Monday, 24 October 2016


Back home after yesterday's marathon train journey. Up to Newton this morning, where I eventually picked up the Baird's Sandpiper. Unfortunately it favoured the small pools at the far side of the scrape, so no photos. Also here were 60+ Dunlin, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Grey Plover. A good search of the scrub here and at the tin church failed to turn up anything other than a few migrant thrushes.

Down the coast at Druridge a Great White Egret was performing in front of the Budge Screen along with 2 Little Egret and a Greenshank.

An hour at Prestwick Carr on the way home failed to turn up the Great Grey Shrike.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Final day

Last day on Scilly, so headed up to Carreg Dhu in hope that the mystery warbler would show. No sign, but I did have 2 Firecrest and a Yellow-browed Warbler. Redwing, Fieldfare and Chaffinch were streaming over along with a single Brambling.

A hunt around the north of the island revealed little and I was almost back to Hugh Town for the boat when news of a Siberian Stonechat broke. Wearing several layers to fight the cold on the boat trip, it was a sweaty jog up to Maypole where the chat was showing well.

Siberian Stonechat

Back down to the boat where the final new bird of the trip, a Hen Harrier was seen distantly as it drifted over Holy Vale. A great end to a cracking month with 149 species and several other rare beasts.

Friday, 21 October 2016


With nothing happening this morning I shamelessly twitched a Mandarin on St Agnes. On view on arrival, it was looking good until it moved and flashed a plastic ring.

Mandarin-out on parole.
With little more than a Yellow-browed Warbler I was heading for the early boat when I bumped into a birder who'd just thought he'd had a Red-flanked Bluetail. A few minute wait and a bird popped up showing its orange flanks and as it flicked away a blue tail, bingo! Elusive for a while, it eventually gave itself up and showed well on a few occasions.

Red-flanked Bluetail
While the Bluetail was being found a warbler that had been found dead in the lighthouse garden was being identified- a Pale-legged/Sakhalin Leaf Warbler. Probably the rarest bird to be seen this autumn was now in Graham's fridge. How near...

Pale-legged/Sakhalin Leaf Warbler
Firecrest and Siberian Chiffchaff were seen on the walk back for the boat.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Still Scilly

Still quiet on Scilly. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent pottering around on St Agnes and Tresco with little to show for it. Today it was back to strolling around St Mary's where the Woodlark, finally pinned down, was showing well at Watermill. A bit far for a photo, but I managed some phone-scoped video.


A lift from Spider got us down to Porthellick in time to see a Barred Warbler that had been trapped and ringed, presumably the bird seen a few days ago.

Barred Warbler
A lot of walking followed with little reward. A couple of Jack Snipe and a Black Redstart probably the best of the bunch.

Monday, 17 October 2016


To take a break from pacing around St Mary's I too to the sea with Scilly Pelagic. A great day out with a Pomarine Skua the star bird and a fly-over Snow Bunting the weirdest. Superb close views of Bonxie, Sooty Shearwater, Razorbill and Puffin, but a single Balearic Shearwater just shot through. Out through the islands brought us Osprey, Grey Plover and Knot.

Please click on images for better views. Files too big for blog.

Pomarine Skua
Pomarine Skua
Pomarine Skua
Pomarine Skua
Pomarine Skua
Sooty Shearwater
Back on dry land there was time for a distant Barred Warbler at Porthellick after finding a Wryneck on the way.


Sunday, 16 October 2016


More tales of woe. Another Siberian Accentor, this one even closer to home. Unfortunately the biding on Scilly hasn't picked up yet to compensate. I did bag a fly-over Serin just before the second squall of the day, but other than that just the same old faces. Good close views of Red-breasted Flycatcher and Yellow-browed Warbler at Newford Duckpond, the Eastern Yellow Wagtail and the Short-toed Lark the best of the bunch. I did add Whimbrel and Garden Warbler to the trip list.

Grey Wagtail

Saturday, 15 October 2016

...the calm.

Some wild weather last night and this morning, but the new rarities failed to appear. Tough going with bird after bird turning up at home. The long term weather forecast looks like there is more to come for when I get back, so fingers crossed.

Bits and bobs seen today with Short-toed Lark, 3 Lapland Bunting, 9 Black Redstart, Raven and several fly-overs from a Hobby.

Lapland Bunting