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Hoopoe at Cove Vean

7th March 2021

Hoopoes are a delight to see aboard but there even better when they turn up on Scilly and show off like this individual did at the top of Cove Vean Beach, St Agnes today.

A few days ago I was working out if to go and kayak to St Agnes today or tomorrow as both days were ideal weather conditions for getting on the water. As a Hoopoe was discovered yesterday on the island, my mind was easily made up and just after 09.00 this morning, I found myself carrying my kayak across Gugh Bar where I had landed. Ten minutes later, I flushed the Hoopoe next to the boatshed at Cove Vean with no idea that it was there. And for the next hour of searching all over the shop in the nearby area, I couldn’t relocate it anywhere. As Hoopoe have a knack of returning to the same spot, I had a plan and decided that I would walk St Agnes and return later in the afternoon. It was a cracking day but the sharp NE made it bitter cold on the face. It was a slow process of gettin around as everyone I bumped into wanted to have a chat. Richard told me that I was probably the first visitor this year to St Agnes, take away builders and other workers. By the time I made it around the island, of note, I had seen a single Mistle Thrush behind the Turks Head, 2 Black Redstart, single Blackcap and White Wagtail and 20 Chiffchaff. Mid-afternoon and I flushed the Hoopoe again immediately on my right as I entered the beach from the Wingletang coastal path. Fortunately this time, it only made a short flight and came back down on the beach. I scrambled behind a rock and for the next hour it actively fed showing very well but it was always in the shadows of the all Pittosporum bushes overlooking the beach. After my fill, I sneaked off and left it in peace before climbing into my kayak and returning back home to St Mary’s. Before I set off to St Agnes, the Black Redstart was still at Little Porth and the 2 Iceland Gull were still at Porthloo.

Just before I headed out to St agnes in the kayak, as usual the 2 Iceland Gull were hanging out at Porthloo

Looking from Cove Vean towards Tresco in the distance with my kayak just below the yellow sign on the left of the picture.

Oystercatchers, 21 Curlew and this Redshank, were the only wadrers I came across

In less than a week, I’ve managed to see 3 male Black Redstart including this individual just below the Nags Head.

There were at least four pairs of Stonechat along the coastal path

And up to 8 Great Tit scattered around the island

St Agnes lighthouse from Horse Point

This Hoopoe performed very well actively feeding in the sand but it spent it’s time in the shadows of the Pittosporums overhanging Cove Vean beach

From Cove Vean looking towards Gugh

Two days ago, there were up to 17 White and 28 Pied Wagtail commuting with the garden and the horse paddocks on the east side of the Garrison. At 09.27, before I took this record shot of the wagtails, while feeding the pigs, above me the gulls were going crazy and above them my earliest ever record of an Osprey flew straight through east.

In the garden, I have up to 4 Robin visiting the bird table

Also got up to 4 Song Thrush battling it out over the apples

And guess what? 4 Blackbird including a female with a white tail Also some 50 House Sparrow but only a handful of Chaffinch and so far a single Greenfinch.

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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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