Sunday, 9 October 2011

Scillies - 6.10.11

4 of the Med Gulls, the Whinchat and the juv Cuckoo.

Today we went for a walk around the North of St.Mary's but with a strong wind it made it hard work especially as we had by now 5 blistered toes between us! Just beyond Juliet's Garden restaurant I scanned Taylor's Island and found 12 Mediterranean Gulls (1 ad and 11 1st winters) along with 3 Sandwich Terns. The next bird of note was found at Halangy with yet another Whinchat in some brambles. Soon after at Bar Point I heard a "chack" call which made me spin around to find a 1st winter Ring Ouzel sat on top of a bramble bush 10 feet away but before I could lift my bins to have a better look it dropped down into the bracken and despite 10 minutes looking for it it wasn't seen again. A Chiffchaff was at Watermill Cove and then we arrived at Newford Duckpond hoping to see the Yellow-Browed Warbler that had been there for a few days. 4+ Chiffchaff and a Sedge Warbler that was feeding in the leaf litter were seen but the YBW showed 2 hours after we left! While at the duckpond another birder told me he'd seen a Cuckoo in Holy Vale and showed me 2 photos of it and to keep an eye out for it. The Black Kite was seen again over Holy Vale and then we stopped off at the German eaterie on High Lane for a cuppa. After our tea we walked around the corner into Town Lane and what should fly into view but the Cuckoo!! It perched in a dead tree then flew into a field of vines where it sat on top of a post. I put the news out over the radio and managed a couple of photos but I was looking into the sun and through a bramble bush! It then flew off South after a few minutes just before the first birders arrived. At the log I showed Will Wagstaff the photo and he said the last sighting of Cuckoo was at the start of July so a late record indeed! A male Blackcap was near Trewince and at the start of Lower Moors I left Barbara to go back to the hotel and I wandered down to the ISBG hide to have another look at the Snipe sp. This time it was next to a Common Snipe and the colour difference was even more obvious. A male Gadwall was seen from the viewing screen and that was another day over.

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