Wednesday, 28 September 2011

28th September 2011 St. Marys, Isles of Scilly

Storm Petrel 2 from the Scillonian off Porthgwarra
Greenshank 3
Lesser Yellowlegs 1 juv.
Solitary Sandpiper 1 juv.
Pectoral Sandpiper 1 juv.
Buff-breasted Sandpiper 4 juv.
Swallow c.20
House Martin 1
alba Wagtail c.20
Wryneck 1
Wheatear c.30
Whinchat 3
Chiffchaff c.5
Blackcap 1
Goldcrest 2

 Northern Waterthrush at the Lower Moors Project Pool

 Juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper at the Lower Moors Project Pool

 Peninnis Head viewed from the Airfield
 St. Mary's Harbour viewed from the Airfield

 insula Speckled Wood

 Belladonna Lily near Maypole
 Tresco Abbey from near Telegraph

 Looking towards St. Marys Harbour from near Telegraph

 Buzza Tower from the Scillonian
The Dump Clump from the departing Scillonian

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

27th September 2011 St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly

Balearic Shearwater 1 from Scillonain off Porthgwarra
Sooty Shearwater 2 from Scillonian
Storm Petrel 4 from Scillonian
Bonxie 1 from Scillonian
Black Tern 1 from Scillonian off Penzance
Lesser Yellowlegs 1 juv.
Pectoral Sandpiper 1 juv.
Solitary Sandpiper 1 juv.
Swallow c.15
Chiffchaff c.5

The Lower Moors Project Pool and Hide

 Juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs at the Lower Moors Project Pool

Juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper at the Lower Moors Project Pool 

 Snipe sp. at Lower Moors
Yet another very challenging Wader seen this Autumn although without the excuse of viewing range on this occasion! Seeing a Wilson's Snipe on this very pool on Lower Moors with JFC & ADW back in 1998 and with the only other species of Wader seen at Lower Moors today being Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs and Pectoral Sandpiper this individual was clearly worthy of close scrutiny! Unhelpfully and annoyingly, in the hour or so I watched it, it only raised its wings briefly the once when all I could see was that the axillaries and underwings appeared 'dark grey'. Hence, unfortunately no critical detail was seen re its axillaries or trailing edge. Likewise, unfortunately it raised its wings whilst I was watching it rather than pointing the camera at it. Furthermore, it was not alongside any other Snipe for direct comparison. Looking at what can be seen in the above images and comparing the features with Nils Van Duivendijk's Advanced Bird ID Guide, pro-Wilson's Snipe features would include the dark centres to its mantle feathers (although the extent of the brown patterning to the lower scapulars is of concern being clearly more than shown by the Ouessant bird (Birding World 18: 11)); its head being a warmer brown, and particularly when seen in poor light, contrasting with the rest of its plumage; its virtually solidly black lateral crown stripes (albeit a few brown 'nicks'); well-defined and broad barring on its breast-sides and flanks (dark and pale bars almost of equal width) sharply demarcated against a white background; generally being 'colder' coloured (albeit enhanced in the poorer light when the top 5 images were obtained - note it looks brighter and more colourful in the lower 3 images) with the brown on the underparts restricted to its breast; the tertial patterning fading away slightly towards the base; and its supercilium 'bulging' before its eye. In addition, to me at least, the patterning of its wing-coverts appear a close match to that of the 1998 bird. However, as Common Snipe is such a variable species, without anything like the full suite of characters of Wilson's Snipe being seen, elimination of Common Snipe would seem impossible.

Juvenile Solitary Sandpiper at the Lower Moors Project Pool

Sunday, 25 September 2011

24th September 2011 Loch of Strathbeg

Loch of Strathbeg & St. Combs

Pink-footed Goose c.15,000+ including a leucistic individual
Barnacle Goose 1
Ruff c.20
Greenshank 2
Lapland Bunting 25

Ythan Estuary

Eider c.400
Little Gull 1 juv.
Sanderling 1


Black Scoter 1 adult drake ex.
Velvet Scoter 1 drake
Eider c.1,000

 Pinkfeet leaving their roost at Loch of Strathbeg

Adult Sandhill Crane at Loch of Strathbeg

Adult Sandhill Crane at St. Combs

Sanderling at the Ythan Estuary

 Drake Black Scoter off Blackdog

Drake Common Eider at Blackdog