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Monday, 30 April 2012

Blackcaps and Willow Warblers everywhere!

some of the 40 Blackcap hidden in the hedge with a single Whitethroat at Newford

  All day yesterday it was blowing a NW gale force 9, with driving rain. All the migrants that arrived in the last few days would of stayed put in the safety of the islands and from the steps of work, sitting in me waggon this morning, there were 5 Willow Warbler and a single male Blackcap. Others were flicking around in the garden. I took some guests up to the top of the island to take some pics. I had twenty minutes to kill before I picked them back up again. At Newford Duckpond there were only 2 birds on view. However, a look in the horse paddock found Willow Warblers dancing all over the shop and every few steps that I took as started walking through the field, they were flying off into the nearby hedge in 5's and 10's. Over 50 Meadow Pipit were also flushed and in one corner a flock of 40 Blackcap got up! I continued to walk around and came to where I had started. I finally came up with 150+Willow Warbler, 60-70 Blackcap, 3 Whitethroat, 2 Sedge Warbler, 1 Wheatear and heard 2 Grasshopper Warbler and my first Cuckoo of the year! A female Merlin also flew over. I had to leave, before the guys arrived to experience this very rare unique opportunity of all these birds feeding together.

                                            5 Willow Warbler and a single Sedge Warbler


Willow Warblers were flying out from the field in small numbers.

  Robin, Tony and Ritchie did a lot better than me and managed to see, 2-300 Willow Warbler, 100+Blackcap and 3 Lesser Whitethroat at Newford!
 
  Later in the afternoon I tried Maypole and just in two small fields I flushed 10+ Blackcap and 50+Willow Warbler. At home I tried the back fields at Content and concentrated on the east side of a long grassed field were 60+Blackcap, 45+Willow Warbler and 1 Sedge Warbler. Late afternoon, it started to rain and brought down 26 swift to feed low over Hugh Town.



2 Sand Martin were hawking over Porthloo Duckpond


Whitethroat at Trenowth

Higgo returned to Bryher and Robin made a visit to tresco in the afternoon.

ST MARY'S

10 GRASSHOPPER WARBLER
5-600 WILLOW WARBLER
300 BLACKCAP
200 WHEATEAR
1 MALE RING OUZEL
10+SEDGE WARBLER
3 REDSTART
26 SWIFT
2 CUCKOO
100+MEADOW PIPIT
200+WHIMBREL
12 HOUSE MARTIN
6 SAND MARTIN
2 SPARROWHAWK

BRYHER

6 GRASSHOPPER WARBLER
200 BLACKCAP
200 WILLOW WARBLER
100 WHEATEAR
1 REDSTART
1 SPOTTED FLYCATCHER
1 YELLOW WAGTAIL
3 CUCKOO
50 WHIMBREL
TRESCO

50 WILLOW WARBLER
50 BLACKCAP
1 REDSTART
16 SWIFT
6 YELLOW WAGTAIL
2 BLACK-TAILED GODWIT

This doesn't give an idea of how bad the weather was yesterday with a NW gale force 9



Looking from Bar Point


'Ghost Ship' by Bonobo

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Largest spring fall on Scilly!

I finally caught up with the Rook at the airfield

  In the last two days we've experienced one of the largest falls of spring migrants everto be recorded on Scilly, involving mainly Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Wheatear and the highest number of Grasshopper Warblers to turn up on the islands.
 Unfortunately I was too busy at work and tried to get into the field as much as I could. Yesterday morning on the way to work I flushed 7 wheatear off the road and when I arrived at porthloo there was another 25+ on the beach with  50+Swallow, 3 Common Sandpiper, 8 whimbrel and White Wagtails. Ritchie turned up and told me that there were over 50 Wheatear and a Gropper on the golf course. A taxi up to the airport found 60-70 Wheatear, 20+Meadow pipit, 10+White Wagtail, Lapwing and the Rook. Higgo called and told me to get out boy, I just had 10 Willow Warbler in the park in town. Later a look at Lower Moors saw the first Whinchat of the year, 2 Gropper, 7 sedge Warbler, good numbers of Blackcap and willow Warbler and my first Yellow Wagtail of the year. I teamed up with Ren for half an hour on the Garrison and here we got a female Redstart, Whitethroat, 25+Blackcap and Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff and when I returned to work Ren got 5 groppers. After this I was back and forth around St Mary's flushing Blackcaps and Willow Warblers from the side of the road all over the shop.

Rook was on the airfield all day

Up to 3 Common Sandpiper and 8 Whimbrel were on Porthloo

Common Sandpiper at Porth Hellick Martin Goodey


Up to 25+Wheatear were at Porthloo




A total of  1000+Willow Warbler and 800 Blackcap were recorded


Meadow Pipit on the airfield

TOTALS FROM EACH ISLAND ON THE 28TH APRIL

ST MARY'S

15+GRASSHOPPER WARBLER
300 WILLOW WARBLER
200 BLACKCAP
250 WHEATEAR
350 SWALLOW
20 CHIFFCHAFF
1 GARDEN WARBLER
35+SEDGE WARBLER
3 SWIFT
4 CUCKOO
6 COMMON SANDPIPER
7 REDSTART
10 WHITETHROAT
20 HOUSE MARTIN
50 SAND MARTIN
3 TREE PIPIT
20+WHITEWAGTAIL
1 WHINCHAT
1 YELLOW WAGTAIL 

BRYHER

24 GRASSHOPPER WARBLER
4-500 BLACKCAP
300 WILLOW WARBLER
200 WHEATEAR
6 REDSTART
1 JUVENILE CLAUCOUS GULL

ST AGNES

2 GRASSHOPPER WARBLER
150 WILLOW WARBLER
50 BLACKCAP
50 WHEATEAR
1 YELLOW WAGTAIL
4 SWIFT
10 HOUSE MARTIN
50 SWALLOW
1 REDWING
1 FEMALE BLACK REDSTART
6 BLACK-HEADED GULL
60+ WHIMBREL

TRESCO

2 GRASSHOPPER WARBLER
1 SPOTTED FLYCATCHER
200 WILLOW WARBLER
50 BLACKCAP
1 BLACK-TAILED GODWIT
2 SHORT-EARED OWL

Totals of note for all islands

40-45 GRASSHOPPER WARBLER
1000+WILOW WARBLER
800 BLACKCAP
500 WHEATEAR
13 REDSTART
40+SEDGE WARBLER

  Higgo spent the day on Bryher and got a staggering total of 24 Grasshopper Warbler including 9 that he flushed on the beach at Rushy Bay! Will also had a juvenile Claucous Gull on the island and on St Agnes, Robin made a brief visit in the afternoon. Jim trapped 20 Sedge Warbler at Porth Hellick. There was a Black-tailed Godwit on Tresco, but no sign of yesterday's GLOSSY IBIS that Graham Gorden first observed flying over St Mary's Harbour. He was still standing on the Scillanion waiting to come off after being away for three weeks. Jammy ...... It flew low towards Tresco and was later relocated by Paul Dukes feeding on Simpson's Field. Also on the 27th, Dave Rosair made a visit to St Martins and commented on the Blackcaps that he observed reminded him of Dungeness 40 years ago! In one field he had 50 Blackcaps with 50 willow Warbler feeding together!

Male Linnet at the Garrison


Partially albino female Blackbird at the Garrison


A Little Egret fishing at Porth Hellick

Looking from Porthloo


Jeff Tweedy singing 'I'll Fight' with Wilco live!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Pink-footed Goose at Porth Hellick

Adult pink-footed Goose at Porth Hellick

  First thing this morning, I got out of me wagon and started walking up the steps to the entrance to Star Castle and could hear my first Grasshopper Warbler of the year nearby. It carried on reeling on and off for the next hour and at the same time, Ritchie and Tony who are working, if you can call it that, at the castle, heard and saw another bird near the gardens rooms. I also managed to hear this one.

Dunnock at Star Castle

  Early afternoon and Robin called to tell me that there was a Pink-footed Goose in front of the Sussex Hide at Porth Hellick. It was preening when I arrived and then fell asleep. There was also my first Sedge Warbler of the year singing and 10+House Martin and 30+Swallow were hawking over the pool. Smoothy had a single Sedge and grasshopper Warbler at Lower Moors with one of the latter species at Porth Hellick. Nearby he also got over 50 Willow Warbler at Carn Friars. Robin saw the 2  Rook and Jackdaw at Porthloo, that have been seen at the golf course for the last few days. Otherwise we are still waiting for a lot of our common migrants to arrive. The first Reed Warbler was at Porth Hellick, 22nd, and Garden Warbler of the year at Kittidown, 20th, and single Pied Flycatcher and Redstart were recorded a few days before.





A very tired Pink-footed Goose at Porth Helick. However, when others came to look at it, it had disappeared.

Small numbers of Whimbrel are being seen around the islands


Up to 80 Swallow were at Porth Hellick with another 20 at Old Town, where these were all taken

Looking from Porthloo towards Samson this evening

It was a sad day in the music world with the death of Levon Helm on the 19th April. He was the drummer, backing and lead singer of The Band. He started off with the great Ronnie Hawkin's in 'The Hawks' and later they gathered up some of the best musicians around. Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson. They split from The Hawk and went onto to be the backing band for Dylan, later renaming themselves as The Band. In the last 10 years Levon stuck around at home at Woodstock and the started The Midnight Ramble at The barn. Here live performances were played by the best in town. He also carried on touring and recording albums. I love this live footage of them singing King Harvest in their Woodstock studio.This is followed by a live performance of Marijohn Wilkin's, 'Long Black Veil' at the Festival Exspress.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

King Juan Carlos of Spain kills wild animals in Africa!

Spain's King Juan Carlos has successfully undergone hip replacement surgery
Spain's King Juan Carlos having a great time shooting elephant's in Northern Okavango area, Botswana, while the rest of his country is deep in recession. The animals often die in great pain after being terrorised by the hunters, wildlife preservationists say. Killing an elephant, particularly the dominant male in a herd, can play havoc with a population. Young males left bereft of an authority figure can run wild, hurting females or even other species, such as rhinos


More easy targets for the 74 year old king. This time he poses with 2 Water Buffalo that he has shot. Photograph: Target Press/Barcroft Media

  How can anyone find pleasure in shooting an elephant at point blank range in between the eyes. Unfortunately, thousands make the trip to Africa to shot wild animals for fun! One of them is Spain's King Juan Carlos. In The Guardian it said that 'While ordinary Spaniards cope with harsh austerity, recession and soaring unemployment, the country's royal family has been enjoying expensive hunting trips, one of which resulted in King Juan Carlos ending up in hospital. The 74-year-old monarch's fall in a park in Botswana provided an excuse for Spanish newspapers, who normally treat their royal family with kid gloves, to plaster their pages with photos of the king standing proudly in front of a dead elephant. The photograph came from the website of Botswana-based Rann Safaris, which had been taken down by Sunday.

  When I read all this, I questioned whether this story would of been exposed if Spain were not hitting hard times at the moment? Why have not the Spanish public questioned these actions taken by their king before?

 While the king was too busy gaining his trophy's by getting stuck into killing elephant's, no time to think about the recession in Spain, he had an accident. He arrived in Madrid to have an operation on his hip after breaking it. It's ashame he wasn't crushed by an elephant! His grandson, 13-year-old Froil√°n Marichalar, was hunting in Spain with a 36 calibar shotgun and shot himself in the foot. It is illegal for a 13-year-old to handle that type of gun.

  This I just can't take in. The King is the honorary president of World Wildlife Fund Spain, a conservation group that takes a dim view of shooting animals. The Spanish WWF has been flooded with calls demanding that the king resign his presidency.
 But hang on minute, didn't our very own Prince Philip, the founder and driving force behind the WWF, the first ever President of WWF in the UK, from 1961 to 1981, and is now President Emeritus of WWF International, shot elephants and other wild animals?

tiger
A tiger was lured into range by tethered goats and shot dead by Philip. Later, Philip was in a shooting party with Alec Douglas Hume (Lord Home), the Conservative Prime Minister, Bilderberg Group chairman and bloodline of the Scottish Brotherhood families and a mother mother elephant and her calf came into range. Philip shot the mother while her calf ran off in terror and himself and the queen call themselves conservationist and environmentalistThey do this just for the sheer hell of it and are not fit to live on this planet!! There all HYPOCRITES and really piss me off!!

  Like father, like son, like grandson. According to a FOX News report, Prince William drove a metal tipped 7 foot long spear through an antelope while on holiday in Kenya and killed it for the fun of it. The prince had been taking hunting lessons from a Masai tribal member.
   The Mail newspaper reported that Prince William recently purchased 250 different kinds of birds... pheasants, ducks and partridges for the blood sport of shooting them out of the sky like clay pigeons at Queen Elizabeth's Sandringham Estate. The story is reopening debate about the Royal Family and their participation in blood sports. Prince William reportedly participates in the Highgrove fox hunts that set a pack of hounds after a fox to corner it and tear it to shreds. This is a cruel and barbaric hunt that has been condemned by The League Against Cruel Sports.

Clearly, this asks the question, do the royals give a rat's ass about animal welfare or the environment?

Why do people support and like these hypocrites?


  Meanwhile the American twisted version of a royal family, the Trumps, made headlines in March when grisly photos of the sons of Donald Trump surfaced, showing the lads posing with various animals they'd extinguished on a Zimbabwe safari, including an elephant whose tail had been removed after the kill. "I have no shame," the Donald, Jr. said on Twitter in the aftermath (referring to the photographs). It's a strange day when Donald Trump is the voice of compassion.

 They do this just for the sheer hell of it and are not fit to live on this planet!! There all HYPOCRITES and really piss me off!!

Showing their spots: Don (left) and Eric (right), seen here with a leopard that they killed on their trip to Zimbabwe
This photo hit me hard! Don (left) and Eric (right), seen here with a leopard that they killed on their trip to Zimbabwe
Proud to be a hunter: Don holds the sawed off tail of an elephant on a hunt in Africa
Don holds the sawed off tail of an elephant on a hunt in Africa
Rare game: The pair pose with the 12'8
Not the first Crocodile that they have killed

Costly sport: The kill fee for this Waterbuck was $1,997.00 Waterbuck cost $1,997.00 to kill

  This kind of thing is only for the very rich. If you would like to go on one of these hunting trips. With Rann Safaris cost upwards of $8,700 (£5,500) a week, with an elephant costing a further $15,000 to kill. A day out with professional hunter Jeff Rann, pictured with the king, costs a further $2,000.

  The king's hunting trip, which officials described as private, has caused a storm of angry comment from animal lovers and those wanting to know how much it had cost.

PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO IF YOU CAN STAND IT!

http://youtu.be/0m23rM2WYl8

Note that all comments have been removed. I wounder why that is?

  It's a very disturbing promotional video on YouTube and shows Rann shooting elephants – which can be killed with licences bought at auction from the Botswana government – in the Okavango delta.
"You have to manage the world's animal populations, to their betterment," says Rann, who did not answer queries from the Guardian. "We are trying to improve their habitat."
King Juan Carlos has been involved in hunting scandals before. Six years ago, officials dismissed as ridiculous allegations that he had shot a drunken Russian bear that had been plied with honey and vodka. The royal family has a troubled history with guns. The king shot and killed his brother in an accident when he was a teenager

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Crap, crap and more crap!

Lots of Swallows are starting to arrive

  This has got to be the worst start to April that I've experienced since I arrived on Scilly some 16 years ago. The Northerlies are playing their part from stopping common migrants getting here. However, today saw the first Cuckoo of the year on Bryher and Grasshopper Warbler at Peninnis. Also there was a  fall of Willow Warbler and good numbers of Swallow and Wheatear on most of the islands. 925, Chris and Higgo picked up the highlight of the day, the week! A Greylag Goose flying over Tresco Channel that was later seen by Smoothy on St Agnes.
  Last week the NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH was showing very well at Lower Moors. However, there has been no more sightings for the last three days.


5 of the 10 Wheatear at Bants Carn. There were also 30+Wheatear between Porth Hellick Down and Deep Point with 25 on St Agnes and 30+ on Bryher

Swallows were all over the shop on St Mary's with well over 100. There was also over a 100 on Tresco, 80+ on Bryher and 50+St Agnes.

Both Sand Martins and House Martin were in smaller numbers





Up to 50+Willow Warbler were at Carn Friars with smaller numbers else where on St Mary's. On Bryher there were 80+, 60+ on St Agnes and 50 on Tresco.



A Linnet with nest materiel at Giants Castle and a Meadow Pipit descending at Deep Point

There were still 2 Short-eared owl on Tresco Robin Mawer



Bar Point

Looking from Star Castle this evening Robin Mawer

  With strong NNW for the next week we can expect moor crap! What was also crap was Spurs losing to Chelsea in the semi-final of the FA Cup today, 5-1 or should that be 4-1!


DJ Shadow with 'Scale it Back' ft. Little Draggon