Saturday 15th October 2011

   Last day, got the tent down and sorted everything out. Had planned to spend most of the day at Lower Moors to see if i could get some more shots, in better light, of the Waterthrush. The hide was full!!!! Oh, well. The Yellowlegs showed well again. Decided to give up and go to the Scillonian Club and watch the second half of the Liverpool vs Man Utd game, before getting ferry back to Penzance.
   Only real decent birds on the ferry for me were Bonxies, probably 8 plus, but one group of 6 together was good.
   Then the drive home. Great week on Scillies, think that may prove that Scillies is still a great place to be in October, even after a few duller years, it was back! Even LGRE made a trip down there this year, must have been good. Cant wait for next year.

Friday 14th October 2011

   Right, my final chance for the Least Sandpiper on Tresco. I had spoken to quite a few birders who had told me about the paths through the reedbed, so you can get closer to the pool. Most of the birders on the boat over had already seen the Least, and so went straight to the Abbey pool for the juvenile Spotted Crake. This was showing really close, so kept them busy for a while. I went off to the Great pool, to see if the bird was there. I went straight to the path through the reedbed, but no sign. Then over the CB came the message that it was there, i just couldnt see it, bugger again!!! I walked around to where the birders were watching it. It then flew farther up the pool, and looked to me like it was right by the pathway, where i had been earlier. I walked around there and got some close shots, at f****** last i thought! Sorry about that, but it was what i thought!

Least Sandpiper

   I then had enough time to go back to the Abbey pool for the Crake. Most of the birders had gone by then and had some great views of that bird too, as you can see.
Spotted Crake

Thursday 13th October 2011

   Woke up to find that we were fog bound! Oh, well lets see what happens. Decided to go to see the Bluethroat at Porth Hellick. When we arrived most of the people were halfway up the hill towards Carn Friars. The bird had shown well a bit earlier, the normal old comment you hear everytime you miss the bird!! As it was the bird then showed fairly close in the Horse fields at Carn Friars. It then disappeared. After about half an hour there was a message on the CB, the Bluethroat had been netted down behind Porth Hellick pool. We had really close in hand views and many pix were taken, not by me though, not too keen on in hand shots of birds! The bird was then released back in the reedbed. While waiting for news on where the Bluethroat had gone, most of the birders went to look at the Wryneck, at the other end of Porth Hellick beach. The bird showed really well, shame about the fog!!!! When they came back out of the reedbed, i asked one of the ringers which way it had gone, and he pointed back to Carn Friars. When we got there it was on the path. Eventually we managed some real close-up shots, through the mist, of it.


Wednesday 12th October 2011

   Back to Tresco again to try to get some shots of the Least Sandpiper. No luck again, this time didnt even see the bird. Did have a Peregrine and the Lesser Yellowlegs. But, disappointing. Better luck next time, huh!

Tuesday 11th October 2011

   While on Tresco on Monday i was told that the Red-breasted Flycatcher in the Parsonage, St Agnes, was NOT one of the usual 1st Winter jobs, but a full summer plumaged male. So today found me on my way to St Agnes and the Parsonage gateway. While there we also saw at least 2 of each Spotted and Pied Flycatchers. Along with quite a few Chiffchaffs and a Willow Warbler, obviously plenty of food there then! Also while there someone told me that the Pectoral Sandpiper was showing really well on the Big pool. So after getting some decent shots of the Flycatchers that was my next stop.

Red-breasted Flycatcher (Male)
I was not disappointed there either, as you can see!
Pectoral Sanpiper

Monday 10th October 2011

   Stayed on St Marys today. To the Rose-coloured Starling again then, as its on the way down the hill. This time managed the photo below.
Rose-coloured Starling
   Then went to the top end of the island, to Maypole, where there was an Upland Sandpiper. The bird showed well, and after getting myself positioned in a decent place along the wall, the bird just kept getting closer and closer, brilliant!! A Merlin flew over while we were there.
Upland Sandpiper
Northern Waterthrush
Then we decided to go down to 'Higgos pool' for the Waterthrush, get there fairly early to get to the front before the crowds. I had been told of people spend 10, 15 and 18 hours looking for this bird, so getting there early sounded a good option. As we walked along the muddy track, we saw the man himself 'Higgo', and asked 'Has it been seen', the answer was 'No'. So, i went to put my tripod down, as someone said 'There it is!' All those stories and there it was within 10 seconds!!!!!! The Lesser Yellowlegs was also there, but no-one took a blind bit of notice of it, shame.

Sunday 9th October 2011

   Decided to go to Tresco today for the juvenile Least Sandpiper. Searched the 2 bays it had been seen in, and then went to the Great pool, where it spends the rest of its time. Sadly, we waited for a long while before another birder said "There is a small wader along the edge of the pool, looks like it!". He was right, but sadly it was too far away to photograph, and time was running out to get the boat back to St Marys. While there we did have a fly over Merlin, but not the photos i wanted. Bugger!!!!!
   Started walking up the hill to the Garrison and decided to pop down to Sally Port to see the juvenile Rose-coloured Starling, not the most photogenic bird ever, as it keep going deep into the bushes and hiding for fairly long periods. Oh well that will have to be for another day!
   No photos for me today.

Saturday 8th October 2011

   Today is the start of my yearly trip to the Isles of Scilly. Sadly, only had a week this year, so made the most of it by starting early Friday evening and getting to Cornwall before first light.
   We started at first light in the A30 layby just west of Drift. Good start it was too, we had at least 2 of the 3 Black Kites which had been around the area for a while. There were also at least 6 Buzzards.
   We then got the Scillonian ferry to St Marys. From the ferry we didnt have too much, but 3+ Manx Shearwaters, Bonxie and 2 Arctic Skuas were the highlights.

   Then onto St Marys, first thing for me was to get the tent up, then decide where to start. The Northern Waterthrush was very tempting, but i knew it would be top of many other peoples lists too. So, i went to Lower Moors and was greeted by very close views of the Lesser Yellowlegs and slightly more distant views of the Wilsons Snipe. As luck would have it, most of the people in the hide soon left and soon after the Wilsons Snipe flew in and fed very close to the hide. What a great start, the Waterthrush can wait a bit!!!!
Wilson's Snipe
Lesser Yellowlegs