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Lesser Yellowlegs on Tresco

31st July 2022

Kayaked twitched Tony Martin’s Lesser Yellowlegs in front of the Swarovski Hide, Tresco Great Pool and it turned out to be the first Scilly July record

The wind was predicted to die down later on this afternoon and my plan was to get on the water as I had the day off. Throughout the morning, there were light squalls on a WNW going through and at 13.00, Higgo called to tell me if I knew anythin about a Lesser Yellowlegs and Spotted Redshank on Tresco Great Pool that had just come on the pager? No idea but just before 16.00, after getting close up to 2 Yellow-legged Gull, I was parking up my kayak on the South Beach, Tresco. As I approached the Abbey Pool, Ross Newham put the news out that the Lesser Yellowlegs was in front of the Swarovski hide but no sign of the Spotted Redshank. I was getting stuck into the gulls as they were 100s coming into bath and included over 30 Mediterranean, 150 Black-headed and at least 5 juv Yellow-legged Gull. The Black-tailed Godwit that turned up two days ago was showing well and there were up to 8 vocal Common Sandpiper flying around the pool.

2 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull on rocks just off the South Beach

There were also up to 7 Mediterranean Gull on the same rocks

This Black-tailed Godwit on the Abbey Pool was only my second of the year so far

I lost count of how many Mediterranean Gull were moving through the Abbey Pool but there were well over 30 individuals

My next move was in the direction of the Great Pool and when I arrived at the Swarovski hide, sure enough the Lesser Yellowlegs was showing off at very close range feeding with 5 Redshank. Half an hour later it was asleep and I returned to the Abbey Pool, just hoping that maybe the Laughing Gull might reappear from four days ago. There were only a very small number of gulls but roosting on the island and in the west tall pines were a very high count of 29 adult Grey Heron. As I left the pool, 3 Swift were hawking nearby and next to where my kayak was, were 3 Whimbrel before I got home just before 20.00.

The Lesser Yellowlegs gave awesome views just a few meters in front of the Swarovski Hide before falling asleep

Racist Rishi Sunak’s Car Crash Interview With Andrew Neil On Immigration!

Rishi Sunak appeared on Andrew Neil’s new show where he was asked about a number of different policies. However when it came to immigration and asylum it was a bit of a car crash.

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Laughing Gull on Tresco

27th July 2022

Unfortunately, all pics of this adult Laughing Gull and the other species I observed on Tresco are all blurred. It turned out, I had a faulty SD card. However, you can still see clearly what it is and it was a corker!!

I was given the afternoon off and with the calm conditions, you can guess what I did and it payed off. Although I kayaked across to Tresco yesterday evening, where I saw the usual species, 3 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and the Wood Sandpiper, I found myself parking at the South Beach again. On the Abbey Pool were 3 Common Sandpiper and the Wood Sandpiper but the SE of the Great pool, it held a personal record of 16 Common Sandpiper split up into two flocks of eight.

This Wood Sandpiper on the Abbey pool has been present for a week now

One of the 5 Yellow-legged Gull that I had on the Abbey Pool

I found Rob Lambert in the Swarovski Hide and when I told him about the sandpipers, he left me alone in the hide. As it was pretty quiet, I soon caught up with Rob at the SE end of the Great Pool where there were now 2 Dunlin with only 11 Common Sandpiper. A few minutes later we were scanning the gulls at the Abbey Pool when Rob said calmly ‘Spider’ and he pointed to his scope. ‘Bloody ell Rob!’ He had gone and refound his adult summer plumage Laughing Gull that he had very briefly in flight past St Martins seventeen days ago! A cracker that was havin a good ole bath for a few minutes before flying off south. Rob had a boat to catch and I wanted to relocate the beauty. There were 100s of large gulls spread out on the South Beach and nearby rocks. A quick scan and no sign. Ten minutes later, I was standing on the beach to the west of South Beach and I spotted the Laughing Gull flying towards me from St Mary’s. It flew in and dropped onto South Beach with the other gulls where I got close up views as it started to preen. I put the news out but it wasn’t long until it was up again and flew over towards the Abbey Pool where I lost it as I was lying down low in the heather overlooking the South Beach. No sign of the Laugher but there were now 5 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull were present on the Abbey Pool.

The Laughing Gull flying out from the Abbey Pool with a blurred Yellow-legged Gull

I’ve observed 100s of Laughing Gull on the other side of the Atlantic and been lucky to see ten on Scilly, but out of all of them this is the first individual that I’ve seen in full summer plumage.

The Shoveler had halved from 12 a few days ago to 6 on the Great Pool

There were smaller numbers of Willow Warbler than a few days ago knocking around the Pool Road area still

And it appears to also be less numbers of Reed Warbler as well

An hour later I was drifting close inshore to the South Beach and in with over 200 Sanderling was a different summer plumage Knot from last week. Also, the first returning Wheatear was on the rocks. It wasn’t long until I reached Stoney Island and noisy Sandwich Tern totalled over 80. Unfirtunly, most of them were adults. There were also 5 Common Sandpiper giving me a grand total of 21 altogether not including the three on the Abbey Pool.

Also came across this male Stonechat while trying to relocate the Laughing Gull and look what it’s got? The first confirmed record of Deaths-head Hawkmoth breeding on Tresco!

Two days ago I had a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull in the garden followed by just before mid-night, while brushing my teeth in the bathroom, a small vocal flock of Black-tailed Godwit flew north over the garden. Before all this though, after 2 Cory Shearwater were seen off Peninnis the day before, I found myself at Porth Hellick Down from 06.30-10.00. As a result totals included 57 Cory, 1 Great, 3 Sooty, 150 Manx Shearwater, 60 Gannet and 2 Kittiwake.

Did BBC NorthWest Edit Out Support For Striking Workers?

This is the response tweet from professor Sarah Marie Hall who totally supports the RMT strikes but the BBC NW decided to make sure that they edited that part out and make out that she was against it

Why have you misrepresented what I said, @BBCNWT? I was asked if I supported the @RMTunion strikes (YES), why (CoL, safety, right2strike) but you decided to only include me saying I was affected by the strikes. This is not OK and I would never have participated on those terms.

Still trust the BBC? In an interview with Professor Sarah Marie Hall BBC Northwest seemed to have edited out comments of support for the RMT Union strike action. Sarah later went on Twitter to complain about what may be either a deliberate or accidental edit. Which do you think is more likely?


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22nd July 2022

Turned up this 4th Scilly male Black-tailed Skimmer settled on the dune path from Pentle Bay towards the wood pile

In the last six days after work, I’ve kayaked four times, 17th, 19th, 21st and today, to check out Tresco. The highlight was this evening when walking along the dune path from Pentle Bay towards the Wood Pile, I came across a male BLACK-TAILED SKIMMER. It proved mobile but always returned to settle on the path in the hot sun. Unlike, what I believe is probably a different male, the individual that I observed all the time only in flight at the Great Pool two week ago.

Maybe Black-tailed Skimmer is goin to be a regular visitor to Scilly with the second record only last year and I had a male at the Great Pool two week ago!

On the former date, 17th, there were large numbers of gulls bathing at the Abbey Pool before moving on. Altogether 6 juvenile Yellow-legged, 35+Mediterrean, over 200 Black-headed and a single Common Gull were at the pool. However, the Yellow-legged Gulls were moving in and out and made it difficult to make out how many there real were and it was higher than six. Two days later, I returned and was two short of the Scilly record of Yellow-legged Gull. Seven individuals at the Abbey Pool including, 6 juveniles, 3rd summer and on the South Beach, an adult. On the Abbey Pool there were a single Common Sandpiper, an early returning Wood Sandpiper and my first Kingfisher of the year. The Great Pool produced a single male Tufted Duck with the 6 Pochard and an impressive count of 12 Shoveler. The first returning 2 Teal and on Pool Road, 4 Willow Warbler. The South Beach produced, 10 Dunlin, 30 Sanderling, 50 Turnstone, 10 Whimbrel, 14 Curlew and with 6 Sandwich Tern, a single Common Tern.

4 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull together at the Abbey pool while at the same time there were two more juveniles just to their left.

3rd summer Yellow-legged Gull on the left with a juvenile at the Abbey Pool

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls at the Abbey pool with another individual below it

On the 17th, some 35 Mediterranean Gull, more than half of them being juveniles, moved through the Abbey Pool including 23 bathing together

This Common Gull was only my second July record

A high count of over 200 Black-headed Gull were also present

The day after a thunder storm had moved through with ESE, I was expecting somethin might of dropped in and sure enough at the Abbey Pool was this Wood Sandpiper

The first returning Willow Warbler included four at Pool Road, 19th

Reed Warbler still in song

Yesterday on the 20th, I drifted east with the tide close inshore to the South Beach of Tresco and got cracking views of Mediterranean Gulls and a single Knot feeding with 35 Sanderling. Overhead a single Common Tern was fishing with 27 Sandwich Tern. On dry land, the Abbey Pool had a fly over juvenile Cuckoo, the Wood Sandpiper and for the first time, I observed the alba wagtails on the deck instead of flyovers and I could see that they were an adult and 2 juvenile White Wagtail. Local breeders somewhere on Tresco. Also, the Grey Heron had increased from 18 a few days ago to 22. Along Pool Road there was a notable arrival of Willow Warbler as they appeared to be calling all over the shop. Bright yellow juveniles showed well in the Sallows with also good numbers of Reed Warbler. Altogether there were a total of 35+Willow, 25+Reed, 2 Sedge Warbler and 3 juvenile Goldcrest. On the Great Pool, waders included 7 Common Sandpiper, 6 Green and 6 Redshank.

This Knot allowed me to almost grab it from my kayak on the South Shore

And like the Knot, the Mediterranean Gulls also letting me to almost run them over with my kayak

In the NW corner of the Abbey Pool there were this adult White Wagtail with 2 juveniles that have been present in the area for the last two weeks but this was the first time that I have observed them on the deck instead as fly overs.

The high count of 12 Shoveler on the Great Pool could be a Scilly record

Willow Warblers already on the move with a high total of over 35 individuals just on Pool Road

Most of the 25 Reed Warbler that I counted were probably resident breeders and juveniles

I had at least 6 juvenile Robin in areas around the north side of the Great Pool

This evening after leaving the BLACK-TAILED SKIMMER at the south end of Pentle Bay, the Wood Sandpiper was still in the NE corner of the Abbey Pool with 2 Common Sandpiper. 3 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull dropped in to bath including a new small individual. Of note on the Great Pool there were 60+Swallow, now 6 Little Egret and still 12 Shoveler. A male Pochard had replaced the 6 juveniles from two days ago that have appeared to have disappeared. Along Pool Road, the Willow and Reed Warbler had also moved out from yesterday with only 5 of the former species.

In the four times that I visited Tresco, I identified at least 11 Yellow-legged Gulls in total although it’s probably a lot higher count.

There are now 6 Little Egret and this individual was spending it’s time in the near centre of the Great Pool where it was feeding very well

27 Sandwich Tern on the South Beach is the largest number so far this year

Also on the South Beach I had this Ringed Plover showing off a white ring on it’s left leg, H9. Goin search when I have time to see where this has been ringed as a chick.

Where there was this Lesser Black-backed Gull also bearing a ring proving that it was from the Spanish scheme.

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Columbus Crab in a Coconut!

10th July 2022

With less than ten Scilly records, this Columbus Crab surrounded by goose barnacles, I discovered in a coconut that I picked up at sea off the west of St Martins today. Image by Scott Reid

I haven’t been out in my kayak as often as I wished this year so far. This morning I arrived on the South Beach of Tresco. My plan was to quickly cover the two pools and then move on to another island maybe. However, at the Great pool while in the Swarovski Hide, I spotted a BLACK-TAILED SKIMMER hawking just in front of the hide. It proved very mobile giving me very good flight views in the hour that I unsuccessfully tried to get a record shot of it. A good start to the day as it proved to be only the third Scilly record, hot on the heels of a male only last year at Porth Hellick. Opposite the hide, there were a single Tufted Duck, Redshank and Greenshank and screaming together low over the buildings at the west end of the pool, were 9 Swift. On the Abbey Pool of note were 12 Grey Heron with a fly over Whimbrel. After the Whimbrel flew off south, news came on the WhatApp Group that Rob Lambert had an adult Laughing Gull fly straight through off the east side of St Martins towards Tean. Shortly afterwards I was back in the kayak, power rowing along the south and east beaches of Tresco. Two hours later after covering the beaches off St Helens, Tean and the south of St Martins, for my effort I got cracking views of 26 Mediterranean and 30 Black-headed Gull off Old Grimbsy. A detour out to Man-a-vaur produced good numbers of Guillemot and Razorbill, 4 Puffin and only my second Scilly sighting of a Bridled Guillemot after my first last year.

In search of the Laughing Gull in my kayak, just east off Old Grimsby, Tresco, I came across some 26 Mediterranean Gull, including three juveniles. However, there was a ENE blowing and made it very difficult for photography in the choppy conditions.

This Gannet was also feeding well diving where the Med Gulls were hanging out. Out of the many pics I took of it, this is the only image that I got in focus.

After seeing my first ever Bridled Guillemot on the same day last year east of Bishop Rock Lighthouse from my kayak, I was kinda of surprised to see this one on the lower rocks of Man-a-vaur

The auks were only an arms lengths away from me but I was being tossed around by the very conditions and could only get a few images of them including this Razorbill

And getting a shot of any of the Puffins was near to impossible

Approaching Tean, it started o get worse as the NEE picked up making it hard work for me to push through the water and as result, getting soaked to the bone as I hit every wave. It was while off the South of St Martins that I paused to pick up a coconut floating on the sea. I could see Goose Barnacles attached inside it and placed it on top of the kayak in front of me. At the same time I spotted the first juvenile Yellow-legged Gull of the year for Scilly circling high towards Tean.

This was the only shot I got in focus of the first juvenile Yellow-legged Gull of the year, from the twenty or so that I took. It was also my earliest juvenile by nine days after an individual I had last year two miles west of Samson while out kayaking.

Nearby, I also had this young Great-black backed Gull that appears to have just come out of it’s nest.

I returned home shortly after 17.00 and was asked to work for an hour before getting stuck into the coconut. Nothin left of it to eat but to break it open and see what’s living in among the Goose Barnacles as it had crossed all the way across the Atlantic. I turned it upside down and out dropped a crab into the cup of my hand. As the coconut came across from the Caribbean, I strongly expected it be a Columbus Crab but needed help in identification and called Scott and Others. Scott turned up immediately and confirmed that it was a Columbus Crab! Shortly after, there was a small crowd gathered on Holgates Green, from folks just passing and being nosey in what we were looking at and locals and residents who twitched it. As the crab would probably die, later on in the evening, it was decided to give the crab a chance of surviving and Scott and I met at Morning Point where he gently put it into the water. With the ENE wind, we observed it drift north with the tide and hoped that it avoided Samson and out into the open Atlantic. Cracking day all round and a change from it being birds that were the highlight but instead the third Scilly record of Black-tailed Skimmer and my first ever Columbus Crab!!

All images above of the Columbus Crab were taken by Martin Goodey and with less than ten Scilly records, it was also a new species of crab for him

Columbus Crab on top of the coconut it dropped out of

The Goose Barnacles that the Columbus Crab was hanging out with. Both images by Martin Goodey

Image Scott took of the Columbus Crab tucked away in the shell at that you can make out at the bottom of the coconut with the Goose Barnacles just before he put it in the water. We observed it drift off north with the tide hopefully into the open sea.

Just as Robin turned up to twitch the crab, to my surprise a first for him also, I had the coconut in my right hand and Henry the baby Hedgehog in the other. Henry visits the garden everyday and drinks out of the bird bath and eats the bird food as well at the same time as the Starlings. Following in the footsteps of his parents who just happen to be in the garden as I’m writing now!

Peter Oborne Absolutely DESTROYS Boris Johnson & Everything That Made Him Possible

“Boris Johnson was able to rise because of powerful anti-democratic forces” And don’t forget Brexit was also his break although he was pro EU.

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