The first day of the New Year saw the Black-necked Grebe on the Bryher side of Tresco Channel and the Black Duck was again seen on the Abbey Pool. A Short-eared Owl was in the Pentle Bay area. At Porth Hellick the Siberian Chiffchaff reappeared as did two Firecrest and a Jackdaw was seen with a group of Crows at Telegraph and over Tresco. Five Golden Plover were on the airport as were two Skylarks. On the 2nd an adult Mediterranean Gull was in Pentle Bay and a remarkable five Short-eared Owls were seen in the Appletree Banks area. The calm seas enabled the finding of a Black-throated Diver off Samson along with up to seven Great Northern Divers and a Common Scoter. The Spoonbill was again feeding along the shore of Samson and on St Mary’s a Slavonian Grebe was off Innisidgen. The cold weather on the mainland on the 3rd resulted in three Fieldfares on the Garrison, a Golden Plover on the Airport and four Lapwing at Trewince. The first Mistle Thrush of the winter was on the Golf Course on the 4th along with five Golden Plover and an Iceland Gull was seen over St Mary’s. Further influxes of winter thrushes were noted the following day with double figures of Fieldfare on St Mary’s and twenty two Golden Plover on the Golf course. Four Chiffchaff were in the shelter at Little Porth along with two Pied Wagtails and a Black Redstart.
Over 100 Lapwing were on St Mary’s on the 6th along with 50+ Fieldfare and hundreds of Redwing. The Mistle Thrush was at Bishops View and at least two Sparrowhawks were on the island. The lack of snow and unfrozen ground meant every grass field seemed to have a scattering of winter thrushes and a Lapwing or two. Flocks of Fieldfare and Lapwing were still arriving on the islands on the 7th and Redwing seemed to be popping up from every verge. The Black Duck was still on Tresco early in the day on the 8th then flew over Porth Mellon towards Lower Moors. It did not hang around which is not too surprising as all the pools were frozen! A Male Hen Harrier flew over St Agnes and Gugh heading towards St Mary’s but also vanished. On Tresco the cold weather brought 14 Pochard to the Great Pool but otherwise there was little change with the Long-tailed Duck still on the Abbey Pool and the Red-breasted Merganser still offshore. Fieldfare and Lapwing were still arriving in small flocks. At least four Mistle Thrush were on St Mary’s on the 9th and a Dunlin was at Porth Hellick. . An Iceland Gull was seen near Pendrathen on the 10th and four Black Redstarts were still on the sheltered beaches around Hugh Town and Old Town. The Jackdaw was again seen in the Trenoweth area on the 11th. The rest of the month was extremely quiet with only a Firecrest at Porth Hellick and four Whimbrel at Bar Point on the 26th and two Black Redstarts in Old Town Bay on the 27th of note.
Paul Freestone (c) ISBG 2010