19th October 2022
After identifying the second Scilly record of PECHORA PIPIT in 2016, I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would find one in the field until today when I picked up this individual at Content, first by call at Content.
Yesterday at 17.30, I was feeding the pigs when a call came through from Patrick Lanaway letting me know himself, Ivor Thomas and Gordon Macdonald had a Booted Warbler in the moat at the front of Star Castle! After a few minutes after arriving on site, I had brief views before it started to perform well out in the open which is typical behaviour of this species. I was busy trying to get a record shot, cuz the light was shite, when I looked behind me and got spoked by some 30-40 birders. Where did they all come from in less than ten minutes of the news being put out? Satisfied with what I had got on the warbler, I moved off after 45 minutes and finished the day off patting my pigs. Before all this happened, I kicked the Telegraph white mustard field and got good flight views of the Bluethroat that’s been in the field with a Little Bunting since the 16th. I only got a glimpse of the Bluethroat the day before. There was also with 5 Stonechat, a single Whinchat and nearby, 3 Wheatear. Overhead, some 20 Siskin and a single Brambling moved through SE.
This Whinchat was showing off a lot better than the Bluethroat at Telegraph, 18th
Didn’t espect to see two Booted Warbler this autunm after this individual turning up only a stones throw away from my home.
Booted Warbler twitch just before dark at the SW of Star Castle, 18th
At 15.30 this afternoon in the foggy conditions, with other birders present, I repeated again in kicking the Bluethroat field but there was no sign. However, a single Woodlark flew through, SW. Over an hour later, after doing a taxi, I thought I would try the Content fields and as a result a vocal Lapland Bunting moved through NW towards the golf course. No more flying for the rest of the day and I took my time walking the fields. At the end of Content Lane, I could hear a Reed Bunting in the White Mustard fields. I walked the west track bordering the three fields and observed up to 3 vocal Reed Bunting very briefly in flight before dropping into cover. I was playing football in 30 minutes and started returning back to Content Lane. 24 hrs almost on the dot, 17.20, after yesterdays Booted Warbler, it was while I was approaching the lane that I caught what I thought was the call of a Pechora Pipit. I even said out loud ‘Pechora Pipit!’ I looked to my left, where the call came from and just got onto the butt end of a small pipit over a Pittosporum hedge and appeared to drop into the next field. A hundred year ago in ’96, the rarity finder, Chris Heard, turned up the latter species at St Leven, Cornwall. I came off Scilly and with Steve Young, we got it on the deck out in the open on a track with a handful of Meadow Pipit. It was when it flew off calling that I thought, shit! That sounds like no other pipit I’ve heard before and ever since then, it’s always stuck in my mind. I was thinking at the time that I might just pick one on call over Shropshire! In my dreams. Returning back to the pipit that I had just heard once, I slowly started walking in the long-wet grass on the north edge of the field. I had only done a few steps when a pipit flew into the very low branches of the Elms out in the open in front of me. I immediately lifted my bins and I can’t repeat what I said out loud, but it was something like ‘Fu£%*n hell, it’s a PECHORA PIPIT!!!’ I quickly swapped my bins for my camera and fired off three shots before it made a short flight, always calling, with Meadow Pipits and seemed to come down at the far end of the field. I immediately put the news out and then went and played football. Well, that’s what I would of liked to have done but this mega pipit would cause panic and chaos. After lining all the birders on the west track of the field, Scott Ried and I went into the three fields and gave it our best shot in trying to flush it out. As Pechora’s have a habit of staying put, rather like a Jack Snipe, this could prove to be hard work. Sure enough, there was no sign and either the pipit flew off or we could of been meters away from it and it waited for us to pass before continuing feeding. Who knows? But I got a record shot of this Fair Isle speciality which saves me doing a description as I’m shite at doing one of those on any species. The only other Pechora Pipit that I’ve ever seen, was an individual that I identified in the hand at Porth Hellick, 24th September 2015. As a result, a number of local birders ticked off this mega pipit and it could prove to be the only one they see on the islands.
The following morning there was no sign of the Booted Warbler. Instead it was replaced by this Siskin feeding on the deck
There were very small numbers of Siskin seen throughout the day including this individual at Rose Hill
PECHORA PIPIT at Content
Will The REAL Jeremy Hunt Please Stand Up?
According to political commentators across the spectrum, this month’s new chancellor of the exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, now has more political power than Liz Truss. He’s reset the government’s agenda by undoing nearly everything that Truss has done since becoming Prime Minister. The narrative we’re being asked to believe is that Hunt is a safe pair of hands, a stand up guy, and an accomplished politician. But it’s not only his complete ignorance of economics and fiscal policy that bothers me. Just add those factors to a long list of other reasons why Jeremy Hunt is unfit to be our de facto Prime Minister.
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