Our Scilly ‘tour’ was once again full with six of us on the islands for a full week (19th to 25th). Before we had even set of we enjoyed close views of a stunning Red-throated Diver in Penzance Harbour! The sailing over was fairly uneventful with just a single Great Skua and two Arctic Skuas as we neared St Mary’s.
Once off the boat we dropped the bags in the accommodation, quick cup of tea and straight down to Porth Minnick where the long staying BLUE ROCK THRUSH had been relocated. It gave satisfactory ‘scope views’ as it fed between the rocks on the shoreline, but soon flew back towards Penninis Head and out of view. We were lucky to catch up with this bird on a few more occasions through the week and had much better views!
Monday was our first trip off Island and we headed for St Agnes. This turned out to be one of the best days we have had on Scilly with some superb birds and lovely sunshine! Spotted Sandpiper, Red-backed Shrike, Waxwing and a Lapland Bunting were the highlights! After a traditional pint in The Turks Head, we headed back to St Mary’s with enough time to see 2 Spotted Crakes at Lower Moors.
Wednesday saw us all board The Sapphire for a short range pelagic trip in the hope of seeing Grey Phalarope. We weren’t disappointed with up to 30 birds seen on the four hour trip. We also had great views of Sooty Shearwater, Gannet, Common and Med Gulls. The afternoon was spent in the sunshine at Peninnis Head looking for an elusive Dartford Warbler!
A few of our group spent the day on Tresco and caught up with the Isabelline Wheatear at Castle Down!
The following day one of our group found a Blyth’s Reed Warbler at Rosehill. This became a very popular bird with the birders on the island but remained elusive in the high canopy. Other highlights from the week included Jack Snipe, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Warbler, Green-winged Teal, Citrine Wagtail.