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Monday, 22 October 2012

Aftermath of the Low: Scilly 2012; days 5 & 6

By day 5, Wednesday 17th October it was very windy, with a strong south- westerly wind blowing and we were hopeful for more American arrivals following the RND's. From Morning Point battery, we saw several c30 Gannet fly past and on the Battery grass itself, a Snow Bunting fed amongst the grass, but in the high winds it was very flighty, first feeding by the gun and then flying to the edge of the cliff before flying down and out of sight. Walking up to Porthellick Pool, from the seaward side hide, we could see Mallard and Gadwall and the 3 Ring- necked Duck were swimming right in the middle before swimming over to the back. They swam towards us and then left, right across the hide giving good views. Porthellick Bay produced 7 Ringed Plover but little else. At Longstone, we saw a Swallow and a mystery Martin flying overhead, the Martin was dark above and completely white below but no white rump but it flew off and its ID will remaain a mystery, sadly. Overlooking the Pine trees at Kittydown, I heard the deep croak of a Raven, and the bird flew up from the trees briefly then flew down again and out of sight. Walking back along Telegraph road, 2 Grey Wagtails were seen routing about in a ploughed but weedy field. Often seen running and feeding up and down the furrows, I stayed a while to take a few pics. We chased down to Porthellick Beach to view on the far side of the beach, a fine Pale- bellied Brent Goose, amongst the rocks close to the shore line. By Thursday 18th October, nipping down to Porthcressa beach again, by the large rock, 2 Rock Pipits seen and swimming out on the sea was the Pale- bellied Brent Goose It swam close and left and was briefly joined by an immature Shag before the Goose eventually got out of the water and onto the beach, walking up. I was joined by pro photographer Steve Young and eventually Tim H joined me and we got some great shots of this very confiding bird, I had step back it was that close! At Porthmelon beach, 3 Rock Pipit and 3 Pied Wagtail seen posing quite well for the camera. back at the Dump Clump woods, in exactly the same spot where the Spotted had been seen days earlier, a Red- breasted Flycatchers showed quite well hunting for insects. The Hume's warbler was heard caalling its distinctive "chee- wee" call several times. Unfortunately I had to leave it to catch the 10.15 boat to one of our favourite islaands, St. Agnes. Walking down to the beach area just past the Great Pool, a Richard's Pipit showed amongst the grass and rocks in the middle distance. 2 Wheatear seen at the tip here too. At the Parsonage, by the road opposite the school, a Pied Flycatcher showed exceptionally well favouring various branches for its hunting excursions, at time it was barely 10 feet from us. A Spotted Flycatcher was seen here briefly too, plus a Coal Tit hunting for insects amongst the ivy wrapped around the tree trunk. A while later the "Tseeeeopp" call heralded a Yellow- browed Warbler flying in the top of the trees right in front of us and I was pleased with get some shots in as it momentarily perched on a branch for a minute or two. 2 Chiff- Chaff, Goldcrest and a Grey Wagtail flying overhead was heard on 3 occasions.

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