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Purple Heron at Lower Moors

28th April 2021

Finally caught up with this stunning Purple Heron at Lower Moors after dipping out on it on Tresco, two days ago.

After all the good and rare birds I’m seeing from my home window in the last two years of being there, Andy Holden and Rik Anderson have named it, Castle Observatory window. And throughout the day from that window, I was observing the Turtle Dove, that’s now been present for six days, feeding just below the bird table with some 70 House Sparrow. It was just after 14.00 and I was at the airport picking up some parcels, when news came on the WhatsApp group, that the Purple Heron had just dropped into Lower Moors by the Standing Stones Field. Returning back to work, I had a quick look in the area where the heron came down. I entered the Standing Stones field and immediately flushed the Purple Heron to my right! I got good flight views before it came back down by the hides nearby. At Carn Leh, there were single Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel and it wasn’t until later on that I got out to Porth Hellick after work. Here the only bird of note was a Blue-headed Wagtail on the pool. A quick stop off at Porthloo found 3 Wheatear, 2 White Wagtail, 2 Whimbrel and the 2 Iceland Gull.

The Turtle Dove from the Castle Observatory window eyeing up a turnip

This is a fraction of the 70 House Sparrow that took just before dark from the obs window

There are also up to 4 Goldfinch on the feeders at te moment

I forgot to add these shots that I took from behind the dirty window of a Lesser Redpoll that I first saw on the feeders before dropping down for a drink and was a first for the garden

On the same day, I first saw this Redstart from the obs window but I took the record shot from the pig field and was only the second garden record

This Whitethroat yesterday was also only my second for the garden

I kicked the Purple Heron at close range on immediately entering the Standing Stone field with no idea it was there

There were single Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel at Carn Leh

A record shot of the Blue-headed Wagtail at Porth Hellick

Yesterday early morning I arrived at the airfield turning circle, with others already there, hoping that the Rock Thrush would be still present in the area. I wasn’t hopeful after a clear night and it being present since Saturday. Sure enough, it had moved on as there was no sign of it all day. However, it was still worth getting up at the crack of dawn, as there was a Nightingale singing on and off as well as two brief flight views, in scrub just east of the runway. There had been a fall of Nightingales, if you can call it that, including this one, 3 Nightingales were heard with singles also on Tresco and Bryher. On my way back down from the airfield, there was a Sedge Warbler giving it wellie at Porth Minnick but it wasn’t until I reached Lower Moors that it was obvious there had been a fall of Sedge Warbler. Altogether I had over 30 birds between the Standing Stones field and the main pool. Mixed in with them, were common migrants but in lesser numbers and as I approached the hides, I just caught a female ‘type’Hst above the reed bed to the east of the track. This was quickly followed by the Marsh Harrier near the center. I would of liked to have continued birding but I had to start work. Later on in the evening, I had a cracking male Redstart at the Longstones/Telegraph junction.

This Rock Pipit was having a good ole scratch in the morning sun

At Lower Moors there were over 30 Sedge Warbler

Chiffchaff were in smaller numbers

And only 4 Whitethroat

With just a single Tree Pipit

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Richard’s Pipit on Bryher

26th April 2021

Only been on Bryher for five minutes and came across this Richartd’s Pipit west of Rushy Bay

In the last few days, the strong easterlies have turned up some scarcities including 2 little Bunting, Purple Heron and rarer than the two latter species, male Bullfinch, all on St Agnes. While on Tresco, Woodchat Shrike and St Mary’s, up to 3 Golden Oriole and a single Hoopoe. On Bryher, nothin! That was due to no one visiting the island because of tides and weather. Before I made my ways to Bryher in the kayak, the first birds I see directly only meters away from my window as I opened the curtains, is now 2 Turtle Dove after one arriving to join the other individual yesterday. I arrived on the Bryher at Rushy Bay and as I carried the kayak up the beach, I heard Tree Pipits and good numbers of hirundines were above me. It felt good, and I had only just left the kayak when I heard a Richard’s Pipit nearby. After twenty minutes, I relocated the pipit feeding with some 20 Meadow Pipit and 15 Wheatear in the open area just west of the fields. Good start and I was joined by tony Blake, staying on Tresco who also saw the large pipit. After searching through the Rushy Bay, there was an obvious arrival of both Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Tree Pipit with six of the latter species. There was also a Turtle Dove but when I had left and Tony went to have a look at the dove, he also had views of 2 male Golden Oriole perched together on the west slope of Samson Hill. I was at the hotel and was tempted in returning but I was thinking, I’ll get lucky and see one later somewhere on the island.

There are now 2 Turtle Dove to wake up to as I open my curtains first thing

The Richard’s Pipit proved mobile but did show well at times. I think this is only my second spring record of this species

Got this Turtle Dove at the Rushy Bay fields but missed out on 2 male Golden Oriole that Tony Blake had shortly after me leaving the area

One of the 6 Tree Pipit also in the fields

Both Blackcap and Chiffchaff spent a lot of time flycatching

I spent a good hour in Popplestones area and for my effort of note I had a single Pied Flycatcher, my first 2 Cuckoo of the year, up to 14 Tree Pipit and 3 Siskin west. It wasn’t until I got to the church that I had another Pied Flycatcher and the boatyard, a Black Redstart. while trying to get pics of the redstart, I could hear a Serin and observed it fly SW towards Samson Hill. I went in search of the finch but all I got was the Marsh Harrier rising on thermals. News came on earlier that there was a female Red-footed Falcon on St Martins. It was now almost 17.00 and was debating if to kayak all that away or just make the few minutes crossing to Samson.

Altogether I had 20 Tree Pipit including a group of 8 birds

also 35 Chiffchaff

40 Blackcap

10 Whitethroat

Over 50 Wheatear

2 Pied Flycatcher

And over 30 Swallow

Only 3 Ringed Plover

I took the easy ride and ended up spending an hour on samson where I saw 10 Wheatear, 3 White Wagtail, 2 Chiffchaff, single Willow Warbler, Tree Pipit, the Marsh Harrier and the male Pintail from Tresco. On North Hill, I flushed a Short-eared Owl on the summit with no idea that it was there.

I kicked this Short-eared Owl off the summit of North Hill with no idea it was there until it was too late

Marsh Harrier

Some 12 Whimbrel were on the shore with a single Dunlin

Up to 3 White Wagtail were feeding on the beach

Also 10 Wheatear

only 2 Linnet present



As the Woodchat Shrike and the Purple Heron were seen on Tresco throughout the day, I made the short kayak across and only managed to get the Woodchat Shrike distantly on top of a hedge sloping down opposite Dolphin House. Good numbers of hirundines and now 5 Canada Geese were on the Great Pool. Returning back to the kayak, I had cracking views of 5 Yellow and 2 Blue-headed Wagtail just west of Simpsons Field. It was while on Tresco that news broke of a female ROCK THRUSH at Blue Carn, St Mary’s. Tony Gilbert called me on Saturday morning to tell me that he had a bird with a red tail perched on rocks at Blue Carn and thought it might be a Nightingale. He also told me that it was streaky on the front. That’s not a Nightingale, streaky and perched on rocks but I gave it a good half an hour in the area shortly after he called me and no sign. It was while chatting to Tony, on my ways back to St Mary’s this evening, that it was in fact the Rock Thrush that he had seen. He did say it was also dumpy and had a longish bill at the time when he called me on Saturday, but he couldn’t get much else on it as he was looking into the sun. I just never thought about it being a Rock Thrush at the time. By the time I got home it was too dark to go anywhere and hopefully it will still be present tomorrow when I can catch up with it.

There were 2 Blue-headed Wagtail in the field west of the Great pool

With up to 5 Yellow Wagtail

And 7 Pochard including a female with a single duckling

Only a single Cattle Egret on Simpson’s Field

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Turtle Dove in the garden

23rd April 2021

Stuffing my face at home during my dinner hour, when I noticed this Turtle Dove fly into the pine belt. It wasn’t long until it joined the local Collard Doves and was feeding meters away from my window

Early this afternoon, I was getting my homemade broccoli/cheese soup down my neck and into the pine belt, I caught a glimpse of my first Turtle Dove of the year while looking outside from the window. With in ten minutes, Scott Reid was also watching the dove from my window I noticed he didn’t take his shoes off when he came in. Anyways, I returned to work and two hours later it was still present but was now at very close range feeding with the local Collard Doves. Ideal and Robin also came to have a look at it and yes, he didn’t take his shoes off as well. In the blustery conditions, I had a quick look around the campsite area and of note, a Tree Pipit and my first Swift of the year both flew west. I had a total of 2 Blackcap and 7 willow Warbler including two in the garden of the latter species where there were also 3 Sand Martin that spent the afternoon hawking over the pig field. Earlier on, a Hawfinch was briefly seen at Rose Hill and although I spent some time in the area this evening, for my effort another Tree Pipit, 2 swift and a flava wagtail, west with a raspy call towards Sandy Banks.

A record shot first from the window just incase it got spooked

But it settled down and showed off pretty well. It is presumed that this is the Turtle Dove that Rik Anderson had fly straight in over the pine belt, two days ago. This is my second garden Turtle Dove after a single last year.

There are up to 10 Collard Dove also in the garden

I had my first Swift of the year including this one over the Garrison

Altogether I had 4 Blackcap today

Chaffinch enjoying the evening sun

Two days ago, 4 Black-tailed Godwit turned up at Lower Moors and I managed to catch up with them during a quick break from work

Also got my first Whitethroat in the garden

The Bee-eater, that I saw very briefly a few days ago in flight, was showing well in the Carn Friars/Normandy areas.

This European Greylag Goose flew west over me and the Bee-eater that I was observing at the time at Normandy. As the wintering Greylag Goose was identified as a Siberian, then this individual must be a new bird in. Although myself and others believed that the sibe was also a European.

On the 15th April, this flava wagtail was thought to be a Blue-headed Wagtail but when I sent the pics to other birders, who know there stuff, they couldn’t really put a name to it , except that it’s an intergrade. While Birdguides identified it as a Channel Wagtail Love flava wagtails but they’re a pain in the butt!!

Everyone seems happy that this is a female Blue-headed Wagtail. Possibly? Maybe? Probably?

The two Blue-headed ‘types’ were feeding with 4 stunning male Yellow Wagtail at Salkee where both Martin Goodey and I observed them at very close range hiding behind a wall

And look who is still hanging out in the garden I caught Scilly ‘Billy’ on the bird table as I came through the door and just got it as it wqas flying off when it saw me

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Citrine Wagtail on Bryher

14th April 2021

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My first spring Citrine Wagtail on Scilly turned out to be this cracking male that I kayaked twitched and was found by Higgo and Wayne Coingham at Stinky Porth, Bryher

A change in wind direction to light ESE and you know that it’s goin to be good on Scilly. While out with the pigs this morning, 3 Yellow and a single alba Wagtail flew SE over the garden followed by ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull and my fourth Black-headed Gull dropped in to take scraps from the pigs food. Yesterday Jo Pender had a Bee-eater fly over from Porthloo towards the golf course. Just before 13.00 this afternoon, Martin Goodey had it or another at Porth Hellick/Carn Friars. It wasn’t long after that I was observing the Bee-eater at the far side of the pool viewing from Carn Friars very briefly to see it flying off in the direction of Salkee. I was just about to make my ways over when Higgo and Wayne Coingham discovered a male Citrine Wagtail on Bryher! I’ve seen many autumn Citrine Wagtail but a spring job would be like a new species.

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Record shot of Bee-eater taken by Martin Goodey at Carn Friars before I saw it distantly over Porth Hellick

I left Porthloo at 15.10 in the kayak and thirty minutes later I was at Rushy Bay, Bryher. Ten minutes I was watching both the Great White Egret and Citrine Wagtail on the Big Pool. The egret was in my face but the wagtail was at the far side and before I knew it, it was up and away out west to sea until I lost it! I was devasted and thought, oh well, at least I did get on to it before it moved on. It was ten minutes later, while taking pics of the egret, that I could hear the Citrine Wagtail and it sounded like it pitched down on nearby Stinky Porth Beach. Sure enough, a quick scan along the north side of the beach, found it feeding with 3 White Wagtail. In the next hour, it switched with the beach and the pool but didn’t really allow me to get all that close to it. It was while kayaking over to Bryher that I reminded myself that I in fact seen summer plumage Citrine Wagtail in Nepal and Oman. Also while kayaking, 7 Wheatear and 2 Goldfinch flew from the south in off the sea towards Tresco. There were some 10 Wheatear also around the pool but returning to the kayak, there were a single Tree Pipit, Redwing, 2 Whitethroat and Blackcap, lots of Chiffchaff, all in the Rushy Bay area. It was while scanning through the 15 Wheatear that a female Ring Ouzel flew from the west over Samson Hill.

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Again the Great White Egret was very obliging on the pool but it was the wagtail that I was more interested in.

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Although I spent a good hour with the Citrine Wagtail, it proved to pretty active on both the pool and the beach and wouldn’t allow me to get close to it but well worth the kayak twitch.

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There were also up to 3 White Wagtail on the beach

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While spending time with the wagtails, the Great White Egret flew overhead towards Rushy Bay where I caught up with it later on

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At the latter sight I also had this Tree Pipit

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Also over 20 Meadow Pipit

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And some 15 Wheatear nearby

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I had time to nip over to Samson in the kayak and here there were 3 White and a single Pied Wagtail, 2 Chiffchaff and Whitethroat, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and including the individual above, 2 Whimbrel. On the west side in the sun, over 20 Wheatear and 3 continental Song Thrush

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Unfortunately out of the sun on the east side of the island, was this smart Dunlin

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Yesterday I had this Ring Ouzel with 6 Wheatear at Pungis Lane

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And this distant female Marsh Harrier later on in the evening distant over the reeds at Porth Hellick

Great White Egret on Bryher

12th April 2021

You can’t mistake a Little Egret for a Great White Egret, can you? Well I did! I found this Great White Egret on Friday at the Big Pool while on Bryher and passed it off as a Little Egret as I thought that GWE have a yellow bill all year round and it didn’t appear to look all that big.

There is no excuse, I cocked it up!! Fortunately, The Great White Egret was still present on Bryher today. As I approached Rushy Bay this morning in my kayak, it flew along the coastline just meters away from me before settling on one of the islands out of the bay. Here, it would of been impossible to get near it from the shore but with the kayak, I gently rowed up to the egret and snapped off some shots before it was pushed off by a Grey Heron. Shortly afterwards, I relocated the egret on the Big Pool and observed it walk up from one end to the other through the middle and then continue along the shoreline. I left it alone and for the next two hours, except for a single Whitethroat and very small numbers of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff, I didn’t see anythin else. I had one more look at the egret, that was still on the pool and then started making my ways to Tresco, expecting to see nothin really.

The first sighting of the Great White Egret, was on Friday really but I didn’t know that at the time, otherwise this morning, it was while kayaking into Rushy Bay where I took this pic

Even though the egret showed superbly at very close range on the Big Pool, the light wasn’t on my side. This is only my forth Scilly record. This includes two in the last two years as it mega status that was on Scilly not long ago, is now turning out to be an annual visitor. With less than ten Scilly records, this I believe could be only the Second spring sighting on the islands. As it’s easily approachable, could this be a Great Egret from the good ole USA?

I also did have a Little Egret distantly in the Tresco Channel

The only Whitethroat was next to the Big Pool

Altogether I only had 3 Blackcap including this male

Only the odd Willow Warbler seen

Up to 13 Wheatear in total

Good numbers of Dunnock on the island

Grey Plover

Rock Pipit

I arrived at South Beach, Tresco, just after 16.00 and as Bryher was pretty quiet, I was expecting to cover the two pools in a jiffy to get home early. That didn’t go to plan and as I started to do the circuit of the Abbey Pool, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff were very vocal all over the shop with a total of 20 and 15 respectively. It was while at the east end of the pool that I kicked a Grasshopper Warbler at the side of the track that I was on. It gave good flight views as it flew into a nearby gorse bush. Two minutes later, it returned to where I had flushed it from but could I see the thing? Along pool Road, there wasn’t much goin on until I got near to the entrance of the David Hunt Hide. I could hear a Coal Tit ahead of me and ran ahead to find it feeding on the over hanging branches of the path. This was a mega for me as it’s only my third Scilly record and they were individuals over ten years ago on St Agnes! The sun was in my eyes as I looked up to have a good look at it. It proved very mobile and flew deeper into cover. I waited around in the area and refound it further west along the path. This time the light was on my side and it showed very well before moving on to the Great Pool side with the local Blue and Great Tit that it had now attached to. Great stuff! While in the hide, a flava wagtail with a raspy call flew over east and the 4 Cattle Egret, that I had early in with the cattle off Pool Road, were now at Simpson’s Field where there was also 4 Shoveler, single Tufted Duck and Common Sandpiper. At the woodpile, I just got onto a distant Brent Goose flying east over the Roads towards St Martins. I returned to the Abbey Pool to find that the Swallow had increased from 50 early to 110 Swallow with 20 Sand and 4 House Martin. Leaving Tresco in the kayak shortly afterwards, I bumped into a stunning summer plumage Great Northern Diver that just kept coming closer and closer and wouldn’t leave me alone. In the end I got home at about 20.30 and fed the pigs. I did feed them also before I left early on this morning as well

Over 20 Willow Warbler were counted at tye Abbey pool with only the odd ones and twos along Pool Road

And what a bonus to come across only my third record of Coal Tit on Scilly along Pool Road

The 4 Cattle Egret are still with us

Just got onto this Brent Goose distantly flying east

Leaving Tresco in the evening light, I couldn’t believe my luck when this cracking Great Northern Diver appeared in front of me while kayaking towards St Mary’s

Last Friday while on Bryher, I stumbled onto this Hoopoe at Fraggle Rock

And on the same day on Tresco, this Yellow-legged Gull was at Simpson’s Field

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Hoopoe in the garden!!

5th April 2021

I’ve seen Hoopoe all over the shop abroad and many on Scilly included two already this year. To get one only meters away from your bedroom window, where I took this pic of it having a good ole stretch, makes this individual pretty special out of the other 100s I’ve seen.

My nose felt freezing as I ventured outside to work this morning in a blowing bitter cold NNE. As I worked over last Friday, I finished early this afternoon and the first place that I was goin to was the warmth back home and to stay indoors. However, the sun came through mid-afternoon and I ended up at Rose Hill where I kicked a Tree Pipit. The pipit showed well very briefly and 4 Siskin flew east. For next few hours, all I had seen of note were the Great Spotted Woodpecker, 10 Stock Dove and at Content in the horse paddocks, yet another male Pied Flycatcher. My third male in equal amount of days.

This Tree Pipit at Rose Hill, showed very well compared to the three I had yesterday

This Great Tit nearby was keeping a close eye on me

Five of the 10 Stock Dove near Content

Feeding with the doves were over 30 Wood pigeon

This Pied Flycatcher kept it’s distance in the horse paddocks at Content and was my third male in three days.

Returning home, I immediately put the heater on and sat next to it for the next hour. In that time I had a quick look out of the window to see if the Gold and Greenfinch had increased on the feeders. Stuff the finches! Meters from the window there was a Hoopoe actively feeding!! I first took some record shots before settling down and getting the tripod out. Within minutes, it started stretching it’s wings and at the same time, raising it’s crown. I couldn’t believe that I had a Hoopoe directly in front of my window, although it was slowly moving away from me towards the stable in the paddock as the light was fading. Not long ago I was waking up to ‘Ralf’ the Glaucous Gull on my bird table every morning for two months. Now hopefully the first bird I see tomorrow morning is this Hoopoe.

This was the first pic I took just incase it decided to make a move and disappear

One of the local Song Thrush doesn’t know what to make of the exotic visitor in his garden

All images of the Hoopoe were taken from the bedroom window and hopefully there will be more to come tomorrow. Do you think that it will visit the bird table if I put Leatherjackets on there? In less than a year I’ve had three most colourful species of migrant in the garden. First a male Golden Oriole, followed by a Bee-eater and now this Hoopoe.

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Samson, Bryher and Tresco

4th April 2021

Bryher turned up 2 Ring Ouzel at the campsite

The sea was inviting and early this morning I set off towards Samson in the still water. Rowing out of Sharks Pit, the Canada Goose flew south overhead followed by the Iceland Gull circling above me. As it was goin to be a sunny day, I thought I would hit Samson first before all the crowds arrive in their boats. After an hour of stomping around the island, there were a single Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Wheatear, and my first Tree Pipit and 2 Whitethroat of the year. The pipit flew straight north. When news broke of a Red-throated Diver off Samson, viewed from St Mary’s, within seconds I scanned to calm waters to the east but like before, all I could see were 4 Great Northern Diver.

This Willow Warbler was feeding with 3 Chiffchaff in the only large Tamarisk Bush on Samson

My first Whitethroat of the year popped up out of a Holly Bush only to disappear deeper into it out of sight

3 Wheatear were spening their time on the west beach

A few minutes of leaving Samson, two ribs turned up and I arrived at Rushy Bay, Bryher. I had only been on the island for twenty minutes, birding the south and west side of Samson Hill and already I had notched up a total of 15 Willow Warbler, 20 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap, 3 White Wagtail, 3 Wheatear and 4 Swallow flew straight through north. Hopefully this was goin to continue while walking around the rest of the island. It was mostly more Willows, Chiffs and Blackcaps but when I reached Popplestones, new migrants started appearing including 2 Whitethroat, 2 Tree Pipit and a male Pied Flycatcher. At the campsite nearby there were 2 Ring Ouzel and 2 Redwing. By the time I returned back to my kayak, I had counted 20 Blackcap, 30 Willow Warbler, 50 Chiffchaff, 12 Wheatear and in small groups moving through north, 15 Swallow. I just had time to quickly cover the two pools on Tresco and here the only species of note were 5 Willow Warbler, 15 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, 1 Wheatear, 80 House Martin, 20 Swallow with less than 10 Sand Martin. The 4 Cattle Egret were enjoying the evening sun on Simpson’s Field. My time was up and with more species of migrants on Bryher, it does question what else was on the rest of Tresco?

Unfortunately, this was all I could get on the male Pied Flycatcher as it was very active spending all it’s time deep in cover

The 2 Ring Ouzel performed very well at the campsite

i saw my first Tree Pipit of the year fly north while on Samson earlier followed by two birds on the deck on Bryher

There were also some 15 Meadow Pipit in the area

Chiifchaff were all over the shop with over 50 counted

Alsoscattered around the island were over 30 Willow Warbler

With only 12 Wheatear altogether

Well over 50 Robin on St Mary’s yesterday but today on Bryher, there were less than ten

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Wryneck at Maypole

3rd April 2021

This Blue-headed Wagtail performed well at Porth Hellick pool this afternoon but no sign of the Ashy-headed Wagtail that was still present yesterday but only in the morning.

Cracking day and here was me thinking about goin kayaking. I got out in the field later than I wanted and did the loop around the Garrison. all of note were fly through Ring Ouzel near the Stevel and in the east horse paddocks there were a single Kestrel, 2 White Wagtail and a male Merlin. The latter species, I had on a post yesterday only meters from my window. During the stroll, Darren Hart found a Hoopoe at Pelistry and that made my decision to slowly make my ways to the east of the island on me bike. The stables was full of horse riders but I still managed to get the first Pied Flycatcher of the year for Scilly that performed well in the warm sun. I had just arrived at the last field on the left before the beach of Pelistry Lane and the Hoopoe flew across the field and sat in a tree and was on view but distant for a good ten minutes for the small crowd present. It moved to feed on the deck and was still present when I left and observed 4 Siskin fly west over the farm immediately followed by 3 Jackdaw goin south.

The 2 White Wagtail showed well in the east horse paddocks of the Garrison

With 2 Redstart on St Martins earlier in the day, I was hoping to bump into one while birding but was rewarded with my earliest returning record of Pied Flycatcher instead.

My second Hoopoe in less than a month but this individual, found by Darren Hart, kept it’s distance at Pelistry

It had just gone 13.00 and as I approached Maypole Triangle from Holy Vale on me bike, I took the right turning at the junction and at the side of the road was a Wryneck! This was only my third spring sighting of this species in spring, including one 27th March, 100 years ago! I moved as fast as I could, but slowly, struggling to get my camera out of my rucksack. It was too late as a car flushed it and I watched it fly across the field towards Maypole Farm. I spent over an hour trying to relocate it, but nothin. At Porth Hellick, I got what I presume is one of yesterday Blue-headed Wagtail from yesterday, on the pool but nothin else of note except the 3 Shovoler and on the down there were 2 Wheatear. I finished the day off back on the Garrison where there were 2 Redwing and a single Fieldfare. Throughout the day, Swallows and Sand Martins were trickling through but only 2 House Martin and both Willow Warbler and Blackcap were at most of the sights that I visited.

This smart looking Blue-headed Wagtail showed well at Porth Hellick

While taking pics of the wagtail, the 3 Shoveler dropped in and landed at close range from me.

2 Wheatear on Porth Hellick Down were the only ones I saw all day

There were 2 Redwing in the east horse paddocks on the Garrison

Altogether I had a total of 12 Blackcap including this male at Maypole where I had 4 while searching for the Wryneck

Also 15 Chiffchaff and including this individual at Porth Hellick, 12 Willow Warbler

Also a small influx of Robin with at least over 50 birds including this very scruffy individual

While this Robin, that was chasing the one above, was in good shape

Well over 120 Linnet scattered around the island with the highest count being 46 at the stables

Yesterday I kayaked over to Tresco after work and spent a short time there before dark. With very small numbers of hirundines on St Mary’s, I was kinda of surprised when at Abbey Pool and there were some 150 hirundines hawking including, 60 House and 60 Sand Martin and 30 Swallow. Otherwise all I noted in the general area of the two pools were, 6 Willow Warbler, 4 White and 2 Pied Wagtail, 6 Sandwich Tern, 5 Shoveler, single Tufted Duck and off Pool Road, the 4 Cattle Egret.

Only a fraction of the 150+hirundines hawking over abbey Pool

Including over 60 House Martin

Fly catching in the evening light off the roofs of the town were 4 White and 2 Pied Wagtail

The 4 Cattle Egret have now been present on Scilly for nearly five months after arriving in October

Robin Mawer caught me returning back to St Mary’s

I got a cracking shot of the sunset taken from his bedroom window

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There was putative Ashy-headed Wagtail two years ago also at the same sight but no one got a recording of the call. Todays individual, found by Martin Goodey, could be the real deal with good sound recordings and if accepted could prove to be the first Scilly record

Just before work, I did a quick loop around the campsite in the strong easterlies and got 6 Chiffchaff , 2 Blackcap and a single Willow Warbler. Just after 16.00, Martin Goodey attached pics of a flava wagtail onto the Scilly Bird News WhatsApp group that he had taken at Porth Hellick Beach. The response from other birders were that it looked good for ASHY-HEADSED WAGTAIL. I had to wait until I finished work and the first sighting I got of it were cracking flight views as it flew only meters from me from the pool to the beach at head height. Instead of getting the camera on to it, I pointed the recorder at it as it flew by. After this, it was just observed in flight before heading off east from the pool and despite a few of us searching for over an hour, there was no sign of it. However, I did get my first Swallow and House Martin of the year with a handful of Sand Martin and 11 Greenshank also dropped into the pool and a Siskin flew south.

Willow Warbler at the campsite I also had two yesterday at Newford Duck Pond

Martin Goodey took these images on the beach where he first discovered the ASHY-HEADED WAGTAIL

These 11 Greenshank dropped into Porth Hellick

I was still at Porth Hellick when the boss called me and asked me to take him to Porthloo from the quay. That wasn’t my plan but at the former sight, I scanned the beach and got the same species that were here yesterday including 2 Black Redstart, 2 Mediterranean Gull a single Sandwich Tern and the 2 Iceland Gull. Shortly afterwards I was on the west side of the golf course where I got 2 male Ring Ouzel feeding in the sloping fields. Two days ago, I had two garden ticks including one of the Canada Geese from Tresco, NNW in the morning and later in the afternoon, a vocal Green Sandpiper flew over NE.

There were 2 Black Redstart showing well at Porthloo Beach including this cracking male

While on the water there were 2 Mediterranean Gull

And the 2 Iceland Gull including ‘Billy’ above

The light was fading as I went in search of Ring Ouzel at the golf course and came across these two males in the west sloping fields

I’m getting 2 Greenfinch daily in the garden but the Chaffinch have dropped to five birds

Also this evening, I had up to 4 Diamond-back Moth at Porth Hellick. Yesterday I had four on the campsite

This Silver-Y was also at the campsite

This Herald Moth was at Holy Vale

Where I also had up to 18 Twenty Plume Moth

Including at work and the campsite area, there were a total of 9 Red Admiral yesterday

And a single Peacock also at work

On the 29th March it was T-shirt weather and I kayaked over to Bryher. Here I got the first Willow Warbler of the year

In off the sea from the west was this Short-eared Owl over Hell Bay trying to escape the gulls from mobbing it

A few of the 8 Chiffchaff present had messy faces from pollen while feeding around flowers from further south where they have just migranted from. There were also 2 Firecrest and 3 Kestrel on the island

Wheatears are still a bit thin on the ground with only ones and twos being seen


On the coastal path of Shipman’s Down I almost stood on my first Oil Beetle and Green Tiger Beetles of the year

Also got my first Speckled Wood of the year totaling seven of them.

Looking from Shipman’s Heads Down towards St Mary’s in the distance with Tresco Great Pool in between

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