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Friday, 31 August 2012


BONELLI'S WARBLER sp at Great Popplestone Bay, Bryher Bryan Thomas

  Monday just gone, 27th, Bryan Thomas with his family made a visit to Bryher. With his family in toe, it was kind of hard for him to bird and when he reached the fields at Great Popplestone Bay, he came across what he thought was a Wood Warbler and started taking shots of it. It was only when he decided to have a look at the pics today of the warbler that he identified it as a BONELLI'S WARBLER! In the brief time that he saw it, he didn't hear it call.

   This afternoon from the control tower I had a look for yesterdays Buff-breasted Sandpiper on the airfield and found it feeding near the hangers. Later on when the airport was shut, Robin and I went to have a better look and it had moved by the turning circle where it showed well with 4 Wheatear. 5 more Wheatear and 2 White Wagtail were also at Telegraph


2 Pied Flycatcher and this Spotted Flycatcher were on the Garrison. Bob Dawson also had 4 Crossbill
Robin found a Richard's Pipit on the heliport, Tresco next to the Abnbey Pool. The pool itself only held 4 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Dunlin. Yesterday, the first Curlew Sandpiper of the year was at South Beach. A juvenile Long-tailed Skua was off Horse Point, St Agnes.

Another cracking image of the adult male LESSER GREY SHRIKE on the Garrison, 22nd August Bryan Thomas

Photo: WE LOVE THIS! Yesterday the Swedish Soccer team AIK played the Russian CSKA Moscow team in Moscow.  The entire team sported the Amnesty logo on their jerseys instead of their usual sponsorship logo! 

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Yesterday the Swedish Soccer team AIK played the Russian CSKA Moscow team in Moscow. The entire team sported the Amnesty logo on their jerseys instead of their usual sponsorship logo in support of Pussy Riot!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Wryneck at Borough Farm

Record shot of a Wryneck at Borough Farm

  Martin called to tell me he had found a Wryneck at Borough Farm. Late this evening, I had a quick look for it and saw it immediately in a small Hawthorn next to the road. When it came out into the open, I was on the phone to Martin and it was almost impossible for me to get a good shot of the bird. I can't do two things at once!
 The first Wryneck of the Autumn was seen by Doug Page at Wingletang, St Agnes, two days ago, 21st August.

2 Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper were at Porth Hellick
First Water Rail of the year was also at Porth Hellick
Lots of Eels in the shallows
Joseph arthur 'The Coldest Sea' is an American singer-songwriter and artist from Akron, Ohio. He was discovered by Peter Gabriel and Gabriel arranged a live audition at The Fez nightclub in New York City, and Arthur flew up from Atlanta. The night was a success; not only was Lou Reed a guest in the audience, but within a few months Arthur was officially signed,[5] making him the first American recording artist signed to Gabriel's label. One of albums, Come to Where I'm From, was co-produced with T-Bone Burnett and Tchad Blake.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

LESSER GREY SHRIKE on the Garrison

Adult LESSER GREY SHRIKE in the sheep fields on the east side of the Garrison A cracking image by Bryan Thomas
Near the pig field, Garrison Martin Goodey
 Paul Semmens
Sheep Fields
With the tear and wear on Tony's wagon from these lot, I hope he got them to pay up from using it to look at the shrike over the wall. In Big Al's case, double!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Canoeing Tresco and Samson

Up to 3 Wood Sandpiper were on Tresco Abbey Pool

  The idea was that I was going to canoe to Samson followed by Tresco this morning. However the heavy rain put a stop to that. About 11.00, it was starting to ease off and I was ready to go. However, things changed again when Higgo called to tell me that he had 3 Wood Sandpiper, 11 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Knot and 3 Ruff all on Tresco Abbey Pool and he had no time to go around the Great Pool as he was going to wade across, at low tide, from Tresco to his beloved Bryher. So I left Porthloo in the burning sun and 30 minutes later I was observing 11 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Knot, 17 Dunlin, (only 1 adult) only 2 Wood Sandpiper and now 4 juvenile Ruff.

As I passed through St Mary's Harbour I came across 17 Sandwich and a single Common Tern. With the canoe, I was almost on top of them! I must of been a metre away and they weren't concerned one little bit.

6 of the 11 Black-tailed Godwit

4 Ruff, 2 Knot and 10 Dunlin

  With a walk around the pool, I thought there was only 5 Green Sandpiper, but they became very vocal and I counted 10 together flying towards the Great Pool. 6 Common Sandpiper also flew together around the pool and all the time I could the Buzzard nearby. No rarities, but by far the best selection of waders that I've seen on the Abbey Pool. Returning to South Beach, there was a Wheatear feeding by my canoe.
 The Great Pool was crap with 20 Green and 12 Redshank. Up to 4 Pied Flycatcher, 2 Chiffchaff and a single Willow Warbler along Pool Road. 3 Crossbill flew over Abbey Drive and a Migrant Hawker was near the David Hunt hide.

The smell of the Eucalypyus Trees along Abbey Drive, Tresco,  remind me of when I worked on the Great Ocoan Road, Australia.

 As planned I visited Samson and in the 30 minutes that I was there, except for 5 Snipe and 2 Clouded Yellow, I saw nothing else of note.

 On Bryher, Higgo could only find of note 15 Pied and 1 Spotted Flycatcher and Whitethroat.

Setting off from South Beach, Tresco with St Mary's in the distance

Looking towards South Hill from North Hill, Samson

I drifted directly under the Belem that was anchored in The Roads. As you can see it's a French working ship and I had a good chat with them as I passed by. There English was very good but they couldn't understand my Shropshire twang. She was originally a cargo ship, transporting sugar from the West Indies, cocoa, and coffee from Brazil and French Guiana to Nantes, France. By chance she escaped the eruption of the Mount Pelée in Saint-Pierre de la Martinique on 8 May 1902. All Saint Pierre roads were full of vessels, no place to anchor the ship. Captain Julien Chauvelon angrily decided to anchor some miles further on in a beach - sheltered from the exploding volcano. In January 1979, she came back to her home port as the Belem under tow by a French sea-going tug, flying the French flag after 65 years. Fully restored to her original condition, she began a new career as a sail training ship

Returning into Porthloo and there was an adult Mediterranean Gull. Do you want to know how close I got to this one? All the above shots were taken with my camcorder

Up to 6 Pied Flycatcher and a single Whinchat were on the Dead Pine Walk, Garrison

3 juvenile Herring Gull begging to their parents on top of one of the guard houses at work

A great soul song by an amazing singer 'I'm Not The One' by Bettye LaVette released as a single a few months ago. This women has been around and has toured with rhythm and blues musicians Clyde McPhatter, Ben E. King, Barbara Lynn, and at the time, then-newcomer Otis Redding. More recentley she has played with The Who, Sir Paul McCartney, Sinead O'conner, Jon Bon Jovi, Dolly Parton and many more. 'Let Me Down Easy” she sang on Calla in 1965. It is considered by many to be one of the greatest soul recordings of all time. She was also on the 'Chimes of Freedom' The songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International, singing one of my favourite Dylan songs 'Most Of The Time'

Friday, 17 August 2012

Second ORACHE MOTH for Cornwall and Scilly

The very attractive ORACHE MOTH Mick scott

  Like many others yesterday, I went to have a look at the beautiful ORACHE MOTH, a migrant from the near content, that Mick trapped in his garden at Longstones. This only being the second record for Cornwall and Scilly. The first to be recorded was also trapped by Mick at Longstones on the 24th May, 2004. I also managed to see that one.

Bob Dawson

Cypress Moth

White-speck Both these moths were trapped overnight by Bob Dawson on the Garrison

  This afternoon I came across up to 4 Pied Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, 2 Blackcap, Robins and Wrens going crazy, mobbing something deep inside a pine on the Garrison. I stepped back and returned to me wagon, as I had a taxi to do. I called the boys and picked up Bob Dawson on the way to the airport. On the return run, I collected Will Scot, Big Al and Bryan and we all teamed up with Higgo, Tony and Ritchie on the Garrison. We ventured deep into the pines, but as we approached the pine to where the activity was earlier, 20 minutes ago, there was no sign of anything. Crap! Was it an owl they had been mobbing? It was decided to shake the tree. Bryan did the honours, and there, I saw a movement half way up and out came a bloody cat!! Everyone took the piss with Higgo joking about pussies, Scops Cat and the one that we all laughed out at the loudest, because it was a joke, 'I've seen a Scops Owl this year on Scilly' Is that so, then why are you up here looking around in the pines in this crap weather?
  I was thinking later, that maybe it was a Scops Owl, the birds that were mobbing did there job, by moving it on. Then the cat climbed the tree and replaced the owl. Or maybe in the 20 minutes that I was gone, the cat could of eaten the owl!?

Both Willow Warbler and Pied Flycatcher were busy mobbing a cat

The pair of Stonechat on the Garrison were busy feeding their second brood

  As we drove past the entrance of Star Castle, I shouted 'What's that?' I could clearly see it was a plane, a bloody big one, flying lower and lower over The Roads and approaching St Mary's airfield from the north. It's going to land' Big Al shouted. I came back with 'No it's not' Bryan noted 'It's got it's undercarriage out' It had, but there was no way that a small jumbo jet was going to land on the tiny airfield of St Mary's. It almost touched the ground, but it just buzzed the airport and was soon gaining height and was lost in the low cloud. Tony had a Ruff on the airfield yesterday. If that Ruff was still there today, then the plane would of scared the living daylights out of the poor thing and it was more than likely sucked up into one of the 4 engines. I carried on driving and as I drove a little too close to the side for Higgo's liking, and with the window down, he got a cob full of bush in his mouth. Most guys would like that, but Higgo spat it out as quick as it went in. I guess it wasn't wet or dirty enough for him.

Look at the size of that thing!! This 90 seater aircraft just buzzed the airport, but the Ruff probably shit itself when this came towards it at over 100 miles an hour!

This ones for Geoff Barter, who put this great song on his wall on FB recently. John Prine singing 'Sweet Revenge' from his third LP of the same title. On this album there are some of the best cats around who have also played with David Bowie, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, JJ Cale, Bee Gees, Roy Orbison, Boy George, Boy George? and even the late Amy Winehouse. One of them, Reggie Young, who I was fortunate to meet, used to play in the band, Bill's Black Combo Band. Who are they? They opened for the Beetles during their first U.S. tour in 1964. He's also the lead guitarists to Elvis Presley's 'Suspicious Minds' I bet you didn't know that?  The amazing late Steve Goodman also played guitar and backing vocals and both Prine and Goodman were discovered by Kris Kristofferson.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

30 Cory's off Deep Point

Golden Plover at the golf course

  I did a few sights for a couple of hours today for the first time in 2 months and got a total of 9 Pied Flycatcher. All singles except for 4 together on the Garrison. A Spotted Flycatcher was at Lower Moors, 7 Swift over town and singles of Willow Warbler at a number of sites. There were up to 3 Green and 2 Common Sandpiper at Porth Hellick.

Up to 4 Pied Flycatcher were on the Dead Pine Walk, Garrison

Up to 7 Swift were above Hugh Town

2 Stonechat were also on the Garrison

Still families of Swallow around

Reed Warbler at Lower Moors

This smart Golden Plover was being pushed all over the shop by the golfers

Up to 3 Green and 2 Common Sandpiper were at Porth Hellick

A pair of Tufted Duck have been at Porth Hellick for a few days

A few days ago, I set off in my canoe from St Mary's to Samson. Here there were 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 10 Little Egret, 90+Sanderling and 1 Dunlin. I moved onto Tresco and found a single Ruff, 3 Green and 2 Common Sandpiper, 10 Redshank and 20 Greenshank. I was only on there for over an hour and tried to make it to St Martins, but it was getting dark, and from Pentle Bay I made my way back to Porthloo on St Mary's. 

Appletree Bay, Tresco

Looking towards Round Island

Looking towards Samson

Looking from Porthloo towards samson

On the 3rd August, 120 Cory's Shearwater were seen from Horse Point, St Agnes, in an hour. So at 19.30, in F5 SW, Robin and I gave it an hour at Deep Point and was rewarded with 30 Cory's, 2 very close Great, 1 Sooty and Balearic Shearwater and a single Great Skua. The following evening Higgo joined and in an hour the only bird of note was a single Sooty Shearwater.

Great stuff from Pearl Jam 'No way' live!