Saturday, 25 July 2015

Scillonian Crossing & St.Agnes


News of an adult Least Sandpiper on St.Agnes on the evening of the 16th July had me considering going for it , i was offered a lift on the following Saturday but declined the offer for various reasons , however with the bird still showing well and fairly reliably on the Big Pool over that weekend i was becoming more tempted ,   so plans were put in place and a trip was arranged for Tuesday 21st July .

I left home at midnight on the Monday evening and of i went  , i arrived in Penzance in very good time and was soon on board the Scillonian and heading towards the Isle's of Scilly.


The crossing takes the best part of 3 hours on the Scillonian but the bonus is there is plenty of time to do some sea watching and this time of year you have a great chance of seeing some rarer sea birds . 

I saw hundreds of Manx Shearwaters , Fulmars & Gannets plus lesser numbers of Kittiwakes & Lesser Black Backed Gulls however the highlight was a close in Great Shearwater .

Manx Shearwater.

Manx Shearwater.

Great Shearwater Photo taken in 1998.

Sadly i never managed a photo of the Great Shearwater , the above photo is one taken on a pelagic in 1998 .

I eventually arrived on St.Mary's at approx half eleven and i more or less was straight onto another boat to take me to St.Agnes , 15 minutes later i wase on St.Agnes and a quickish walk to the Big pool , no sooner had i set up my scope to scan the pool when the bird came into view  !!!

Adult Least Sandpiper.

And sure enough there it was , a cracking Least Sandpiper which was a lifer for me , i was the only birder there and enjoyed prolonged views of this cracking little wader , it never came very close   but great views through the scope were obtained , here is a selection of the many photos i took .

Bright yellow legs.

Cracking patterned upper parts. 

Getting in a flap.

Breast band.

Least Sandpiper.

I watched the Least Sandpiper which was busily feeding and often preening for a good couple of hours before i had a short walk around the island and well deserved cup of tea in the cafe .

It was great to see so many House Sparrows here plus Song Thrush are quite plentiful to.

Young Song Thrush.

I eventually dragged myself away and was soon back on board the Scillonian heading back to Penzance and then a long drive home .