Wednesday 16 October 2019

St Martins - Rose-breasted Grosbeak

After the previous  'Keystone Cops' comedy twitch, two days previously, I decided to have another try for better views of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak!? Two favoured locations, the 'Quarry' and the 'Bakers' were on my radar and here's the best from each...

The Quarry , shame it was side-lit...

And at the Bakers, what an incredible underwing :-)

The chocolate cake was pretty incredible too...

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Morning Point, St Mary's - Blue Rock Thrush!!

I put my eggs in one basket today after yesterday's Cuckoo moment, could the same happen again but with the elusive Blue Rock Thrush?? I decided to patiently stake out the section between Morning Point and Woolpack battery... eventually with a couple of seconds of success!

And a second later...

I think it was worth it?

Monday 14 October 2019

Dump clump, St Mary's - Yellow-billed Cuckoo!!

The Dump clump was the place to be today with a Red-breasted Flycatcher present but extremely mobile and elusive. Pride of place however went to the Yellow-billed Cuckoo which was on show once more. I say, 'on show'n but it was up in the canopy often obscured by branches and at an awkward angle. So to spare you the messy images, here's the one and only half decent one...

Certainly in contention for bird of the trip...

The Old Town Red-eyed Vireo had relocated into the churchyard for a finale...

Given what's gone before, not in contention!

Sunday 13 October 2019

Tolls Porth, St Marys - White-rumped Sandpiper!!

The birds keep coming and a White-rumped Sandpiper was first port of call for me today at Toll's Porth, St Marys and another great find by Will Scott! Not a lifer but very welcome Scilly tick!

Loving the life in this sheltered seaweed strewn bay full of seaweed!

 The favoured feeding spot was a patch of mud, not too far away!

It never treated my to any flight views but that distinctive long primary projection, clearly on view.

The rest of the day was spent chasing a mobile,elusive Rose-breasted Grosbeak around on St. Martins. Managed to get a distant view of it but pics will have to wait a couple of days!!

Saturday 12 October 2019

Porthellick, St Mary's - Blue winged Teal once more!

I was hoping for better views of the Blue-winged Teal today and bit more 'Blue' today and whilst there were no complaints about close views, the blue view was always distant!

But, having skulked in the reeds for nearly all it's stay, it paddled across the pool!!

Literally under the hide at one stage!

Having paddled back to the far side, at least I got another glimpse of blue...

As it flew down to the seaward end, and back in the reeds...

Thursday 10 October 2019

Carreg Dhu, St Mary's - Firecrest

Virtually the whole day was spent staking out various location s in Carreg Dhu gardens, hoping for a reappearance of the Swainson's Thrush that Will Scott chanced upon first thing.

The only image of note was one of two Firecrests, showing Ok through bins but a nightmare in vegetation through the viewfinder!

And the Swainson's Thrush was never seen again :-(

Wednesday 9 October 2019

Old Town, St Mary's - Red-eyed Vireo once more!

It would have been rude not to check out the fields adjacent tot he churchyard in Old Town and yes, the Red-eyed Vireo was still there!

Harder work today but worthwhile to catch these moments on the same branch...

Steadily becoming my favourite bird at the moment!

Penninis, St Mary's - Wryneck

Whilst I was attempting to shelter from the heavy rain, I found the leeward side of a large rock. This Wryneck sought the same in a small cave in the rocks!

Eventually sensing it was dry enough to recommence feeding, out he popped!

Business as usual until the next squall?

Penninis, St Mary's - Snow Bunting

Started the day walking to / around Penninis Head and eventually caught up with the Snow Bunting which had been reported earlier...

In one of the fields adjacent to King Edward's Road, not the easiest of locations but faithful to the same spot in between squalls!

It came ridiculously close at times!

Constantly eating the contents of seed pots, as seen below...

I wonder how many tiny seeds are consumed in a day??

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Old Town, St Mary's - Red-eyed Vireo!!

The Blue-winged Teal was the highlight of the day so far but that was about to be eclipsed by news of a rather showy Red-eyed Vireo over by Old Town church. It was getting late in the day and was a bit of a yomp but there was a throng of bins, scopes and cameras pointing up into the elms on arrival...

This would normally be your typical view? But things were about to get a whole lot better!

On the same level rather than being high up in the canopy and emerging into clear view...

Just needing the right turn of the head?


Either of these will do nicely!!

The bar has duly been raised for Red-eyed Vireo, such a showy little stunner...

Porthellick, St Mary's - Blue-winged Teal

My shortest stop on St. Agnes! Ever!! After misguidedly taking the early boat in search of the Blue-winged Pool on the Big Pool, there was a collective groan as the radios announced " Blue-winged Teal on Porthellick Pool"!

Virtually all the early crew took the returning 10.15 boat and we were soon at Porthellick courtesy of a kind soul who had pre-booked a taxi :-)

Showing a little hint of blue...

A bit more...

And then wow!!

No doubt about the credentials of this youngster and I've been 'had' by hybrids before...

The American birds keep coming and a Red-eyed Vireo was about to announce party time!

Monday 7 October 2019

Lower Moors, St Mary's - Yellow-billed Cuckoo!!

Another mega!! A probable Yellow-billed Cuckoo was seen flying inland off Portmellon beach on the 2nd and apart from another tantalising report on the 3rd, it hadn't been pinned down. That all changed yesterday when it was found in sallows at Lower Moors and gave glimpses and reasonable views for many! I managed to get a couple of great 'views' amongst the scrum on the narrow path by the 'Tin Hut' and then from the roadside through a scope but desperately needed some kind of record shot!!

Knowing it had been seen at least twice from the viewing screen at Shooters Pool, I gave this a stake out. I Must have stood there fort a couple of hours when unbelievably, it flew in from the left and briefly landed in the trees directly opposite. Great but distant views were followed by flight and the camera was ready so a few record shots (most were out of focus) were possible. The 100-400mm lens was in use so a bit too distant for anything decent but... this will do!!

Clearly carrying food, I'm still not sure whether this is a stick insect (my first thoughts) or Hawkmoth caterpillar?  Whatever, the yellow bill and plumage features are distantly there to remember the moment!!

Yessssss, second lifer of the trip! Scope views of a Red-throated Pipit still in summer plumage, completed another classic Scilly day!

Sunday 6 October 2019

Lower Moors, St Mary's - Spotted Crake

I'd seen the Spotted Crake at Lower Moors in rain and near darkness the previous evening not a chance of recording the event! Today however, talk about giving itself up, you were more likely to tread on it than photograph it as it was soooooo close!

Eventually by backing along the boardwalk, a few pics became possible! Perched up after a wash...

Then back under everyone's feet again!

Wandering about the shallow ditch without a care in the world!

Always nice to have the bird walking towards you!

Almost monotonous after a while!

My first tickable views of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo were achieved too, to be written up in the next post... A flyover Honey Buzzard late afternoon completed a brilliant day!