Thursday, 3 November 2011

The 2011 Scilly Season. Part 5, the last few days.

Into the final stretch now. The 19th had the first boat to Bryher (also known as "Byrrrr" if you're sat at the Scillonian club bar!) since being on the islands, due to the state of the tides. So that's where I went, albeit leaving at 2:30pm and a couple of hours on Tresco.

Nothing outstandingly rare all day, but Bryher had a dark-bellied Brent Goose on the pool, a Whinchat and a 1st winter Med Gull. The main highlight on Tresco was this Lapland Bunting, on the path near to the Carn Near quay.

Getting rather tired now after about 10 days on my feet, the 20th was a day back on St. Agnes. Again quite productive but without anything spectacular. There was a noticeable influx of Fieldfares today, a flock of 30 flew over the parsonage. So this was at least added to the trip list, as were a Short-eared Owl and a female Merlin.

The final day, the 21st, there wasn't much left on St. Marys to see that hadn't been seen. But there was a Scilly mega in the Carreg Dhu garden, a Treecreeper. There's a first time for everything, and the Treecreeper twitch was on! Which did show during the morning, as did a Yellow-browed Warbler also at Carreg Dhu and 2 Pink-footed Geese over Old Town.

And that was it for this time. A pint in the Bishop and Wolf before the ferry back to Penzance, ended what must be the best birding trip I've ever done in Britain by a mile. It was also rather bizarre to walk into the Bishop and Wolf with this blaring out. Strange what you remember.

But that wasn't quite the end of it. On the 20th a Scarlet Tanager was found on mainland Cornwall, at St. Levan, which was also seen on the morning of the 21st but not since. Seeing as I was in Penzance anyway, it had to be worth a try during the morning of the 22nd.

The birding gods had been incredibly kind whilst on the Scillies, surely this was too much to ask for? Well, over the morning there was no sign of the Tanager at St. Levan at all. Then came birding god's real sting in the tail, when the pager went off "MEGA, Scilly. Scarlet Tanager at Holy Vale"!!!!

Well I presumed it was the same bird, but there is a theory that these are two different birds. A lot of gutted-looking people started leaving St. Levan, it hadn't been seen for over 24 hours anyway. But I just took it as a sign to pack it in and go home.

No comments: