Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Rose-breasted Grosbeak!...

At about 1230 hrs, I received the following text from my landlady, Karen Johnson - Unusual bird alert.... Looks like a sparrow but larger. Speckled breast with white stripes over head and orange patches around throat????? I have photos - this sounded very interesting indeed, i.e. like a Rose-breasted Grosbeak! But I needed to see those pictures! Maybe I'm getting old but I detest these smart phones and being the proud owner of a Nokia 3310, I wasn't going to see them anytime soon! Eventually, Karen sent the best image to a work colleague. Below is the image that popped up!!!

Photo by Karen Johnson from iPhone
Obviously, I raced home but the bird had gone missing. About an hour later, it returned briefly, and I managed to get some record video footage (below).

Monday, 10 December 2012

Dusky Warbler...

I was fortunate to bump into a Dusky warbler today while walking along the nature trail at Lower Moors. At about 1530 hrs, I thought I heard the distinctive 'tac' of a Dusky Warbler, but it was distant and there was so much noise emanating from the airfield, that I almost gave up! Having found at least 7 of these before, it was only the hope of sound recording it that bolstered my determination to relocate it (not really, but that's what it felt like!).

After what seemed like an eternity, it started calling again and eventually gave views down to a few feet. Unfortunately, I only managed to acquire some record video footage as I was fumbling around with my sound recording gear at the time!

Almost an hour later, the airfield quietened down and the Dusky just wouldn't stop calling!

Thursday, 29 November 2012


At least 6 birds were on St Mary's today and all proved to be very obliging. Two birds were filmed and sound-recorded by the Health Centre (below).

Tuesday, 27 November 2012


One of two vocal Firecrests in Lower Moors this afternoon.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Vocal Yellow-browed Warbler...

While walking past the Lifeboat slipway, I heard a Yellow-browed Warbler calling. In fact it continued to call for about 30 minutes, enabling me to sound-record it. Oddly, there was sometimes an additional note included with the typical 'tseeooeet' call (see sonogram below and listen to call via player).

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Aren't sounds brilliant!

Having recently acquired sound recording equipment (unfortunately too late to record the much debated Dump Clump Yellow-browed Warbler, or to attempt the putative Syke's Warbler) Bob and I are making our first forays into a more detailed appreciation of bird vocalizations - sonograms. It was pleasing therefore, to record a group of Common Crossbill in the pine belt at Trenoweth and confidently assign them to type: Type C or Glip Crossbill (see sonogram below).

Friday, 21 September 2012

Catch up...

Q: Why no blogging?
A: Full steam ahead on the Pterodroma guide; almost to the exclusion of eveything else!
However, here's some footage of events since the last posting...
  Footage of the stunning juvenile Short-billed Dowitcher on Tresco (above and below):

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

More RTP and Wood Sand...

Here's some more footage of the stunning (presumed) male Red-throated Pipit at Carn Friars.

Below is footage of an adult Wood Sandpiper filmed on the small pool behind the dump (the pool made famous by the triple whammy of Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper and Northern Waterthrush feeding within a few feet of each other!).

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Blast from the past...

Nearctic Gulls

Laughing Gulls

The footage bellow shows four individuals (two adult winters and two first-winters) filmed at Porth Low in November 2005. Their occurrence was a result of hurricane Wilma that brought a record influx of Laughing Gulls into the UK [c. 60, plus 6 Franklin’s Gull’s]. These birds constitute the fifth record [8 birds] for Scilly.

Franklin’s Gull

Surprisingly, this first-winter bird from March 2004 represents the first record of Franklin’s Gull for Scilly. It was found on the scrape at Lower Moors on the 11th during a period of gale force south-easterly winds, gusting up to 70 mph. The following day, it moved to Old Town Bay where the footage below was taken. It was not seen again until it was relocated at Radipole Lake, Dorset on the 16th!

Bonaparte’s Gull

This first-winter Bonaparte’s Gull is only the second to be recorded in Scilly. It was found in Porthcressa Bay on December 7th 2006, and was usually be found at Porth Low at high tide (where filmed). It stayed until mid-February 2007.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Northern Waterthrush...

Some footage of the Northern Waterthrush taken today on pools near the pumping station at the rear of Shooters Pool, Lower Moors. Keep watching as the footage gets better towards the end... It is also much better if watched in HD.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Blast from the past...

Sociable Plover, October 2008

Some record footage of this most unexpected first for Scilly. Filmed here in the standing stones field at Lower Moors and at Telegraph, opposite Porth Low Lane.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Dump Gulls...

Iceland Gulls at the dump

Juvenile (left) and second winter
Above and below: Second winter

Friday, 20 January 2012

Addendum to Storm-petrels and Bulwer's Petrel...

As mentioned in Storm-petrels & Bulwer's Petrel (p 125) a number of extralimital records of Bulwer's Petrel were under review of the respective national committee. We recently heard from Dick Groenendijk, Chairman of CDNA in the Netherlands, the decision about the famous Westplaat petrel. After lengthy discussions, and consultation with experts, the petrel was finally rejected as Bulwers Petrel and the species is therefore removed from the Dutch Avifaunal list. Photos of the bird in question can be found at:


Thursday, 19 January 2012

More praise for Multimedia ID Guide...

In the latest issue of the journal Seabird, former BBRC member John Martin reviews our Multimedia ID Guide: Storm-petrels & Bulwer's Petrel. As many of you will be aware, John found the fregetta storm-petrel in the Severn Estuary 25 November 2009. To read John's review Click here

To read more comments/reviews Click here