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Woodchat Shrike at Golf Course

24th April 2022

I thought I turned up this Woodchat Shrike on the golf course but discovered shortly afterwards that Antony Kinread had it some twenty minutes before me!

A day off and I gave it a good bashing around part of St Mary’s. I started off at Porth Hellick, arriving there before 08.00 and immediately as I got out of the wagon, I could hear a distant Grasshopper Warbler reeling at Higher Moors. On the otherside of the road a single Lesser Redpoll flew east and opposite the hides, there was my first Cuckoo of the year. On the pool were 2 Snipe, 2 Teal and in off the sea from the south, 3 Mute Swan circled the pool and flew out SW. On the beach there were a male Black Redstart and some 40 House and 25 Sand Martin 30 Swallow. Over an hour later of covering the area, totals of common migrants new in included, 9 Sedge, 8 Reed, 7 Willow Warbler and 6 Blackcap and 10 Chiffchaff. At the stables there was only a single Fieldfare.

This male Black Redstart was enjoying the morning sun on the beach

From 2 yesterday to 8 singing male Reed Warbler this morning at Porth Hellick

And from a single yesterday to 9 singing male Sedge Warbler

These 3 Mute Swan, in off the sea, were new in or probably from Tresco

Only a single Fieldfare remained at the stables out of the 4 birds yesterday

After getting somethin down my neck, I was out again and strolled around the NE of the island with nothin of note except for more common migrants dotted around and a single Whimbrel and Great Northern Diver. It was not until a few hours later that I decided to try out the golf course. I could immediately see that there were still large numbers of Wheatear and the Golden Plover but only a single male Ring Ouzel, still present. However, it was not until I reached the center wall where I thought I found a Woodchat Shrike. I first called the owner of the golf club to sort out permission for others to see the shrike and then put the news out. A few birders soon arrived but the woodchat had gone missing after being pushed on by a male Stonechat. A few of us, including the finder, Antony Kinread who first had it before I set eyes on it, went in search of it and as a result turned up 2 Yellow Wagtail and 2 female Ring Ouzel in the east fields from the club house and altogether, there were a total of 150 Wheatear. I continued into the fields and flushed the shrike out, with no idea it was there, back to the centre wall on the course. Those viewing from the club house immediately picked it up. Later on I had another reeling Grasshopper Warbler at the junction of Telegraph/Porthloo Lane then after yesterday, another great day, I made my way home as I was starting to feel peckish.

The Woodchat Shrike only showed well very briefly, when it hit the deck on it’s prey before flying some way down the wall

The Golden Plover was still present from yesterday

Altogether today, I had a total of 220 Wheatear and 3 Ring Ouzel including in this image, the male of the latter species and up to 16 of the former species.

Also 25 Chiffchaff and Blackcap and including this individual, 20 Willow Warbler

2 Grasshopper, 8 Reed and including this individual, 18 Sedge Warbler

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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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