Wednesday, 30 November 2011

A look back at Scilly October 1985.

Talking to a few birders recently about the Isles of Scilly and what can turn up on the islands.
Back in the 80’s Scilly was a very popular place to be (and still is) for migration and rarities turning up. I first went in 1984 and then subsequently annually for the next 20 years and intermittent from then on.
For quite a few years we went over on the boat “Scillonian III” from Penzance and camped on the garrison on St Marys for the week but after a few years we managed to get a flat (luxury) and had 2 weeks and also we flew over. A 15-minute flight as opposed to a 2½-hour sea trip, although I always enjoyed the sea.
The islands consist of 5 inhabited, St Marys, St Agnes, Tresco, Bryher and St Martins and with many smaller islands.
In 1985, I went over on my own; a few local Oxfordshire birders were already there. I arrived on the 12th October and had a brilliant week.
On the trip over on the Scillonian, we had 2 Pomarine Skuas, 3+ Great Skuas, 2+ Arctic Skuas, a Grey Phalarope and 2 Sooty Shearwaters.
On arriving on St Marys in was time to start rushing around to try to see all that was there.
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Black-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Yellow-browed Warbler all seen within 4 hours of arriving.
October 13th (Tresco)
Spotted Sandpiper, Yellow-browed Warbler (3), Firecrest, Short-toed Lark, Bee-eater, Woodchat Shrike
St Marys, American Golden Plover, Bobolink, Night Heron
14th October
A quieter day but added Parula Warbler to the tally. Then over to Tresco again for an Olive-backed Pipit and a Ring-necked Duck.
15th October, St Marys
Corncrake, Booted Warbler, Lapland Bunting, Red-eyed Vireo, In addition, a supporting cast of Brambling, Yellow-browed Warbler, and Firecrest etc.
16th October, Tresco.
Spotted Sandpiper, Blue-winged Teal?, Bee-eater, Woodchat Shrike, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Ring-necked Duck, and the Night Heron back on St Marys.
17th October
No major rarities on this day but a good day for scarce birds.
Tree Pipit, Ring Ousel, Black Redstart (8), Little Stint, Wryneck, Brambling, Rustic Bunting, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Siberian Stonechat, and Yellow-rumped Warbler (again).
18th October
The amazing thing about Scilly is that anything can turn up as noted by the species above. Species from North America, Southern Europe, and Asia.
An uneventful trip back to Penzance then back home to Oxfordshire! All in all a very good week, wouldn’t you agree?

By the way, the blog is 1 year old today!

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday Cholsey Wildlife :-)