ST AGNES - PORTH KILLIER - BROWARTH POINT - PERIGIL'S COVE - LOWER TOWN - HIGHER TOWN - COVE VEAN - 'THE BAR' ST MARYS - – PORTHLOO BEACH – TELEGRAPH AND NEWFORD DUCK POND
At last, a lovely bright morning without wind! We knew the weather forecast was for rain in the afternoon so we made the most of our morning with a visit to St Agnes. Beforehand we made a brief visit to the local beaches of Hugh Town, both Porthcressa and Porthmellon produced sightings of Northern Wheatear, Common Stonechat and Ruddy Turnstone, a few Black-headed Gulls and not much else.
We caught the boat at 10:15 and 20 minutes later we were birding on St Agnes. We took an anti-clockwise walk from the quay and visited the cove called Porth Killier first. It was high tide so most of the birds were roosting we saw Oystercatcher (40+), Curlew (2), Ringed Plover (3) and Ruddy Turnstone (5).
Next we looked for passerine birds in the fields near Browarth Point, in the ‘Middle Field’ we just missed sighhtings of Lesser Whitethroat and a Tree Pipit. What we saw was Meadow Pipits, Linnets, Goldfinches, Stonechats, Dunnocks and House Sparrows.
The ‘Big Pool’ was empty except for a group of dodgey ducks, a single Moorhen and a juvenile Herring Gull and the Cricket Pitch was devoid of life. It started getting interesting as we walked up through Lower Town to the Parsonage. We found a number of Goldcrests, Chiffchaffs, Spotted Flycatchers and a few White Wagtails.
At the Parsonage we spent sometime looking for Yellow-browed Warbler and Red-breasted Flycatcher, both of which did not turn up, we see another Spotted Flycatcher and not much else. Then a passing birder mentioned that the RB Flycatcher had just been seen back down the hill at the ‘Fruit Cage’, so we ambled down and sure enough after a short wait the RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER appeared, it showed very well.
We ate our picnic lunch sitting on some steps before walking up towards higher town. Here the group split up as some wanted to see the magnificent stained-glass windows of the church and sit and eat ice-cream and cake. The rest of us walked down towards Cove Vean but before we got there it started to rain so we turned back.
We ended up sitting outside the ‘Turks Head’ pub drinking coffee waiting for the 2pm boat to arrive to take us back to St Marys. It rained on and off during our wait and our journey, we found a single Chiffchaff whilst waiting.
Back on St Marys we reassembled at the Guest House for a walk up to the top of the island, only five of us turned out, the others were resting. We walked to Porthloo Beach where we found dozens of Oystercatchers and Black-headed Gulls, we also saw our first Sanderling, also a couple of Curlew, Ruddy Turnstone and both Rock Pipit and White Wagtails on the beach.
The light was pretty bad and rain threatened all afternoon as we walked up to Newford Duck Pond where we saw the female Teal which has been identified as a GREEN-WINGED TEAL. We then stood around and searched the bushes for a Yellow-browed Warbler which called a lot but never showed. We did find more Goldcrests, a Grey Wagtail, Blue Tits and Great Tits. One interesting find was that of a Reed Warbler.
female GREEN-WINGED TEAL
As we walked back down the hill towards Hugh Town the rain increased and became quite heavy the last few of the group got a soaking before reaching the guest house. Dinner was taken in Scillonian Club.