Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Big Trip to the Scillies. Part 5, American Pie!

The title of this part of the trip will eventually make sense!

Sunday 17th October.

A Red-eyed Vireo was found on St. Agnes a couple of days previously, and was more showy around the Parsonage, along with a reported Radde's Warbler on Gugh, the day before. So this was the island for the day, taking the 9am boat.

After about a 30 minute wait the Vireo appeared for a short while! Woohoo, lifer number three! When the second wave of birders arrived from the 10:15 boat, I thought it would be a good time to explore he rest of St. Agnes.

Highlights included 3 Lapland Buntings on Wingletang Down, a Marsh Harrier, a Firecrest, a Lapwing (quite a scarcity on Scilly) in a bay near the quay and a Barnacle Goose (don't know of what origin) flying over Annet. The fayre of The Turks Head was sampled for lunch:

You can also get a good view of the Bishop Rock Lighthouse. That's where this country ends folks (well, at this end of the country anyway):

During the afternoon I decided the have another look at the Red-eyed Vireo, which showed even better than in the morning, as did a Pied Flycatcher. I was all set to head back to St. Marys when the Radde's Warbler had been found again on Gugh. Actually I forgot about it!

After about an hour and a half of waiting, and knowing a later returning boat had been arranged by Dick Filby, the Radde's Warbler unfortunately didn't appear. The day's birding was completed by having a look at a Red-throated Diver in Porthcressa Bay.

Monday 18th October.

Let's give this Radde's Warbler another try, so the morning was spent back on Gugh, before the tide covered the sand bar between it and St. Agnes in the early afternoon. But it still didn't show, although I did have a spot of luck when an Owl flew out of a Pittosporum bush.

Binoculars on it, pretty uniform brown on top, no pale trailing edge on the wings. Well I'm happy with that as a Long-eared Owl, cor! It turned out that two other birders saw the LEO on the other side of Gugh, and was seen in St. Agnes during the afternoon.

Speaking of the afternoon, nothing new had been reported on St. Agnes so went back to St. Marys, exploring Penninis Head. The run on Lapland Buntings continued, with two more here:

If you've never done any birding on the Scillies in October before, then it might surprise you to know that a lot of birders carry CB radios with them. They're very useful in order to gain bird news instantly, that the likes of Dick Filby and others will broadcast. I was fortunate enough to borrow one for my stay.

If you're lucky enough to find anything good, you can press a button on the radio and transmit the bird news yourself so that it can be passed around to others. But be warned, if you happen to leave a radio on in your digs, and the button is accidentally transmitting the sound in the background, because the radio is stuck underneath a bag or that kind of thing, then everyone else with a radio can hear you! Otherwise, you may receive a message (or alternatively, a whole load of abuse!) like this:

"So bye bye Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry.........."

No, thankfully it wasn't me!

1 comment:

Kay said...

Haha! It could have been even more embarrassing if he was in the loo or something...

Scillies sounds like a lot of fun Richard.