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3rd LITTLE SWIFT for Scilly!

2nd June 2021

A heavily cropped pic of the LITTLE SWIFT I had late this evening at Porth Hellick before it disappeared with hirundines, NW towards Longstones

It’s funny the way things go. Earlier today, Trevor Clayson found a pair of Garganey on St Agnes and I ain’t seen a male Garganey since the 16 I had in Palestine three year ago. My plan was to kayak twitch the ducks but Bob winn, who is staying on St Agnes, let me know that there was no sign of them before I was just about to depart St Mary’s. So instead, I did what all the other birders have been doin on St Mary’s. Try and find a Rose-coloured Starling after the three turning up two days ago on Scilly and many more across the British Isles. This included today of an amazing flock of 13 on Alderney and Jamie Partridge had 5 in off the sea at South Foreland lighthouse, Kent!

Read Jamie’s account here of the event on his blog But read mine first before you go there

At the moment, I’ve got over 50 Starling visiting the garden but elsewhere that I looked around St Mary’s, they were in smaller numbers and nothin was with them. At Green Farm, there was a Turtle Dove and I thought I would check Porth Hellick to see if maybe the Garganey were there. It had gone 21.00 when I left the hides to return back to me wagon. I was looking up to the overcast skies scanning for hirundines with my naked eye when I got onto a swift overhead. Even though it was pretty high up, I could see that this was somethin different and when I got my bins onto it, As I thought, LITTLE SWIFT! It continued to fly south until I lost it. I couldn’t believe what had just happened and so quick and I didn’t get a pic of it. No ones goin to believe me. I mean, me misidentifying a male Red-backed Shrike from a female or misidentifying a summer plumage Great White Egret for a Little Egret! Now come on!? Even though I saw the swift very briefly, in bad light and distant and didn’t see the white rump, I was very happy in what I had just observed and i let others know about it. A few minutes later, a flock of 50-60 Swallow and some 10 House Martin were above me and I frantically went through them with my bins, but nothin. Instead I switched to my naked eye and bingo, I got onto it immediately. What a relief it was when I picked up the swift with them. I quickly fired off some shots before the flock, including the swift, flew off NW towards Longstones only to see Robin arrive with others close behind. Everyone present, had the idea that the hirundines would return to roost at Porth Hellick and hopefully the swift would be with them and maybe roost on a nearby cliff. After forty five minutes, not a single Swallow came back and we could only guess that they roosted at Lower Moors or even Tresco and maybe the swift decided to roost on a building in town. Who knows but hopefully the swift will be relocated tomorrow with a Rose-coloured Starling or two. And if those Garganey were still on St Agnes this evening after I finished work……

Just before work, I had a quick look on the Dead Pine walk, Garrison and came across this Peregrine perched on one of the tall dead pines

There is a family of Great Tit and above, this juvenile Robin in the garden at the moment

‘Billy’ here at Porthloo this evening but still coming to the garden every day, with the odd visit to the bird table

Grey Heron

And I finished the day off with two very brief fly through of the LITTLE SWIFT at Porth Hellick. It was hard work trying to focus on the swift with the camera with the dull light and it being high up. Above are four of the six record shots, heavily cropped, that I managed to get before it disappeared.

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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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