Isles of Scilly

October 2017

All photographs copyright Paul Gale Bird Photography

With very strong winds forecast for the Saturday, we got the Scillonian over on the Friday morning. News comes over that there's a yellow-billed cuckoo on St Agnes, so we get the boat over. The cuckoo has flown across the Atlantic and has no food source on Agnes, so it's not in good shape. In fact it's taken into care later that day and doesn't survive, but that's the nature of bird migration, and a factor in the biospeciation and biogeography of birds. Next day is very windy. I can hardly hold the camera still to photograph the American Golden Plover on Porth Hellick beach. Later on the Saturday news comes over of a Leach's petrel close in by the harbour. I get some distant photos. On the Tuesday we go over to Bryher, there's a Whooper swan with three cygnets on the pool by the Hell Bay hotel. I get some nice views of Bar-tailed Godwits on the beach on Bryher. Wednesday we do a pelagic, getting some close views of two Spoonbills and flock of Common Scoters before heading north. A good selection of sea birds is seen inclduing Manx and Sooty Shearwaters, great skua, a possible pomarine skua, all three auks, and a great northern diver between the islands on return. In addition we see a Portuguese Man-of-War. Thursday we go back to St Agnes. On the way from Holy Vale, there's a Melodious warbler. On the Friday, we do another boat trip to see a Surf Scoter near Tresco. We also see Merlin, Buzzard and a Common Scoter. I disembark on St Martin's. It's warm and sunny and a wren is sunning itself. There's a black redstart. On the way to Lower Town, I see a Hawfinch on the road, it's very approachable. On the Saturday morning, there's a yellow-browed warbler and red-breasted flycatcher in Lower Moors. On the boat back we get distant views of a drake Long-tailed duck. Arriving back at Penzance harbour there's a murmuration of Starlings.

American Golden Plover Bar-tailed Godwit Black Redstart
Buzzard Chiffchaff Common Scoter
Curlew Gannet Great black-backed Gull
Great Skua Great Northern Diver Guillemot
Hawfinch Heron Isles of Scilly Speckled Wood
Kittiwake Leach's Petrel Long-tailed Duck
     
Manx Shearwater  Melodious Warbler  Merlin 
     
Mushrooms on St Martin's  Portuguese Man-of-War  Pomarine Skua 
     
Puffin  Razorbill  Red-breasted Flycatcher 
     
Shag  Siskin  Shellduck 
     
Sooty Shearwater  Spoonbill  Spotted Flycatcher 
     
Surf Scoter  Starling  Whooper Swan 
     
Water Pipit  Yellow-browed Warbler  Yellow-billed Cuckoo 
     
Wilson's Snipe  Wren   

 

   
Hell Bay Bryher and some photos of the Beach St Mary's round from Water Mill Cove 
   
St Martin's  Starling Mumuration over Penzance from the Scillonian 

 

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