**MEGA** Northern Mockingbird

There had been a Northern Mockingbird in Exmouth for the last couple of months but with England in lockdown because of Covid 19 it was not possible to travel at that time. The 29/3/2021 was the first date it was legal to travel and so I set off at 4am for Devon. There was only about 10 people there when i arrived at about 7.30 am and the bird was seen fairly quickly in its favoured holly and palm trees.

**MEGA** Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin

Saturday 17/10/2020 and my plan was to drive to South Shields to see a Taiga Flycatcher. I did not want to drive all that way without knowing if the bird was still there so I drove up to Peterborough to wait for news and if it was not seen I was going to go to Norfolk instead. I pulled in to Peterborough services just before 8am and looked for news. I was amazed to see a Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin had been found at Stiffkey in Norfolk. I immediately drove to Stiffkey! I had to park along the coast road and then walk down to the salt marsh. To get a good viewing position involved jumping over a few muddy creeks but fairly soon after arriving the bird was seen. The first twitchable bird for 40 years.

Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin

There was a Pallas’s Warbler nearby.

Pallas’s Warbler
Black Redstart at Holme

Scilly 2020

Not a great start to a week on Scilly when the Scillonian sailing was cancelled due to adverse weather. It meant a couple of extra days in Cornwall. The Saturday was really windy but we were able to go for a few walks and I did see a couple of Chough at Cape Cornwall. The Sunday was very wet so a trip to The Eden Project was the best option.

Godrevy Lighthouse
The Eden Project
St Michael’s Mount
Pendeen Lighthouse

We eventually got to Scilly on Monday after a fairly rough crossing.


It was fairly quiet bird wise to start with, but it livened up bit on Wednesday with a Red-eyed Vireo on St Martin’s and then improved greatly with a nice Black and White Warbler on the Thursday on Tresco. There was also a Swainson’s Thrush on St Mary’s but it proved to be very elusive and I never saw it. Fortunately on the Saturday there was another Swainson’s thrush found on Bryher and I had time to go over and see it before returning to St Mary’s to get the Scillonian back to Penzance.

Swainson’s Thrush on Bryher

As usual it was nice to walk around the Islands.

In these Covid times it was also good to see the scarecrow also had to wear a mask!