 6 Chiffchaff moving through together followed by 8 White and 3 Pied Wagtail feeding in the cattle field and a Sparrowhawk flew through. All new birds in but it kinda went cold after that until I reached Popplestone Bay, nearly two hours later. Here there were another 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Linnet, 18 Redwing and a single Skylark with over 100 Meadow Pipit. As I stated climbing Shipman’s Down along the coastal path, I got my earliest ever record of Wheatear! So good to see and it showed pretty well. However, the 2 Black Redstart sharing the same rocks as the Wheatear, including a stunning male, kept their distance. A Grey Wagtail was also present and seemed out of place in the heather but it soon moved off south and on top of the down were 2 Golden Plover. After that, it proved hard work and returning back to St Mar’s, I stopped off at Samson where I got a single Skylark, 2 White Wagtail, 2 Meadow Pipit, 2 Snipe, 26 Curlew and 6 Common Gull. The Lesser Black-backed Gulls had arrived to breed with well over 100 scattered around the island.
There were up to 8 White and 3 Pied Wagtail in the Rushy Bay fields
Always feels good to see the first Wheatear of the year and this male proved to be my earliest ever after a single on the 7th March at Baggy Moor back home in Salop.
There was an arrival of over 100 Meadow Pipit
From Hell Bay to Popplestone, I had up to 3 pairs of Stonechat
The Great Tit on Bryher were very vocal
I only came across 2 Chaffinch
Leaving Bryher towards Samson in the gloomy conditions, I passed 5 Great Northern Diver including this cross billed individual
These 2 White Wagtail were on Samson
And more White Wagtail with four birds briefly in front of my window where I took this record shot two days ago. Later on at the stables I had another 5 each of White and Pied Wagtail, 8 Redwing and a single Linnet
The COMMON SEAL at Porth Hellick four days ago showed well on a rock in the bay basking in the evening sun but was moved off by the rising tide. This seal has swam a long ways with colonies in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Teesmouth and eastern England.