Thursday, 11 October 2012

2012 finally kicks in

* Self-Found Melodious Warbler finally brings 2012 to life!
* Other Migrants on Scillies include Yellow-Browed Warbler, Ring Ouzel and Pied Flycatcher
* Quiet Scillonian crossings still bring some good sightings

Took two weeks off work and headed to the Isles of Scilly for a few days. Unlike recent trips to Shetland, which I have had to book many months in advance, camping on the Scillies can be booked a day in advance, so I had no real excuses that the weather was all wrong! Having said that, a Low Pressure that I had intended to piggyback somehow doubled back on itself, and loitered in the Irish Sea for the duration of my stay. This caused North and North West winds throughout, and no doubt reduced the number of East Coast migrants continuing West.

I stayed on St.Agnes, and decided pretty early on that the outlying Isle of Gugh, joined to St.Agnes by a sandbank and cut off at high tide, was the place for me.

And so it proved to be a super venue with a Melodious Warbler found on the first morning making the trip a success for me (any new "self found" bird in the UK is a real highlight for me nowadays). The second day didn't quite match the first with a Yellow-Browed Warbler the stand out bird. There was a good number of Spotted Flycatchers throughout, and other highlights were Ring Ouzel, Pied Flycatcher, along with more common migrants like Whinchat and Yellow Wagtail. I say common, both where firsts for the year for me, but that probably reflects the relatively poor birding year I have had.

Other birds seen well, but found by others were Red-Breasted Flycatcher, Ortolan, and Little Stint, plus a single Greenshank.

Another highlight for me, of the Scillies is the ferry journey. The outward crossing despite the severe winds just days earlier was fairly quiet with just a single Great Skua, and Manx Shearwater the highlights. Kittiwake, Great Northern Diver, and Red Throated Diver being the other highlights. The return crossing was slightly better with a Balearic, and Sooty Shearwater plus 4 Harbour Porpoises.

Photos below:

Linnet, Scillies, Sept 2012 Spotted Flycatcher, Scillies, Sept 2012 Pied Flycatcher, Scillies, Sept 2012

Yellow-Browed Warbler, Scillies, Sept 2012 Yellow-Browed Warbler, Scillies, Sept 2012 Red-Breasted Flycatcher, Scillies, Sept 2012

Wren, Scillies, Sept 2012 Swallow, Scillies, Sept 2012 Song Thrush, Scillies, Sept 2012

Wheatear, Scillies, Sept 2012 House Sparrow, Scillies, Sept 2012 House Sparrow, Scillies, Sept 2012