30th May 2021
The Alpine Swift was three days ago, SE low overhead while I was working. The Quail above was flushed off a track, English Island Point, St Martins, yesterday where I kayaked dipped out on the Red-rumped Swallow seen earlier on the island.
Today I kayaked to Bryher where I was expecting to turn up somethin reasonably good with the ESE. I had been on the island for nearly two hours and both Nigel Wheatly and Mush let me know that they had seen Black stork and Kite and in the same field, Woodchat and a male Red-backed Shrike! Also good numbers of Red Kite. All I had come across were 10 Whimbrel, 9 Sanderling, single Cuckoo, Spotted Flycatcher and 2 Wheatear. An hour later I was almost at my kayak at Rushy Bay, after giving up, when I saw some movement in the shadow of a Pittosporum and lifted up my bins. Red-backed Shrike! There were folks everywhere and it was just about to be flushed. I quickly fired off three record shots before it was pushed deeper into the bush where I lost it. I looked at the BOC shot and was happy it was a male. Forty minutes of searching for it and I returned back to the spot where I had it earlier and got a very brief view of a female Red-backed Shrike flying away from me. I had to look at the BOC shot again a few times and was still happy that it was a male that I photographed. Later on, the female was seen again by others but I had gone after another hour of unsuccessfully trying to relocate the two shrikes. Returning home proved hard work in the very choppy conditions and the stiff easterly breeze and I hit Sharks Pit, St Mary’s, an hour later after leaving Bryher. I did get close flight views of 3 Manx Shearwater as I struggled back in The Roads.
It’s when I went through the pics of the shrike on the laptop at home that I could clearly see that in fact, it was a female Red-backed Shrike and not a male. From the record shot, although it’s got a grey head, you can just make out barring on the flanks and not the solid black mask like a male.
There were 2 Spotted Flycatcher in the same area as the Red-backed Shrike. The pics above were taken in the pine belt opposite the Castle Obs window two days ago
2 Wheatear were on Shipman’s Down
This Ringed Plover was also on the down
This Blackbird was enjoying the sun
There were up to 4 Goldfinch on the island
Also 3 Painted Lady
Looking from Samson Flats towards St Mary’s.
I had a quick look up at the golf course later when I returned to St Mary’s and there was the pale-headed Iceland Gull. I had Billy in the garden before I left for Bryher this morning. Nearby at Telegraph there were 3 Swift, 9 House Martin and a single Spotted Flycatcher.
The pale-headed Iceland Gull
Two days ago, this Wood Sandpiper spent the day at Porth Hellick
Swallow back home