Wednesday, 2 September 2009

A good find

Whimbrel - Porthloo

Spotted Flycatcher - the Garrison

Spotted Flycatcher

View from Longstones

Mediterranean Gull - Porthmellon

Northern Wheatear - Morning Point

Sandwich Tern with Sand eel

Convolvulus Hawk Moth

Greenshank - Porth Hellick


Morning in the evening

Over the next few days we all did our own thing. Gill showed Jan the island while I continued my quest to find a good bird or two. I usually started with a walk around the Garrison which paid off on Wednesday when I found a Wood warbler at Lower Broom. I stayed on St Marys the whole week but found a different route to explore every day. The trip list increased very slowly adding Turtle dove, Greenshank (seen in virtually every bay), Ruff, Whimbrel, Curlew, Bar tailed Godwit (thanks to the sharp eyes of Will Wagstaff) Blackcap, Peregrine and Mediterranean Gull. I also visited Mick Scott at Longstones cafe( or Tea rooms as they are called on the Scillies). Unfortunately Mick was suffering with the Flu most of the week but he did ring me up when he'd got something interesting. I tried to photogragh a beautiful little Gem on one occasion and helped him with his traps on the last Sunday. The star moth being a Convolvulus Hawk moth but I also saw several other species new to me. Although everyone did their own thing we frequently met up for a coffee or lunch. We found all the cafes good for coffee and home made cakes but were disappointed with our evening meals at a couple of venues namely The Mermaid, in Hugh town and Tolman's in Old town. The Doom-bar ale in the Mermaid was poor whereas the Proper Job ale in the Atlantic was excellent. The unassuming little pub in Old Town also sold a decent pint of local brew.
It was on Friday I saw my first star bird. I was in the seaward hide at Porth Hellick when a small bird shot out of the small clump of reeds in front of the hide into the Sallows to the left. It was a pale almost yellow streaked warbler. I immediately thought of Aquatic but the view was too short to be sure. I moved to the other hide and was lucky to see presumably the same bird again fly from right to left in front of and below me. This time the 'braces' on the back and the ragged ends to the tail were clearly visible. I was 99% certain but couldnt be sure how much streaking there was on the back of a juvenile Sedge warbler and needed to check the books before putting out the news. I did tell several 'locals' what I'd seen but unfortunately I was on my own when I saw the bird. Having looked at the books I now know it was an Aquatic warbler.

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