Sunday, 28 October 2012


Al did a bit of networking and got us onto a 'locals only' trip out to the summer bird reserve island of Annet.

The team assemble early to beat the tourists who'll be down at the quay later on for the 10.15am boats to the various outer islands but not Annet.
As we leave port a flock of new in Whooper Swans give us a flyover...

We approach Annet and things are not looking good for a landing as the Atlantic swell races in, creating 20ft high waves between St.Agnes and our destination.

This is as close as Dave our boatmen dare go, so we grip a flyover Marsh Harrier and set sail for St.Agnes instead. Maybe next year?

The nearest English pub to New York and home to several real nice ales and a dam fine pasty which unbeknown to us have all been pre ordered by an old dears tour thats due to arrive later.
First bird on the island a very obliging Richard's Pipit near the Big Pool.

We spend a few hours on each island St.Agnes where I get Dic's Pipit, YBW, RBF, Pied Fly but no sign of yesterdays Booted Warbler. And Gugh where I see 2 Woodlarks a new Scilly bird for me and another? flyover Dic's Pipit.

Big Al retreats as the tide is still falling on the Gugh sandbar, who knows what's lurking in the pittosporram bushes in the distance. A Radde's Warbler the very next day!

In the legendary Parsonage there's a showy Yellow browed a flighty Red breasted Fly and a novelty tick with one of a small flock of 'Irish' Coal Tits.

These Irish imports are distinguished by their yellowy ear coverts apparently (future split?) This one as you can see has already been clamped.
Home Dave and don't spare the horsepower.



After what seems like an age, well 5 years to be exact I've once again succumbed to the lure of The Scilly Isles and placed myself in 'The Zone' so to speak.
2007 was truly forgettable for reasons I'm not going to remind myself of...a case of if only??
Anyway in the zone I am and in a tent I am. At the ripe old age of fifty something I decided to try and relive bygone days in the hope Scilly would do the same. 1981 was my first ever 'under canvas' Scilly and what megas it delivered...NIGHTHAWK and ORPHEAN WARBLER with a supporting cast of Booted Warbler, Ortolan, Pink Stink, Melodious Warbler, Grotfinch, Barred Warbler, RBF, Arctic Warbler, Spotted Crake, Barn Owl (what a Scillies tick), Bean Goose, Black Duck, YBW, Firecrest, Lap and Snow Bunts, Wryneck and a Golden Oriole plus loads of common migrants.

Mr Wizzal and Groucho play pass the loo roll to break the monotony

The only Wryneck in 10 days!! watched and photographed at Porth Minnick

Holy Vale a shadow of its former self, one 'heard' Yellow browed Warbler was all it could muster.

Things were not as bad as I'm implying there was still a few padders to be had such as..American Golden Plover, Short toed Lark, Pink Stink and a skulking Solitary Sandpiper. On the night of the 16th (birthday boy) we were hit by an Atlantic depression that had swept across in the required minimum of days. The 17th dawned with a trio of Ring-necked Ducks on Porthellick fresh in from the USA...great everybody thought this is the starter for the main course to be found later...we're still bloody waiting !!

There was one sort of decent bird that lurked in the Dump Clump and tested the birding skills (or lack off) in the shape of a presumed Hume's Warbler, incredibly only the 3rd ever on Scilly.

Getting down to some dirty listing, the number of  'birders' who ticked off Chiffy and bog standard YBW remains unclear. All good clean fun though I'm surprised no one claimed a Waterthrush!

The RN Duck trio still a bit flighty!

To pass the time waiting for the mega I indulged in a spot of wildlife listing..

Black Rabbit, Red Admiral, Painted Lady and the most friendliest Black bird I've ever shared a tent with.

more to follow including our ill fated expedition to Annet.