Monthly Bird Review – June 2009

The first day of the month saw a female Red-backed Shrike on Peninnis Head. Bryher had a Spotted Flycatcher and Tree Pipit and Tresco saw two Lesser Redpolls, a Marsh Harrier and a Common Buzzard. St Agnes had a male Black-eared Wheatear showing well at Little Porth Askin in the afternoon and evening and a female Red-backed Shrike at the end of Barnaby Lane. The male Black-eared Wheatear at Little Porth Askin was singing and still showing well on the morning of the 3rd. This is the first in Britain since 2002 and only the 6th Scilly record. St Martin’s saw a Black Redstart on the same day, while St Mary’s had a Honey Buzzard, two Common Buzzards and two Hobbys and Bryher reported a Pied Flycatcher, a Reed Warbler and a Common Sandpiper. There was no sign of the Black-eared Wheatear on the 4th but St Mary’s had reports of the Golden Oriole in the evening, singing at the dump clump. Also a Hobby flew over and a Little Ringed Plover was seen at Lower Moors. Bryher had a Hobby, two Dunlin, two Lesser Redpolls and a Hooded Crow. There was a count of 170+ Manx Shearwater off the coast of Annet. On the 5th on St Mary’s a female Honey Buzzard flew over Porthlow towards the Garrison. The Little Ringed Plover was still at Porth Hellick Pool and a Golden Oriole was singing in the dump clump and was viewable from the ISBG hide and there were Turtle Doves at Higher Moors and Mount Todden. Tresco had Common Buzzard, three Swifts, eight Dunlin and 40 Sanderling. On St Martin’s there were reports of a Common Whitethroat, two Sanderling and two Swifts.

On the 6th on St Mary’s a male Little Bittern at Lower Moors was seen from the ISBG Hide (the bird appeared to have a damaged wing) and a Quail was flushed from the road to Peninnis Head the same afternoon. On Tresco there was a Golden Oriole at Rowesfields and one was singing at the entrance to the church at Old Town on the 7th. There was a Quail on the Garrison and seven Common Scoter were between St Mary’s and Samson. The evening Pelagic produced a Pomarine Skua plus 70+ Storm Petrels. The seven Common Scoters were again in The Roads on the 8th while Tresco noted a Common Swift and 14 Sanderling. St Agnes reported two Dunlin and 30 Turnstone, and on the Western Rocks there were reports of a European Storm Petrel and six Turnstone. On the 9th there was a Cuckoo at Porth Hellick Downs and the seven Common Scoters were still in The Roads. Tresco had four Swifts, a Blackcap and a Sanderling while Bryher had a Bar-tailed Godwit. The 10th saw a Honey Buzzard flying towards Trewince and then over Airport Lane. There was also a Cuckoo at Maypole. St Agnes also reported a Cuckoo and Tresco had a Hobby at Gimble Porth. A first-summer Night Heron was seen (and showing well) at Porth Hellick Pool on the evening of the 11th and was seen the next day. There was also a report of a Cuckoo on the Garrison. Bryher had ten Swift and a Hooded Crow and the evening pelagic produced 20 European Storm-Petrels, six Manx Shearwater, a Sooty Shearwater, a Great Skua and a 2nd-summer Long-tailed Skua. Also seen were two Ocean Sunfish and a Blue Shark. There was very little to report from the islands on the 12th with just a Cuckoo and two Wheatear on St Agnes and seven Turnstone on Gugh.

On the 14th the Cuckoo was the only bird of note that day on St Mary’s. Tresco had a single Wheatear and Common Buzzard, Samson had ten Curlew, a Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit and two Turnstone close to its shores while St Agnes’s only birds of note were three Turnstone. On Bryher there were ten Common Swift and St Helen’s had 30+ Curlew. The evening pelagic produced Sooty Shearwater, Arctic Skua and 50+ European Storm Petrels plus an Ocean Sunfish. The next day there were two Cuckoos on Peninnis Head, four Turnstone, a Curlew and 30+Manx Shearwater. St Agnes saw an adult Long-tailed Skua fly west past the island and Tresco reported Dunlin, Curlew, Common Buzzard and two Swifts. On the 16th there was a Cuckoo at Porth Hellick Down, St Agnes saw 14 Turnstone, a Curlew and Whimbrel and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth was also reported. A Bridled Guillemot was photographed on the Western Rocks and the evening pelagic included 30 European Storm-Petrels, 20 Common Dolphins and an Ocean Sunfish. The only bird reported on the17th was a Cuckoo at Old Town, St Mary’s while on the 18th 25 Curlew, three Whimbrel and a Hooded Crow were reported on Bryher. A Grasshopper Warbler was reeling at Porth Hellick between 04:00 & 05:00 hrs on the 19th. There were no reports over the weekend, but the 22nd saw a Night Heron fly over Telegraph towards Trewince at 21.45hrs and a Quail was reported on Bryher. The evening pelagic produced 30 European Storm-Petrels and three Arctic Skuas. Cetaceans seen included 30 Common Dolphin and six Harbour Porpoise north of St Martin’s. Also a Blue Shark was caught, tagged and then released and five Ocean Sunfish were seen.

On the 23rd the Quail was still calling on Bryher and the Hooded Crow was seen. St Mary’s saw a Cuckoo at Old Town and Peninnis and two Sandwich Terns in St Mary’s Sound. St Martin’s had two Common Swifts and off Samson there were 100+ Common Terns and 15 Shelduck. An evening fishing trip to Poll Bank produced 50+ European Storm-Petrels and two Ocean Sunfish. Not much to report from St Mary’s on the 24th – just a single Common Swift. Tresco did slightly better with four Golden Plovers and two Wheatears, while Bryher had Pintail, Redshank and Sand Martin. The Night Heron was at Lower Moors again on the 25th and on Annet 160+ Manx Shearwater and two Curlew were reported. The 26th was a quiet day with just a female Pintail on Bryher and a few Little Egrets returning including three birds on Tresco and the first young Guillemot of the year was seen with an adult in St Mary’s Sound. Nothing of note was reported for 27th. The 28th saw the Night Heron (sub-adult) again this evening at Porth Hellick Pool and Whimbrel and Turnstone were noted near Samson. There were two Peregrine on Round Island and the pelagic produced 100+ European Storm-Petrels, an Arctic Skua, a Great Skua and three Harbour Porpoises. On the 29th there were four Common Sandpipers and a Greenshank at Porth Hellick Pool and a Garden Warbler in Holy Vale. Bryher had Common Sandpiper, Tresco saw two Curlews and four Sandwich Terns were near Samson. Annet had 240+ Manx Shearwater and a Whimbrel. The evening pelagic produced 20+ European Storm-Petrels, four Manx Shearwater and an Ocean Sunfish. The last day of the month saw a Mistle Thrush (a scarce bird on Scilly, especially in summer) on the Golf Course and two Sand Martins at Porthlow. St Agnes reported Curlew and 53 Turnstones while the evening pelagic to Poll Bank produced Sooty Shearwater, 50+ European Storm-petrels, a Common Gull and an Ocean Sunfish.

(c)ISBG 2009

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