Saturday 13 November 2010

Scilly Season Part 2..... Mid - week Bonanza !!!!!!!!!!

Water Pipit.

This is the second part of my birding holiday to the Isles of Scilly , i spent Tuesday the 26th Oct. on St Marys and did my usual walk through the " dump clump " and  saw a Swallow fly overhead plus a couple of Chiffchaffs moving through the bushes , i reached the end of the trail and joined a small gathering of birders straining to get a view of a very vocal Yellow-Browed Warbler and after a few minutes it appeared out in the open , quite fantastic to see two wing bars a very obvious supercillium and quite a bright looking individual , quite brilliant to be honest and although i do year tick birds on call as well as on sight this was the first i had seen really well on this trip .

From here i continued to the Old town Church Yard but only added 3 Blackcaps 2 fly over Lesser Redpolls and 2 Goldcrests, i then choose to head off to Lower moors where there had been a Water Pipit reported the day before and these are quite scarce on Scilly plus i needed it for my ever growing year list , on entering the ISBG hide the news was negative , it had flown off half an hour earlier and not been seen since , bother , well i thought i would sit it out for an hour birders came and went and i added Reed Bunting, a male Siskin flew in for a quick drink , a Water Rail put in a brief but good appearance , there were 4 Chiffchaffs showing over the back of the reed bed , and then 3 more birders came into the hide and would you believe the Water Pipit within seconds turned up , here are just some pictures i took of it .

Water Pipit .

Well moving onto Wednesday the 27th , this was by far the best days birding of the trip , news broke the previous evening of a Red-Breasted Flycatcher at the Garrison and even though i tried for it late yesterday evening it had gone to roost , i was back up at the Garrison at around about 9.15 am and it was still there but had just flown out of view , whilst waiting for its re-appearance news broke of a Dusky Warbler at the bottom of Holy Vale , quite a few birders who had already connected with the Flycatcher rushed off which left only a handful of birders me included and after about another 15 minutes the Flycatcher re-appeared , showing its self off in all its glory .

                                                 Red-Breasted Flycatcher.

At one point it hovered in mid air , it was typical flycatcher in behaviour , returning to the same perch each time it went fly catching.

Red-Breasted Flycatcher.

I watched the Flycatcher for another 30 minutes and then headed off towards Porth Loo beach in the hope of connecting with the 3 Pale-Bellied Brent Geese that had been residing there all week and within seconds of arriving their i was soon watching them.

1 of the 3 Pale-Bellied Brent Geese.

I also saw a Black Redstart from this site . From here i got a lift from one of the local birders to Holy vale where the Dusky Warbler had re-appeared when we arrived on site the mass of birders were standing along the trail looking up into the canopy which rather surprised me as i have seen 4 Dusky's before and they have all kept low down in the scrub  and quite skulking , as luck would have it the damn bird flew of out of sight across the field into " Low Scrub " before i got onto it ,  a couple of birders for some reason only known to themselves thought it would be a good idea to go into said field , much to the disdain of everyone else gathered , well after approx 30 minutes the Dusky Warbler re-appeared at the entrance of the trail and proceeded to show well on and off in the top of the canopy , good views were obtained and it also called on and off , sorry no photos , although there are some on various blogs and surf birds .

Well what a start to the day , i decided i would try and go off island to St Agnes to see the Spotted Sandpiper i got to the quay for 2 o'clock and bumped into    Viv Stratton on the boat to St Agnes and we joined forces in the pursuit of the Spotted Sandpiper , on arriving at St Agnes there were quite a few birders waiting to catch the boat back and they informed us that the Sandpiper was showing well and roughly the area it was seen. 

We headed off there and when we reached the area it had been seen we could not locate it so we walked abit further round and almost stood on it as we flushed it by accident , it flew down the beach and called once a single " peet " where as Common sandpipers have a series of short " peets " , and the wing bars on the Spotted were not full length as on Common , we tried to get closer but lost sight of it , we thought it would be a good idea to go for a walk and then return to see if it would re-appear so of we went and on are return we had stunning views of this bird , i will let the photo's tell the story from here .

                                                      Spotted Sandpiper.

If you enlarge the photos you can just see some spotting on the flanks , other birds of note were a Willow Warbler,  6 Swallows and a really smart Ringtail Hen Harrier , well that ends part 2 of my trip to the Scilly , part 3 will cover the last 2 days and my trip home .