A look back at the birding highlights on the Islands in 2006
27th to 31st December
On 27th the Goosander was still at Newford duck pond and the Bonaparte’s Gull was seen briefly at Porth Cressa.
A trip to Tresco on 28th produced on the Great Pool 16 Greenshank & 33 Redshank, 3 Shoveler, 5 Pochard, 7 Wigeon, 66 Gadwall, 4 Greylag and a Marsh Harrier. Also on Tresco were 14 Little Egrets, a Spoonbill & a Black Redstart. 3 Balearic Shearwaters & 2 Great Northern Divers were seen offshore. On St. Mary’s there were 2 Black Redstarts on Little Porth and the Bonaparte’s Gull was again at Porth Cressa.
On the 29th the Bonaparte’s Gull was at Porthloo, 2 Little Auks & 5 Razorbills flew past Morning Point and 3 Mediterranean Gulls (an adult and 2 1st winters) were in Porth Cressa.
The only birds reported on the 30th were a Balearic Shearwater past Deep Point and the Bonaparte’s Gull at Porthloo.
On the 31st a Black Redstart was seen on little Porth.
19th to 26th December
On 20th there were 2 Great Northern Divers off St. Mary’s golf course, 3 Lapwing at the riding stables and a Woodcock in the dump clump. Also on St. Mary’s a Sparrowhawk was seen from Lower Moors, a Merlin was at Carn Friars and 3 Greenshank & 2 Redshank were on Porth Hellick Pool.
The only record of note on 21st was a Balearic Shearwater off Tresco.
Records on 22nd were 3 Slavonian Grebes, 2 Balearic Shearwaters, and a Black-throated Diver off Innisidgen. A Black-throated Diver was seen off Tresco where the Spoonbill still remained.
On 23rd a Marsh Harrier was seen over Porth Cressa.
On 24th a brief trip on the Wizard proved fruitful, when the following birds were seen:
6 Great Northern Divers & 6 Little Egrets around the islands, 5 Eider off St. Martin’s (this is an exceptional total for Scilly), 6 Bar-tailed Godwit on Green Island, near Samson, 12 Shelduck, a female Red-breasted Merganser & a Black-throated Diver off Samson and a Marsh Harrier was being mobbed by 2 Carrion Crows over Tean. On St. Mary’s a Black Redstart was on the rocks behind the quay and the Bonaparte’s Gull was seen again, all too briefly, on Porthlow Beach. On St, Agnes a 1st winter Iceland Gull was seen from Horse Point and 20 Balearic Shearwaters were offshore.
On 25th the bird of the day was not a turkey but a fine male Goosander found on Newford Duck Pond, a scarce bird on Scilly and the first for 2 years.
The Goosander was still present on 26th and a trip to Tresco logged, a Spoonbill, 4 Greylag, 10 Pochard, a Pintail, a Shoveler & a summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit.
13th November to 18th December
Now that the autumn migration has finished, the last of the visiting birders have left and half the resident birders Are on holiday there are fewer reports.
The Spoonbill, at least 1 Marsh Harrier and a first winter Mediterranean Gull are still around. 1 or 2 Black Redstarts are around the sheltered beaches. The Rose-coloured Starling at Green Farm was last reported on November 17 and on November 20 a Yellow-browed Warbler & the Great Spotted Woodpecker were seen at the Dump Clump and Snow Bunting near Star Castle. On November 22 the Snow Bunting was seen again and a visit to Tresco produced a Ring-necked Duck, 1and on 3rd 2 Pink-footed Geese and 2 Firecrests. 2 Whimbrel were on Porthloo beach on December a first winter Mediterranean Gull, a Little Gull & a Glaucous Gull were all on Porthloo beach, also a an Iceland Gull was on Porth Killier, St, Agnes, a good day for scarce gulls. A Greenshank was also on Porth Killier and 2 Purple Sandpipers were at Hugh town quay. A sea-watch from Giant’s Castle on 4th logged 3 Balearic Shearwaters & a Little Auk. On 5th a Leach’s Petrel was seen off Hugh Town Quay and the Spoonbill was on Abbey Pool, Tresco. A first winter Iceland Gull was seen on 6th flying past Morning Point towards St. Agnes. On 7th what may well prove to be the bird if the winter was found, a first winter Bonaparte’s Gull. Initially it was in the Porth Cressa/ Little Porth area before settling into a routine when it could be seen daily on Porthloo at high tide, it was reported to 16th at least. Another visit to Tresco on 9th yielded 2+ Greylag, a Pintail, a Shoveler, the Spoonbill and a Black Redstart. Thereafter, apart from the Bonaparte’s Gull and the first winter Mediterranean Gull, nothing was reported apart from a Great Northern Diver flying over the Golf Course on 16th and a Firecrest that was taken in to care after fling into a window of a house at High Lanes.
8th to 12th November
The Spoonbill and at least 1 Marsh Harrier remain but most of the autumn migrants have now gone. There are still good numbers of Fieldfare & Redwing and a few Blackcaps & Chiffchaffs are still about. Otherwise Swallows were seen in twos and threes up to the 11th and Black Redstarts are on the usual beaches in small numbers.
8th On Tresco there was still a Little Bunting, a Ring-necked Duck, a Long-tailed Duck, 4 Wigeon, a Shoveler, a Pintail, 4 Greylag, 2 Pink-footed Geese and a Yellow Wagtail. On St. Mary’s there was a Yellow-browed Warbler at Shooters’ Pool.
9th A Yellow-browed Warbler was at Shooters’ Pool and another was nearby at the Dump Clump. A juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was at Green Farm, where there were also 2 Bramblings. Another very late Yellow Wagtail was at the Riding Centre on St. Mary’s.
10th A Reed Bunting & a Brambling were on the Garrison, the Rose-coloured Starling was still at Green Farm and A Yellow-browed Warbler was still at the Dump Clump. A Short-eared Owl was seen on a visit to Bryher.
11th 2 Brambling were at Green Farm and a Whimbrel was on Porth Cressa.
12th As well as the long staying Spoonbill and a the remaining Marsh Harrier, a short trip to Tresco logged a Shoveler, a Pintail, a Scaup, 4 Greylag, 2 Pink-footed Geese and a Woodcock. Teal numbers seem to be rising on Tresco. 2 Bar-tailed Godwits were seen in the Roads.
3rd to 7th November
The Spoonbill and at least 1 Marsh Harrier remain and at least 1, possibly 2, Great Spotted Woodpeckers are still around. All the Mediterranean Gulls seem to have left.
There are still plenty of Redwing, Fieldfare and Blackcap on the islands. There are large numbers of Chaffinches and a noticeable increase Greenfinch numbers.
3rd A trip to Bryher logged a Lapwing, a very late Whinchat, the resident Hooded Crow a Brambling,2 Serins and 24 Little Egret on Plumb Island. On St. Mary’s the Desert Wheatear was still on Old Town Beach, the juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was at Green Farm, a Barnacle Goose was on Porth Hellick Pool a Red-breasted Flycatcher was at Trenoweth and 6 Black Redstart were on Porthloo Beach.
4th The Desert Wheatear and the juvenile Rose-coloured Starling were still on St. Mary’s and on Tresco there were 3 Little Buntings near Smuggler’s Cottage, a drake Ring-necked Duck, a Scaup & a Long-tailed Duck on the Great Pool and 2 Pink-footed Geese & 4 Greylags (both scarce on Scilly) in fields above Borough Farm.
5th The 2 Pink-footed Geese & 4 Greylags, the a drake Ring-necked Duck, the Scaup, the Long-tailed Duck and a Little Bunting were still on Tresco, where there was also a female Shoveler, a Little Grebe a Swallow & 6 House Martins. The Desert Wheatear was still on St. Mary’s.
6th The 2 Pink-footed Geese & 4 Greylags, the a drake Ring-necked Duck, the Scaup, the Long-tailed Duck and 2 Little Buntings were still on Tresco. On St. Mary’s it was the last day that the Desert Wheatear was seen, 11 Common Scoter were off McFarland’s Down and the Red-breasted Flycatcher was seen again at Trenoweth.
7th A very late Pied Flycatcher was at Jac-a-Ba were there was also a Brambling. On Tresco a Little Bunting was near the Abbey Pool and a juvenile Rose-coloured Starling & 2 Firecrests were seen at Borough Farm.
30th October to 2nd November
The Spoonbill and at least 1 Marsh Harrier remain and at least 1, possibly 2, Great Spotted Woodpeckers are still around. There is still at least 1 juvenile Rose-coloured Starlings on the islands. Redwing & Fieldfare numbers are increasing and there are large numbers of Chaffinch, Blackcap & Goldcrest across the islands.
30th At least 4 Yellow-browed Warblers were still around, Black Redstarts were down to single figures. At Porth Hellick the Short-toed Lark was still on the beach and a Jack Snipe was on the pool, where 2 Woodcock flew over. A Little Bunting was seen briefly in the cabbage field opposite Newford duck pond.
31st The Short-toed Lark was seen for the last time. 2 Yellow-browed Warblers were in the Porth Hellick/Higher Moors area and the Yellow-legged Gull was back on the dump. A Red-breasted Flycatcher was at the Jac-a-Ba and a Serin was in a field at Rocky Hills/Porthloo Lane corner. A skulking acrocephalus warbler in Lower Moors was seen and heard and identified as a Blyth’s Reed Warbler.
1st The 2 Yellow-browed Warblers were still in the Porth Hellick/Higher Moors area and a Lapland bunting was on Peninnis. The juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was seen again at Green Farm. The Red-breasted Flycatcher was still at Trenoweth and a Richard’s Pipit was seen in fields near Old Town. A trip to Tresco produced a Serin, a Yellow-browed Warbler, 3 Barnacle & 2 Pink-footed Geese, a Scaup, a Long-tailed Duck, a female Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Reed Buntings & 2 Lapwings.
On St. Martin’s a Yellow-browed Warbler, 4 Shelduck and a Red-breasted Merganser were seen.
Sudden panic broke out among the birders remaining on the islands with a report of the second Masked Shrike for Britain. The bird was a juvenile and was found near the riding stables by two of the few visiting birders left on the islands. Phones rang, mega alerts went off, people ran and finally about 20 birders managed to see the bird after it had caused a few heart failures by going missing twice. One local birder, who was at the south east end of the Great Pool on Tresco when news broke, made it to the site in 19 minutes, actually getting there before some of the birders on St. Mary’s!
The day was not finished! A local birder in his car, on the way home from the shrike, flushed a wheatear from the road beside Old Town Beach. It looked different, he reversed his car nearly causing a crash, the bird obligingly flew on to a nearby roof, it was a superb first winter male Desert Wheatear. This was the second in 5 days, the only other record for Scilly was in March 1976, rather like a bus, you wait 30 years and then2 come along
2nd Unfortunately the Masked Shrike could not be relocated, but the Desert Wheatear performed magnificently, giving views down to a few feet, this was scant consolation for the people who had missed it the yesterday and the day twitchers.
The Rose-coloured Starling was still at Green Farm, a Little Grebe was on Porth Hellick Pool and nearby there was a Long-eared Owl. A Long-tailed Duck was seen off Bar Point.
25th to 29th October
The Spoonbill, several Mediterranean Gulls, a few Wheatears, Ring Ouzels, Black Redstarts, Yellow-browed Warblers, Firecrests are still around. It appears as if the only the female Marsh Harriers remains The Great Spotted Woodpecker is still roaming around St. Mary’s and a couple of juvenile Rose-coloured Starlings are on the islands. Redwing numbers continue to increase.
The American Robin on Tresco, the Short-toed Lark on Porth Hellick beach were present throughout. The Aquatic Warbler & Serin at Carn Friars, the Pink-footed Geese, the Long-tailed Duck & Scaup on Tresco and the Barnacle Geese (inter-island commuters) were present until the 28th at least.
25th A juvenile Red-backed Shrike was found at Deep Point and the juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was still at Green Farm. The evening log call produced counts of 2 Jack Snipe, 4 Yellow-browed Warblers, 8 Black Redstarts and 14 Ring Ouzels.
26th The Blyth’s Pipit was relocated on the Airfield, where there was a Red-throated Pipit briefly. The Peninnis Short-toed Lark was seen again and a Quail, a Short-eared Owl and a Wryneck were all seen on Tresco. The juvenile Red-backed Shrike had moved to Normandy and 3 Jack Snipe were on Porth Hellick. The juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was still at Green Farm and a Red-breasted Flycatcher was on St. Agnes. Calls at the log included 9 Yellow-browed Warblers, 8 Ring Ouzels, 9 Wheatears, 3 Firecrests, 3 Whinchat & 2 Reed Buntings.
27th The second Desert Wheatear for Scilly was found on St. Agnes (the first was in 1976), so producing a good bird for the last full day of the holiday for most visiting birders. Also a Little Bunting was on St. Agnes. Tresco produced a Red-breasted Flycatcher, a Pied Flycatcher, a Snow Bunting, a Brambling and 2 late Willow Warblers. Several Jack Snipe were reported, the Yellow-browed Warbler count was up to 13 and 5 Firecrests were logged. The juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was still at Green Farm and a what was possibly the one very mobile Woodlark was seen at Carn Friars, Watermill and the Garrison. The first 2 Shelduck of the autumn were seen between Samson & Tresco.
28th With the departure of most of the visiting the number of birds reported dropped off significantly. 2 Serins were seen at Borough Farm Tresco, also on Tresco was a juvenile Rose-coloured Starling. A Firecrest was at Porthloo and 10 Yellow-browed Warblers were seen around the islands.
29th A Rustic Bunting was near the Old Town Inn, also on St. Mary’s a Barred Warbler, a Yellow-browed Warbler and 3 Black Redstarts were seen. On Tresco there were 3 Yellow-browed Warblers and on Bryher there was a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Bluethroat and a juvenile Rose-coloured Starling.
22nd to 24th October
Still a few Whinchats, Wheatears, Ring Ouzel, Black Redstarts, Yellow-browed Warblers, Firecrests and Red-breasted Flycatchers around. The Spoonbill, 2 Marsh Harriers (female & immature) and Mediterranean Gulls are still present. The Great Spotted Woodpecker is still roaming around St. Mary’s and a couple of juvenile Rose-coloured Starlings on the islands. Redwing numbers continue to increase and there were several Fieldfares recorded.
The Booted Warbler at Green Farm was last seen 23rd. The American Robin on Tresco, the Short-toed Lark on Peninnis, the Aquatic Warbler at Carn Friars, the Pink-footed Geese on Tresco, 2 or 3 Jack snipe on the islands and the Yellow-legged Gull at the Dump or Porth Cressa still remain.
22nd A juvenile Scaup was seen commuting between Porth Cressa and Old Town Bay and a Siberian Chiffchaff was reported from Lower Moors. On St , Agnes there were 3 Barnacle Geese and a Long-tailed Duck. A Little Bunting was at Carn Friars and a Snow Bunting was seen on the airfield. The Bluethroat was seen again on Bryher and large pipit seen on the Airfield and Peninnis caused some confusion and debate, but was finally identified over the next few days as a Blyth’s Pipit and was still present on 24th.
23rd The American Robin made a brief visit to Bryher but quickly returned to Tresco. A second Short-toed Lark was found on Porth Hellick beach, staying until 24th at least and a Common Rosefinch was seen at Pelistry. The Carn Friars continued to produce good birds, a Serin was discovered there. Three Water Pipits were seen 1 at Green Farm and 2 at Pelistry. The a Long-tailed Duck was still on the Big Pool on St. Agnes, remaining until 24th at least.
24th A Little Grebe & juvenile Scaup were on Tresco and the Bluethroat was still on Bryher. The 3 Barnacle Geese were seen on St. Martin’s and Water Pipits were reported from Lower Moors and Porth Hellick beach. A juvenile Red-backed Shrike was seen at Bar Point, 2 Balearic Shearwaters were seen off St. Martin’s, an Osprey flew over Annet and a Serin was seen on Gugh.
Butterflies and moths seen included 3 Long-tailed Blues and a Slender Burnished Brass Moth & a Cypress Carpet Moth.
19th to 21st October
Still a few Black Redstarts, Yellow-browed Warblers, Firecrests and Red-breasted Flycatchers around. The Spoonbill, Marsh Harriers and up to 6 Mediterranean Gulls are still present. The Great Spotted Woodpecker is still roaming around St. Mary’s. and 2 or 3 juvenile Rose-coloured Starlings on the islands.
The Booted Warbler at Green Farm, the American Robin on Tresco, the Short-toed Lark on Peninnis and the Western Bonelli’s Warbler on Porth Hellick Loop were present throughout. The Common Rosefinch at Carn Friars was last seen on 20th and the Yellow-legged Gull at the Dump or Porth Cressa was still around.
19th The Little Bunting & Radde’s Warbler at Trenoweth/Pungies/Lane junction were present for a second day. The Garrison Red-eyed Vireo was seen for the its third and last day. 2 Jack Snipe were at Lower Moors until 21st at least and 1 was at shooters’ Pool.
New finds were a Pallas’s Warbler on St. Martin’s, a Siberian Stonechat near the Health Centre on Peninnis and an Aquatic Warbler at Carn Friars.
20th The ‘Green Farm’ Warbler was trapped, ringed and measured, and hence it identity was finally resolved, despite many opinions to the contrary it was a Booted Warbler.
What was probably the Blyth’s Pipit from 18th was seen in the morning on Bryher also there was a Bluethroat. Birders looking for the pipit in the afternoon found a Pied Wheatear. An Isabelline Shrike, unfortunately only a 1 day bird , was found on the Garrison and an Olive-backed Pipit flew over Buzza Tower towards the Garrison playing Fields and then on towards Gugh. The St. Martin’s Western Bonelli’s Warbler was seen again and a Honey Buzzard flew out to sea from Peninnis. The Little Bunting was seen in the morning at Trenoweth and it or another was on Bryher in the afternoon. The Aquatic Warbler was seen briefly, again at Carn Friars and 3 Reed Buntings ( a Scilly rarity) were around St. Mary’s.. 2 Pink-footed Geese (another Scillies rarity) flew around the islands before settling on Tresco.
21st Was very windy which made birding very difficult. The Bluethroat and Pied Wheatear were still on Bryher in the morning, but St. Mary’s based birders could not relocate them in the afternoon. The only new birds reported were 3 Barnacle Geese past Peninnis and a Richard’s Pipit on Tresco.
Butterflies and moths seen included a Monarch, a Long-tailed Blue and 2 Crimson Speckled Moths.
16th to 18th October
Scarce migrants included , Black Redstarts and a scattering of Yellow-browed Warblers, Firecrests and up to 5 Red-breasted Flycatchers. The long staying Spoonbill, Marsh Harriers and several Mediterranean Gulls are still present. The Great Spotted Woodpecker is still roaming around St. Mary’s. 3 or 4 juvenile Rose-coloured Starlings and up to 6 Lapland Buntings were around the islands. There was a notable influx of Skylarks, Chaffinches, Ring Ouzels and Redwing. The first Fieldfares of the autumn were seen.
16th The following were all present until the 18th at least: the Short-toed Lark on Peninnis the Booted Warbler at Green Farm ( photographs suggesting that it may be a Syke’s Warbler), the American Golden Plover & the American Robin both on Tresco and the Yellow-legged Gull at the dump or Porth Cressa.
Snow Buntings were seen at Giant’s Castle & Deep Point, 2 Jack Snipe were at Lower Moors, a Red-backed Shrike was on St. Martin’s and a Little Bunting was on St. Agnes. 2 Common Rosefinches was at Green farm and Carn Friars the former until 17th and the latter to 18th.
17th 2 Red-eyed Vireos were seen, 1 on Sallyport until at least 18th and 1 very briefly on Bryher. A Scilly rarity, a Tree Sparrow was reported from Watermill. Short-eared Owls were seen at Deep Point and on St. Agnes and a Jack Snipes were at Porth Hellick and Lower Moors.
A Bonelli’s Warbler species reported on the Porth Hellick Loop was probably the Western Bonelli’s Warbler first seen on St. Agnes in September, relocating again for the fifth time!
A bird initially reported (with reservations) as a Tawny Pipit at Carn Friars was re-identified next day – read on!
18th Yesterday’s Tawny Pipit, which the finder had discussed with other birders, was found near St. Mary’s Riding Stables and re-identified as a Blyth’s Pipit. A second Western Bonelli’s Warbler was found on St. Martins and an Olive-backed Pipit was seen, all too briefly, by a few lucky observers at Maypole Farm. A Short-eared Owl was on Bryher. A Little Bunting and a Radde’s Warbler were both found in the same field at the corner of Pungies Lane and Trenoweth.
Butterflies and moths seen included 2 Monarchs, a Merveille Dujour Moth & a Convolvulus Hawkmoth on 16th, another Convolvulus Hawkmoth & a Long-tailed Blue on the 17th and yet another Monarch on 18th
12th to 15th October
Migrants included the first Woodcocks, Black Redstarts, Ring Ouzels & Bramblings of the autumn with a scattering of Yellow-browed Warblers, Firecrests, Wrynecks and Red-breasted Flycatchers. The long staying Spoonbill, Marsh Harriers and several Mediterranean Gulls are still present. The Great Spotted Woodpecker is still roaming around St. Mary’s. There was a notable influx of Skylarks.
12th The Western Bonelli’s Warbler near Porth Hellick House, the Greenish Warbler on St. Agnes and the Short-toed Lark on Peninnis all remained. The Tawny Pipit was relocated at Carn Vean, a juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was on Peninnis and another 2 were at Green Farm along with a Common Rosefinch. The American Robin was still on Tresco. A Red-backed Shrike was on Bryher and a Lapland Bunting was on the Airfield.
13th The American Golden Plover which was not seen on 12th was found on the golf course and the Short-toed Lark on Peninnis was joined by a Common Rosefinch. At least 4 Rose-coloured Starlings (all juveniles) were around the islands with 2 at Green Farm, 1 at Telegraph and 1 on Tresco. The Common Rosefinch was still at Green Farm and a Tawny Pipit commuted between there and Normandy. The Red-backed Shrike was still on Bryher and another was on St. Martin’s. . The American Robin was still on Tresco where there was also a Dotterel and a flyover Richard’s Pipit. On Bryher a strange warbler with several missing and abrades feathers was finally agreed by most to be a Booted Warbler. On St. Mary’s an Arctic Warbler was found near Four Lanes, a Yellow-legged Gull was on the rubbish dump, a Lapland Bunting was on the Airfield and a Snow Bunting was at Giant’s Castle.
14th The American Golden Plover had returned to Tresco and the American Robin was still there. The Booted Warbler and Red-backed Shrike were still on Bryher and the other Red-backed Shrike remained on St. Martin’s. Red-breasted Flycatchers were seen on St. Agnes and at the ‘Dump Clump’, a juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was on St. Agnes and 2 more were at Green Farm with the Common Rosefinch & the Tawny Pipit. The were now 3 Lapland Buntings on the Airfield and 2 Snow Buntings at Giant’s Castle. The Short-toed Lark was still on Peninnis.
15th A Scilly ‘mega-rarity’ – a Roller was seen at Porth Minnick, unfortunately by only 4 observers, before flying over the Airfield to be seen later, briefly in flight, by 2 more lucky birders, near Porth Hellick House. Despite extensive searches by several hundred birders it was not relocated. One of the original observers even managed to photograph it.
Red-breasted Flycatchers were in the ‘Dump Clump’, at Watermill and in the Parsonage garden on St. Agnes. The 4 juvenile Rose-coloured Starlings were still around, 1 on Tresco, 1 on St. Agnes and 2 at Green Farm. Also at Green Farm the Tawny Pipit & Common Rosefinch were joined by a warbler which turned out to be a Booted Warbler, a different one to the St. Martin’s bird. The American Golden Plover and the American Robin were still on Tresco. On St. Mary’s a Snow Bunting was on Porthloo, the 3 Lapland Buntings were still on the Airfield and 2 Reed Buntings (a local rarity) were seen in Lower Moors and opposite Porthloo duck pond. A Grey Phalarope was reported from Porth Cressa and an Olive-backed Pipit reported near Holy Vale cottages.
On the Lepidoptera front a Long-tailed Blue, a Queen of Spain Fritillary & several Monarchs were seen. An American Painted Lady was photographed at Porthloo on 13th. 2 Convolvulus Hawkmoths were at Porthloo on the 14th.
On the pelagic trip on 13th a Minke Whale swam under the boat.
8th to 11th October
Small numbers of the usual autumn migrants were around the islands, including a few Yellow-browed Warblers, Firecrests, Wrynecks and Red-breasted Flycatchers. The long staying Spoonbill, Marsh Harriers and at least 4 Mediterranean Gulls still remain.
8th The Western Bonelli’s Warbler was still near Longstone. A Richard’s Pipit was reported late in the day from the Airfield. A continental Coal Tit & a Hoopoe were seen in the late afternoon on the Garrison; unfortunately neither could be relocated next day.
A juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was on St. Agnes.
9th A Tawny Pipit was found on St. Mary’s, moving from Carn Friars to the Airfield and a Snow Bunting, a Black Redstart & a Common Rosefinch were on St. Agnes where a Honey Buzzard flew over . The American Golden Plover was still on Tresco and the Western Bonelli’s Warbler was still near Longstone. A Lapland Bunting was on the Airfield and a juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was on the Garrison. Arctic Terns were seen off St. Mary’s quay and on St. Agnes. Red-breasted Flycatchers were on Sallyport and in Holy Vale while a Snow Bunting was seen at Pelistry. A pelagic trip that day logged 20 European Storm-Petrels, 17 Sooty Shearwaters, a Great Skua & a Sabine’s Gull.
10th The Tawny Pipit remained on St. Mary’s, a Lapland Bunting was still on the Airfield and another was seen flying from Tresco towards Bryher. One of the Red-breasted Flycatchers remained in Holy Vale and another was in the Parsonage, St. Agnes, where a Greenish Warbler was found. 2 Rose-coloured Starlings were at Green Farm and a Common Rosefinch was on Peninnis. The American Golden Plover was still on Tresco where the highlight of the autumn so far, an American Robin, was found near Rowesfield Crossroads.
11th Both the Tawny Pipit & a Short-toed Lark were commuting between the Airfield and Peninnis. The Greenish Warbler, a Red-breasted Flycatcher and a Yellow-browed Warbler were all in the Parsonage on St. Agnes, with a Snow Bunting nearby. The American Golden Plover and the American Robin were still on Tresco where a Red-backed Shrike was found at Gimble Porth. The Western Bonelli’s Warbler had relocated yet again – this time into the pines near Porth Hellick House. The Lapland Bunting was still on the Airfield and the 2 Rose-coloured Starlings were in the Green Farm/ Borough Farm area.
On the butterfly front Scilly’s second Queen of Spain Fritillary, at least 2 more Long-tailed Blues & several Monarchs were seen.
Cetaceans seen included 2 Risso’s & 6 Common Dolphins off Peninnis and 100 Common Dolphins from the pelagic trip on 9th
5th to 7th October
Very few migrants around but still a scattering of Firecrests still and a few Yellow-browed Warblers. The long staying Spoonbill, Marsh Harriers and at least 4 Mediterranean Gulls still are still here.
5th The American Golden Plover was on Castle Down, Tresco until the 7th and the Rose-coloured Starling was seen again on Bryher. On St. Mary’s Yellow-browed Warblers were at Newford duck pond and in the Higher Moors/Porth Hellick area, a Lesser Redpoll was at Carn Friars, 4 Turtle Doves were at Borough Farm & a Great Northern Diver flew past Peninnis.
6th Very strong westerly winds today, made birding difficult. A Long-eared Owl was in Old Town churchyard, a Redstart was at Carn Leh and a few Firecrests, Spotted & Pied Flycatcher were reported.
7th The Western Bonelli’s Warbler, that had been missing for a few days, was relocated near Longstone. There were up to 8 Firecrests on St. Mary’s and another on St. Agnes. The Turtle Doves at Borough Farm had increased to 6 and the American Golden Plover was on Tresco was now accompanied by 9 Golden Plover. A Serin was reported from Peninnis, where a Red-throated Diver was seen flying past. A Barred Warbler was on ST. Martin’s & a Wryneck was at Morning Point, Sallyport. A Lapland Bunting flew over Carn Vean and it or another was later seen on the Airfield, also a Snow Bunting was reported from Giant’s Castle St. Mary’s. ? Common Scoters were off St. Mary’s quay and Bryher. Finally what in terms of Scilly rarities could prove to be bird of the autumn, a Great Crested Grebe, was seen from the Scillonian, near the Eastern Isle.
On the butterfly front a Monarch was on Sallyport on 6th and there were 3 on the 7th, 1 still on the Garrison, 1 at Bar Point and 1 on Tresco. Belated news is of a Long-tailed Blue on St. Martin’s on 4th.
2nd to 4th October
Less migrants around but still several Wrynecks & a scattering of Firecrests still present. The long staying Spoonbill, Marsh Harriers and several Mediterranean Gulls still remain.
2nd The Tawny Pipit was still on the airfield and nearby on Airport Lane was a juvenile Red-backed Shrike. Another Red-backed Shrike, the Lapland Bunting and the Ortolan Bunting remained on Peninnis from where a Black-throated Diver & Manx shearwater were also seen. The Western Bonelli’s was still at the ‘Dump Clump’ and the American Golden Plover was still on Castle Down, Tresco. Also on Tresco were a Hoopoe, a Green Sandpiper, a Black-tailed Godwit & a female Pintail.
3rd The Peninnis Hoopoe reappeared near Buzza Tower, with 2 Wrynecks nearby, also on St. Mary’s single Yellow-browed Warblers were seen at the ‘Dump Clump’, Porth Hellick & Lower Moors. The Western Bonelli’s & Lapland Bunting were still around and a Snow Bunting flew over Watermill. The Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen near Longstone and Firecrests were reported from the Garrison, the ‘Dump Clump’ and St. Agnes. 2 Turtle Doves were at Borough Farm, St. Mary’s and singles were reported from St. Agnes and Tresco. Also on Tresco was the American Golden Plover & a Spotted Crake.
4th was fairly quiet a lot of birds having cleared out overnight. The Yellow-browed Warbler was still at Porth Hellick and others were at Newford duck pond and on St. Martin’s. Wrynecks were still on at least 3 islands and the Turtle Doves in the field at Borough Farm, St. Mary’s had risen to 3 with 2 more seen flying over. A Firecrest was on the Garrison and the Rose-coloured Starling was seen again on Bryher. The American Golden Plover was still on Castle Down, Tresco. A daytime pelagic produced 2 Sooty Shearwaters, a dark phase Arctic Skua, 4 European Storm-Petrels & Manx Shearwater.
29th September to 1st October
A good selection of common migrants including several Wrynecks & Firecrests still present. The long staying Spoonbill, Marsh Harriers and several Mediterranean Gulls are still around.
The Bonelli’s Warbler, the Tawny Pipit, the Pectoral Sandpipers, the Subalpine Warbler, the Peninnis Red-backed Shrike, the Little Stint, the Wood Warbler, the Great Spotted Woodpecker and Ortolan Bunting all remained to the 1st at least.
29th A Hoopoe was on Peninnis, still present on the 1st and a Corncrake was flushed there. 1 Yellow-browed Warbler was in the ‘Dump Clump’ and 3 more were seen in Lower Moors. An Icterine Warbler was at Higher Moors and a Melodious Warbler was on the Garrison. A new Red-backed Shrike was on Old Town Lane. A Sooty Shearwater was seen off the Daymark, St. Martin’s. A late Cuckoo was on St. Martin’s and 29 Pied Flycatchers were reported from Tresco. A daytime pelagic trip logged a Balearic, a Great & 2 Sooty Shearwaters.
30th A 2nd Hoopoe was at Normandy until the 1st at least, a Merlin was seen at Porthloo and a Yellow-browed Warbler was in Lower Moors. A Honey Buzzard was seen over the Garrison and the next day was around St. Mary’s and briefly on Tresco. An Osprey was seen from St. Martin’s.
1st A Grey Phalarope was seen from one of the inter-island boats between St. Agnes & St. Mary’s, a Redstart was at Porth Mellon and a Garden Warbler was on the Garrison. On Tresco a Jack Snipe was on the Great Pool and 2 Yellow Wagtails were at Borough Farm
25th to 28th September
Still a good selection of common migrants around, including several Wrynecks across the islands. The Spoonbill & Marsh Harriers are still present as are several Mediterranean Gulls.
25th 1 Buff-breasted Sandpiper remained on St. Martin’s. The Hoopoe was still on Peninnis remaining until the 28th at least, also on Peninnis a Tawny Pipit was seen briefly. On the rest of St. Mary’s a Marsh Warbler was reported by the Garrison playing fields with a Barred Warbler nearby, a Wood Warbler was on Sallyport and both Red-backed & Woodchat Shrikes at Telegraph (the latter 3 species still present on 28th) A Rose-coloured Starling was found on Bryher, On St. Agnes the Western Bonelli’s Warbler was still present also there were Icterine & Barred Warblers, Pectoral Sandpiper and Little Stint. 3 Black-tailed Godwits flew over the Golf Course and another was seen on Tresco.
26th The Icterine Warbler, Pectoral Sandpiper & Little Stint remained on St. Agnes where they were joined by an elusive Subalpine Warbler, a Lapland Bunting and a Firecrest. There was no sign of the Bonelli’s Warbler but it or another was found in the evening near Carn Gwarvel Primary School. Nearby at the ‘Dump Clump’ a Yellow-browed Warbler & a Firecrest were seen. A Turtle Dove & a Cuckoo were on the Garrison and a Pectoral Sandpiper was on Tresco. Birders visiting Bryher logged 2 Firecrests, 2 Rose-coloured Starlings, a Lapland Bunting & a Red-backed Shrike.
27th On St. Mary’s Kingfishers were seen in Porth Hellick Bay and at Little Porth, 4 Turtle Doves were at Borough Farm, a Yellow-browed Warbler & 2 Firecrests were at the ‘Dump Clump’, a Little Grebe was on Porth Hellick Pool. A Lapland Bunting was on the Garrison and an Ortolan Bunting was on Peninnis. The Rose-coloured Starling & Red-backed Shrike were still on Bryher where a Richard’s Pipit was also seen. A Great Shearwater was seen from the return Scillonian crossing within 15 minutes of Scilly.
28th The Lapland & Ortolan Buntings, the Firecrests, the Yellow-browed & the Bonelli’s Warblers were all still on St. Mary’s, the Rose-coloured Starling & the Red-backed Shrike were still on Bryher, the Pectoral Sandpiper, the Little Stint, the Firecrests the Icterine Warbler & the Subalpine Warbler were still on St. Agnes and 2 Pectoral Sandpipers were still on Tresco. New birds in were: a Tawny Pipit on the Airfield, a Red-throated Pipit over Telegraph, a Red-backed Shrike on Peninnis and a Common Rosefinch on St. Agnes.
The Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen again in Holy Vale.
A Storm Petrel, a Manx & a Balearic Shearwater and a Grey Phalarope were seen from the Scillonian crossing.
22nd to 24th September
Following the high winds of the 21st there were many more common migrants around , with especially high numbers of Pied & Spotted Flycatchers, birds seeming to be in every sheltered, sunny spot. There were also good numbers of Wheatear, Whinchat & Yellow Wagtails. Smaller numbers of other migrants such as Redstart & Whitethroat were also present. More Wrynecks than usual were seen, with at least 12 present on the islands on the 23rd. The Spoonbill & Marsh Harriers are still present as are several Mediterranean Gulls.
22nd The 2 Buff- Breasted Sandpipers on St. Mary’s airfield were still present in the morning but were not seen in the afternoon, however the 1 on St. Martin’s increased to 3 that p.m. so they may well have joined up there. The Woodchat Shrike was still on Pungies Lane and the Red-baked Shrike was still in the vicinity of Star Castle, both still there on the 24th. A Hoopoe was found on Peninnis and a Western Bonelli’s Warbler was discovered in the Parsonage on St. Agnes and was still present on the 24th.
23rd 1 of the Pectoral Sandpipers was still on the Great Pool, Tresco, remaining until the 24th at least & a Curlew Sandpiper was on Abbey Pool. Also on Tresco a Hoopoe was seen near the Island Hotel. On Bryher visiting birders found a juvenile Rose-coloured Starling & an Icterine Warbler. A very elusive Arctic Warbler was along the track between Longstone and Holy Vale, amazingly found by the same visitor who found the same species on St. Agnes last week! On St. Agnes a Firecrest was in the Parsonage, obviously the place to look!
24th An Icterine Warbler, a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Wood Warbler & a Red- breasted Flycatcher were all on Sallyport. A Grasshopper Warbler was on Peninnis, 8 Turtle Doves were at Watermill & a juvenile Black Tern was seen off St. Mary’s Quay.
Barred Warblers were seen on the Garrison and St. Agnes, Hoopoes were on Peninnis and at Carn Friars, Lapland Buntings were near the Woolpack and on Wingletang, St. Agnes. Also on St. Agnes was an Ortolan Bunting. 2 more Red-backed Shrikes were found, 1 on Bryher and 1 at Telegraph.
On the insect front, a Death’s Head Hawkmoth was trapped overnight (22/23) at Longstone.
20th to 21st September
Birding was not easy over the last two days due to the very strong south or south easterly winds which peaked at 70mph in late afternoon of 21st.
The Woodchat Shrike has remained in its favourite field at Telegraph off Pungies Lane on both dates with the Red-backed Shrike still at the Garrison Playing Field on 20th.
The two Marsh Harriers were both on St Mary’s on 20th as was at least one Peregrine and two of the Ravens. Some of the small influx of Kestrel were still on St Mary’s, usually in the Higher Moors/ Longstone area. Also still present are at least two Mediterranean Gulls with an adult and a 1st winter being seen regularly around Hugh Town and the Garrison.
The only two Buff-breasted Sandpipers found on 21st were those on the airport whilst on Tresco a new Pectoral Sandpiper was found on 21st where three birds were seen sheltering on the Great Pool opposite the David Hunt hide.
Wrynecks were harder to find in the rough weather but singles were seen at New Grimsby and at Porth Loo lane again on 21st.
The two Corncrakes found on 21st were somewhat unexpected. One was seen near the Sussex Hide at Porth Hellick whilst the other was seen between Periglis and the island Hall on St Agnes. Also on St Agnes was a Lapland Bunting on Wingletang Down.
The Eleonora’s Falcon was seen again over the Garrison on 15th and 18th, each time causing massive panic amongst the Swallow and Starling flocks. It is now thought to be a 1st year bird but has proved frustratingly elusive to most observers. It has meant an increase in raptor records with Peregrine, Merlin, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel being seen in the same area with Marsh Harrier and Buzzard not far away.
The Little Egret count seems to be rising again with birds noted feeding along many shorelines. The Spoonbill is still mainly static on the Great Pool with the Spotted Crake often feeding at its feet. The Subalpine Warbler on Bryher was last seen on 15th although the Lapland Bunting on Shipman Head Down hung around until 16th.
At least seven Wrynecks were on the islands on 15th with a Common Rosefinch being seen near Green Farm that afternoon and a Quail was flushed on Peninnis. The Woodchat Shrike was still near Telegraph until 18th with Firecrest noted in Holy Vale on a couple of occasions with another on St Agnes on 17th.
The Buff-breasted Sandpiper that was on the Airport on 15th may well have been the bird that moved to St Agnes on 16th-19th with two more arriving on the Airport 17th-19th.
A superb male Red-backed Shrike was on the edge of the Garrison playing field on 16th-19th although in typical shrike fashion would go missing for hours at a time. The Great Spotted Woodpecker was reported again on 16th, this time in the Carn Friars/Holy Vale area. New birds arriving on 16th included an Ortolan Bunting at Old Grimsby and a Lapland Bunting on the Golf Course with the Icterine Warbler on Bryher making another appearance that day.
The second Monarch Butterfly of the year was in Hugh Town for a few hours on 16th with the third Comma of the year found on Higher Moors.
One of the rarest finds of the month so far was the Magpie that appeared at Giants Castle on 17th where it was seen hopping around before flying off when disturbed; as yet it has not been relocated. With the long staying bird on St Martins finally disappearing in May we had expected a long gap before the next one would reach Scilly. A Spotted Redshank was seen at Porth Hellick early on 17th before appearing later in the day on Tresco. Two Lapland Bunting were on Wingletang Down, St Agnes also that day.
Two new Pectoral Sandpipers were found on the Great Pool, Tresco on 18th, as was a Black-tailed Godwit. But the bird of the day was an Arctic Warbler in the Parsonage on St Agnes where it showed well next day. A Melodious Warbler was on the Garrison not far from the Red-backed Shrike behind Star Castle with at least three Mediterranean Gulls noted near Hugh Town that day.
Three Wrynecks were on St Agnes on 19th along with the Arctic Warbler and Buff-breasted Sandpiper plus two Yellow Wagtails, one of which was a very grey bird, were near Castella Down. Another Wryneck was on Peninnis Head and a Buff-breasted Sandpiper was found on St Martin’s cricket pitch that afternoon.
12th to 14th September
As with the previous few days a good scattering of commoner migrants are still on the islands with Pied and Spotted Flycatchers in the more sheltered areas and Whinchats perched around the more open heaths. The Great Spotted Woodpecker is still wandering St Mary’s reaching the Dump Clump on 12th. Mediterranean Gulls increased to seven on 13th, the highest ever count on Scilly.
The Subalpine Warbler was still on Bryher to 14th as were the Wryneck and Red-backed Shrike. The first Lapland Bunting of the year was on Wingletang Down, St Agnes on 12th. The Buff-breasted Sandpiper was noted on the Airport all days although it did pay a brief visit to the Golf Course on 13th. A Bonelli’s Warbler was found near the Tresco Abbey on 12th-13th, but could be very elusive.
Bird of the day was the dark morph Eleonora’s Falcon that flew low over Old Grimsby being mobbed by swallows as it headed to the north of the island. There was no sign of it next day in some rather wet weather but what may well have been the same bird was seen over the Garrison on afternoon of 14th heading South West.
On 13th the lone Curlew Sandpiper was ignored by the three that arrived on the Abbey Pool that afternoon. The long staying rare and scarce birds were still present little new was found today, in the at times heavy rain.
Better weather on 14th saw the discovery of a Melodious Warbler on the Garrison and new Wrynecks on the Garrison and at Porth Loo. The second Lapland Bunting of the autumn was on Shipman Head down on Bryher this evening. Both the Woodchat at Telegraph and the Red-backed Shrike on Bryher were seen again today and the Spoonbill is still on the Great Pool.
Sep 8th to 11th
As well as the Spoonbill, Marsh Harriers & Mediterranean Gulls remaining, migrants continued to increase, with good numbers of Wheatears, Whinchats, Spotted & Pied Flycatchers, Yellow Wagtails, Whitethroats & Tree Pipits. Wrynecks were seen daily, with up to 7 across the islands in one day. Wader numbers increased with Curlew Sandpiper being added to the list of usual suspects. The Pectoral Sandpiper was present throughout commuting between Lower Moors and nearby beaches. Kingfishers were seen at Lower Moors and Porth Hellick Pool and the Great-spotted Woodpecker was seen/heard at several locations on St. Mary’s.
On the 8th Ortolan Buntings were seen on the golf course and Bryher. A Merlin flew over Lower Moors and a Blackcap was at Shooters’ Pool A Great Skua was seen between St. Mary’s & St. Martin’s
The highlight of 9th was a Paddyfield Warbler that was trapped and ringed at Porth Hellick, nearby a Barred Warbler was in the Porth Hellick/Carn Friars area. A Hobby flew over Porth Hellick and the Subalpine Warbler, a juvenile Red-backed Shrike, a Redstart & a Firecrest were on Bryher. An Osprey flew over the Garrison.
On the 10th The Subalpine Warbler & the Red-backed Shrike were still on Bryher. where an Osprey was also seen. A Redstart, Sparrowhawk & a Hobby were on St. Martins.
An Icterine Warbler was on Tresco.
On the 11th, on St. Mary’s, a juvenile Woodchat Shrike was in the Content Farm/Pungies Lane area, a Lesser Whitethroat was on the Garrison, a Garden Warbler was along Pungies Lane, an adult Hobby flew over Helvear and a Buff-breasted Sandpiper was found late evening on the airfield. On Tresco a Buzzard a juvenile Marsh Harrier, 23 Little Egrets and a Spotted Crake were seen. On the daytime pelagic trip another juvenile Marsh Harrier followed the boat out several miles and the kept going east. Was this one of the 2 young suspected to have been fledged this year? Also seen on this trip were: a Sooty Shearwater, a Black Tern,1 Pomarine, 3 Arctic & 8 Great Skuas and 35 European Storm-petrels. On St. Agnes a probable Thrush Nightingale was seen very briefly early morning and promptly disappeared.
Aug 30th to Sep 7th
The birding has improved greatly in the last week, more migrants are around and several rare & scarce birds have been seen. The Spoonbill, Marsh Harriers & several Mediterranean Gulls are still present. Wheatears were seen daily.
On the 30th ” Tree Pipits flew over St. Mary’s Quay and there was a Kestrel, a Merlin and a Snipe at Lower Moors. The evening pelagic produced 2 Great Skuas and what may well prove to be the last 2 Wilson’s Storm-Petrels of the year, bringing the 2006 total to a staggering 66!
The 31st produced the first American wader of the autumn – a White-rumped Sandpiper on Tresco, also present there were 18 Greenshank, 6 Sanderling & 2 Dunlin. On St. Mary’s there were 3 Dunlin & a Common Sandpiper at Porth Hellick, another Common Sandpiper at Old Town and a Whitethroat & a Tree Pipit on Peninnis. A Whimbrel & a Knot were seen near Samson, an Arctic Skua was in The Roads and on a quiet pelagic the only bird of note was a Sooty Shearwater.
On the 1st a Subalpine Warbler was found on St. Agnes. On St. Mary’s a Great Spotted Woodpecker was on Kittydown, a Lapwing flew over Higher Moors, a Spotted Flycatcher was at Old Town, a Whitethroat was on Peninnis, an Arctic Skua was seen near the harbour entrance, a Tawny Pipit was on the golf course and a Water Rail, 3 Reed & 15 Sedge Warblers were on Lower Moors.
On the 2nd the Subalpine Warbler was still on St. Agnes. While on St. Mary’s there were 2 juvenile Water Rails & a Greenshank on Lower Moors and a Spotted Flycatcher in Old Town churchyard.
A visit to Tresco on the 3rd proved fruitful with 18 Greenshank, 7 Redshank, 10+ Dunlin, 20 Sanderling, a Common & a Green Sandpiper, a Knot, a Black-tailed Godwit and the White-rumped Sandpiper been seen. A Wryneck & a Garden Warbler were on Bryher and a Bar-tailed Godwit was on Samson. St. Agnes continued to produce with a Semi-palmated Sandpiper on the pool. On St. Mary’s there was a Green Sandpiper at Lower Moors, a Swift over Porth Hellick, a Spotted Flycatcher at Carn Friars and a third American wader in the form of a Pectoral Sandpiper on Old Town Beach.
On the 4th the Semi-palmated Sandpiper was still on St. Agnes, the Pectoral Sandpiper was still on St. Mary’s and the Subalpine Warbler or another was on Bryher. The White-rumped Sandpiper was still on Tresco were there was also a Little Stint a Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, a Spotted & 2 Pied Flycatchers. On St. Mary’s a
Wood Warbler was at Porth Hellick and the Arctic Skua was seen in The Roads.
On the 5th on Tresco the White-rumped Sandpiper was still present accompanied by a Little Stint & a Knot also seen was a Pied Flycatcher. The Semi-palmated Sandpiper remained on St. Agnes were also present were a Whimbrel, a Lesser Whitethroat & a Garden Warbler. The Pectoral Sandpiper was still on St. Mary’s were a fall of 20+ Pied Flycatchers was seen at Trenoweth. Also on St. Mary’s on Porth Cressa another Semi-palmated Sandpiper was seen and photographed, apparently present for a second day. The Subalpine Warbler was seen again on Bryher and a Greenish Warbler was discovered nearby.
The 6th produced a first winter Citrine Wagtail on Lower Moors ,where the Pectoral Sandpiper was still present. On the rest of St. Mary’s a Melodious Warbler was at Longstone, a Whitethroat & 8 Greenshank were at Porth Hellick and a small ring-tail Harrier (Montagu’s or Pallid) was seen over Higher Moors. The Little Stint was still on Tresco. A pelagic trip logged a Balearic Shearwater, a Sooty Shearwater, 1 Arctic & 4 Great Skuas and a Sabine’s Gull.
The 7th St. Mary’s produced the first Firecrests of the autumn with 1 at Porth Hellick and another near Deep Point, where there was also a Pied Flycatcher. The Citrine Wagtail & Pectoral Sandpiper were both present on and off at Lower Moors and an Ortolan Bunting was found in the evening on the golf course. The Subalpine Warbler remained on Bryher where a Wryneck was also seen.
Other notable natural history news was of a Death’s Head Hawkmoth on St. Mary’s on the 4th.
Aug 23rd to 29th
The Spoonbill, Marsh Harriers & several Mediterranean Gulls are still present, a good selection of waders were seen in the week and a few more passerine migrants are moving through
On the 23rd a Kestrel was at Bant’s Carn, the Great Spotted Woodpecker was still present on St. Mary’s, the Bluethroat & an Icterine Warbler were on Tresco, both staying until the 24th.
The 24th produced Spotted Flycatchers on St. Agnes & at Buzza Hill, and Pied Flycatchers on St. Agnes & Bryher. There were 9 Wheatears on St. Agnes and 6 on Peninnis. Also on St. Agnes an Arctic Skua & a Tree Pipit were seen. There was count of 150 Manx Shearwaters off Annet and a Green Sandpiper on Tean. 17 Grey Heron were on Hedge Rock. The evening pelagic trip logged 2 Wilson’s Storm-Petrel, 2 Sooty & a Balearic Shearwater.
On the 25th 2 Wheatears were on St. Martin’s one was on Tresco & 6 were on St. Agnes, also there was an Icterine Warbler ,a Tree Pipit, 3 Pied Flycatchers, a Spotted Flycatcher & 10 Whimbrel. On St. Mary’s a Whimbrel & a Black-tailed Godwit were by the Quay, 4 Green Sandpipers were on Porth Hellick, and 4 Pied Flycatchers were at Trenoweth. 2 Dunlin were on St. Martin’s, 2 were on St. Agnes & 1 was on Tresco, also on Tresco were a Spotted Redshank and a Sparrowhawk. An Arctic Tern was seen on St. Martin’s.
On 26th the Scillonian III crossing produced 1 Great, & 2 Sooty Shearwaters, and one each of Great & Arctic Skuas. On Tresco there were 8 Greenshank, a Knot, a Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Dunlin, a Sand Martin, a Spotted Flycatcher & 2 Wheatear. St. Agnes had a Pied & a Spotted Flycatcher, a Wheatear, a Cuckoo, a Whimbrel and a Greenshank. On St. Mary’s there were 12 Wheatear, a Whinchat on Peninnis, 14 Greenshank, 3 Dunlin & 4 Sand Martin on Porth Hellick. There was also a Sand Martin at Lower Moors.
The 27th saw a Hobby over the Golf Course and 9 White Wagtails, 3 Wheatears, 2 Whinchat & a Cuckoo on Peninnis. The Knot was still on Tresco and on Bryher there was a Buzzard & a Wheatear. Seen on St. Agnes were a Swift, 5 Wheatear and 4 Lesser Redpoll (including 2 young birds). An adult Sabine’s Gull was seen from the Scillonian III crossing.
On St. Agnes there was a Melodious Warbler on the 28th which was still present on the 29th. That evening’s pelagic trip logged a Balearic & 10 Manx Shearwaters, 20 European Storm-Petrels and a Wilson’s Storm-Petrel (the season’s total for Wilson’s is now standing at 64!)
On the 29th there was a good selection of waders on Porth Hellick:- 3 Dunlins, 4 Green Sandpipers 11 Greenshank, 1 Redshank 2 Common Sandpiper & a Wood Sandpiper, also there were 2 Yellow Wagtails & a Water Rail. Still on St. Mary’s, 8 White Wagtail were on Peninnis and a Greenshank was on Lower Moors. A Redshank was on St. Agnes.
Cetacean sighting of the week was 50 Bottle-nosed Dolphins on the pelagic trip on the evening of the 24th.
Aug 16th to 22nd
Wader numbers continue to increase and the Spoonbill, Marsh Harriers & several Mediterranean Gulls are still present. A few Wheatears & Tree Pipits are passing through.
On the 16th a Hobby was seen over the golf course and a Black-tailed Godwit was on Northwethel.
A visit to Porth Hellick on the 17th produced, 5 Greenshank, 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 Redshank, 3 Dunlin & a Common Sandpiper.
On the 18th St. Agnes came up trumps when an Icterine Warbler & an Aquatic Warbler were present. On Tresco there was a count of 22 Grey Herons, 10 Little Egrets & 2 Black-tailed Godwits. An afternoon/evening pelagic for Celtic Bird Tours logged, 2 Wilson’s Petrels, 6 Great & 4 Sooty Shearwaters, one each of Roseate & Arctic Tern, 4 Bonxies and 50+ Storm Petrels.
St. Agnes continued to produce with a Spotted Crake on the 19th. The Celtic Bird Tours’ all day pelagic recorded, 4 Wilson’s Petrels,3 Manx, 3 Sooty, 2 Cory’s & 12 Great Shearwaters, a Black Tern, a juvenile Long-tailed Skua, 13 Bonxies and a Knot.
4 Bonxies, 24 Storm Petrels, 14 Manx and a Sooty Shearwater were seen on the Scillonian crossing. A Snipe, a Redshank & 2 Sand Martin were at Porth Hellick.
On the 20th Tresco stepped in with a Bluethroat which was still there on the 22nd, also there were 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper and a Dunlin. Another Spotted Crake was seen at Lower Moors. The last of the Celtic Bird Tours’ pelagics yielded 2 Little & 3 Arctic Terns, 5 Wilson’s Petrel’s, 7 Great & 6 Sooty Shearwaters, 7 Bonxies and 100+ Storm Petrels.
On the 21st a wader count on Tresco logged 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 8 Dunlin, 4 Redshank, 10 Greenshank and 6 Golden Plover. A Scilly rarity, a Great Spotted Woodpecker was found at Porth Hellick house. The evening pelagic recorded 1 each of Great, Sooty & Balearic Shearwaters, 30+ Storm Petrels, 3 Bonxies and 3 Wilson’s Petrel’s. This brings the 2006 total for Wilson’s Petrels to 61, over 50% higher than the previous annual maximum.
On the 22nd 2 Greenshank were at Porth Hellick and another was at Lower Moors. Those on the evening pelagic saw 1 Bonxie, 2 Sooty Shearwaters and 30+ Storm Petrels.
Cetacean sighting included 10 Risso’s Dolphins off the Garrison.
Aug 2nd to 15th
Wader numbers are increasing and Little Egret numbers are up. The Spoonbill, Marsh Harriers (at least 3) several Mediterranean Gulls of various ages were present across the islands and a few returning migrants were seen.
On the 2nd 9 Common Sandpipers and a Snipe were on St. Mary’s. On Samson there were 4 Dunlin, 2 Greenshank, a Knot, a Whimbrel, a Redshank and 8 Little Egret.
The 3rd produced Wheatears on Peninnis & Bryher, 3 Greenshank, a Green Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper & a Dunlin on Porth Hellick Pool. The evening pelagic trip logged a Wilson’s Storm-Petrel, 25 European Storm-Petrels and 15 Manx Shearwaters.
On the 4th a Willow Warbler was on the Garrison, a Spotted Flycatcher was on Great Ganilly and a female Garganey was on Lower Moors. The pelagic recorded a Pomarine Skua, 3 Sooty Shearwaters and 80 European Storm-Petrels.
On the 5th a fine Black-tailed Godwit was found on Lower Moors ( staying until the 9th) also there was a Water Rail and a Greenshank. 2 Sanderling and a juvenile Cuckoo were seen on St. Martin’s and a Redshank was on Tresco.
The 6th yielded a Lesser Whitethroat on Bryher, 40 Ringed Plover, 6 Greenshank, 2 Wood Sandpipers. An evening pelagic recorded 2 Wilson’s Petrels, a Great Shearwater, a Sooty Shearwater an Arctic Tern and 50 Storm Petrels.
On the 7th a female Pintail, a Wood Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpipers, a Whimbrel and a Sand Martin were on Tresco. There were 2 Common Sandpipers and a Green Sandpiper at Porth Hellick.
On the 8th a Whimbrel was on the Garrison, the Black-tailed Godwit a Greenshank and a Green Sandpiper were on Lower Moors. 6 Wheatears a Willow Warbler and a Green Sandpiper were on St. Agnes. The highlight of the period (for a lucky few) was a Pallid Swift over Old Town.
On the 9th 4 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpipers, a Green Sandpiper, a Dunlin, a Teal and a Water Rail were on Porth Hellick. The Black-tailed Godwit & a Greenshank were on Lower Moors, a Whitethroat was at Higher Moors and on Tresco there were 50 Sandwich Terns, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 12 Sanderling, a Pintail, a Greenshank & 13 Little Egret. On Bryher there were 4 Willow Warblers & a Spotted Flycatcher.
At Porth Hellick on the 10th there were 5 Greenshanks, a Common Sandpiper & a Sand Martin, on St. Martin’s a Willow Warbler, a White Wagtail & a Wheatear were seen. The pelagic that evening logged 40 European Storm-Petrels & a Sooty Shearwater.
On the 11th a trip to Bryher produced 10 Curlew, 2 Greenshank, a Spotted Flycatcher & a Yellow-legged Gull. 9 Little Egret were seen on Tresco.
On the 13th,10 Little Egrets were on Tresco, waders there were:- a Wood Sandpiper, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Green Sandpipers, 4 Whimbrel, 5 Dunlin, 16 Sanderling, 7 Redshank & 23 Greenshank. There were also 3 Whimbrel & a Dunlin on St. Agnes. 2 Wheatears were seen on St. Agnes and another on St. Mary’s Golf Course. The Spotted Flycatcher was still on Bryher where there was also a Tree Pipit. The evening pelagic produced a Wilson’s Petrel 50 European Storm-Petrels & 15 Manx Shearwaters.
A trip to Tresco on the 14th produced 4 Redshank, 2 Wood Sandpipers, 2 Green Sandpipers, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Sand Martin & a Common Buzzard. There were 6 Wheatears & a Whimbrel on Samson and a Wheatear & a Willow Warbler on Bryher. An Osprey was seen flying over the Nag’s Head on St. Agnes in the evening. The pelagic trip that evening recorded 20 Storm Petrels, 2 Manx Shearwaters, an Arctic Skua & 3 Wilson’s Petrels bringing the 2006 total so far to 47 birds, well in excess of the previous high of 40 in 2002.
On the 15th there were 4 Snipe on Lower Moors and another on Porth Hellick, a Dunlin on St. Agnes and a Bar-tailed Godwit on Tresco.
Insect sightings interest were the first record for Scilly of Queen of Spain Fritillary at Trenoweth on the 10th and 11th ( see photo on title page), 2 Migrant Hawker Dragonflies on St. Martin’s and another at Trenoweth, all on the 10th and the earliest ever Monarch Butterfly on Tresco on the 14th.
Notable cetacean sightings were 5 Bottle-nosed Dolphins on the Pelagic of the 13th and 20 Common Dolphins on the pelagic of the 14th.
July 26th to Aug 1st
Small numbers of waders continue to pass through and Little Egret numbers are still increasing. The Spoonbill, Marsh Harriers and several Mediterranean Gulls are still present. The juvenile Cuckoo is still on the Garrison being fed by Rock Pipits.
On the 26th 35 European Storm-Petrels and a Sooty Shearwater were seen on the Scillonian crossing.
On the 27th a Water Rail was seen at Porth Hellick and 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull was at Morning Point
On the 28th an evening pelagic yielded 1 Wilson’s Storm-Petrels, 150 European Storm-Petrels and very good prolonged views of a 1st summer Long-tailed Skua flying around the boat. There were also 1st summer and juvenile Mediterranean Gulls on Tresco.
On the 29th a Cory’s Shearwater and 2 large unidentified Shearwaters were seen from Giant’s Castle. On the wader front there were 3 Whimbrel on St. Agnes and another below St. Mary’s quay, a Greenshank on the Garrison, and a Common & a Green Sandpiper on Porth Hellick. Another Water Rail was seem in Holy Vale, a Mediterranean Gull was in Little Porth and a Kestrel & young were at Maypole.
The 30th produced the following wader count: 20 Curlew on Samson & another 60 on Tean and 1 Whimbrel & 30 Sanderling on Tresco. Also on Tresco were 30 Sandwich Terns & a Mediterranean Gull, another Mediterranean Gull (a juvenile was seen south of Tresco. On St. Mary’s a Wood Warbler was seen near Higher Moors pumping station. The evening logged 6 Great Shearwaters (the first of the year), 3 Cory’s Shearwaters & 50 European Storm-Petrels.
On the 31st a Balearic and 3 Cory’s Shearwaters were seen on a sea-watch from Peninnis Head. Waders included, 12 Greenshank on Tresco and 4 on Porth Hellick, 4 Redshank, a Dunlin, a Lapwing & a Common Sandpiper on Tresco. Also on Tresco was a juvenile Mediterranean Gull. On St. Mary’s another Common Sandpiper was on Porth Hellick, a 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull was at Morning Point and 3 Crossbills were seen at Pelistry. That evening’s pelagic was very good, logging 7 Great Shearwaters, 5 Sooty Shearwaters, 2 Great Skuas, 150 European Storm-Petrels & 8 Wilson’s Storm-Petrels. The Wilson’s count equalled the highest count for a single pelagic trip from Scilly. It also took the year’s total so far to 40 birds, matching the highest annual count which was reached in 2002. There is still all of August to go and as birds have been recorded into early September the record should be beaten. The evening count of 8 was especially welcome for a couple of visiting birders from Oxford, who had had 6 previous Wilson’s –free trips, seventh time lucky!!
Also on the pelagic 20 Manx Shearwater were seen well south of the islands flying strongly south-west, migrating?
August 1st was wet and windy but managed to produce a Common & a Green Sandpiper on Porth Hellick, juvenile and adult Mediterranean Gulls in Porth Cressa, juvenile and 2nd summer Mediterranean Gulls at Porthloo, a Whimbrel at Giant’s Castle and another on St. Martin’s where there was also a Grey Plover.
On the marine front, another Blue Shark was tagged 0n the 29th, 35 Harbour Porpoise, a Minke Whale & an Ocean Sunfish were seen from the Scillonian crossing of the 27th and on the same date a Risso’s Dolphin was seen off Peninnis. An Ocean Sunfish and 2 Harbour were seen on pelagic on the 31st.
July 10th to 25th
A small passage of waders has started and Little Egret numbers are building up. The Spoonbill & 2 Marsh Harriers are still present. Variable numbers of Mediterranean Gulls ( up to 7) of different ages were around the islands. Swift counts were up suggesting the start of the return passage.
On the 10th a Mediterranean Gull was seen at Morning Point.
A pelagic trip on the 11th produced 40 European Storm-Petrels and a Great Skua.
A second summer Mediterranean Gull was between the Garrison and Samson on the 12th and an evening pelagic logged 2 Wilson’s Storm-Petrels and 150 European Storm-Petrels on the same date there were 2 Greenshank and a Swift on Tresco.
On the 13th yet another Wilson’s Storm-Petrel, 30 European Storm-Petrels and a Sooty Shearwater were recorded on a pelagic, a Common Buzzard was on Tresco, a Sand Martin was on St. Martin’s, 4 Little Egrets were on the Great Pool, Tresco and a Greenshank & a Green Sandpiper were at Porth Hellick.
On the 14th a Honey Buzzard flew over Longstone and the evening pelagic had 50 European Storm-Petrels and a Great Skua.
On the 15th six Mediterranean Gulls were around Tresco (an Adult, 2 first summer and 3 juveniles) and 2 Green Sandpipers were at Lower Moors.
On the 16th two Mediterranean Gulls were on Tresco and 2 were on Bryher, Common Sandpipers were represented by 1 on Bryher and 2 on Porthloo. Other waders present were, 2 Greenshank, 10 Dunlin & 4 Sanderling on Tresco and a Whimbrel on Tean. Also seen were 6 Little Egrets and 15 Sandwich Tern on Tresco..
On the 17th a Wilson’s Storm-Petrel was seen between Bishop Rock and Rosevean and became the second to be recorded in inter-island waters closely following the first on June 26. 5 Green Sandpipers were at Lower Moors in the early morning, but quickly moved on and the second summer Mediterranean Gull was off Morning Point. 2 Roseate Terns were seen between Annet and Samson and the 2 Common Sandpipers were still at Porthloo.
On the 18th the suspected breeding of Little Egret was proved by a rather sad observation: A Marsh Harrier was seen been mobbed by 6 Little Egrets over the pines adjacent to Simpson’s Field, Tresco, it dropped into the pines and was seen to come out carrying a Little Egret chick. Thus it would seem that with our two most recent breeding birds, one, Marsh Harrier (first bred last year) has Little Egret (first bred this year) on its menu! Also on the 18th 2 Mediterranean Gulls were off Morning Point and the 2 pelagics that day logged 2 Wilson’s Storm-Petrels, 250 European Storm-Petrels, 2 Sooty Shearwaters & a Great Skua on the daytime trip and 50 European Storm-Petrels & a Great Skua on the evening trip. The daytime trip was enlivened by a Gannet which spent 2 hours perched on the stern of the stern of the MV Kingfisher been fed mackerel, then taking a dislike to its provider, Alec, the skipper, by trying to spear him with its beak whenever he went near it (see photo on the title page).
On the 19th at Lower Moors there were 2 Green Sandpipers, a Greenshank and a Grasshopper Warbler, whilst Bryher had the first Wood Sandpiper of the year. The evening pelagic logged another Wilson’s Storm-Petrel, 100 European Storm-Petrels & a Great Skua.
On the 20th a very unseasonal Scilly rarity, a Great Spotted Woodpecker was reported from St. Martin’s.
On the 21st there were 2 Mediterranean Gulls were off Morning Point and these or another 2 were on Porthloo Beach. On Porth Hellick there were 2 Green Sandpipers & 1 Common Sandpiper, on Tresco there was 1 Green Sandpiper, 12 Greenshank, on Annet a Whimbrel and on St. Martin’s a Sanderling.
On the 22nd there was a Green Sandpiper on Lower Moors and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull on Little Porth.
The 23rd produced the bird of the month so far, a Pallid Swift on Bryher, found by local birder John Higginson, the third one he has found, all on the same island, he seems to be specialising! It was a well deserved reward for the many hours birding he puts in on Bryher. There were second summer Mediterranean Gulls on Tresco and Porthloo and also a juvenile bird at the latter site. There were 3 Common Sandpipers on Peninnis and 1 on Porth Hellick, a Green Sandpiper also on Porth Hellick , a Greenshank on Porth Hellick and another on Samson and a Dunlin on Samson. That evening’s pelagic logged 50 European Storm-Petrels, 2 Sooty Shearwaters & a Balearic Shearwater.
The 24th saw 3 Common Sandpipers on Porth Hellick, 1 on the Garrison, 1 on Porth Cressa & 1 on Tresco, There were 3 Green Sandpipers on Porth Hellick and on Tresco were 9 Greenshank, a Lapwing, a Tufted Duck, 33 Grey Herons and 12 Little Egrets.
A second summer Mediterranean Gull was on Porthloo again and the evening pelagic produced 3 Wilson’s Storm-Petrels (taking the total so far this year to 31), 40 European Storm-Petrels, a Balearic Shearwater, a Great Skua and first summer Sabine’s Gull, a very unusual plumage in British waters.
On the 25th the juvenile Cuckoo was still on the Garrison being fed by Rock Pipits, there were 5 Green Sandpipers on Tresco and 2 on Porth Hellick, 2 Common Sandpipers on Porth Hellick and 1 on Tresco and a Whimbrel on Annet. The 2 Marsh Harriers were seen over St. Helen’s and the evening pelagic trip recorded 250 European Storm-Petrels, a Great Skua and a Balearic Shearwater.
On the marine front, 5 Blue Sharks and a Porbeagle have been caught and tagged, a Minke Whale and several Common Dolphins, Harbour Porpoises and Ocean Sunfish have been seen on the Pelagics.
June 27th to July 9th
Very quiet, but a few good records from pelagic trips.
The Spoonbill & 2 Marsh Harriers on Tresco (and occasionally other islands) were present throughout the week. A few Little Egrets are still around and small numbers of Black-Headed Gulls continue to be seen. The Green Sandpiper present on Porth Hellick Pool was joined by another up to Jul 4th. On the Jun 27th there was early evidence of successful breeding when a Razorbill was seen with a chick between St Mary’s and St Martin’s. On Jun 30th there were 9 Swift on Bryher and a Short-eared Owl on St Martin’s. Also on the Jul 1st on Tresco there was an early/late Sand Martin (not a Scilly breeding bird), an adult summer Mediterranean Gull, a Redshank & 3 Swifts. A pelagic trip that evening produced 120+ European Storm-Petrels and a Sooty Shearwater. On St Mary’s there were 3 juvenile Pied Wagtail and a Greenshank, remaining to the 8th at least. On Jul 2nd another evening pelagic logged 300+ European Storm-Petrels and a Pomarine Skua. On the 3rd the adult summer Mediterranean Gull was joined by a 2nd summer bird at Morning Point early morning then moving to Porthlow, the 2nd summer bird was then seen daily up to the 9th at least, commuting between Morning Point and Porthlow.
An evening pelagic trip on Jul 5th recorded 80+ European Storm-Petrels, 3 Great Skuas & an Arctic Tern. Also on the 5th there was a singing Whitethroat on the Garrison, a Common Sandpiper on Bryher and a Roseate Tern on Stony Island. On the 6th the Roseate Tern was still on Stony Island, a Whimbrel was on St Agnes, 13 Curlew were on Samson, 2 Sandwich Terns were at Porth Cressa and another 2 were on Stony Island and 40+ Manx Shearwaters were seen off Annet. A pelagic that evening yielded the only Wilson’s Storm-Petrel of this reporting period and a second Pomarine Skua. The Whitethroat was still on the Garrison on the 7th, and 60 Curlew were on Tean and 2 Dunlin were on Bryher. On the 9th a Common Sandpiper was on Porth Hellick and the 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull was seen on Tresco before moving back to Porthlow.
On the cetaceans front, on the pelagic trips, several Common Dolphins were seen and on the Jul 5th and 6th a Minke Whale was seen each trip.
June 19th to 26th
Still quiet on land, but even so some interesting records.
The Spoonbill & 2 Marsh Harriers on Tresco (and occasionally other islands) were present throughout the week. A few Little Egrets are still around and one was seen nest building Tresco. A Green Sandpiper present on Porth Hellick Pool all week, was joined by a Redshank on the 25th. A Whimbrel was on Samson on the 25th, on the same date there were 70 Curlew on Tean and 30 on Bryher. Also on the 25th a Common Sandpiper was at Newford duck pond and 3 Stock Dove ( an uncommon breeder) were at Kittydown . Small numbers of Swift were seen around the islands throughout the week and a juvenile Cuckoo was on Peninnis on the 22nd . A male Teal was on Porth Hellick Pool from the 20th to 26th at least. One or two Black-Headed Gulls were reported from various islands and a Mediterranean Gull was seen east of Tresco on the 25th. There was a report of a Ring Ouzel on the Garrison written on the IOSBG bird news board outside the Pilot’s Gig Restaurant, This is a very unseasonal record, can anyone who saw this bird or knows who saw it, please e-mail the IOSBG Recorder at email@example.com with details.
A pelagic trip on Monday 26th proved very productive with 6 Wilson’s Storm-Petrels been recorded. The first of these was seen just after the MV Sapphire left St. Mary’s quay. It was sighted feeding about 200 metres off the Garrison and was the first ever to be recorded within the islands. A quick phone call enabled two breathless local birders to rush down to Woolpack Point and see it. Hence, as well as been the first to be seen in inter-island waters, it was the first to be seen from land on Scilly. Was this the first ever Wilson’s Storm-Petrel to be twitched?
Interesting Dragonflies reported were a Black-Tailed Skimmer and a Lesser Emperor Dragonfly, both on Porth Hellick Pool on the 25th.
June 12th to 18th
As is to be expected for this time of year, new land birds were few.
The Spoonbill & Common Buzzard on Tresco (and occasionally other islands) were present throughout the week. At least 2 Marsh Harriers (mainly a male but occasionally a female) were around the islands. An occasional Little Egret was seen at sites and up to 4 were on Tresco. On St. Mary’s are A few waders were around, Whimbrel continued to be seen, a Bar-Tailed Godwit was on Samson on the 11th and 12th, a Redshank and 3 summer plumaged Dunlin were also on Samson on the13th and a Green Sandpiper was on Porth Hellick from the 16th. Swifts were seen throughout the week in small numbers, with an exceptional 24 on St. Agnes on the 13th. A unseasonal Mistle Thrush was on Bryher on the 12th and a Hobby was seen flying over Lower Moors towards Porth Hellick on the 14th. Small numbers of Cuckoos are still calling on all the islands. The seabird reports were much more encouraging. Black-Headed Gulls ( a bird absent in spring) were reported daily with a maximum of 4 on the 14th on Porthlow beach where there was a Mediterranean Gull on the 16th. A Roseate Tern was seen on Stony Island, Samson on the 18th.The two pelagic trips this week proved productive, 1 Wilson’s Storm-Petrel, a Great Skua & 30 British Storm-Petrels were seen on the 16th and on the 18th there were 200+ British Storm-Petrels, 2 Great Skuas, and a phenomenal 8 Wilson’s Storm-Petrels, equalling the record for one Scilly pelagic trip, an exceptional number at ant time of year, but remarkable for June. On the non-birding side, a Black-Tailed Skimmer (a dragonfly) was on Porth Hellick Pool on the 14th,on the 16th a Minke Whale & a Sunfish were seen on the Scillonian crossing and 13 Basking Sharks were seen on the crossing on the 17th.
June 5th to 11th
The Spoonbill & Common Buzzard on Tresco (and occasionally other islands) were present throughout the week. At least 2 Marsh Harriers (mainly a male but occasionally a female) were around the islands.
On St Mary’s there were 2 Wheatear, a Tree Pipit over Telegraph, a Pied Wagtail on the quay and a White Wagtail on the Garrison. On St Agnes there was also Wheatear and White Wagtail as well as a singing Reed Warbler and a Lesser Redpoll 3 Sandwich Terns were on Tresco Flats. A Grey Phalarope and Brent Goose were reported from the Western Isles.
A visit to Annet produced a Garden Warbler, 34 Common Tern, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Sanderling, 27 Turnstone and 47 Oystercatcher. On St Mary’s 12 House Martins were hawking over Porth Hellick Pool and the Iceland Gull was last seen this day on the Golf Course. St Agnes had Quail, Wheatear, Whimbrel, 4 Cuckoo, 3 Swifts, a Black-Headed Gull and a Lesser Redpoll.
June 7th .
The Grey Phalarope was reported again from the Western Rocks, also there was Purple Sandpiper. A trip to Bryher yielded 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Wheatear, a Lesser Redpoll, a Grey Plover, A female Blue-Headed Wagtail a male Grey-Headed Wagtail. 20 Puffins were seen off the north end of Annet and a Female/immature Golden Oriole was on St Agnes. Tresco produced another Lesser Redpoll, a Hobby and a Dunlin. A summer plumaged Dunlin was on Porth Hellick beach.
An Osprey was seen flying over Great Bay, St Martin’s. On St Agnes there was a Lesser Redpoll, 2 Whimbrel and a singing male Golden Oriole. Turtle Doves were seen on St Agnes, Bryher and Porthlow. There were 10 Sanderling on Samson and nearby 100 Common Tern on Green Island and a Roseate Tern on Stony Island. Late migrants were a Hobby on Tresco, a Wheatear on Bryher and a Sedge Warbler on the Garrison.
The Lesser Redpoll was still on St Agnes along with a singing Willow Warbler. There was a Turtle Dove on the Garrison and 2 Black-Headed Gulls and 11 Swift on St Martin’s.
A quiet day with a Tree Pipit, a Redshank and a Blackcap on Bryher and the male Golden Oriole still on St Agnes.
The Lesser Redpoll remained on St Agnes where there was also a Turtle Dove. There were 2 Whimbrel and a Bar-Tailed Godwit on Samson and a Hobby on Tresco. A pelagic trip that evening exceeded expectations with 80 British Storm-Petrels, a Great Skua, 6 Manx Shearwaters and 3 very early Wilson’s Storm-Petrels.
May 29th to June 4th.
The weather improved and so did the birds! Rain, as soon as we got some sunshine the birds started to appear. The 1st winter Iceland Gull on St. Mary’s and the Spoonbill & Scaup on Tresco and a Common Buzzard, also on Tresco (and occasionally other islands) were present throughout the week. Whimbrel and Wheatear still trickled through in small numbers.Increasing numbers of Swift were reported. The leucisitic Herring Gull and both the male and what is thought to be last year’s juvenile Marsh Harriers were seen round the islands. A. Pied wagtail a rare breeder on Scillies, has been seen carrying food near Star Castle. House Martin’s are nest building under the eaves of Sage House. On Tresco 2 pairs of Swift are thought to be nesting at the Abbey. A party of RSPB fieldworkers, working on the smaller uninhabited isles produce some interesting records. Other than birds, of interest was a report of a ‘large fritillary butterfly on St Martin’s on June 3rd and a report next day of a Silver-washed Fritillary on Bryher, small numbers of Clouded Yellows were seen in the latter half of the week and a Basking shark was seen well from Old Town on June 4th.
The adult female Woodchat Shrike was still on Bryher.
The Woodchat Shrike remained on Bryher, Hobbies were seen on St Agnes and Tresco. The 2 Wigeon were still on the Great Pool, Tresco. A Golden Plover was on the airfield, a Yellow Wagtail and 14 Dunlin were on Samson and two Purple Sandpipers were on Rosevear. A first winter Iceland Gull, a different bird to the one that has been on the islands all year was seen on St Agnes.
2 Jackdaw (other than the resident pair on Bryher) were seen over Trenoweth. On Bryher there was a Common Sandpiper, a Hobby and a Tawny Pipit was found on Shipmanhead Down. There were 2 Sandwich Tern on Tresco. A trip to St Martin’s proved productive, with 120 House Martins, a Whitethroat, a Turtle Dove, a leucisitic Shag and a first summer male singing Common Rosefinch. The obvious passage of hirundines continued with 50 House Martins, 20 Swallow and 2 Sand Martins in the evening at Porth Hellick, also there was a male White Wagtail, a female Kestrel and 2 first summer Black-headed Gulls. Evidence of early breeding was a Puffin carrying fish on Annet. Also a Ringed Plover with a chick was seen on St Agnes. A White Wagtail was at Porth Hellick until at least June 3 and was seen feeding at Carn Friars.
On Tresco 2 adult Roseate Terns were seen in Pentle Bay, 2 Wigeon were still present and 8 Sandwich Terns were in Tresco Channel. There were 3 Sanderling and 2 Dunlin on Annet, were several calling and singing Storm-Petrels were heard on the boulder beaches . An Arctic Tern was seen off the Eastern Isles. The hirundines passage continued with 90 House Martins on St Martin’s and numbers of House Martins, Sand Martins and Swallows at Porth Hellick similar to the previous evening. There was a Spotted Flycatcher at Carn Friars. Late migrants on St Agnes were 2 Sedge Warblers and 2 singing Willow Warblers
The hirundines of the previous 2 days were still at Porth Hellick, there was a Hobby at Lower Moors, a Great Northern Diver off Annet and a singing Firecrest at Lower Town Farm, St Agnes, also on St Agnes was a Whitethroat and 8 House Martins. An evening Pelagic trip to Poll Bank, 3 miles southwest of Bishop Rock, yielded: 20 Common Terns, 30 Storm-Petrels 6 Manx Shearwater, a Black Tern and most amazingly a Hoopoe! heading towards the islands. The Golden Plover on the airfield was joined by another.
The hirundines influx continued apace with 100+ House Martins on St Martin’s, 80 at Porth Hellick and 15 on St Agnes, there were 20 Swallows on St Martin’s and 25 at Porth Hellick where there were also still 2 Sand Martins. Also on St Martin’s were 2 Turtle Doves and a female Kestrel. St Martin’s came up trumps, with what was almost certainly the Hoopoe seen on the previous evening pelagic trip, being found on the Cricket Pitch. A Honey Buzzard was seen flying over Little Arthur Farm towards the Daymark. Quails were seen on Rosevear and Bryher, a Red-backed Shrike was at Gimbal Porth, Tresco. On St Mary’s there was a Hobby at Buzza, the 2 Golden Plover were still present and there was a very unseasonal Redwing at Pelistry.
The hirundines form the 3rd were still at Porth Hellick an adult Black-headed Gull there. A Turtle Dove was on St Agnes and another at Lower Moors. An Osprey was seen flying over Old Town, an Icterine Warbler was on Mincarlo (the islet not the guesthouse!) and a Quail was on Scilly Rock. On Tresco there was a Kestrel, 3 Sanderling, a Dunlin and 2 Grey Plover. There were also 4 Sanderling on Tean. On Green Island near Samson there were 80 Common Tern and 4 Sandwich Tern nearby. There was a mini invasion of Redpoll with 2 on Bryher, 2 on St Mary’s and one on St Agnes. A Golden Plover was on the airfield and a Kestrel was on Tresco.
May 22nd to 28th.
Generally quiet on the birding front, but not on the weather front! Rain, winds in the wrong direction and 3 days of fog. The 1st winter Iceland Gull on St. Mary’s and the Spoonbill & Common Buzzard on Tresco (and occasionally other islands) were present throughout the week. Whimbrel continued to pass through in small numbers. Generally just the male Marsh Harrier was reported on the islands. The Dotterel remained in the airport/Giant’s Castle area on St. Mary’s until the 25th.
The adult female Woodchat Shrike was still on Bryher as were 3 Spotted Flycatchers and the 2 Wigeon were still on the Great Pool, Tresco. On St Mary’s 10 Storm-Petrels were seen feeding at the outfall at Morning Point.
The Woodchat Shrike remained on Bryher, a Short-eared Owl was on St Agnes, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and the Common, Buzzard were on St Martins and a Hobby was on St. Mary’s
The 2 Wigeon were still on the Great Pool, Tresco. On St Mary’s there were 2 Wheatear on Porthlow and a male Garganey on Porth Hellick pool.
On Tresco there were 3 Sanderling, a male Scaup on the Abbey Pool and the 2 Wigeon were still on the Great Pool. Two Little Egrets St Agnes and 2 were on Tresco. The long-staying Dotterel was last seen on this date.
A Turtle Dove, a Whitethroat, a Kestrel and the resident Magpie were all seen on St Martin’s’. On St Mary’s a very late Redwing was seen in the Holy Vale/Four Lanes area.
The Garganey was seen again at Porth Hellick where a Hobby flew over. An evening pelagic trip to Poll Bank produced 8 Manx Shearwaters and about a dozen Storm-Petrels.
The Woodchat Shrike was found again after not being seen for 5 days. It has been present since May 14th but twice has gone unreported for several days. A Hobby was seen over Higher Moors.
May 15th to 21st.
The 1st winter Iceland Gull on St. Mary’s and the Spoonbill on Tresco were present throughout the week. Whimbrel continued to pass through in small numbers. 2 to 3 Marsh Harriers were present on the islands. The Dotterel remained in the airport/Giant’s Castle area on St. Mary’s all week. The large dark unidentified falcon was seen again on the 19th on St. Martin’s. Of general interest 7 Striped Hawkmoths have been trapped this month.
The adult female Woodchat Shrike was still on Bryher On St. Mary’s a male Ruff flew over Lower Moors and a Whinchat was seen at Porth Hellick At least one Golden Oriole was still on St. Agnes and in the evening a Nightjar and a first summer Night Heron were seen there.
One Golden Oriole remained on St. Agnes and on Tresco there was a male Ruff in full breeding plumage, also there was a male Garganey. On Bryher there were 5 Dunlin and there were 2 Turtle Dove on St. Martin’s and a white Shag was seen from there. There were also 2 Turtle Dove on St. Mary’s and in the early evening a Short-toed Lark was found on the airfield.
There was still one Golden Oriole on St. Agnes and another was on Tresco, where there was also a singing Wood Warbler and the Ruff was still present. On St. Mary’s the Short-toed Lark was still on the airfield, the male Garganey had moved to Porth Hellick and there was a leucisitic Herring Gull causing identification problems for the unwary (probably the bird claimed as 3rd winter Iceland Gull last week).
On St Agnes the Golden Oriole was last seen today, there was a Golden Plover on St. Martins and an unseasonal Siskin was seen on a feeder at High Lanes, St. Mary’s
The Garganey was still at Porth Hellick, a Golden Plover was on the airfield and an Arctic Skua was seen on the crossing from St. Mary’s to St. Martins
Continuing the unseasonal theme, 2 Wigeon were on the Great Pool, Tresco and there was a Great Northern Diver in The Roads. The Garganey was still at Porth Hellick.
On St. Agnes there was a Short-eared Owl and on Tresco the 2 Wigeon were still on the Great Pool.
May 8th to 14th.
The 1st winter Iceland Gull on St. Mary’s and the Spoonbill & Common Buzzard on Tresco were present all week, with the Buzzard occasionally visiting St. Mary’s. Whimbrel continued to pass through in the week, numbers down on last week. Up to 3 Marsh Harriers were present on the islands all week. Small numbers of Swift were seen on all islands. Northern Wheatears trickled through daily in single numbers. The hybrid Gyr/Saker? is still present and a large dark unidentified falcon was seen midweek on Tresco, Bryher and St. Agnes.
Spotted Flycatchers were on Annet and St. Martin’s A male Garganey & a male Pintail were seen on Tresco Great Pool. The Dotterel was still on St. Mary’s airfield. A first summer Golden Oriole was seen on St. Agnes
Single Golden Orioles were seen or heard on Bryher, Tresco and St. Mary’s’ and there was a Yellow Wagtail on Tresco.
2 Golden Orioles, a Tree Pipit, 2 Great Northern Divers, a summer plumage Bar-Tailed Godwit, a Redwing, a Spotted Flycatcher & 3 Turtle Doves were all seen on St. Agnes. A Turtle Dove was at McFarland’s Down on St. Mary’s. On Bryher there were 3 Turtle Doves, a Tree Pipit, a Yellow Wagtail and a Grasshopper Warbler.
On St Agnes there were 2 Golden Orioles, a Common Sandpiper, 2 summer plumage Dunlin, 8 Turtle Doves and the summer plumage Bar-Tailed Godwit. A Lesser Whitethroat was seen on the Garrison, St. Mary’s.
A first summer Purple Heron was seen first seen on St. Agnes, then on Gugh and later it was seen flying from Bryher towards Tresco. The Dotterel was seen again on the airfield and an Osprey was seen flying over the Garrison. On St. Agnes there were 4 Golden Orioles, 5 Turtle Doves, a Dunlin, 2 Skylark and the summer plumage Bar-Tailed Godwit was still present.
On St. Mary’s another Iceland Gull ( a third winter bird) was seen around the Porth Melon/rubbish tip area. Also on St. Mary’s there was a Wood Warbler at Longstone and a Whinchat at the airport. On St. Agnes there were 2 Golden Oriole on Wingletang and the Purple Heron was seen again flying over Porth Coose late evening. On Tresco there was a Yellow Wagtail and the Pintail remained on the Great Pool.
On St. Agnes there were still at least 3 Golden Orioles, 6 summer plumage Dunlin, 2 Turtle Doves and the lingering summer plumaged Bar-Tailed Godwit. On St. Mary’s a Quail was flushed on Peninnis and on Bryher an adult female Woodchat Shrike was seen on the pitch and putt course
May 1st to 7th.
The 1st winter Iceland Gull on St. Mary’s and the Spoonbill & Common Buzzard on Tresco were present all week. Several Common Swift were seen with a maximum of 6 on Bryher on the 3rd. Whimbrel continued to pass through in reasonable numbers in the week, e.g. on the 1st, 55 on Tresco, 30 on Bryher, 40 on St. Martins. Up to 3 Marsh Harriers were present on the islands all week. Cuckoos were seen or heard across all the islands during the week. The hybrid Gyr/Saker? is still present.
A Brambling was seen on Tresco. On Samson there was a Merlin, a Knot and a Little Tern. On St. Mary’s there was a Black Redstart on Porth Cressa.
The Short-Eared Owl was seen again on Bryher and a Merlin was on Tresco. There was a Hobby at Trenoweth, St. Mary’s and an Alpine Swift in the early evening over St. Martin’s.
A Whitethroat was on Samson. A Hobby was on St. Martin’s. A Tree Pipit was on Bryher. On St. Mary’s there was a Garden Warbler at Jac-a-Ba, Purple Sandpiper at Porthlow and a late Redwing at Green Farm.
An Osprey was seen twice over Samson and it or another bird was seen over Porth Hellick On St. Mary’s a female Golden Oriole was seen flying over Peninnis towards the Garrison and 2 Jack Snipe were reported from Lower Moors. The first pelagic trip of the year, 3 miles south-west of the Bishop lighthouse, produced 12 Manx Shearwaters, 16 Storm Petrels, 2 Pomarine Skuas and a Great Northern Diver.
On St. Mary’s a Dotterel was found on the airfield, a White Wagtail was at Maypole, 3 Lesser Redpolls were at Normandy Farm, a male Bullfinch was seen in Lower Moors and a Lesser Whitethroat, Reed Warbler & Sedge warbler were at Porth Hellick. A Red-Backed Shrike was on St. Martins and there was an interesting record of an apparent House Martin/Swallow hybrid on Bryher
Very few migrants were seen despite promising winds, but the best bird of the week was found on the Garrison, St. Mary’s, a male Western Subalpine Warbler.
On St. Mary’s there was an early morning Grasshopper Warbler in Lower Moors and 2 Turtle Doves on the Garrison. On Bryher a female Golden Oriole and a female Redstart were seen. There were 20 Sanderling on Tresco.
April 24th to 30th.
The 1st winter Iceland Gull on St. Mary’s and the Spoonbill on Tresco were present all week. A Common Buzzard was seen several times in the week on Tresco and St.Mary’s. There movement of Whimbrel continued on the islands throughout the week. The hybrid Gyr/Saker? is still terrorising the local avifauna. The Hawfinch was around St. Martin’s cricket pitch all week. On 24th the Short-toed Lark and the Tawny Pipit were still on Peninnis, St. Mary’s, a second Tawny Pipit was seen on St. Agnes. Great Northern Divers were seen off Tresco & St. Martin’s and on the Great Pool on Tresco, there were 2 Tufted Duck & 2 Pochard. Also seen was a Black Redstart on Tresco. On the 25th the Short- toed Lark and the Tawny Pipit remained on Peninnis and a Common Sandpiper was on Carn Leh, St. Mary’s. There was a Jackdaw and a Reed Warbler on Tresco, another Reed Warbler at Porth Hellick, St. Mary’s and a Grasshopper Warbler on St. Martin’s. On the 26th Short- toed Lark and Tawny Pipit still present on Peninnis as was a Skylark. There were 5 Great Northern Divers off Innisidgen and a Cuckoo was on the Garrison. The 2 Tufted Duck remained on Tresco along with another Cuckoo and a fine male Marsh Harrier. On the 27th there was no sign of the Tawny Pipit on Peninnis but the Short-toed Lark was still there and there was a Merlin on St. Martin’s. On the 29th a female Bullfinch was seen on St. Martin’s. On the 30th there was a Great Northern Diver in the “Roads”, a Black Redstart on St. Agnes, a Swift over Sallyport, St. Mary’s and a Short-eared Owl on Bryher
April 17th to 23rd
The 1st winter Iceland Gull on St. Mary’s and the Black Duck and Spoonbill on Tresco were present all week The 5 Greenland White-Fronted Geese were last seen on 19th. The Great Spotted Woodpecker is still present. A Common Buzzard was seen several times in the week on both Tresco & St. Mary’s. There was a noticeable movement of Whimbrel and small numbers of Swifts, Ring Ouzel, Yellow Wagtail, on the islands in the week and there was an increase in the number of Swallows & more House Martins were seen. On the 17th there was a Hoopoe on St. Martin’s, a Hobby over the dump and a Black Redstart an Porth Cressa Beach (both St. Mary’s). On St.Mary’s on the18th a Jack Snipe was seen at Lower Moors and a Reed Bunting (scarce on Scilly) was below the Airport. On the 19th there were 4 Bar-Tailed Godwit on Tean, a Firecrest at Porth Hellick, 2 Pintail, 2 Tufted Duck and a Common Tern on Tresco. On the 20th a Hawfinch was seen by St. Martins cricket pitch. On the 21st a first winter Sabine’s Gull flew past Porth Hellick Down, a Tawny Pipit was seen by the pool on St. Agnes and the first Cuckoo was on Bryher. A summer plumage Great Northern Diver was off Nut Rock, a Brambling was on Tresco, Sedge Warblers were at Lower Moors and Porth Hellick, 2 more Cuckoos were on St. Mary’s Golf Course and Bryher and 2 Firecrests were seen at Higher Moors. A Common Sandpiper was at Porth Hellick pool. On St. Martins 2 Hoopoe were seen. On the 22nd at Porth Hellick there was a Firecrest and a Wood Warbler was there briefly. There was a Grasshopper Warbler and a Cuckoo on the Garrison, 2 Common Tern past Halangy Point, a Whinchat at Porthlow, a Pied Flycatcher at Jac-a-ba and a Redstart along Carn Friars track. The Hawfinch on St. Martin’s had increased to 2 and another Cuckoo was there. On the 23rd there was still at least 1 Hawfinch on St. Martin’s, a Marsh Harrier on Tean and 3 Great Northern Diver & 6 Common Tern in the Roads. On St. Agnes there was another Wood Warbler, a Common Sandpiper, a Black Redstart, a White Wagtail and the first Garden Warbler. A Lesser Whitethroat was on Bryher. The week finished on a high with 1 possibly 2 Tawny Pipit and a Short-Toed Lark on Peninnis.
April 11th to 16th
The 1st winter Iceland Gull on St. Mary’s and the 5 Greenland White-Fronted Geese on Tresco were present all week The Marsh Harriers were seen around the islands. The long staying Black Duck, the Great Spotted Woodpecker and the 5 Greenland White-Fronted Geese all remain on Tresco. The Spoonbill was seen on both St. Mary’s and Tresco. On the 12th a Stone Curlew was seen on St. Mary’s by one lucky observer, a House Martin was seen on Tresco as were 2 Lesser Redpoll. A Great Skua was seen from the Scillonian on the crossing. The 14th produced Common Sandpipers on Tresco and St. Mary’s, a Redstart, a Grasshopper Warbler and a Tree Pipit on Bryher and a Common Buzzard over Trenoweth, St. Mary’s The wind on the 15th turned easterly and consequently there was a substantial fall of migrants, with increased numbers of Willow Warblers, Swallows and Sand Martins, also seen were several Tree Pipits on St.Mary’s and Tresco. The first Sedge and Reed Warblers were seen at Porth Hellick, other firsts of the year were a Turtle Dove on St. Agnes and at least 3 Whitethroats on the Garrison. A Grasshopper Warbler was seen on Peninnis, a Jack Snipe at Lower Moors , a Blue-Headed Wagtail on St. Agnes and arguably the bird of the week a Hoopoe visited various sights on St. Agnes and was still present to the 16th at least. Also on the 15th there was a Short-Eared Owl & Pied Flycatcher on Bryher, a Black Redstart at Carn Thomas, St. Mary’s and 3 Ring Ouzels on St.Agnes and another at Innisidgen, St. Mary’s. On the 16th the easterly wind dropped and turned and as a result the migrants numbers decreased, but there was still a scattering of Wheatears, a Black Redstart on Porth Cressa beach, a male Redstart at Porth Hellick and on Bryher were 4 Ring Ouzels, a male Pied Flycatcher, a Yellow Wagtail, a Merlin & 4 Tree pipits, also on Bryher a Bullfinch was seen, now a rare species on Scilly. On Tresco there was another Yellow wagtail & a Ruff. Finally on the 16th there were 2 more firsts for 2006, a Lesser Whitethroat & a Common Swift both at Lower Moors.
April 3rd to 10th
The 1st winter Iceland Gull is still present commuting between Tresco and St .Mary’s. The 5 Greenland White-Fronted Geese are still present on Tresco. The male and female Marsh Harriers are still around. On the 3rd a female Eider was seen off Cheese Rock, 3 Great Northern Divers in the Roads and 2 Slavonian Grebes off Innisidgen. Also on the 3rd a male Blackcap was singing in Lower Moors. A few White Wagtails were seen throughout the week and there was a noticeable increase in the numbers of Chiffchaff. On the 4th two Willow Warblers were seen on the Garrison early a.m. building up to 20+ by the afternoon. Sand Martins and Swallows were in low double figures throughout and the first House Martin was seen on St. Martins on 3rd and another on Tresco on the 10th. The escaped falconer’s bird thought to be a Saker/Gyr hybrid reappeared this week after going missing for 2 weeks; Wheatears were seen throughout the week with a large fall on 5th April when 30+ were seen on Porthloo beach, 40 on Bryher and 200 to 300 on Tresco, thereafter rapidly tailing off to daily single figure sightings. On the 5th the first Redstart of the year, a male was on Bryher and the first Puffins arrived. A ring-tailed Hen Harrier was seen briefly over Peninnis and then again over Watermill Lane on the 9th. Also on the 5th A male Ring Ouzel was seen on Tresco. The 6th saw the year’s first Pied Flycatcher on St.Agnes and the first Whitethroat on St. Martin’s. Sandwich Terns are still present in small numbers between the islands and around the bays of St.Mary’s. On the 9th the Spoonbill which had been on Tresco was seen in the evening and again the following morning on Lower Moors scrape. Finally on the 10th two Great Skuas were seen on angling trip to Poll Bank, there were 2 Merlin and the first Common Sandpiper of the year on Tresco.
March 27th to April 2nd
The lone Spoonbill is still being seen on Bryher or on Tresco and the Black Duck is still on the Great Pool but has been very difficult to see of late. The first winter Iceland Gull has been joined by an adult bird that was first seen on Bryher on 29th. Both birds were together on the Golf Course on 2nd. The numbers of migrants has declined during the week with a handful of Swallows and Sand Martin’s being the only new arrivals along with an increasing number of Sandwich Terns between the islands. The five Greenland White-fronted Geese are still on Simpson’s Field , Tresco and the Great Spotted Woodpecker is still hard to find in the Abbey Woods although the Common Buzzard has been seen more often this week as has the male Marsh Harrier over Tean and St Martins with the female also putting in the occasional appearance. A small number of Linnets are now seen daily with the flock of Brambling peaking at twenty in the Rowesfield area of Tresco. A lone Siskin flew over Tresco on 31st. The wintering Kingfisher was still at Porth Hellick on 29th.
The influx of Night Herons has dwindled away with birds being found dead on St Martin’s and at Porth Hellick although one was seen flying into Porth Mellon on 1st April. Belated news from last week was of a Hoopoe on St Martin’s on 22nd.
15th to 26th March
The influx of Black-crowned Night Herons began on 15th with the appearance of two on the Great Pool, Tresco and another two adults joining the male Garganey at Porth Hellick. Small flocks of White and Pied Wagtails were on the islands from 15th/16th when possible five Black-crowned Night-Herons were on St Mary’s with adults being reported from Lower Moors, Argymoor Pools, Porth Hellick, and on a private pond as well as being seen in flight over Peninnis and towards Bar Point. The 1st winter Iceland Gull found on Simpson’s Field, Tresco on 17th may well be the bird seen roosting on Porth Mellon, St Mary’s on 21st/22nd. Over the weekend of 18th/19th two of the Night Herons were picked up exhausted and then later released on Tresco and Bryher with one picked up later in the week at Porth Loo and released on the nearby duck pond. More Wheatears were being noted from mid week with small groups over all islands by 19th. A fine male Black Redstart spent a few days at Little Porth with a few others reported elsewhere on the islands.
Of the regulars the female Black Duck was still on the Great Pool but was being increasingly elusive as was the male Ring-necked Duck which would go missing for days at a time. One of the two Spoonbills seems to have vanished but the remaining bird was still around Tresco as was the Common Buzzard, the five Greenland White-fronted Geese and the two Marsh Harriers (the female and the immature). The Great Spotted Woodpecker was still on Tresco, as usual more heard than seen.
A Ruff was on Tresco on 19th as was the first Ring Ouzel of the year at Gimble Porth where it remained until 22nd. The first Sandwich Terns of the year were at Porth Mellon on 21st, found whilst watching the Iceland Gull. Two Little Ringed Plovers joined the Jack Snipe on Lower Moors on 22nd with another Jack Snipe also seen at Porth Hellick. On Tresco the flock of twenty Brambling were still in the Rowesfield area and a Black-tailed Godwit took up residence on Simpson’s Field 21st-24th. Three male Ring Ouzels were on Bryher on 23rd and more Sandwich Terns were noted at the end of the week as was a Short-eared Owl. at Watermill. Two Slavonian Grebes were off Innisidgen on 24th with a Rook on Tresco as was a male Shoveler whilst on Lower Moors a male Garganey was discovered on ‘Shooter’s Pool. Bad weather on 25th/26th restricted birding somewhat but Sandwich Terns were in Porth Cressa and a few Wheatear were still present in the more sheltered areas.
February 18th- March14th
The female Black Duck and, apart from the weekend of the 4th and 5th March the drake Ring-necked Duck were both present throughout the period. The Black Duck was seen consorting with a drake Mallard, so there could be identification pitfalls with hybrids later in 2006. The 5 Greenland White-fronted Geese (normally Simpson’s Field) and 1 or 2 Spoonbills remained on Tresco throughout. The escaped falconers bird which has been seen at various locations around the Islands since December 2005 has still not been claimed by any falconer, our best guess at identification is a Gyr/Saker hybrid. During the last two weeks the Jac-a-Ba feeding station on St. Mary’s has had, up to 12 Great Tits, 8 Blue Tits, 10 Chaffinch, 10 Greenfinch, 1 Brambling, 1 male Blackcap, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Water Rails, a male Merlin a male Sparrowhawk, and a Kestrel, There are still good numbers of Chaffinches across the islands, Razorbills and Kiitiwakes are now in parties in inter-island waters. Lesser Black-backed Gulls are present in good numbers and Herring Gulls have taken up residence at breeding sites. Several Kestrels are still eking out an existence as are 1 or 2 Sparrowhawks. On the 19th February the female and first winter Marsh Harriers, 2 Firecrest and a female Eider where seen on Tresco. A Merlin was seen on Tresco on 24th February. On 25th there were 4 Shoveler, a Pintail, a Wigeon, an Eider and a Whimbrel all on Tresco. On the 26th there was a drake and female Wigeon on Porth Hellick pool and a pair of Ravens in aerial courtship over St. Mary’s. On the 27th, off Innisidgen a Red-necked Grebe showed well amongst groups of Razorbills, also present were 6 Slavonian Grebes, 2 Long-tailed Ducks, 2 Eiders, a Black-throated Diver and 19 Great Northern Divers. The Snow Bunting at the new riding stables on St. Mary’s was present up to 1st March at least. As well as the Ring –necked Duck, the Black Duck and the Spoonbills, a trip to Tresco on1st March produced 2 Merlin, 8 Common Gulls, 50+ Black-headed Gulls, 12 Redwing, 35 Meadow Pipits, 45 Chaffinches, 8 Pochard (5 drakes and 3 ducks), 2 male and 2 female Shoveler, a female Pintail, a female Wigeon, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a female Eider and 2 female Reed Buntings. On the 3rd March the juvenile Marsh Harrier, 4 Shoveler and 2 Jackdaw were seen on Tresco, also seen were 2 Ravens, 3 Grey Plover and a Spoonbill, all on Bryher. At Porth Hellick there were 2 Wigeon and at Carn Friars there was a Skylark & 20 Chaffinches. The Red-necked Grebe showed well from Innisidgen on 3rd & 4th March. On the 5th March a male Marsh Harrier was seen on Tresco, it is to be hoped it will pair up with the female. Also on the 5th there were 7 Golden Plover and 2 Grey Plover on St. Agnes The Ring-necked Duck which had gone missing for a couple of days returned on the 6th March. On the 10th there were 2 Marsh Harriers, & a Spoonbill on Tresco and 2 Long-tailed Ducks off Skirt Island. All the long staying ‘goodies’ i.e. Ring-necked Duck, Black Duck, Spoonbill, Great Spotted Woodpecker and the 5 Greenland White-fronted Geese were still present on Tresco on the weekend of 11th & 12th March. On 12th there were several Greenshank around St. Mary’s and 5 Snipe and a Water Rail on Lower Moors Pool, On the 13th there was a White Wagtail on the Garrison. Finally the 14th produced on St Mary’s, 2 White Wagtails on the golf course, a Jack Snipe at Lower Moors, A drake Garganey on Porth Hellick Pool and a Brambling & 2 Chiffchaff at Carn Friars. On Tresco there were 13 Brambling and 3 Swallows (the first of the year) were seen at Old Grimsby. On St. Martin’s a Wheatear was seen (again the first of the year)
The 5 Greenland White-fronted Geese were still on Tresco (normally Simpson’s field) until the 17th February and on 8th February another 5 were seen flying over Tresco. The escaped falconers bird which has been seen at various locations around the Islands since December 2005 is still present. There was 1 Black-throated Diver around the islands up to the 5th and then 2 up to the 12th. The female and 1st winter Marsh Harriers remain up to press. The Barn Owl was seen on several dates up to 9th at least at Sandy Lane. There seem to be far more Woodcock around than usual, e.g. up to 6 being seen in the evenings on Sandy Lane when the Barn Owl was been looked for. 5 Slavonian Grebes were present off Innisidgen/McFarland’s Down throughout the period. The 2 Spoonbill remained on Tresco or the smaller islands adjacent to Tresco until the 17th. Also present up to 17th was the Great Spotted Woodpecker. On the 5th Tresco a Common Buzzard was seen over Pool Road,19 Golden Plover flew over and there were 7 Great Northern Divers and 2 Common Scoter off-shore. Also on the 5th 2 Long-tailed Ducks were seen in High Town Bay off St. Martin’s. Still on the 5th 2 female Eider were present, 1 in Tresco Sound and 1 off the Eastern Isles. On the 6th up to 15 Great Northern Divers were seen from various view points on St. Mary’s and the 2 Long-tailed Ducks were off Innisidgen, St. Mary’s. There was a noticeable influx of Lapwings on the Islands between 7th and 9th, peaking at 160 on the 9th, thereafter numbers tailing off to single figure sightings. On the 9th a Guillemot was seen close inshore off Town Beach and a Snow Bunting flew over the new riding stables on St. Mary’s. On the 10th Long-tailed Duck count had risen to 3, 1 off Tresco and 2 off the Eastern Isles. Also on the 10th a Merlin & a Sparrowhawk were seen on Tresco and a Firecrest was seen at Carn Friars, St.Mary’s. The 12th was a red letter day when a White-billed Diver was seen off from the Garrison in The Roads off Samson and a drake Ring-necked Duck and a female Black Duck were seen on the Great Pool ,Tresco; the latter 2 still present on the 17th, also 8 Great Northern Divers were still around the Islands. On the 14th a Hen Harrier was seen from the Steval on the Garrison, St.Mary’s. On the 16th a Kingfisher was at Shooters’ Pool. St. Mary’s. Finally on the 17th, as well as the Great Spotted Woodpecker, the Black Duck & the Ring-necked Duck still on Tresco, the 2 Spoonbills were on Merrick Island and 2 Reed Buntings were at the Eastern end of the Great Pool, Tresco.
January 15th – February 2nd
The 5 Greenland White-fronted Geese were still on Tresco (normally Simpson’s field) until the 2nd February at least. The escaped falconers bird which has been seen at various locations on St. Mary’s since December 2005 is till around, it appears to be a Gyr Falcon? The Barn Owl which was at Sandy Lane earlier in the year has been seen on several dates on Peninnis. A Rook was seen at Porthloo on 16th January On the 17th January there were 97 Black-headed Gulls at Shark’s Pit, St. Mary’s. On the 20th there were 4 – Great Northern Divers off Innisidgen, St. Mary’s. A trip to Tresco on the 24th produced a female Pintail, 84 Gadwall, 3 Shoveler, 50 Teal, a male Pochard, 39 Coot, 5 Greenland White-fronted Geese and 2 Marsh Harriers on the Great Pool. There was also a Jack Snipe on Abbey Pool, 2 Dunlin, a Greenshank and a Black-throated Diver Pentle Bay, 35 Sanderling opposite Skirt Island, 16 Little Egret in Tresco Channel, 3 Grey Plover on Little Merrick, the Great-spotted Woodpecker still on Pool Road, a 1st year Iceland Gull, on Puffin Island and a female Common Scoter off Cromwell’s Castle. A Kingfisher was on St. Mary’s quay wall and a Long-eared Owl was at Trewince on the 25th. On the 26th there were 12 Redwing at Parting Carn, the Black-throated Diver was seen from St. Mars’s and a Harbour Seal (rare on Scilly) was seen in Porthloo Bay. The Whimbrel was still at Innisidgen on the 29th. The Black-throated Diver, 3 Great Northern Divers & 4 Slavonian Grebes were off Innisidgen, 2 Woodcock .were at Carn Friars, a Lapwing at the airfield and 12 Redwing on the Garrison playing field on 1st February. The 2 Spoonbills were seen feeding on the 1st and 2nd February at low tide in Pentle Bay and on the same dates a the female Eider was seen again at various locations. On the 2nd the female and 1st winter Marsh Harriers and a Hooded Crow were around Bryher and Tresco. The Lesser Black-backed Gull numbers are building up and the escaped Black Swan is till roaming the islands.
January 1s t- 14th
1st January a 1st winter Glaucous Gull was seen on Tresco. The 5 Greenland White-fronted Geese where on Tresco until the 14th at least. 2nd January the 2 Spoonbills from December were located on Green Island, the Black-throated Diver was in the Roads as were 4 Common Scoter and the female Eider was still on St. Martin’s Flats. 3rd January 2 Lesser Redpolls were seen near Abbey Pool on Tresco. The Eider and Black-throated Diver were both seen again on the 4th as was a Juvenile Marsh Harrier on Tresco. A Barn Owl ( a rare bird for Scilly) was seen intermittently in the month until the 8th in Sandy Lane, also at this site up to the 11th were 2 Long-eared Owls and 2+ Woodcock. Porth Hellick pool came up trumps on the 5th with a drake Ring-necked Duck, unfortunately for 1 day only. On 7th January 4 Slavonian Grebes, 4 Common Scoter, Black-throated Diver, Eider and Razorbill between the Islands. On 8th the juvenile Marsh Harrier was on Samson and a Whimbrel was at Bar Point. On 9th January 5 Slavonian Grebes, 5 Common Scoter and the Black-throated Diver were still between the Islands. A Jackdaw was seen at the rubbish dump on St. Mary’s on the 11th. 14th – a female Marsh Harrier was seen over Bryher and then over Tresco were it was joined by a juvenile Marsh Harrier. Also on Bryher was a drake Pintail. On Tresco there were a female Pintail, a Common Buzzard, a Merlin, and 10 Grey Plover., 2 long-staying Scilly rarities were still present: the Great Spotted Woodpecker on Tresco and the Magpie on St. Martin’s.