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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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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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