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My 50th outing in my kayak of 2021!

25th July 2021

I only had this Knot today from my kayak at South Beach, Tresco but a few days ago there were three birds

This morning was a stunner and shortly after 09.00, I parked my kayak up at the top of Bathing Bay, Tresco. Before I did this, I scanned the very large number of gulls on South Beach and spotted 3 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull in with them. I made the short walk to the Abbey Pool to find the small individual of the latter species that I had three days ago. Also on the pool were 3 Common Sandpiper, 20 Grey Heron, 4 Pochard, 2 Shoveler, 5 Teal and nearby on the east end of the Great Pool, 4 Little Egret. Willow Warbler were vocal and by the time and I had walked the length of Pool Road towards the Swarsovki Hide, there were a total of over 30 Willow Warbler, 2 Blackcap, single Sedge Warbler and 30 Reed Warbler with others elsewhere around the two pools. From the hide, a Hobby flew north with some 50 Swallow and 4 Sand Martin close behind. On the water of note were 6 Redshank, 3 Greenshank and 5 Pochard before I returned back to my kayak.

As usual, a scan of the gulls on the South Beach from the kayak before coming ashore and I was rewarded with 3 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull including this large individual

On the Abbey Pool there were 3 Common Sandpiper but five days ago there were up to nine birds including these four

There were well over 30 Willow Warbler on Tresco with most being observed on Pool Road

Also up to 20+Goldfinch nearby

Somethin not right here

The tide was at it’s lowest and there was no way of me getting on Samson unless I kayaked all the way round to the West Beach. No surprise were 7 willow Warbler and 2 Blackcap in the centre of the island but I was off in the kayak again as there were noisy crowds with dogs barking scattered along the flats disturbing almost everything. I guess this is why the terns don’t breed here anymore. It was so calm out at sea and I found myself slowly, gently rowing on towards the north end of Bryher where I found large numbers of both Compass and Blue Jellyfish drifting past. I came back through Tresco Channel, a very brief look on Bryher, 2 Willow Warbler, and then returned back to the South Beach of Tresco. It was now 18.00 and as I passed the 300 Sanderling at high tide, I spotted the single Bar-tailed Godwit and Knot that I had yesterday feeding with them. Also 23 Dunlin, 13 Whimbrel, only 25 Turnstone and 4 Mediterranean Gull and at 20.00, I was back at Sharks Pit on St Mary’s. According to my Steptracker, I had covered over 25 miles, both on land and sea, from the second I stepped out of my door this morning! It wasn’t the greatest day for my 50th time out in the kayak but it questions how many miles have I covered in all those times I’ve got onto the water?

There were up to 7 Willow Warbler on Samson

Good numbers of butterfly and Grass Egger on Samson including this Small Copper

While on the west beach there was my first juvenile Great Black-backed Gull of the year

Lesser Black-backed Gull

From over 100 a few days ago to an increase of over 300 sanderling feeding on the South Beach

From the kayak I managed to get some images of the Knot also on the South Beach

Close to the shore were up to 4 Mediterranean Gull including my first juvenile of the year allowing close approach in the kayak

Back home, the three pairs of Swallow have been very successful with juveniles flying all over the shop. Now the adults are busy repairing the nests ready for their second brood as they come to collect mud from the edge of the water just in front of the my window where I took these pics from.

Daily I get families of Green and Goldfinch also coming to bath and drink in the pool

And good numbers of Herring Gull as well

On the 19th July I kayaked out from St Mary’s to the NW of Annet where I just got onto the first juvenile Yellow-legged Gull of the year, two miles NW of the latter island out at sea as it flew straight through north. I continued to kayak past the Western Rocks and the eastern side of St Agnes but for the 10+miles I covered, there was nothin else of note

Again a very small number of Guillemot

And this was the only Puffin I came across

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Bridled Guillemot at Western Rocks

10th July 2021

Got crippling views from my kayak of my first ever ‘Bridled’ Guilomot just south of the Western Rocks

With only two taxis at work this morning, I found myself taking advantage of the still conditions on the water in my kayak and set off from St Mary’s just before mid-day. But not before I had a quick look at the Rose-coloured Starling that was discovered four days ago feeding on a New Zealand Flame Tree opposite the police station. I had not been out the harbour when I discovered ‘Wally’ the Walrus relaxing on the stern of a boat. I kept my distance but as I rowed away, after hearing screaming I turned back, and observed a dingy only meters away from him! No considation for the welfare of the beast and also breaking the law. I continued west, with my blood boiling and twenty minutes later of kayaking, some 30 Manx Shearwater feeding off the north side of St Agnes, made me forget about the idiots in the harbour. At close range, the sheawaters were plunging into the water and coming back up with what looked like Anchovies. It wasn’t long until I reached Annet and as I passed the east side, a total of 61 vocal Common Tern got up and settled back down on the boulders while others pitched down on rocks directly infront of me. I took some pics then moved on south towards the Western Rocks. Last time I was kayaking in this area, a month ago, there were 40-50 Puffin and very large numbers of auks. It proved hard work but I managed to see five Puffin. I was now south of Great Crebawethan and from Annet to the latter rock, I had passed less than ten auks. So I was totally surprised when I came across my first ever ‘Bridled‘ Guilomot feeding with a single Razorbill. And did it show off!! I spent a good ten minutes with both birds as they let me almost touch them as they continued preening. Not a species but what a cracking looking individual.

This is my first July Rose-coloured Starling and it’s difficult to estamate how many have turned up so far this year. Maybe 7+ but it could easily be more or even less?

‘Wally’ the Walrus was just settling down on the stern of this vessal when some fools in a dingy, started shouting as they were only meters from him! Later on, he was found on the pontoon that was put there for him and guess what? Despite that everyone could see him from the quay out in the open, still idiots were observed almost on top of him as he tried to have a nap. Fortunatly he stayed on the pontoon until dark. If folks continue to try and see him from only meters away in their dingies, then he’s goin to feel unsettled and won’t return to his pontoon and instead he might go and sink another vessal like he did before.

Spent a good thirty minutes with 30 Manx Shearwater just east of St Agnes in the overcast skies

The 61 Common Tern had relocated to the east side of Annet from Great Crebawethan. I was informed later on that there are 19 pairs breeding on the former island which is great news!

In the next hour from Annet, I had passed maybe 7 Guillomot instead of the large numbers I had a month ago, including this individual

My first ever ‘Bridled Guillemot was this corker just south of Great Crebawethan. I didn’t really know anythin about this form and searched Ecosia and found this useful information from this blog ‘David at the HALL of EINAR’

The Razorbill that occupied the Guillemot also gave crippling views

Altogether I only came across 3 Fulmar

And a handful of Kittiwake

The sun was burning my neck as I made my ways towards Samson where I had a single Common Sandpiper and Whimbrel, 3 Redshank, 3 Dunlin, 2 Sanderling and 32 Turnstone. I had an hour on Bryher and found that the Dark-bellied Brent Goose was still present on the pool. This time I lay down in the dry grass on the north bank as the goose came to the shore and preened for twenty minutes before making it’s way toward me until it was almost on top of me! It had no idea that I was there but was spooked by a couple passing by and flew to the other side of the pool. There was also a single fully grown Oystercatcher chick on Stinky Porth nearby. By the time I had returned to St Mary’s, I clocked up 14 miles and it turned out to be another amazing kayaking day!

There were only 2 Sanderling as I passed Samson

Last week when I was taking pics of this dark-bellied Brent Goose, it was dull and I was getting very wet. Today the sun was burning on me and the light was spot on

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Dark-bellied Brent Goose on Bryher

4th July 2021

As dark-bellied Brent Goose are rare on Scilly, this individual at the Big pool, Bryher, may only be my second record of this race on the islands

This afternoon, I kayaked over to Tresco and it was juveniles that were the highlights including the first possible confirmed record of Siskin breeding on the island. I only covered the South Beach and two pools. It was along Pool Road where I had famlies of Goldcrest and Reed Warbler and two famlies of Great Tit. Then I came across a male Siskin busy feeding a single juvenile. On the Great Pool there were good numbers of both Coot and Gadwall young. Great news was that the 7 Pochard duckling had survived and flown over from the Abbey Pool to feed off Simpsmon Field with the 2 females. Also present were 5 Redshank and single Greenshank, White Wagtail and Teal. A Lesser Redpoll flew overhead. Later on at the Abbey Pool the Pochard had returned where there were still the 7 Shelduck duckling. On the heliport ‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull was resting with a 3rd summer Yellow-legged Gull, 150 Lesser and 100 Great Black-backed Gull with lesser numbers of Herring Gull.

Before I left forTtresco, I had a look at the pale-headed Iceland Gull that has been spending most of it’s time at Telegraph in the last week

This juvenile Siskin at Pool Road, being fed by a male, could be the first confirmed breeding record on Tresco.

Very good numbers of Reed Warbler on Tresco including a family of four juveniles off Pool Road

Also up to two families of Great Tit at each end of the road


This Yellow-legged Gull was only on the deck of the heliport for less than a minute

‘Billy’ the Iceland Gull hanging out on the heliport. He’s not visited the garden in the last five days which the longest that he’s been away since arriving eight months ago

Almost a week ago, a crazy record for the time of year, was a dark-bellied Brent Goose on Tresco before it made the short hop to Bryher where it was still present yesterday. So I left Tresco and in the showers, I kayaked twitched the goose. I was only on Bryher for less than hour and found the Brent Goose feeding on Eel Grass only meters away from the west bank of the Big pool. It wasn’t concerned of my presence, as I lay in the wet grass and dull conditions, and continued to feed. Returning to my kayak, I passed a very noisy family of Great Tit but otherwise nothin else of note before returning back to St Mary’s.

It feels more like winter than mid-summer observing 2 Iceland Gull and this Brent Goose and last week a Redwing was seen on St Mary’s

Last week, the Rose-coloured Starling was still at Nowhere. These record shots were taken in Elms just opposite Nowhere west of the football field. It looks like it’s moved to Carn Friars where it was seen yesterday

And ‘Wally’ the Walrus is causing havoc when it visits the harbour. The images above were taken last week when two folk in a dingy were trying to get Wally off their boat where he was having a nap. I was on my ways to Tresco in my kayak when I passed and observed him get successfully kicked off. A few days ago, he was resting on the pontoon close to the quay where he was out of harms way and everyone could at last have a look at him out in the open from afar. Unfortunately, too many folks in their boats, wanted to get closer to him, only meters away, and you can guess want happened? As a result he left the pontoon and went in search of a safer place to relax and sunk a small fishing boat!! With him damaging locals vessels and their livelihoods, understandably, there is talk of working out a plan to move him on. But how do you do that?? He was back in the harbour today, resting on the ambulance boat.

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