Sunday, 27 March 2011

Today was a sad day as Polly, the island's Rose-ringed Parakeet was brutally murdered in front of observatory staff by a large female Sparrowhawk. An obituary/song is at the bottom of this post in her memory.

Despite this, many migrants moved through and fed in the island’s vegetated areas throughout the day; a few early arrivals and firsts for the year were also seen. The Hawfinch was again present for his fifth day, and was seen frequently in Ty Pellaf garden during the day. A Ring Ouzel- the first record for the year- was discovered in the plantation, and moved up the mountainside not long after; other thrushes seen during the day included ten Blackbirds, two Song Thrushes and three Redwings. Two Black Redstarts were at either ends of the island, with single birds at the lighthouse and by the abbey. The first Sandwich Tern of the year was seen feeding in Solfach at midday. This is only a day after the earliest ever record in 2009. A Gannet and a few Cormorants were the only other birds at sea. In total, fifty four Wheatears were scattered around the islands coast, with most arriving during the day. A couple Swallows moved through with fifty two Sand Martins whilst nine Willow Warblers, fifty two Chiffchaffs and eight Goldcrests were the only warblers present on the island. A Grey Plover was seen late in the afternoon, calling a few times on the narrows before it flew off down the west side. A Lapland Bunting was also seen.

Stonechat (c) Steve Stansfield
 Hawfinch (c) Steven Stansfield
Northern Wheatears (c) Steven Stansfield
 Cormorant (c) Steven Stansfield
 Grey Seal (c) Steven Stansfield
  Willow Warbler (c) Steven Stansfield
Linnet (c) Steven Stansfield
A Grey Plover made a flying visit (literally) in the afternoon.
A Caloptilia stigmatella was the only moth of note caught during the night.


by Giselle Eagle, Richard Brown, Emyr Roberts and Don McLean

A long, long time ago,
I can still remember how that Parrot used to make me smile.
And I knew without any doubt,
I could put some apples out,
and maybe she’d be happy for a while…

But February made her shiver,
with every flyby the Sprawk delivered.
Bad news on the hillside,
she had nowhere to hide.

I can’t remember if I cried,
when I saw a Sprawk take her for a ride,
but something touched me deep inside,
the day that Polly died


So bye bye Polly, goodbye,
your body wasn’t heavy and the Sprawk took you high,
she’s now on the hillside eating Green Parrot Pie,
singing ‘this is the day that you died,
this is the day that you died’.

Did you give the cage a shove,
to escape into the sky above,
through the open bay window?
And do we believe in Parrot control,
or should we preserve your mortal soul?
It doesn’t matter now that you had a deformed toe.

And we know that you were a silly thing,
‘cos we saw you squawking on the wing,
and so did the Sparrowhawk,
and now you’re all over the floor…

You were a lonely Rose-ringed Parakeet,
with a black lower mandible and scabby feet,
but you looked like a tasty treat,
the day that Polly died

(chorus) repeat to fade


  1. Oh, that is so sad. You have me weeping. :-(

  2. fantastic poem! very sorry to hear of her departure, she will be missed!