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Post Info TOPIC: Scilly 2010

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RE: Scilly 2010

Well back myself nowcry.gif I have heard tales that the Isles of Scilly have had their day, well not for me, had an excellent week. Perhaps I am getting older ( in fact its my birthday on thursday ) but I prefer the quite island of St Agnes.

Self found birds of the week were Yellow-browed warbler, Ring Ouzel, Firecrest, Snow Bunting.

The Tundra Peregrine was interesting and posed interesting debate, as did a Tundra Ringed Plover on Periglis beach,scanned that one from my breakfast table. In fact had 30+ species from the breakfast table.

The best was eating a full english watching a Marsh Harrier on Annet.

Also spent all week checking out every Meadow Pipit and Rock Pipit, both species often seen next to each other on the seaweed in Periglis bay. To come home and see Ian;s excellent article goes to show we are on the same thread, go to see birds but really look at them it pays off.

The day out to St Martins for the RED- FLANKED BLUETAIL involved a pint in the Turks waiting for the boat, and a celebratory pint on returnbiggrin.gif

I prefer the St Agnes bird log, a much quiter affair than St Marys, where only on the Scillies can you get gripped off by a higher count of Moorhen, 4 been a high countsmile.gif

Lapland Bunting down to 2ft roosts of 180 Oystercatchers 250 Shags. amongst others,

A place that I love and will always enjoy.

Keep birding


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I don't like to say how many years I've been going but for well over half a century...purely birding, only 26 consecutive years...

Judith Smith __________________________________ Lightshaw hall Flash is sacrosanct - NO paths please!

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Judith, nice to catch up with you on Scilly again.

On a rough count about 30 to 35 birders saw the Eleanora's Falcon over 5 days or so, unfortunately never more than 3 or 4 at a time and sadly no photographic evidence (esp the under wing pattern) was obtained.

The Grey-cheeked Thrush was only seen by 6 of us, who'd stayed behind for the "fish and chip" experience, late afternoon on St Martin's.

The opportunity to visit both Annet and Samson, the fabulous weather (both for delivering birds and a sun tan), the superb range of birds and the general feeling of friendly cooperation between birders made this the best Scilly season for a good few years, in my humble opinion.

See you there next year - it'll be my 20th consecutive October visit


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Just returned from my annual migration to the Isles of Scilly, where I left several other Manchester birders. It was an above-average year this year, with fantastic weather after strong easterlies on 9th-10th which brought a good selection of birds in. Black-eared Wheatear was a new British tick for me. I didn't rush to the other end of St Mary's for the Pied Wheatear a day or so later as I'd had excellent views of one on Bryher in 2006. On the airport, there was an American Golden Plover, Buff-breasted Sandpiper and Dotterel - all stayed around a few days. I picked up a Convolvulus Hawk Moth caterpillar on 10th which was welcome proof of breeding there.
Lots of Wrynecks and Ring Ouzels this year, so easy to see, and there were the usual high numbers of Firecrests. Red-breasted Flycatchers and Yellow-browed Warblers, Black Redstarts and Jack Snipe - Scilly is perhaps the best place in the country to see this latter species at close quarters without flushing, from the hides. A Storm Petrel was found on the steps of John Headon's flat and it was great to see it in the hand before release at night by Will Wagstaff, one of the resident birders. Both Icterine and Melodious Warblers were on view - normally we are too late for these - and a Subalpine Warbler graced the islands for the whole of my visit. Highlight for me was the Red-flanked Bluetail, which I missed a few years ago - this was a little stunner, posing beautifully, and staying around for at least 3 days.
Wildfowl were in rather short supply as far as ducks were concerned, but I saw both light and dark bellied Brents, Pinkfeet, Spoonbill, Red-throated and GN Divers (2 of each), and Common Scoter.
I missed the possible Eleanora's Falcon - that was just a matter of luck - but had good views of a Tundra race of Peregrine - very white on the head and possibly a first for the UK as it's a migrant. Other raptors were Hen and Marsh Harrier, but I missed Hobby and Merlin this year.
Pipits seen included Tawny and Richard's but on OBP was a one-day only bird, as was a Pallas' Warbler and a Grey-cheeked Thrush. I also missed the Water Pipit. A Red-eyed Vireo was at the Parsonage, St Agnes - a favourite place for this Yankee, and Dartford Warbler there was a new addition to my Scilly list.
Lapland, Little and Snow Buntings, Hawfinch and Crossbills were amongst the northern visitors ticked off - not surprising given this winter's trend so far. I managed to get good photos of a female Great Spotted Woodpecker - a very rare visitor for Scilly, where Magpies, Jays, L-t and Coal Tits are all description birds.
The quinoa fields attracted lots of Chaffinches with occasional Bramblings and a Rosefinch. A Serin appeared on my last day but although I was in the right place, it didn't settle down.
Amongst the common migrants, there were still plenty of Swallows and House Martins, many Pied and Spotted Flycatchers the first week, and all the commoner warblers (Chiffchaffs calling everywhere) although Reed Warblers are usually not in reeds in Scilly! Med Gulls were easy to see, and a Razorbill in one of the bays was a welcome tip for one who doesn't venture onto the pelagic trips (not that these brought up anything special this year).
All these birds concentrated into the relatively small land area of the islands - the largest island is only 3 miles across - you never know what's round the corner - and walking is the only way to cover it so it's a "green" holiday even if your legs do ache at the end of every day! And on the rare occasions when it's quiet birdwise, the islands are really beautiful with stunning silver sand beaches, turquoise seas and a balmy climate. OK - it's expensive, but there's an excellent campsite if you want to do it on the cheap. My list for the holiday closed at 120 - not as high as I've had - there were quite a few I should have caught up with but the legs wore out! CB and pager communication, run by Dick Filby and Rob Lambert, means you miss nothing - boats are laid on if a mega turns up on the off-islands during the day- and there's a log each night at the Scillonian Club.
Now all I have to do is to book for next year...

-- Edited by Judith Smith on Monday 25th of October 2010 10:14:00 PM

Judith Smith __________________________________ Lightshaw hall Flash is sacrosanct - NO paths please!
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