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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Not a good day on Bryher!

The injured Long-eared Owl that I caught on Bryher and if you go by the island vet and 8 shooters, is now believed to have been shot!!

  Last Sunday morning I walked the golf course and saw a pair of Ring Ouzel, 2 Whitethroat, 20 wheatear and the male Dotterel. Earlier I had the singing male Western Bonelli's Warbler opposite 'Nowhere' Old Town. Later at 11.15 I got the boat to Bryher and made my ways to the south end of Samson Hill. It was obvious that birds were coming in with Yellow Wagtail, Whitethroats, lots of Wheatears, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs with hirundines overhead. On Shipmans Head I got a surprise when I came across the injured male Dotterel that I saw only a few hours ago on St Mary's. No doubt pushed off by all the Sunday golfers.
 I was getting text also from St Agnes with a Richard's Pipit Siberian chiffchaff, 2 Turtle Dove and a late Redwing and Ren had a Golden Oriole back on St Mary's at Porthloo
 Totals on Bryher included 8 Whitethroat, 30+Wheatear, 8 each of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, 4 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Yellow Wagtail and Sedge Warbler, 3 Swift, 2 Turtle Dove and 3 Tree Pipit. I missed out on the 4th Scilly record of GREAT-WHITE EGRET while I was on Bryher and before I arrived on the island, a singing male Nightengale.

  However, this was all overshadowed when I discovered Higgo's Long-eared Owl at Popplestones.
The owl was struggling to fly and after ten minutes I had it in my backpack! The wing was badly damaged and I'm no expert and I really didn't want it to be, but I thought maybe by a shotgun! On St Mary's this was confirmed by the vet and later on after seeing the photos of the hole in the wing, 8 shooters all said that it looked like it had been shot. One very experienced shooter over here said that 'It was caused by a gunshot and not a dog, cat, crows, seagulls, hit anythin, it was no doubt a gun!!The hallmarks ring out that it was hit by shotgun pellets!! If this is the case, then it is so sad to think that anyone would shot an owl. However, we have got to remember that it could of been an accident. The police are now investigating into the incident and treating it as a crime!
  One good thing that came out of this, if you can call it that, it had an X-ray and thank goodness no pellets were found in the owl!

The injured Long-eared Owl couldn't fly making it easier for me to catch it

One experienced shooter on Scilly said that the hallmarks ring out that the owl was hit by shotgun pellets. Others shooters also said that it looks like it was shot, as well as the island vet!! But like I said before, it could of been an accident. 

The male Dotterel early morning on the golf course...

And a few hours later I relocated him on Bryher!

2 Turtle Dove

Up to 8 Whitethroat were seen

And 8 willow Warbler

3 Tree Pipit

And 30+Wheatear

Stonechat breeding in good numbers on Bryher

Looking from Bryher towards Tresco and in the distance, St Mary's

The pair of Dotterel were still at the golf course until 6th when the female moved on and left the male with the injured leg with the Golden Plover 

This female Mallard fought of an intruding male after they were tangled with each other for a good five minutes. Her ducklings were always close by while the battle took place between the two adults.

Sunset from Porthloo looking towards Samson

Been listening to St Vincent ever since she started and she has got so much talent. I cannot believe that my mom went to see her live! It's on my bucket list

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Western Bonelli's Warbler at Lower Moors

Will Wagstaff found this male Western Bonelli's Warbler in the Standing Stones field, Lowe Moors today.

   This morning I had a Golden Plover at Telegraph and at the golf course there were 2 Whitethroat and 5 Wheatear. Late morning and Will Wagtaff had found a Western Bonelli's Warbler at the Trench Lane end of Lower Moors. I had a quick look mid-afternoon and saw an interesting Chiffchaff with white underparts that had me going until it showed it's head. I didn't see the Bonelli's but heard it a few times. It was not until I returned a few hours later and this time I observed the Western Bonelli's Warbler for a good hour showing well in the hedge that borders the south side of the Standing Stones field. A late  Merlin also flew through.

My first Golden Plover of the year was at Telegraph

On;y 5 Wheatear were on the golf course

This Western Bonelli's Warbler became a lot more vocal singing in the early evening light

A very interesting Chiffchaff  with white underparts and yellow just before and above the supercilium was also feeding in the same hedge as the bonelli's. It also had yellow stains on it's breast.

  Will scored again this time finding a pair of Dotterel on the golf course. As soon as news broke everyone left the bonelli's but I stayed with it for another 30 minutes and then made my ways up to the golf course with Ren. As usual, they showed very well but unfortunly the male had a badly damaged leg. Despite the injury it continued to feed and Ren and I left for Lower Moors where Tim Short joined us. Open the slats of the ISBG hide and only a few meters away in front of us was the female Little Bittern! We were hoping to see the adult Night Heron leave it's roost at Shooters Pool that was seen by Tim two days . It has been identified as the same adult that Bobby 'Dazzler' Dawson found at Porth Hellick by a gap in the right wing. At 21.15, I picked the heron leaving the Shooters Pool, circled Higgo's pool and then flew across towards us and landed on the scrape with the bittern! It was a cracker and showed well in the fading light. Robin arrived and managed to see it just before it disappeared behind the reeds.

The pair of Dotterel, male on the right, at the golf course this evening

The female Little Bittern was out in the open actively catching fish

And just before dark this cracking adult Night Heron that was first sighted at Porth Hellick a few days ago, joined the bittern on the pool. 

This evening sunset from Porthloo

A lesser known band from Portland, Oregon