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Snow Bunting on Samson

20th March 2021

First picked this Snow Bunting up on call as it flew north straight through while I was kayaking just off Samson. It pitched down on the north beach of the island and that’s where I took this image

Just after 09.00 this morning, I was carrying my kayak up to the top of South Beach, Tresco and a Wheatear flew ahead of me. At the same time, I could see another male above me on the bank. I was expecting more in migrants, after seeing these 2 Wheatear but walking around the two pools in the still but gloomy conditions and it was the same old stuff, although there were now from 2 to 3 male Shoveler on the Abbey Pool. Pool Road held only a single Firecrest, 8 Chiffchaff and the Great Spotted Woodpecker. There were 7 Great Northern Diver from Skirt Island to Carn Near where there was also the female Eider off the former sight. It wasn’t long before I was in the Tresco Channel and sitting on a rock off Samson was the first returning Sandwich Tern of the year.

Up to 2 Wheatear were at the South Beach

The first returning Sandwich Tern of the year was off Samson. However, a quick two hours around Tresco, five days ago, produced a very early Common Tern that flew from the west to south straight through, close inshore, as I was just about to get in my kayak on the South Beach to return home. Not surprisingly, it was the first of the year for the UK. Some twenty years ago, my earliest record of Common Tern was an individual perched on Tregs wall, 25th March. In Salop, I had a single on the 27th March at Crosemere with 2 summer plumage Black-necked Grebe.

I had only been on Bryher for a few minutes and doing the circuit around Turfy Hill, I kicked a Short-eared Owl from roosting in the braken only to see it disappear behind the small hump. After this it proved hard work and nearly three hours later of walking the island, of note were 8 Chiffchaff, 6 Goldcrest, 2 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing, 22 Linnet and at the Big pool, a single Wheatear. The male Pintail in Hell Bay, paid a visit from Tresco I guess. After spending an hour on Samson and only seeing 2 Skylark, I returned to me kayak to return home. I had only been rowing for a minute when I heard, what I thought was a distant Snow Bunting coming from the south. I quickly got the mobile out on time to record it as it flew north straight through directly over me. I swapped my mobile for my bins and just caught it as it pitched down at the far north end of Samson. Five minutes later I was back on Samson but could I find the bloody thing. I had almost given up in searching for the bunting, when I heard it twitting and there it was, only meters away feeding at the top of the beach. For the next ten minutes I lay down with it and as always with these smart-looking buntings, it walked up to me making life a lot easier in getting pics in the fading light. It was now 18.15, I had to get back and just after 19.00, I was cycling home after putting the kayak away at Sharks Pit, St Mary’s.

This Pintail in Hell Bay, I guess is the male from Tresco.

This is only my third spring Snow Bunting after the individual last year in Hugh Town that turned up just a few days later in March last year. Before this, a cracking male in May on Castle Down, Tresco, some 16 years ago.

My kayak just above Samson Flats where the Snow Bunting was hanging out

Before I left home this morning, I fed the birds in the garden and I’ve now got from two last week to 7 Chaffinch visiting with over 50 House sparrow.

Just 2 Great Tit

And now it appears there are just 2 Robin

And a pair of Collard Dove

I made a brief visit to Tresco five days ago and still present on the Great Pool were the Russian White-fronted and Siberian Greylag Goose. Underneath them as they flew off, were the 2 Canada Geese.

18 yrs ago today the Iraq War began. Never Forget how the Media Sold, Enabled & Whitewashed the War

The composed picture of Blair smiling while taking a selfie with the backdrop of death and destruction sums up Blair’s character.

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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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