UNLIKELY VAGRANT COMMUTES BETWEEN ISLANDS
Towards the end of May the numbers of migrants were getting
less as the spring migration came to a close. Although Golden 0riole
were seen and heard on most islands with Hobby reported regularly
from St. Mary's and St. Martin's. A rare sound on Scilly was of the
Nightingale singing on Lower Moors. Also in song was the male Common
Rosefinch at Sunnyside on 27th. Another European species found that
day was a female Subalpine Warbler on the Garrison. The first Red-necked
Phalarope for eight years was seen from the Scillonian as it neared
St. Mary's on 28th. The Stone Curlew found on St. Agnes on 28th
was seen the next morning on one of the newly cut areas on St. Martin's.
That same day saw an increase in migrants with a Red-backed Shrike on
Tresco, a Short-toed Lark on St Agnes and a Mediterranean Shearwater
in St. Mary's Sound. A female Common Scoter took up residence
in St. Mary's harbour at the end of the month.
The southern influence continued on 30th with a Hone
y Buzzard seen over flying St. Mary's and a Marsh Warbler singing
on St. Agnes. The strangest bird on the islands was the female Chinese
Grosbeak that was first on St. Mary's then St. Agnes. This huge finch
commuted between those islands several times in its four day stay. It is
at best a very unlikely vagrant to western Europe. It was far more likely
to have escaped from a cage on the mainland. Another species often tarred
with the taint of being a possible escape was the male Black-headed
Bunting that was on St. Agnes in early June. At one point the Grosbeak
and the Bunting were feeding together. Although regular every
spring the Hoopoe in early June at Bant's Carn was possibly the
first summertime record on the islands.
A very elusive Paddyfield Warbler was present
at Porth Hellick in the second week of June. This eastern species has only
been recorded on Scilly three times and never before in Spring. Those looking
for this bird on 11th did not see the warbler but did have some consolation
in the form of an adult Night Heron which arrived during the afternoon.
As expected things got a little quieter by mid June apart from a Ring-billed
Gull on St. Mary's and an Osprey arriving on St. Martin's for
a longer stay than is usual. Maybe the Mullet in Great Bay were to its
Strong winds on 21st brought hundreds of Manx Sbearwater
past St. Mary's. With these eight Cory's Shearwater were noted
along with a lone Arctic Skua.
At least twenty three Crossbill were reported
from the islands on 23rd June. This northern finch has occasional boom
years resulting in large numbers all over the mainland with some filtering
down to Scilly. Maybe these few are the fore runners of many more to come.
Back to this issues cover page
Back to the Scilly Up To Date Main Menu