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3rd LESSER SCAUP for Scilly

7th November 2021

This LESSER SCAUP first turned up on St Agnes at end of October The following day it was relocated at the Tresco Great Pool where I managed to get this record shot today

Not getting out in the kayak for over a month, I was eager to jump in it and get out on the water. I arrived at South Beach in the bright sun and I immediately got my target species with a quick scan of the Abbey Pool. viewing from the west side, the LESSER SCAUP, which has been on Tresco for nearly two weeks now, was hanging out with 4 Mallard near to the island. Ideal! But I would like to get a better view of the scaup and made my ways to the east side where it was closer to the shore. For the next twenty minutes, I searched for the duck but it had disappeared and was more than likely back on the Great Pool where it’s been favoring during it’s stay. Nothin else of note on the pool and I cracked on. At the Abbey Crossroads, there was a concentration of a small number of Chiffchaff and Goldcrest. Mixed in with them were a single Willow Warbler, 2 vocal Siberian Chiffchaff and a silent Eastern ‘type’ Lesser whitethroat. The whitethroat proved hard to get as it was very mobile and I only observed it briefly before it moved on.

Heavily cropped shot of the LESSER SCAUP on the Abbey Pool with Mallard

These 2 Siberian Chiffchaff (top two images) at Abbey Crossroads were feeding with some 15 Chiffchaff

And this is the best I could do of a Willow Warbler that moved through the Sallows in a flash

Blue Tit

There were 2 Sparrowhawk knocking around

From the south end to the north end of Pool Road, there were good numbers of Chiffchaff and I also added 4 Siberian Chiffchaff. In the fields bordering the road, in with the 40 Scandinavian Redwing, I spotted a single Icelandic Redwing and Mistle Thrush. From the Swarovski Hide of note were a single Shoveler, 2 Pochard, over 50 Gadwall, 35 Teal, the 6 Whooper Swan and distantly, the LESSER SCAUP. I spent nearly two hours in hide and the scaup came a little closer but I was now looking right into the sun, making observation and photography very difficult. It was worth the two hours sitting in the hide just listening to the very noisy Whooper Swans. Time was almost up on me and I had to get back home. Returning to my kayak, I had one more look at the Abbey Pool where there was a family of 4 pale-bellied Brent Geese, 6 Little Egret came into roost and over 100 Meadow Pipit flew SSE. A scan through the hundreds of large gulls off South Beach revealed an adult HerringxLesser Black-backed Gull before it flew off south. Five minutes later I was following the hybrid in the same direction, south back to St Mary’s.

This Scandinavian Redwing was one of the 40 in the Abbey fields

And feeding with them was this single Icelandic Redwing

Along Abbey Road were 4 Siberian Chiffchaff

And up to 20 chiffchaff

After just catching these 6 Whooper Swan flying away from me over St Mary’s over two weeks ago, it was good to catch up with them settled on the Great Pool

The LESSER SCAUP kept it’s distance on the Great pool and it appears as though it’s moulting into to a male.

Returning back to my kayak and passing the Abbey Pool, were a family of pale-bellied Brent Geese

A large number of over 100 Meadow Pipit flew SSE over the Abbey Pool

And just before I jumped into my kayak, I spotted this HerringxLesser Black-backed Gull off South Beach

The Arctic Warbler at Content Lane was last seen on the 4th. During it’s four-day stay it was very obliging showing at very close range that at times you couldn’t focus on to it with your camera.

Despite having a tick behind it’s eye and having it’s beak half-open all the time, the Arctic Warbler appeared to feed well and on one occasion it spiraled down from the top of the Elms after a fly and almost landed on my shoe!! I couldn’t focus and had to back off and as you can see, it successfully caught it’s prey. crazy but a delightful bird to spend time with.

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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

2 thoughts on “3rd LESSER SCAUP for Scilly”

  1. Good stuff 👍 – I was thinking of doing a trip next August – I’d like to photograph Great Shearwater again – unfortunately, I’m crap on boats ( what can you recommend for a dodgy stomach ) – and which week ? Glyn


    1. There are two reasons why I don’t go on Scilly Pelagics Like many others, you already know the one reason. The other is that I go green whenever I get on a boat. So can’t help you on that one Which week? That’s difficult to answer as it’s all comes down to whether or luck. The end of July into sep seems to be the most productive mate.


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