Thursday, 20 October 2011

Sometimes its worth it?

We left early Tuesday morning to go to Scilly, arriving in Penzance at 8.30 and then flying to Tresco (this was the only way to the islands that early). Saw a Bonxie from the Helicopter as well as many Gannets.

On the boat from Tresco to St Mary's we had Little Egret and two Spoonbill.

We got to St Mary's and out of the guesthouse by around 11am and then headed straight to Lower Moors for our first target bird. We got to the board walk and saw a small flock of Swallows passing through.

At the hide we didn't have to wait long before my first lifer the Wilson's Snipe walked into view.

Some Common Snipe then joined the Wilson's and it was great to get the comparison here you can clearly see how much greyer the Wilson's is next to the Common.

We left the hide and Philip and Adam had gone ahead when a House Martin flew over and a few Chiffchaff were in the bushes with a couple of Goldcrest.

We took a track that had been opened up for birders called Sunnyside Farm Trail, up here we had fly over Siskin but the bushes were alive with Blackbirds, Dunnocks, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and a new Scilly bird for me a Brambling.

We continued heading for Borough Farm seeing a Sparrowhawk along the way. Upon arrival at Borough Farm we were told that there had been no sign of the Upland Sandpiper so we started searching all the nearby fields. After 20mins or so, news of possibly two Olive-backed Pipits just down the road had us heading in that direction.

I stopped at the top the hill looking down onto other birders whom were looking along the road below, it wasn't long before I spotted one up a tree and watched as it dropped down into the field next to the second Olive-backed Pipit.

Both Pipits flew over the hedge into the next field where we then went around for a better look.

The masses soon gathered as with all new rarities on Scilly.

We then got very wet in a terrible down poor and walked back up to try to relocate the Upland Sandpiper and with luck as Adam possibly flushed it out from a roadside bush. My second lifer of the day then showed well as it darted between the bulb rows, but it never sat still which proved ark ward for getting many pictures of it.

After this we had only one target bird left and this was to be looked for in the evening so had a little time to kill on the way. We popped into Carreg Dhu gardens where we had great views of a couple of Firecrests and just as we left the gardens news of a Red-throated Pipit at Longstones had us going back up the track.

We arrived to find that the Pipit was in a field that had limited viewing but eventually we were able to see the Red-throated Pipit in amongst the Meadow Pipits.

After this we headed for the dump and on the way at Lower Moors came across a mixed flock of Warblers which had Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, a single Willow Warbler and a Yellow-browed Warbler.

We then got to the dump and follow the instructions to the pool behind it and waited for the Northern Waterthrush to appear. We had a brief moment of excitement as a Grey Wagtail flew onto the pool, and this was our only moment of excitement during the 2.5 hours that we waited.

The not seeing of the Waterthrush left us only one option and this was get up early, so the next morning we walked back to the pool in moonlight and got into position. 50mins passed and only glimpsing a Kingfisher behind me I had given up hope that we would see the Waterthrush and was now looking forward to breakfast when all of a sudden a bird called that I didn't recognise it was the Northern Waterthrush.

It the slowly came onto the pool and showed really well for ten minutes before flying off.

We then went back for breakfast and packed our things and headed out again taking the 'long way' to the airport.

We walked through the town and I found a Black Redstart on Porth Mellon beach. We then walked through past the dump and into Old Town where a Rock Pipit sat on the beach. We then headed out past the Tolman Cafe and to the back of the Airfield along here we had our second Black Redstart and two Wheatear, Philip and I had a brief Stonechat.

We then had a quick look for a Wryneck with no joy so went and watched a Bluethroat at Porth Hellick.

After this we saw 7 Greenshank and a flyover Redshank before flying back to Lands End. So in just over 24hrs I saw a total of 69 species, three of which were lifers.

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