Monday, 7 October 2013

Scillies 2013 - Day 3 - Mon 7th October

I went to Log last night as per usual and there didn't seem to be too much around. The only thing I had to go for were Scillies ticks. There was a report of a Nightingale on St Martin's which is a very good Scillies bird so I decided I was going to have a crack at that.

Before the boat I went to the Garrison and walked around most of the paths for a couple of hours. The best thing I saw were loads of the lichen-feeding caterpillar of the Red-necked Footman. Apparently there has been a huge influx on the islands this year. Birdwise there was very little around but nonetheless I carried on with my counts and ended up with the following:

Great Tit - 5
Wren - 12
Willow Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 1
Meadow Pipit - 57
Wheatear - 1
Goldcrest - 1
Chaffinch - 2
Lapland Bunting - 1

Whilst I was walking round the Garrison the early boat to Bryher was starting to report a few bits already. A Common Rosefinch had been found at Shipman Head and a couple of Wrynecks too. I was starting to think maybe I should go to Bryher! When I got to the quay my mind had been changed and soon enough I was landing on Anneka Quay on Bryher. First stop was Shipman Head down for a look at the juvenile Common Rosefinch. But by complete fluke as we got off the quay the Hooded Crow which has been living on Bryher for years was perched up in the tall pines. What a result, it can sometimes be difficult to get on the trip list so it was a bonus jamming into it. As usual with the Rosefinch it was a drab looking affair but it was a welcome Scillies tick for me which was nice.

Common Rosefinch - Shipman Head Down
Next I headed round the island via the campsite to Hell Bay. There was a single Whinchat amongst many Meadow Pipits on the campsite but not much else. I kept checking all the Starling flocks as I made my way to the Great Porth as there had been a Rose-coloured Starling around and eventually I a manged to pin it down and saw it well through the scope. I also had several flight views as it buzzed around with the mobile Staring flock.

Little Stint - Adult
Little Stint - 1st Winter
At Great Porth there were quite a few waders with a nice mixed flock of Dunlin, Ringed Plover and the two Little Stints. It was interesting to see what I think is an adult Little Stint and give it a bit of a grilling and take in all the features. Very nice to have the juvenile bird feeding with it at times to compare with, I think the bird in the first three photo's is the bird which was called as a Western Sandpiper on Tresco late last week. There was also a single Greenshank roosting with the Oystercatchers.

On the way back towards Hell Bay hotel I saw the Rose-coloured Starling again and then a Wryneck which was feeding about 100m along the path in front of me. Sadly it hopped over the fence and after a twenty minute wait it didn't reappear so I carried on. Next stop was the dump and tennis courts, there was very little in here at all save for a Water Rail which was quite a weird place to see one.

Red-backed Shrike
Then whilst I was enjoying a cheese toastie with Jay and Paz a Red-backed Shrike came up on the radio between Anneka and Church Quay. We quickly finished out lunch and headed down there for a look. It showed pretty well and it was amazing to watch it catch a huge Prickly Sticky Insect and then devour it!

Red-backed Shrike eating a Pricky Stick Insect
We all got the boat back at 4.15pm and headed back to the flat for a cuppa and a kip...Good day!

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