A relatively quiet month on the Islands with lingering rarities from January including the very obliging Cattle Egret at the dump and the juvenile Kumlien’s Gull that could be found at either the dump or Porth Mellon beach throughout the month. The Whooper Swan and Barnacle Goose stayed on Great Pool, Tresco all month. Up to three juvenile Iceland Gulls were at the dump on the 1st with an adult Glaucous Gull. The 3rd saw the occurrence of only the tenth record of Treecreeper on the Islands. The bird showed well in Wells Covert on Tresco and remained at the months end. A Great spotted Woodpecker was also in Wells Covert on the 3rd and a Marsh Harrier and more than a hundred Sanderling were seen on Tresco. A drake Eider was offshore at St Martin’s.

Five Long-tailed Tits were at McFarland’s Down, St Mary’s on the 5th and adult, 2nd winter and 1st winter Glaucous Gulls were at Porth Mellon. Another Long-tailed Tit was in trees behind the dump on the 11th. The Spoonbill was seen on Samson again on the 12th and seabirds recorded off Innisidgen included Eider, four Common Scoter, Black throated and Red throated Divers and five Slav Grebes. Two Bar-tailed Godwits were on Samson on the 13th and Great spotted Woodpecker, Firecrest and two Long-tailed Tits were in Wells Covert, Tresco. Five Pochard and two Pintail were on Great Pool and a Reed Bunting was at the woodpile. On St Mary’s, three Long-tailed Tits were in gardens by the hospital and five Slav Grebes were off Innisidgen.

A possible Pacific Diver, initially seen in windy conditions on at the end of December 2008, was relocated on the 14th off Watermill. An organised boat trip on the 20th found the bird off the Eastern Isles, with those birders on board agreeing that it could actually be a hybrid diver.
Two Long-eared Owls were on Bryher on the 19th and Hooded Crow and Jackdaw were also on the Island. A Little Auk was seen distantly from St Mary’s Quay. A Common Buzzard was over Old Grimsby, Tresco on the 21st when a Red-breasted Merganser was offshore. A Black Redstart of the form Paradoxus was on the beach at Porth Hellick on the morning of the 26th and a Grey Phalarope was off Hugh Town Quay on the 27th. The month ended with the arrival of the years first  Sand Martin over Great Pool, Tresco on the 28th.

P.Freestone (c) ISBG


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