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Friday, October 10, 2008

10th October

I am back from a very enjoyable week on the spectacular Isles of Scilly.

Though the weather could have been a little kinder, several days of showers and quite blustery condition did not spoil the trip. Birding was quite hard with not many of the regular passage migrants present, due to the winds being constantly from the western sector.

The highlights were:
Red eyed Vireo, American Golden Plover, 3 Whooper Swan, Pink-footed Goose ( both species not common on the islands) Dotterel, Jack Snipe, Pomarine and Great Skua, Wryneck, Red-backed Shrike, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Little Bunting, Snow Bunting, Lapland Bunting, Reed Bunting(also not common the islands) and Meally Redpoll. Unfortunately a Common Nighthawk was found dead on the islands, but better was to come.
Two days before we were due off an American Flycatcher was found on the mainland near Lands End, it could be one of two species. Some birders were arranging charters and flights on the chopper to get off the island, not cheap. But would it stay until we came off on Thursday? I had news that the bird was still present on the day of departure, but they were going to trap it to find out its true identity. This could cause the bird to go when released. As we landed back in Penzance, news that they had just mist netted it and that it was an Alder Flycatcher was very worrying. We got in the car and were in the car park in a kind farmers field within 20 minutes. As we started the fifteen minute walk to the valley on the coast lots of birders were walking our way, all with smiles on their faces. We were greeted at the birds last location with news that it had darted into a hedge in the bottom of the valley and had not been seen for twenty minutes. After what seemed like an age, but was only half an hour a bird darted from the bush and headed down the valley. Birders left their positions and followed down the path on the opposite side of the valley. My friend and I only went part of the way down as I thought the height would give us an advantage. We were rewarded eventually with some good views if a little distant of an new bird for the UK list.
Today though I have heard that even in the hand seperating Alder from Willow Flycatcher is very difficult as their sizes overlap. Oh well we will have to wait for the BOU decision, which will know doubt take a while.

A small part of the crowd looking for the Red-eyed Vireo

Pink-footed Goose on Penninis Head

Dotterel on the airfield

Red-backed Shrike below the Doctors surgery

Eurasian Siskin, a very confiding individual.

Snow Bunting on Penninis Head

Lapland Bunting also on Penninis

Highlights from the past week.
One 3rd.
The latest birds recorded so far were two 5th.
Firecrest: One in area 26 with the tit flock 7th.
Jackdaw: Twelve flew over.
Ring Ouzel: A male perched briefly on the fence of the old golf and tennis school.
Brambling: Two on 9th.

Todays sightings.

Hobby: One flew north at 7.40am.
Ring Ouzel: A female or juvenile flew north-west at 7.50am.
Brambling: Twelve birds headed NW.
Chaffinch: Two hundred and twenty in flocks NW.
Greenfinch: Fourty in two groups NW.
Siskin: Eight birds seen over and around the park.
Lesser Redpoll: Three birds over.
Meadow Pipit: A group four south-west.
House Martin: One flew south-west.
Chiffchaff: Two birds with the tit flock.


Neil said...

glad your had some nice sighting in the 'Scilly season.' I only found out about this 'event' a few weeks ago, shows how little I know!

Tony Duckett said...

It can get really scilly, luckily enough it wasn't to bad this year. Though it is hard not to get caught up in the excitement when an American passerine turns up.