Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Scilly's 2010

I had a great week last week on St Agnes, good weather, good to spend the week with my parents and good walking, its just a bit of a shame there were not a huge number of birds about.
We were staying at the Parsonage, St Agnes which was a fantastic location, always a nice starting point as it has such a good track record of rarities. Unfortunately the best bird I had in there was probably a Chiffchaff, ie not great especially considering the Red Eyed Vireo the week before. Ah well we did manage to see some birds, highlights were;

(yt- year tick)
Lapland Bunting
Shag- (yt!)
4 Black Redstarts
4-6 Firecrests
Whooper Swan
Siberian Chiffchaff?
Yellow browed warbler (yt)
Spotted Sandpiper (yt)
Red breasted Flycatcher (yt)
Dusky Warbler (yt)

From the above list you can see that we had a relatively poor haul considering we were birding dawn till dusk most days, 5/6 year ticks in total and one of those was Shag! The RB fly, YBW and Dusky were seen on the final morning too so you could say that rarities were just that... rare!
Still the weather was very nice which made the holiday very pleasant indeed plus there was a keen westerly wind throughout the stay which always made us believe that the biggy may well be round the corner.
The highlights for me were seeing and hearing the Dusky warbler well on the final morning as well as getting the RB fly on call. Bird of the trip however was a male Lapland Bunting, not a year tick but it was a bird which allowed me to get 2 feet away so could really get a very good look at as well as a few photos. Shame we missed the American bittern when we returned but the large scale twitching of a puddle hoping the bird would return seemed pointless!

This shows the possible Tristis Chiffchaff, unfortunately didnt call, looked pretty good for one.

Dad and I did manage 2 moth ticks however! these came in the forms of Red Sward Grass and Cosmopolitan, I must admit its full credit to dad for checking the flowering Ivy every night, amazing how many moths were seen nectaring in comparison to those that made it into the traps.

Its always great to go to the Scilly's, such a fantastic place even if it does seem to be getting less birder friendly. Thanks to my parents for another great trip.

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