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Stone Curlew at Mcfarland’s Down in mid-December!

16th December 2022

Will Scott turned up this Stone Curlew at Mcfarland’s Down/Telegraph area this morning.

This morning the wader scrape in front of my window was frozen over! Overnight, the wind had died down and the bright sun and calm conditions, got me out on the water in my kayak. The plan was to spend a couple of hours on Tresco and then head off towards the Eastern Isles, following the west shore of St Martins. After covering the Great Pool, which was 60-70% frozen over, and seeing of note, 2 Siberian Chiffchaff, 35 Chiffchaff, 15 Goldcrest, the Scaup, 7 Shoveler, the 3 Cattle Egret, 200 Redwing, 12 Fieldfare and I got a recording of the Dusky Warbler that I discovered at the beginning of the month that was still in same area, I returned to my kayak at Pentle Bay and just offshore, were 2 pale-bellied Brent Geese. It was while birding the Great Pool earlier, that Will Scott back on St Mary’s, put the news out of a wader sp that he observed in flight with his naked eye. He knew it was something different and shortly afterwards, Scott Reid relocated it and turned out to be a Stone Curlew sat in a field at High Lanes/Telegraph junction! Me, also sat in my kayak off Skirt Island, was debating what to do? Half an hour later, I was on dry land, walking at quick pace, towards Mcfarland’s Down. It wasn’t long until I joined the local birders and peered over the hedge to see only my third Scilly Stone Curlew showing well at the other end of the weedy/bulb field and it’s mid-December!! Crazy record!!!

One of the 2 Siberian Chiffchaff

Also, some 35 Chiffchaff. If you look closely, you can see pollen at the base of it’s bill on this individual, indicating that it may have arrived on Tresco in the last few days from the south.

The Scaup kept it’s distance on the Great Pool

The 3 Cattle Egret at Simpson’s Field

Meadow Pipit

These 2 pale-bellied Brent Geese were off Pentle Bay

Rowed back to St Mary’s from Tresco to twitch this Stone Curlew. I’ve only seen three in the UK and all on Scilly. Elsewhere, I’ve observed them in Spain, Palestine and Morroco.

In the last three days, I’ve had up to four garden ticks. The freezing temperatures on the mainland in the last week have seen an arrival of Golden Plover and Lapwing on Scilly. Two days ago, 26 Golden Plover circled before returning to the footy pitch next door and this was followed by 47 Lapwing flying south. However, the highlight was the day before when a Cattle Egret I observed fly past the window and settle down next to the wader scrape. The forth garden tick was a single Common Gull that came in with a record total for the sight of 5 Black-headed Gull.

It was only a matter of time before a Cattle Egret turned up in the garden and it happened three day ago. The above record shot was hastily taken from indoors. This egret has been knocking around St Mary’s for the past week and today it joined the 3 individuals on Tresco

One of the 5 Black-headed Gull on the wader scrape just in front of the window

Also got 3 Blackcap in garden including this male

Last week we kayaked to Round Island and back and observed up to 12 Great Northern Diver, 14 Mediterranean Gull, a single Common Scoter, and this boat, east in the distance made of granite.

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Author: Kris Webb 10

I love to throw sticks at trees! I also can’t get enough of music! I also blog about my observations on Scilly and wherever I go around the world and what’s sometimes on my mind. I’ve visited over 30 countries and some more times than once. I’ve worked and volunteered in Nepal, USA, Peru, Gambia, Costa Rica, 3x Australia, and refugee camps in Palestine The profile image is one I took while in Palestine of a brave Israeli holding high the Palestinian flag in front of the Israeli Offensive Forces during protests in Belin

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