Friday, 21 October 2011

Scarlet fever

This first winter Scarlet Tanager was originally found by Dave Lewis and Matt Southam on Thursday as it fed in the pear tree in the garden of Grey Gables House, St Levan.  They saw it four times over a couple hours as it fed on pears in the upper canopy.  They must have had stunning views as the pear tree is only 15 yards from the road!  In contrast, about thirty of us this morning had to sweat it out until  just before 10 o'clock before the shout went out.  A brisk run up the hill and we managed to see it at about 60 yards distance on top of the elm trees, for about three minutes.  It moved along the tree tops a couple times before disappearing somewhere near the house.  That was the only good view afforded all day.  I didn't expect this bird to be so elusive.  The shot below is the only decent one I could manage.  About 100 or so more birders appeared during the morning and as far as I know, didn't connect.

This bird is the second record for mainland Cornwall, the first being some thirty years ago in nearby Nanquidno valley.  This was a first year male, found by Brian Mellow (11th Oct 1981)  and independently seen later by a crew from Wales. 

There are four other records in Britain, the first being a first year male on St. Mary's, Scilly Oct 1970.  Another first year male appeared on Tresco in Sept 1975.  The third record was the Nanquidno bird in 1981 and the fourth was a first year female at Porthellick, St Marys in Oct 1982.

1 comment:

  1. More than a record shot I would say. The right man got the shot, well done wish I was there.