American lesser scaup on Isles of Scilly

This video from from Wales says about itself:

Lesser Scaup, Cosmeston, 21 February 2012

This very fine drake Lesser Scaup has been returning to the Cardiff area for a number of years but this was the first time I’d gone for it, calling in on the way back from the Common Yellowthroat. It showed very well for me but the light was awkward and fading fast.

Are round the lesser scaup in this video swim tufted ducks.

From the Rare Bird Network in Britain today, on Twitter:

Scilly: LESSER SCAUP 1 drake today on St. Mary’s. At Lower Moors, for second day.

Isles of Scilly seabird news

This video is called Wilson’s Storm-petrel (flock up close), May 2009, Hatteras, USA.

From the Rare Bird Network in Britain, on Twitter today:

Scilly: WILSON’S STORM-PETREL 1 at sea 11 miles south-east of St. Mary’s. Also Great Shearwater 9 & Balearic Shearwater 1.

American great blue heron crosses Atlantic

This video from Britain says about itself:

Great Blue Heron 1W, 5-6 May 2015, Lower Moors, Scilly.

English birds update

This video says about itself:

23 December 2013

A Red-legged Partridge on a wall in Tresco Abbey Gardens, Isles of Scilly.

Gail, from Manchester in England, reports today on Twitter about Martin Mere nature reserve. She saw there 51 bird species, eg, displaying buzzards, red-legged partridge, and two tawny owls.

Baby Manx shearwaters back on Scilly islands

This video from Wales is called Skomer Manx Shearwater Burrow Cam.

From British Birds:

Manx Shearwater chicks seen for first time in living memory on St Agnes and Gugh

Published on 23 September 2014

Manx Shearwater chicks have been seen outside their nest burrows for the first time in living memory on St Agnes and Gugh in the Isles of Scilly following the first year of a project to remove rats.

Although Manx Shearwaters have bred on these two islands for decades, eggs and chicks were always eaten by rats while they were still in their burrows. But last winter the islands’ rats were removed and conservationists are now celebrating the first sightings of healthy youngsters.

So far ten chicks have been recorded by project staff, volunteers and trail cameras. By this time of year the adult shearwaters have already left the chicks to migrate to South America for winter. These chicks, left in a healthy condition by their parents, are now coming outside their burrows at night-time to stretch their wings and to ‘stargaze’. By looking at the stars they learn the location of their natal colony so they know exactly where to come back to.

Once they leave the islands they will live out at sea, moving to the southern hemisphere where they winter off the coast of Brazil. Potentially living up to 55 years, they make these long migrations each year.

RSPB Project Manager, Jaclyn Pearson said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to announce this news. It is down to the help of everyone involved in the project so far, particularly the community of folk living on the islands who continue to keep these islands rat-free. This is an official status we hope to achieve by early 2016. But in the meantime with these 10 Manx Shearwater chicks, the project is having exactly the effect we hoped for. We would also thank our funders LIFE, and the Heritage Lottery Fund for making this work possible.

‘We need everyone’s help who visits St Agnes and Gugh to help us to ensure biosecurity measures. Over the next couple of months we have activities to discourage and remove food sources from any potential rats. There will be beach cleans, bin days and an “Apple Day” where we will remove and juice wind fallen apples. Please do come and get involved if you are visiting the islands.’

Isles of Scilly Seabird Ecologist Vickie Heaney said: ‘For so many years now I’ve been returning to the burrows looking for evidence of chicks fledging, only to find old cobwebs over the entrances and no signs of life. So it’s been really brilliant this year for myself, project staff and volunteers to see live chicks stargazing. With their remnants of fluff, they looked fit and healthy; ready for their awe-inspiring migration.’

David Appleton, adviser for the Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project for Natural England, said: ‘This is excellent news – it’s early stages but we are very hopeful about the bird’s recovery on St Agnes and Gugh. We’ll know more when they return to breed in 2–4 years. In the meantime, everyone is working hard to keep rats off the islands and we’re asking residents and visitors to report any rat sightings to the hotline number and to thoroughly check for “stowaways” on transport to the islands.’

If people think they see rats on either St Agnes or Gugh they are asked to call the project ‘Rat on a rat’ hot-line on 01720 422153. The project team and islanders will then inspect the area and set up surveillance and incursion response measures.

This is a partnership project between RSPB, Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Natural England and Duchy of Cornwall. The project is funded by LIFE, the EU’s programme for financing key environmental schemes across the continent and a £269,100 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Isles of Scilly bird news

This video says about itself:

19 March 2011

On the Canary islands nest approxymately 30 000 pairs of Cory´s shearwaters.

They spend their whole life on the sea and they are fascinating flying artists.

They are daily companions of the whale watching ship “Tina” in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of La Gomera where these photographic report arose.

Every year lots of the Cory´s shearwaters, mostly the young, meet with an accident. During the last six years Bruno Dittrich helped about 100 of them to regain their strength.

From Twitter today:

Isles of Scilly: WILSON’S STORM-PETREL 1, CORY’S SHEARWATER 1 & GREAT SHEARWATER 1 from Scilly Pelagics.

British seabird news

This video from Britain is called Scilly’s seabirds – from daybreak to dusk.

From Wildlife Extra:

Scilly Isles become a rat-free zone to benefit seabirds

The nests of rare seabirds on Scilly will be better protected this year since the successful removal of two of the islands’ rat populations. The Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project (IOSSRP) has not recorded a single rat on either St Agnes or Gugh in the past 20 weeks and everyone is cautiously hopeful that rare nesting seabirds will now be able to flourish free of predation from rats.

Following the world’s largest community-based rat eradication project, the aim is to keep St Agnes and Gugh ‘rat-free’ – a status that can only be officially declared two years after the last sign of rats. The UK is internationally important for seabirds, but many species are declining in numbers. Among the many challenges they face, the greatest land threat is predation of eggs and chicks by brown rats. Of the rich array of seabirds nesting in Scilly, the two that are likely to benefit from the project the most are the Manx shearwater and the storm petrel that nest in holes and burrows.

It was New Zealand island restoration specialists Wildlife Management International Limited (WMIL), that was contracted to carry out the key rat removal phase of the project over five months from November 2013 to March 2014. They were joined by more than 20 ‘Seabird Task Force Volunteers’ during the five month period, and all 85 islanders also assisted in the operation.

Now, the priority will be to prevent rats coming back and enable the seabirds populations to recover. So everyone arriving at the islands is asked to check their baggage for stowaways, and everyone is urged to ‘rat on a rat’, and report any rat sightings to the project team. Islanders will then inspect the area and set up surveillance and incursion response measures.

Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust Manager, Sarah Mason said: “This next phase of the project is now critical and we are pleased to be playing such an important part in what is a ground-breaking project for seabird conservation in the UK. Our work to keep the uninhabited islands rat-free continues, and we are pleased to say that Annet, the most important island for breeding seabirds is currently free of rats.”

Project Manager, Jaclyn Pearson said: “The seabirds are about to return, and already they have a brighter future. When visiting the islands you may see the permanent monitoring stations around the coast of St Agnes and Gugh. They are housing pieces of chocolate wax which is very attractive to rats. So if a rat does arrive on the islands they will gnaw on the chocolate wax, leaving teeth marks which can be detected. These monitoring stations will be checked by the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust team, myself and islanders.

“If there is an incursion, which may also be evident through other rat signs such as droppings, or a sighting of a rat, the response will be to set up a 50m baiting grid in the immediate area.”

St Agnes councillor and community representative Richard McCarthy commented: “The winter rat removal work has gone brilliantly. Despite the dreadful weather Biz Bell of WMIL and her team, plus all the volunteers, marched round the islands checking the bait stations with a cheerful word for everyone and a smile on their faces under their bright orange hats. They’ve done their bit and we’re really sorry to see them go. Now it is over to us. Getting rid of the rats in such a short space of time has been a major triumph. But keeping St Agnes and Gugh rat-free is going to present a considerable challenge for the project team, the Wildlife Trust and islanders at large in the weeks and months ahead.”

Also from Wildlife Extra:

Sound recording to entice puffins back to Ramsey

It is hoped playing a recording of a puffin call on Ramsey Island off the Welsh coast will help entice the puffins back there to breed. To aid their temptation to land on the island there are also a number of decoy puffins.

Puffins fled Ramsey in the 1800s when rats began to arrive in large numbers from shipwrecks. The rats were finally got rid of 14 years ago but since then the RSPB have not been able to entice the birds back.

Although the system was trilled for four weeks last year without success, birds were recorded as making landfall on low tide rocks below the speaker and on one memorable occasion eight birds landed on the cliff tops among the decoys. With the device out for a full season this year it is hoped that this time the birds will like what they see when they land and stay and breed.

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