Monthly Bird Review – March 2009

The Cattle Egret remained faithful to the area of the dump on St Mary’s throughout the month and was joined throughout by one or two Iceland Gulls. A Rook was at the dump on the 2nd and a Black-tailed Godwit found a small pool in a field near standing stones field at Lower Moors, to its liking. Two Black Redstarts, one of which was a male, were on the playing field at Old Grimsby, Tresco. The Kumlien’s Gull was seen at Porth Mellon on the 3rd with two 1st yr Iceland Gulls. The former continued to be seen sporadically throughout the month.

The 5th saw what was undoubtedly the Bird of the Month at Newmans, St Mary’s in the shape of a white morph Gyr. The stunning bird was watched and photographed for over an hour at close range after it killed and fed on a farmyard duck! It was seen again on Tresco the following day and did a tour of the islands on the 7th, observed on St Mary’s, Bryher and Tresco. A Long-eared Owl was near the hospital on St Mary’s on the 5th.

Glaucous Gulls (both 2nd yr birds) were at Old Grimsby, Tresco and Porth Mellon, St Mary’s on the 6th and on the same day St Agnes had three Black Redstarts and a Firecrest. A male Black Redstart was at Porthloo, St Mary’s on the 9th and wildfowl on Great Pool, Tresco included Barnacle Goose, Whooper Swan and two Pintail. Elsewhere on Tresco a Common Buzzard flew over Old Grimsby and three Great northern Divers were offshore. A Slav Grebe was on the sea between Tresco and St Martin’s.

The first Swallow of the year was at Carn Gwaval, St Mary’s on the 10th and another or possibly the same bird was at New Grimsby, Tresco the following day. On the 11th a Great Skua flew past The Creeb, St Marys. The Gyr reappeared over Longstones, St Mary’s on the 13th and a White Wagtail was at Porthloo. On St Martin’s a Snow Bunting was in the turkey field at Higher Town and a Black-throated Diver was off Higher Town Quay. A Little Auk was in the Tresco channel on 14th and 15th and a Red-necked Grebe was off Hedge Rock.

A Trip to the Eastern Isles on the 16th produced six Great northern Divers, seven Purple Sandpipers, a Whimbrel and a Puffin. On St Mary’s a Wheatear was on salakee Down and a Rook was at Holgate Green. There were two Golden Plover on the airfield and a Merlin flew over. St Agnes had a ‘mini fall’ of spring migrants on the 17th with ten Black Redstarts and eight Wheatears. Winter stragglers on the island included two Brambling, a Fieldfare and a Merlin.

On the 18th there were six Black Redstarts and six Wheatear on Tresco, aswell as two Jackdaw, forty-five Ringed Plover, seven White Wagtails and a Sandwhich Tern. The Red-necked Grebe remained on the sea between Tresco and St Martin’s and a Brambling and two Skylark were at Maypole, St Mary’s. A Hawfinch was reported for its third day with Linnets at Middle Town, St Martin’s on the 19th and a Marsh Harrier was over Tean. Willow Warblers were reported at The Garrison and Lower Moors, St Mary’s on the 20th.

Fine weather and winds from the south brought in spring migrants on the 21st with Hoopoes on St Mary’s and Gugh and a Cuckoo on St Martin’s. Black Redstarts totalled forty-one birds on Bryher and eighteen on St Agnes. Bryher also held twenty-three Wheatear and on St Mary’s nineteen White Wagtails were on The Garrison. A Ring Ouzel was on Salakee Down on the 22nd and a Hoopoe was on the campsite on Bryher. A Jack Snipe, three House Martins and a Swallow were at Porth Hellick and a Brambling was in a garden at High Lanes.

A Hoopoe was at Wingletang Down, St Agnes on the 23rd and three Grey Plover and single Golden Plover were on Shipman Head Down, St Agnes. Elsewhere a Snow Bunting was on the beach at Bar Point, St Mary’s. A Hawfinch was in a garden at Sallyport, St Mary’s on the 27th and three Slav Grebes were off Higher Town Quay, St Martin’s on the 29th. A Cuckoo was at English Island Point, St Martin’s on the 30th

P.Freestone (c) ISBG 2009

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