Saturday, 11 November 2017

The possible Siberian Oystercatcher form Longipes on the Isles of Scilly 29/10/17.

 Not knowing anything about Siberian Oystercatcher i got a call from Kris Spider Webb informing me that the possible bird was present on Porthloo Beach so i decided to go and have a look . I immediately picked the bird out feeding on the shoreline with about 20 other Oystercatchers ,features of Longipes are said to include a paler browner back longer legs and bill with a nasal grove that runs more than 50% down its length ,more white in the primaries is also said to be a feature.

 Here on the right ,it did appear to be longer legged than the other Oystercatchers and to my eye a slimmer looking bird altogether.

 Although i did not  get any flight shots i did observe it wing stretching as i did with the other Oystercatchers and it did appear to have more white in the primaries .
 In this image the nasal grove looks to exceed 50% of the length of bill.

Like i said i,m no expert on Siberian oystercatcher but hope these images add to the debate.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Isles of Scilly trip report 2017.

The trip got off to a great start when we had two Red Throated Divers in Penzance harbor one of them in full summer plumage,things then got even better when news broke that a Yellow Billed Cuckoo had been found on St Agnes.
When we arrived at St Marys we got straight on the boat to see the Cuckoo ,although it was great to see it unfortunately it was in a bad condition and was taken into care and died that night which took the edge off things somewhat.
We had this fine Little Bunting showing well the same afternoon ,not a bad first day.
The next day on the 21st of October we had really close views of the long staying American Golden Plover on Porthellick beach this was to be the last day it was seen.

On the same beach we had cracking views of this fine Water Pipit .
Seemed to be finding lots to eat .
After hearing news that a male Bluethroat had been found on Bryer we decided to go the next day to see if it was still there ,after waiting nearly two hours there was no sign of it so everyone left apart from my partner Kerry and i after searching the area Kerry picked the bird up flying down the side of a nearby hedgerow ,we put the news out and most people managed to get reasonable views who came over on the boat with us .
While looking for the Bluethroat we had this very showy Yellow Browed Warbler ,
Not often do you get close and prolonged views like this.
Whooper Swans  on Bryer.
On leaving Bryer this  Surf Scoter flew in and landed near the boat it was only the 10th record for Scilly.
 On the 27th Kerry and i decided to go to St Agnes as we fancied a walk around Gugh  as we walked through an area of burnt gorse on the east side dreaming of finding another Bluethroat i noticed a Common Redstart at the far end so we decided to go and sit on some rocks at the north end in the hope that the Redstart would come closer for some photographs.As we sat down to enjoy enjoy a sandwich and a cup of tea i noticed the Redstart  fly up the hill towards us and dart straight into a gorse bush about fifteen yards away ,as i got my camera ready a saw another bird flip out and to my amazement it was an Olive Backed Pipit ,i managed to fire off a few shots before the Redstart chased the bird back down the hill and out of sight ,we put the news out but after searching for another hour and a half we could not relocate it.
 This was the first view i got of the bird as it hopped out from under the gorse ,i had always wished of finding my own Olive Backed Pipit on Scilly ,my wish had finally come true.
 The next day Kerry and i found this Short Eared Owl on Bryer.
 On the 29th i finally got some decent images of the Red Breasted Flycatcher that had been present at Rosehill on St Marys for a couple of days.
 Same bird.
 That afternoon we had great views of Firecrests at Carreg Dhu gardens ,this beauty was one of at least four there.
 On the 31st Viv Strattan found this superb Raddes Warbler at Borough farm St Marys ,it showed incredibly well for the next two days often showing dow to a few feet ,only on the Scillies.




My favorite shot of the Raddes with a cranefly i think.
 I found this very vocal Siberian Chiffchaff at Newford duck pond on the 1st of November.


 Male Siskin .
 Also had this cracking Firecrest at Newford.
 Goldcrest.
 On the 2nd Kriss Spider Webb found this amazingly confiding Hawfinch at Rosehill.

 Superb bird.
 Female Bullfinch a rare bird on Scilly ,the first one i have ever seen on the islands.
 On the last day we had this Water Rail at Lower Moors.
 Saved the best until last ,Finding this Wilsons Snipe at Lower Moors on the last morning was a real buzz ,here showing the underwing pattern .
Showing the diagnostic outertail feather.