23rd December 2021
Shortly after 15.00, Turned up at Trench Pool, scanned with my bins from the car, and immediately spotted this 2nd winter Caspian Gull on the far side!
On the 20th, I traveled up north on the train from Penzance to Salop to spend Christmas with my family. The following day, my mate Ian Grant turned up a mega. Just a stone’s throw away over the border in Staffordshire he found a male Baikal Teal at Aqualate. There were also 3 Scaup and he relocated the Ferruginous duck that was last seen just up the road at Belvide a few weeks ago. I couldn’t believe my luck! Two British ticks and only a twenty-minute drive away from my parent’s house! However, I couldn’t twitch the ducks until this morning and with the Fudge Duck still present yesterday but there was no sign of the teal, I found myself scanning with Ian through the 2000+Coot. I don’t think I’ve observed so many Coot before and with the foggy conditions, it was goin to be hard work. In with the 400 Teal and Wigeon and some 40 Goldeneye, we got the 3 Scaup and new in were 9 Whooper Swan. It brightened up later on but there was still no sign of the target species after standing in one spot for over two hours. Shortly afterwards, I was back in Salop, searching through the 120 Shoveler at Chetwynd. My thought was that I was hoping that one of the rare ducks might be commuting between the two bodies of water. That wasn’t to be and I could only muster some 20 Tufted Duck and 9 Gooseander.
No sign of the Baikal Teal or Ferruginous Duck at Aqualate but these 9 Whooper Swan flew low over some 2000 Coot and flew out north
In the afternoon, it was off to the center to finish off Christmas shopping. But not before I had a quick look at Trench Pool. While I was with Ian earlier on, we chatted about many things, including Caspian Gulls in Salop or the lack of them this winter so far with only a single record. From the car, I scanned the pool, and the first bird I laid my eyes on, was a 2nd winter Caspian Gull! I put the news out and unfortunately the gull stayed on the far side. However, a quick dash to my parent’s house, got some bread, returned, and was rewarded with closer views. It showed well in the dull light before flying to the far side again. I thought it was goin to roost with the increase of larger gulls coming in but after an hour, it flew out west over my parent’s house! There is a possible chance it might have returned to roost and hopefully I’ll catch up with it again tomorrow.
My third day in Salop and really pleased in finding my 6th Caspian Gull for Trench Pool
On the 5th December, I found this Scandinavian Rock Pipit at Porthloo. If accepted it will only be the 8th or 9th Scilly record
Also, I got some pics of the Spotted Sandpiper, now supporting a few spots at the rear, at the same location and it is still present today on St Mary’s
And like the sandpiper, it looks like the LESSER SCAUP has settled down to winter on Tresco. I took these pics over a week ago on the Abbey Pool. Nearby I also had up to 7 Siberian Chiffchaff and a single Firecrest but no sign of the 2 Dusky Warbler
Throughout December in the garden, the Chaffinch has totalled 35-40 but just before I left home, I counted up to 45-50 birds.
I have good numbers of Brambling over the garden but two birds briefly joined the Chaffinch flock on the deck was a first for the garden
This Grey Wagtail can be found every day in the garden
Also, this Water Rail has been waking me up squealing under my window first thing in the morning and also showing very well at times. All pics in the garden taken from my window
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