Saturday 14 October 2023

14 October 2023 - Pallid Harrier, Old Town, ST Mary's, Isles of Scilly

I'd missed the immature female Pallid Harrier yesterday - I was on a work Teams meeting as the bird had flown over the flat...! Today I was near Old Town Cafe when I saw the harrier head towards us, and at very close quarters. Everything in the world was OK again...  

Friday 13 October 2023

Thursday 12 October 2023

12 October 2023 - Tresco

A few bits from Tresco today - perhaps the oddest highlight was finding male Lady Amherst's and Golden Pheasants together...

Wednesday 11 October 2023

11 October 2023 - Second helpings of Red-footed Booby!

With the kids off with Mum to Centre Parks, I thought I'd spend a few days on the Isles of Scilly with the boys... First job was to act as a lucky charm for Doug and John's trip out to the Bishop Rock Lighthouse - they'd had a couple of less-than-successful attempts earlier in the week...

The seas were lumpy this evening - very lumpy! I was talking to Fraser, Captain of the Sea King when we road one wave and went smack down in to the trough - only to be wacked by another wave. This caused an almighty bang and the front window of the Sea King was a gonner! 

The rest of the trip was still lumpy but eventually highly successful - there, on the top of the Bishop Rock Lighthouse was the Red-footed Booby. Will it been seen again this year? Will it back or still present next year when trips start going out to the lighthouse again? Only time will tell...

Sunday 8 October 2023

8 October 2023 - Cape May Warbler, Achill Island, Co Mayo

North American warblers are very few and certainly far between - the Blackburnian Warbler on Bryher in 2022 was brilliant: the Magnolia and then Bay-breasted Warblers in Wales in 2023 were fantastic, but the opportunity to pop over to Ireland to see a Cape May Warbler was too much to resist. 

A few pounds on the RyanAir flight and hire car journey later and I was on my own watching a Cape May Warbler at eight metres distance. I was joined soon after arrival by Aiden Kelly - we both saw it well but wanted better views the following morning in better light.

Lee Gregory turned up early and took some brilliant shots before heading off for the Double-crested Cormorant - I flew home, more than happy with what I'd seen!   

Saturday 23 September 2023

23 September 2023 - Bay-breasted Warbler, Ramsey Island, Wales

 Holy Moly! just twenty-four hours after the Magnolia Warbler, and today is another ultra-rare North American warbler - this time a first-year Bay-breasted Warbler on Ramsey Island.

The trip across to the Ramsey was easy enough - the challenging bit had been getting boat tickets out for Max and I. 59 calls through to the boat people and I finally managed to nail two of the last tickets.

 A return trip to the St Govan's area for the Canada Warbler proved fruitless for me - I had to give up as Max was waiting in the car. This wasn't a huge worry as I'd seen the Irish bird a few years ago...would have been nice though!

Friday 22 September 2023

22 September 2023 - Magnolia Warbler at St Govan's Head, Pembrokeshire

Wow, wow, wow! Never thought I'd see a Magnolia Warbler in the UK! After such a long gap between the first and second records, I thought I might be about 115 before the next one turned up...

Work commitments meant that I could 'do' the Thursday with many others. No worries, a Friday trip meant that I could stay in the area with Max, just in case...

The Maggie was, without doubt, a challenge to see - thankfully at the third attempt back in the scrub, I was able to nail a few passable pictures. Phew!