BOAT TRIP TO BRYHER WITH VISITS TO GREAT PORTH, BIG POOL, SAMSON HILL AND POPPLESTONE BROW – TRANSFER TO TRESCO – GREAT POOL & ABBEY POOL BACK TO ST MARY'S
WEATHER: a thick mist covered all of the islands for most of the day clearing about 3pm, with virtually no wind. Temp around 16C.
Would you believe it? The first bird that came up on the grapevine was a Common Rosefinch on St Agnes, the very same bird we missed yesterday, having searched for it most of the day!!! It just shows you how the weather conditions can dramatically change your fortune.
Eurasian Spoonbill on Green Island
a ghostly figure in the mist - the Spoonbill in flight
Never mind, we had a successful day today with visits to both Bryher and Tresco. On the way across to Bryher we saw the Eurasian Spoonbill that roosts on Green Island (a tiny rocky island with no vegetation). With the Spoonbill were 6 Eurasian Curlews and a dozen or so of Oystercatchers, it was difficult to see them through the mist.
A view from Popplestone Brow, you can just make out the Great Pool in the mist
Once on Bryher we walked across the island to the ‘Great Pool’ where we saw nothing and for the next hour or so we walked through all kinds of habitat finding very little. We listed two Blackcaps, lots of common garden species and a few small flocks of Meadow Pipits.
whilst being a regular 'Uncommon Migrant' on the UK mainland this bird is a rare visitor to Scilly, yet it is our second one this week - Tawny Pipit
On Popplestone Brow we caught up with the only ‘celebrity bird’ on the island, a Tawny Pipit, which normally would have been a great bird to see as it is a very rare visitor to the Islands, but we had already seen one on St Marys at the beginning of the trip. Still, it was a lovely bird and it performed well.
We eventually made our way to the Turk’s Head Café and Bar where we had a nice cuppa before we walked back to the quay for the transfer to Tresco. We scoped several birds from the quay ramp, Greater Ringed Plover, Little Egret (6), the Eurasian Spoonbill still on Green Island, Ruddy Turnstone, Grey Heron and Oystercatchers.
The mist began to clear around 2pm - a view of Hangman Island
Our transfer lasted 10 minutes, we landed at New Grimsby at 2:40, we quickly walked to the Swarovski Hide at the western end of the Great Pool. From the hide we saw a Whooper Swan (our target species) also Greenshank, Redshank, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Moorhen and Mute Swan. We then walked towards the eastern end of the pool stopping along the track to look for a RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER. It took 10 minutes to locate this tiny gem and another 30 minutes to get everyone to see it well, the bird was quite elusive and showed intermittently the whole time we were there.
Whooper Swan on the Great Pool, Tresco.This bird was being constantly harassed by the local Mute Swans
We had very limited time on Tresco so after seeing the flycatcher we walked to the Abbey Pool, stopping a couple of times to added a number of other species to the list, these included: Raven, Peregrine Falcon, Whinchat, Water Rail and the Northern Pintail (a female on the Abbey Pool).
Northern Pintail on Abbey Pool, Tresco
We spent our last 20 minutes on Tresco walking to the quay at Carn Near in order to catch our boat back to St Mary’s at 4:30pm. It had been a much better day today, the weather was excellent in the afternoon, we all went back for dinner having notched Sandwich Tern in the harbour as we docked at St Mary’s.