My fourth consecutive autumn Scillies, with the Roseveer gang: Laurence Pitcher, Lee Amery, Graham Gordon and ex-pat Paul Cook. A real comparison to the high of last year but thats Scillies for ya! The Scillonian crossing wasnt too bad at all with one or two Great Shearwater (completely new bird for me and calling a nice close bird out was a satisfying way of ticking it), a few Sooty Shearwaters, Pomarine Skua and a Grey Phalerope the highlights. LP and I had a look at the tame and beautiful Ortolan Bunting around Penninis head on st Mary’s before missing the last boat (second year in a row we’ve done this…) to St Agnes and having to pay through the nose with a private trip. Stylish.
A couple of days in and we joined Joe Pender and a boat full of Mary’s birders on a Pelagic, I’m not much of a sea watcher but have always wanted to do a pelagic and with the numbers of Great Shearwaters being seen I was hopeful of some close views. It was basically incredible, with over 100 greats seen as well as many Sooty, manxies a Balearic or two , Bonxies following the boat and amazing Common Dolphin and Minke whale action.
On the way back the boat was followed by this first winter Yellow–Legged Gull, the only Scillies rarity bird I found, The lack of interest from the locals goes to show this species are surely under recorded, but each to their own , do what you like you lucky buggers (I also had a sub adult on st agnes the following day.)
We had a long spell of NW winds and no new birds, however during my stay there was one exciting day for arrivals, LP found a Greenish Warbler (pic below)and then a Red–Throated Pipit in the space of a hour, solid bit of birding that well done mate. Paul Cook picked up a Bluethroat on my last morning, i should add also.
My own finds were limited to a Rosefinch,in the garden of the house on Gugh on the 8th of Oct, the same day as the Greenish and Red-Throated pipit and a Wryneck on the morning of GKG’s Glossy Ibis and Neil wright’s Red-backed Shrike (5th Oct)
My last day held some arrivals also, things like Black Redstarts turned up on cue as well as a Little Bunting, found on Castella by Neil Wright.
I had to cut my trip short by a couple of days due to the weather. at the time this was very disappointing but I’m over it now and looking forward to next year, Gotta take the rough with the smooth etc etc. Still love ya st Agnes.
As i write this I just received news from LP and GKG who are still there , they just found a Grey–Cheeked Thrush, well done friends, well deserved.