Monthly Bird Review – April 2009

The Cattle Egret remained in the allotments at the Municipal Dump on the 1st, as did the two Iceland Gulls. Eleven Great Northern Divers and a Black-throated Diver were off St Mary’s on the 2nd and a Willow Warbler was on Penninis Head. Two Rooks were at Porthloo on the 3rd and the 4th produced two Sandwich Terns on Gugh. A Long-eared Owl and a Hooded crow were on Bryher on the 5th and a Hobby was over gugh.

The first scarcity of the month arrived on st Martin’s on the 10th in the shape of a Red-rumped Swallow that fed over the slopes above Little Arthur farm. The following day a male Western Subalpine Warbler was opposite the Tennis Courts on The Garrison briefly during the morning. The 13th produced an obliging Red Kite that was seen and photographed at  various sites on St Mary’s and a White Stork flew over the same evening. The Red Kite relocated to St Agnes and Gugh on 14th but was back on St Mary’s the following day. A Great-spotted Woodpecker was at Green Farm, St Mary’s on the 15th and migrants on the island included Grasshopper warbler, Redstart and Sedge Warbler. A Black kite was reported over Middletown, St Martin’s on the 16th before it flew towards Tresco.

The Red Kite was still on St Mary’s on the 18th and a Hobby was over High Lanes. A Short-toed Lark was on the coastal path near the airfield before flying towards Peninnis on the 20th and eight Wheatears and a Cuckoo were on Peninnis. Swallow numbers increased with twenty-one birds counted on St Mary’s. A Temminck’s Stint at Porth Hellick Pool on 21st was the first on the islands since September 2000. It remained until the 26th. St Martin’s held a male Woodchat Shrike between Pound Lane and Wine Cove on 23rd and there were two Corn Buntings in the chicken field at Porth Minnick, St Mary’s on 24th. Forty Whimbrel were on the beach at Porthloo on the morning of the 26th and ninety Sanderling were counted on St Martin’s. Twenty Wheatear were in the giants Castle area and a Lesser Whitethroat was at Porthloo.

 A female Montagu’s Harrier hunted over Pungie’s Lane on the evening of the 27th and a ring-tailed Hen Harrier remained at nearby Maypole. A Woodchat Shrike was at Shipmanhead Down, Bryher on 28th and three Cuckoo were on Peninnis Head. The 29th saw Golden Oriole on Tresco and a Wood Warbler in The Parsonage, St Agnes. The last day of the month produced a female Marsh Harrier over Newford, St Mary’s and the Montagu’s Harrier spent its final day on the island along Pungies Lane. The two Iceland Gulls continued to frequent the dump and two Yellow wagtails were on St Agnes.

Paul Freestone (c) ISBG 2009

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