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2 Ortolan Bunting on Tresco

12th September 2021

Before I turned up the 2 Ortolan Bunting on Tresco, I discovered this juvenile Rose-coloured Starling on Bryher in the churchyasd.

Cracking days birding from dawn to dusk. It started off with brief views of the Western Bonelli’s Warbler still in the pines behind the cadet hut. Elsewhere in the area were 2 Pied and 6 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Whinchat, 6 Blackcap and 2 Tree Pipit. At 08.00 I was on the water, kayaking towards Bryher in the still but dull conditions. On the latter island, common migrants were in good numbers but it wasn’t until I got to the church that I found my first scarce bird of the day. I opened the gate to go through to the churchyard but stopped dead in my tracks as I half opened the gate. I noticed that there was a juvenile Rose-coloured Starling only meters in front of me preening on top of a stump! A few minutes later it was on top of the church roof then it flew off but came down in a nearby hedge with other Starling. On the east side of Shipmanshead Down were a flighty Wryneck and 2 Golden Plover. On the down, over 30 Wheatear and the cliff edge provided cover for 5 Willow Warbler new in. Four hours after arriving on Bryher, totals included single Rose-coloured Starling, Wryneck, 2 Golden Plover, Common Sandpiper, Lesser Whitethroat, Redstart, Whitethroat, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Tree Pipit, 10 Blackcap and Willow Warbler, 12 Whinchat, 7 Reed Warbler, 12 Pied and 20 Spotted Flycatcher and 40 Wheatear.

After over week, the Western Bonelli’s Warbler is still performing well in the pines behind the cadet hut and changing rooms on the Garrison

Flycatchers were in good numbers including up to 20 Spotted Flycatcher

Also 12 Whinchat

I’ve found many adults, including two or three this year but this is the first juvenile Rose-coloured Starling that I’ve discovered and did it show well in the churchyard

This Wryneck was on the east side of Shipmanshead Down

The Marsh Harrier flew from Tresco towards Samson with St Mary’s in the distance

A short hop from Bryher and I was on Samson where I arrived at low tide to find waders all over the shop feeding on the flats. In with some 40 Dunlin were 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Knot and 7 Bar-tailed Godwit. On land of note, just 2 Whinchat. At 16.00 I was on Tresco and the Abbey Pool had more mud than water and there was not a single wader in sight! It was on the Great Pool where the waders were hanging out, including a single Little Stint feeding with 10 Dunlin On the water were 4 Shoveler and the first Wigeon of the autumn and nearby were 3 pied and 2 Spotted Flycatcher and 4 Whinchat. I just had time to get up to Castle Down to where yesterday the Dotterel was still present. I didn’t get a chance to look for the plover as I bumped into a Ortolan Bunting on the track towards Cromwell’s Castle! It was while I was taking pics of it sat in the heather, that I could hear another one behind me. I turned around to find it grovelling along the track. Both birds were very vocal, calling to each other. They were in small loose flock of mobile Meadow pipit and ten minutes later, I observed the buntings disappear low over the slope with the pipits. The Ortolans had taken up my time and I had to leave the Dotterel for another day as the light was no longer on my side. Returning along the track, I kicked the Wryneck that’s been here for nearly a week, the Marsh Harrier flew by and a Redstart was near to New Grimbsy. I passed 8 Mediterranean Gull from my kayak and reached home just before 20.00 and boy, was I tired!

On Samson Flats there were up to 3 Curlew Sandpiper

2 knot

7 Bar-tailed Godwit

And over 40 Dunlin

A heavily cropped record shot of the Little Stint at the SE end of Tresco Great Pool

The morning provided me with the pink stinker on Bryher and the evening on Tresco, these 2 Ortolan Bunting!

And just as it was getting dark, the Marsh Harrier appeared over the down

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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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