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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