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.
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One thought on “Tawny Pipit at airfield”
I really like Pipits – Tawny is lovely
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