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24th May 2022

This male BLACK-HEADED BUNTING at Rushy Bay Flats, Bryher, is only my second ever sighting of this species after a autumn individual in September on Tresco over 15 years ago . So I guess really this cracker is like a new species.

You have some good days and you have some awesome days. And this was an extra awesome day!! It all started this morning, after doin a few taxi’s, at Porth Hellick, a female ‘type’ Golden Oriole flew low across in front of me towards the loop trail. On the pool, the Wood Sandpiper that was first sighted at Lower Moors two days ago, was in front of the Sussex hide. It was while back at work that news came on that the Black-headed Bunting, discovered yesterday on Bryher, was still present. So just before 16.00 I was power rowing towards the latter island in the choppy conditions making my third kayak twitch this year so far. I had only just got out of the kayak when Aravind Ramish text me of a Honey Buzzard he observed over Pelestry but had no signal to spread the news. I put the sighting out for him and a few on St Mary’s connected with the buzzard. I thought I would give a scan towards St Mary’s in hope in maybe seeing it and from Heathy Hill, I picked it up immediately, distantly flying west over The Roads towards Samson. Ideal! I continued in search of the bunting and after two hours of walking on every inch of the Rushy Bay area and Heathy Hill, there was no sign of the bunting. As a result, 3 Bee-eater that I first heard, flew over head high east over Samson Hill towards Tresco. This was followed by a Quail that I kicked off the top of Heathy Hill on my second round up there. Tony Gilbert called to let me know that he had just turned up a Short-toed Lark on the airfield. Nice one mate! All well and good but it was my target species that I so desperately needed to see.

Steve Holloways Wood Sandpiper that he discovered two days ago at Lower Moors, where these pics were taken, had made the short hop to Porth Hellick where I saw it this morning.

A record shot of the Quail I kicked off the top of Heathy Hill

I didn’t give up as I had a feeling it was in the area still and another half an hour later on my third visit on top of Heathy Hill, I finally got the BLACK-HEADED BUNTING!!! I was looking north and the bunting came low from behind me and perched on top of a small Pittosporum at close range back on before turning around front on with it’s yellow breast glowing in the evening sun. What a beauty!!! It flew off towards Rushy Bay Flats where I relocated it feeding in among the Birdsfoot Trefoil that carpeted parts of the area. I lay on my belly and waited patiently for it to make it’s way towards me. It payed off and as it came closer and closer, I couldn’t focus with the camera as it was almost touching my nose! It made a short flight to another part of the flats but I had other ideas. Ten minutes later I was power rowing back to St Mary’s and an hour later, I was trying to get record shots of a very mobile Short-toed Lark on the airfield.

Warning: Lots of images of Black-headed Bunting below…

My first sighting of the BLACK-HEADED BUNTING perched

After over two and half I finally pinned down the male BLACK-HEADED BUNTING first on Heathy Hill before it moved to Rushy Bay Flats and performed superbly at very cvlose range!

Tony Gilberts Short-toed Lark on the airfield proved very flighty and mobile and only record shot were obtained.

Wow! Highlights today including Golden Oriole, Wood Sandpiper, Honey Buzzard, 3 Bee-eater, Quail and the show off, the male Black-headed Bunting! Scilly spring at it’s best!

Two days ago, this Turtle Dove was feeding in a chicken pen at Parting Carn.

People stuck to the rules while Boris Johnson partied. And his MPs don’t care. (Location:Parliament)

126 fines for 83 people – including the Prime Minister. That’s the level of criminality Boris Johnson oversaw where he and his staff broke the laws they asked the rest of us to follow. Thanks as ever to Gavin Esler for the voice over.

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Interesting flava Wagtail at Carn Friars

21st May 2022

When I first discovered this dark headed flava wagtail, at first I thought it was a Grey-headed but shortly after looking at my BOC shots, I thought that maybe it was probably a Black-headed Wagtail hybrid?

Flava wagtails, that hybridise, can be a nightmare in the field and are never straight forward. Yesterday, I was given a few hours off in morning, so I thought. At 08.40, I was in the seaward hide and the fem/1st summer male Golden Oriole, that’s been in the area for a few days now, flew from the Sallows to the right of the hide, towards Carn Friars. This was followed by a very raspy flava wagtail heading east also towards the latter site. My goal was to try and find the wagtail. It was nearly an hour later that I relocated it in the top horse paddock at Carn Friars. Here it showed well and I immediately fired off some shots, just in case it flew off. At first I thought that I had a possible Black-headed Wagtail but the grey nape was bugging me. After ten minutes of observing it, now distantly, I thought it was a Grey-headed Wagtail and put it out on the WhatsApp group. Then I got the call from work telling me that I had to get some luggage down to the quay and I only had thirty minutes to do it in! Are you kidding me? I ran like the devil to my wagon, drove to the castle, got the luggage and raced down to the quay in record time with still ten minutes to spare! I was just getting my breath back when I suddenly realised that I forgot the guests! Oh well. It was while at the quay that I had a look at the BOC shots and started thinking that maybe it is a Black-headed hybrid. I had a short chat with Andy Holden and by my description over the phone of the wagtail and him making out from what he could from the four BOC photos I sent him, he questioned that it could possibly be a Black-headed, probably from the edge of it’s Western range with a Blue-headed influence? lt was decided to put it out on the group, with the same four photos attached that I had taken, as a Black-headed Wagtail hybrid ‘Any Ideas?’. I was now busy back at work and left it to the other birders to throw opinions at the wagtail and to go and look at it. It started a talking point on the group throughout the rest of the day. From Grey-headed or hybrid, Black-headed hybrid and a possible Black-headed Wagtail. As the wagtail stuck to the paddock area throughout, better images were uploaded on the group and a stunning image from Martin Goodey showed a lot more detail and it came across as almost a different bird. If compared to my BOC shots I put out earlier. Everyone agreed that it had a very raspy call but also gave a Western flava type call on occasions. When I first had it over east, it was too windy to catch it on the recorder and all the time that I observed it in the paddock shortly afterwards, it was silent. We had got the images and now we needed a recording of the wagtail.

Photos in different light can be deceiving as the above image appears to be a possible Black-headed Wagtail while the top four images appear as a possible Grey-headed Wagtail

So you can have a guess what I was doin this morning when I had done my first taxi? No problem in relocating the wagtail that was now in the lower horse paddock at Carn Friars. It was very vocal and I recorded it both on the recorder and the mobile. And guess what? I had to return back to work but as I was approaching my wagon, I got another call telling me that they don’t need me anymore and I didn’t have to come back until mid-day! Ideal! As I was only a few minutes walk away from a Firecrest heard yesterday, I decided to go and have a listen at the entrance to Holy Vale. No sign of the latter species but instead, a male Golden Oriole was fluting in the Elms and I got a few seconds recording it. After this, of note all I could add were a single Spotted Flycatcher at Telegraph and a total of 7 Wheatear in various areas. The wagtail stuck around and folks were still undecided if it was a Grey-headed Wagtail or what the main man, Holden, had already mentioned yesterday, possibly Black-headedxBlue-headed Wagtail. Or could it be somethin else? No good asking me because I haven’t got a clue. Will we ever know???

Shortly after the wagtail was found, Images and recordings were circulated to various Dutch birders and also Magnus Robb, thanks to James Lidster. It’s thought not to be a Grey-headed Wagtail and more likely towards a Black-headed Wagtail from the south with some sort of intergrade, possibly Blue-headed Wagtail. The general consensus seems to be that there is some “southern” wagtail in there somewhere. Below is Magnus Robb’s feedback on the recordings.

The probable Black-headedxBlue-headed Wagtail at Carn Friars. It’s still rare for this hybrid to turn up in the UK and interesting to think where it might have come from? One thing we can all agree on, it’s a cracker!

At various sites, altogether I had up to 7 Wheatear

It looks like the Rose-coloured Starling from two days ago has turned up on St Martins or is it a different individual? I did see a lot of Starling today, including a few families with my first juveniles of the year at four sites. Back in the garden in the last week I’ve had families of Song Thrush, Blackbird, Collard Dove and a single Robin already.

Shireen Abu Akleh: British MPs express outrage over Palestinian journalist’s killing

What about the 17 year old Palestinian boy that was shot 12 times today by Israeli Occupation Forces? Where’s the outrage? Expressing and condemnation from the globe does nothing. We need action in sanctions and boycotting Israel like we have done with Putin’s Russia. British MPs spoke out against the killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and the attack on her funeral procession. Several demanded the UK government take immediate action against the Israeli government.

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Tawny Pipit at airfield

19th May 2022

First picked this Tawny Pipit up by call flying south and relocated shortly afterwards on the airfield

Earlier on this morning, Viv Jackson had the earliest record of Rose-coloured Starling to turn up on Scilly near to the airport solo panels. After this, I was keeping an eye out for it on the many occasions I did taxes to the airport during the rest of the day. Just before 18.00, I went in search of the starling and thought that maybe the Salkee fields might be an ideal area to crack on with. It was while in the fields west of the airfield that I could hear a Tawny Pipit flying in from the north and appeared to come down onto the airfield but could of easily continued south as I lost it behind the bank. As I had an idea that Tony would be walking his dog up there, I gave him a call and told him to keep a look out for the pipit. I also put the news out and then started working the east runway and on the north side, ahead of me, I flushed the Tawny Pipit . I took some record shots, called Tony, who was just by the hangers now and then put the news out to let folks know that it was still present. The pipit proved very mobile and vocal and kept it’s distance as we both observed it on the opposite side of the east runway. A small crowd soon assembled but I got a call to return to work and had to go.

I’ve only found three Tawny Pipit, if you include the fly over I had on Bryher last autumn. The other individual was also a May bird and discovered at the airfield in the late 90’s. I lost it when the pipit flew off and I finally relocated it feeding with a Short-toed Lark at Giants Castle!

Before 20.00, I was back on the airfield with Andy Shirley where we found that everyone had moved on. As we approached the far end of the east runway, Viv Jackson’s Rose-coloured Starling flew up and landed in the Salkee pines! I wasn’t expecting that but so pleased that we had got it and what a cracker! In the pines it showed very well out in the open for a good fifteen minutes before flying off towards Salkee Farm. Shortly afterwards, we could only got very brief flight views of the Tawny Pipit. Hopefully both the pipit and starling stick around tomorrow for those who didn’t get a chance to see any of the two species this evening.

Searching for Viv Jackson’s Rose-coloured Starling payed off on my second visit to the area. Could this be the start of another bumper year? 29th May is earliest sighting I’ve had on Scilly after finding an individual, also at Salkee, two years ago.

Will Israel be held accountable for killing Shireen Abu Akleh? Is this a trick Question?


Streamed live on May 18, 2022


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It has been one week since Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank. Al Jazeera Media Network has said she was “assassinated in cold blood” and called on the international community to hold Israeli forces responsible. Various investigations into her death have also begun. Palestinian officials have say they do not trust Israel and they would handle an investigation alone and deliver results very soon. Human rights groups are pointing to Israel’s poor record of investigating wrongdoing by its security forces. According to the Haaretz newspaper, Israeli authorities have interrogated the soldier believed to have fired the bullet, who said he was sitting in an army vehicle 190 metres away and “didn’t see” Abu Akleh. And Bellingcat, an international consortium of researchers, has published an analysis of video and audio evidence gathered on social media on May 11 from both Palestinian and Israeli military sources. Their analysis looked at factors like timestamps, the locations of the videos, shadows, and forensic audio analysis of gunshots. The group found that evidence supports witness accounts that Israeli fire killed Abu Akleh. The death of Shireen Abu Akleh has triggered an outpouring of condemnation and calls for justice. The top Catholic clergyman in Jerusalem accused Israeli authorities of violating human rights, and disrespecting the Catholic Church during her funeral when mourners were beaten. In the UK, members of parliament have accused Israel of acting with impunity. And the UN Human Rights chief said anyone found responsible should be held to account with penal and disciplinary sanctions commensurate with the gravity of the violation. In this episode we discuss the latest on the various investigations underway, and ask if there will be accountability for her killing. TWITTER: FACEBOOK: Subscribe to our channel

3 Golden Oriole on St Mary’s

15th May 2022

In less than 24 hours, I was fortunate to observe 3 Golden Oriole including a female/1st summer NE over the garden yesterday and today, this individual showed off at the golf course.

After seeing the long staying male Garganey this morning at Porth Hellick that arrived from Tresco over a week ago, I had quick dash on the airfield where there were single Whinchat and Whitethroat and 5 Wheatear. The Spotted Flycatcher from yesterday was still in the pine belt opposite the garden with a single also near the tennis court, Garrison.

This male Garganey at Porth Hellick, is the same individual that I discovered on Tresco over two weeks ago

On almost every visit that I’ve made down to Porth Hellick, I’ve heard up to 2 Cetti’s Warbler but they are always elusive and i never see them. That is until today when this individual showed me what it looks like

I could only get a record shot of the Whinchat on the airfield

I didn’t get back out until after lunch when there was a change in wind direction from NE to SE. The sun was out as birded the Content area with up to 3 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Spotted Flycatcher and my first Garden Warbler of the year. As I was returning back to the wagon, a female/1st summer male Golden Oriole flew through the trees being chased by a Blackbird and appeared to land in the Elms just east of Content Lane. Ten minutes later nearby, it was while trying to get a tad closer to one of the 2 Spotted Flycatcher in the pine belt east of the golf course, that I caught a flash of yellowy/green in the lower branches disappear deeper into the pines just ahead of me. Shite! I immediatly backed off and observed from afar to see if I had a chance of seeing it again. Less than a minute later a female/1st summer male Golden Oriole appeared very briefly out in the open mid way up. This gave me enough time to fire off a few shots before it flew up higher out of sight. For the twenty minutes, Robin and I could hear it calling high in the pines but unfortunately we couldn’t see it. On the golf course there were 7 Wheatear and later on at Green Farm I saw 2 Tree Pipit, 2 Spotted Flycatcher and at the end of Green Lane, I flushed a Turtle Dove that flew off towards Watermill. As predicted, the heavens opened and returned home to day off.

Last year there were only the odd sighting of Golden Oriole on Scilly but so far this year there have been less than ten records including five recorded today. This included this individual that showed well very briefly on the east side of the golf course instead of your usual sighting of a flash of yellow flying away from you.

I had a single Tree Pipit in the garden yesterday and today I had two birds together at Green Farm

Altogether I had up to 10 Spotted Flycatcher

Three days ago this smart Black-tailed Godwit turned up at Porth Hellick

The godwit shared the same area of the pool as the male Garganey

Israeli Forces proving once again that they are not human as they beat pallbearers with batons. Forcing the Palestinians to almost drop the coffin of the Palestinian/American journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead in the face by an Israeli sniper a few days ago The sniper will become a hero in Israel apartheid state

Slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh laid to rest

126,448 views May 14, 2022


Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh has been laid to rest after mourners were denied a peaceful final farewell. Israeli police attacked the funeral procession, nearly forcing pallbearers to drop Abu Akleh’s coffin. The veteran journalist was shot in the head by Israeli forces on Wednesday while she was covering a raid in the occupied West Bank. Al Jazeera’s @Stefanie Dekker reports from occupied East Jerusalem. – Subscribe to our channel: – Follow us on Twitter: – Find us on Facebook: – Check our website:

CORN BUNTING at Porth Hellick

9th May 2022

This singing male Wood Warbler performed very well in the five minutes that I observed it at Innisidgen on the 3rd May.

As I was up just after 06.00 this morning, I decided to get out and after a bite to eat and a coffee, I arrived at Porth Hellick. It was some twenty minutes later, while I was at the east side of the pool, that a Tree Pipit flew SW followed five minutes later by a CORN BUNTING that I picked up by call coming in from the south. It dropped like a stone and sat on top of the Sallows, boarding the NE end of the pool, and was very vocal when I had to go. I guess it had maybe just arrived in off the sea? I could still hear it from the road as I returned to my wagon. Fog at Lands End, put flights on hold but on Scilly it was clear as a bell and as result, I had time to kill. A male Golden Oriole has been resident at Carreg Dhu Gardens for the last five days and on my third attempt, I heard it singing in the east pines. Shortly afterwards, Scott Reid had 3 Turtle Dove at Porth Hellck at the same time that was on 2 Turtle Dove in fields at Telegraph.

After a brief spell of SE yesterday, the last species on my mind today was finding this CORN BUNTING at Porth Hellick in a light SW. Only my third Scilly record with the last sighting in spring 2017. This bunting is the rarest bird I’ve turned up so far this spring after the Black-eared Wheatear.

Mid-morning and I was doin taxis back and forth to the airport but I still managed to get the Osprey later in the afternoon, first seen over Sunnyside by other observers, at Pelistry and then I lost it behind the Helvear pines heading west. The 3 Turtle Dove had been relocated in a field at Sunnyside Farm where I caught up with them with also a Swift flying south. After dinner, the 2 Turtle Dove at Telegraph that I had earlier, were now up to three while nearby on the golf course there were some 30 Wheatear with a single Golden Plover.

I connected with this Osprey at Pelestry after being first seen by others at Sunnyside.

The 3 Turtle Dove at Sunnyside were always distant

Later on, I had up to 30 Wheatear at the golf course

Love Wood Warblers and this individual, discovered by Graham Cunsdale, 3rd May, was singing non stop and showed off for me in the small group of Sallows at Helvear Hill but spent a lot of time in the shade in the very short time that I was there.

Yesterday on my day off in a SE, all I could manage were 2 White Wagtail, a fly over Turtle Dove, NW over Lower Moors and 2 Tree Pipit, which included sightings on the Garrison, above pic and at the stables.

Also small numbers of Meadow Pipit appear to be breeding on St Mary’s

My first Comma Butterfly of the year was this very tatty individual at Carreg Dhu Gardens a few days ago

People are Losing Faith in Democracy, What a Surprise! | Grace Blakeley

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2nd May 2022

Finished work late this evening, walked onto the golf course and ‘BOOM!!!’ found this female BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR in the top east field from the club house.

After 3 Red-rumped Swallow were seen by Chris Hobbs on the Garrison yesterday evening, I thought I would give it an hour in the dull conditions this morning before I start work. 13 Wheatear on the rocks and Plenty of hirundines feeding on the west side of the Garrison but not a sniff of the target species. With folks returning home from the hotel after World Gig Champship , it turned out to be a crazy day at work. I finally finished at 19.30 after dropping guest off at a restaurant at Porth Mellon. The sun was still out and it felt very warm but I guess I only had over an hour of light left to bird. As the golf course was just up road, I thought I would go and see what the crack was up there. A very brief look at Porthloo on the way and the only birds of note were 4 Whimbrel and 2 Wheatear. From the club house car park, a scan saw double figures of Wheatear before I made my way along the south side, until I came to last top east field bordering the golf course. The overturned field held just 2 Wheatear. This included one of them out in the open in the hedge on the far side. Through the bins, it was front on and gave an impression of being a Whinchat than a Wheatear and although no ones goin to believe me, I thought I had a possible Black-eared Wheatear. When it flew onto the golf course out of sight, I couldn’t get anything much elseon it. I was still confident that it was one but I needed to get better views. For the next five minutes I couldn’t relocate it. It had vanished! I was goin crazy as I didn’t even have a record shot. I needed to get others searching for it and called a few mates and told them that I’ve got a BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR on the golf course. Everyone panicked except Higgo ‘I’ll be there in an hour, I’m just having my tea’ What!? Did he hear what I said and how big is his dinner? I was kinda stunned and told him that Scott is on his way to pick you and Wayne up after picking up Ren. I was panicking now as I could not find the bird and no one had turned up after ten minutes and all I wanted was a record shot so I don’t have to do a description of the bloody thing. However, panick no more. I returned to the original field and to my relief, there it was in the far corner only to fly up and perch on top of a bramble very briefly before appearing to fly down onto golf course. It was distant while on the bramble but I got it! I got a record shot!! I immediately put the news out on the WhatsApp group and shortly afterwards, Martin first arrived followed by Robin and the others, including Higgo. With so many birders all over the shop on the green, I had hope that it would show up for all present. light was fading fast and after seeing a male Ring Ouzel on the northside, it was almost dark and we all called it night and try again tomorrow.

In the past years, I’ve identified three rare wheatears on Scilly, including a female Black-eared Wheatear but never found my own rare wheatear, until today. And I guess this is more than likely a Western rather than an Eastern Black-eared Wheatear.

Altogether I had a total of over 50 Wheatear including some 35 on the golf course and working throughout the day, I had no time to get out in the field.

Woman EXPOSES Refugee Double Standard On BBC Question Time

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