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Some of the more unusual birds that arrived during April were still around in mid May. Up to three Night Herons were still in the Porth Hellick area with one Purple Heron there and another on Tresco. Although all could be difficult to see. One of the Night Herons remained until mid June.

Light winds on 12th May brought a Subalpine Warbler to St. Agnes on 12th with another at Green Farm and then Borough Farm, St. Mary’s on 14th/15th. The southern European influence continued with a Short-toed Lark on Tresco on 13th and a female Marsh Harrier over Tean on 14th. The Iceland Gull that was on St. Agnes on 15th was rather put out of place. This northern species is a scarce winter visitor to the islands most years. More common migrants occurred in mid May with good numbers of Swallows passing the islands. A Blue-headed Wagtail was found on Tresco on 16th with the only Wryneck of the Spring being seen near the Great Pool on 17th. The Goldeneye that was found on Bryher Pool the same day was another winter visitor on its trip back north.

The next few days were rather quiet apart from a Golden Oriole on Tresco. Although Icterine Warblers are regular visitors to the islands in the Autumn the bird that was found on St. Agnes on 26th/27th was the first Spring visitor to the islands. The adult Spoonbill that reached Tresco was only the tenth record for the islands, all since 1940. This bird spent a few days resting beside the Great Pool. The day this bird was found a Marsh Harrier came in over St. Agnes towards St. Mary’s and two Red-backed Shrike were found on St. Mary’s that evening. These could well be the birds that were seen in the Higher Moors/Kitty Down area of St. Mary’s a few days later. The Golden Oriole that was on Tresco on 27th was followed by several on St. Mary’s the next morning with another on St. Martin’s. A Grey-headed Wagtail joined the Spoonbill beside the Great Pool on 28th. A Serin did a typical fly over on early morning of 30th. Also flying in was a Short-toed Lark over Wingletang Down, St. Agnes. Woodchat Shrikes have become almost annual visitors to the islands in Spring but the two that were found on St. Agnes on 30th were the first that had appeared together. At sea a Great Skua passed the islands on 30th with four Great Northern Divers still in the Annet area on 31st.

July began with a Mistle Thrush at Rocky Hill. Although we have many Song Thrush on the islands the Mistle Thrush is still a rare bird on the islands with the majority of records coming from the winter period. The last Short-toed Lark of the Spring was seen on the Airport on 1st and 2nd July. There was a flurry of Golden Oriole on 2nd with singles being noted on Bryher, St. Mary’s and St. Agnes. The second white winged gull of the season following last months Iceland Gull was the Glaucous Gull seen on St. Helen’s on 3rd, and probably from St. Mary’s the next day. An Artic Skua was seen between the islands on 5th. A Nightingale was very elusive at Porth Hellick on evening of 6th. The only Roseate Tern of the year so far was seen near St. Helen’s on 7th. An Osprey was seen flying over Porth Hellick and the Airport on 12th. He 20th saw an increase in numbers of waders gathering at high tide roast. The first of the returning migrants.
The calm weather has meant an increase in numbers of Dolphin and Porpoises seen from the boats and from the shore. There have also been a few Minke and Pilot Whales noted. Most of these from the Scillonian. Basking Sharks have also put in an appearance, some showing very well. Sunfish have also been seen, although in lower numbers. In addition two Leatherbacked Turtles have been seen close to the islands.


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