AIRPORT ROAD – LOWER MOORS – CARREG DHU – LONGSTONE – HOLY VALE – HIGHER MOORS – PORT HELLICK – SALAKEE TRAIL
WEATHER: dull and overcast all day with some drizzling rain.
Yesterday we got back from St Agnes at 4:30pm and we were all too tired to march up to the airport to look for the two BOBOLINKS that had been found there. So, this morning that was our priority, unfortunately the weather didn’t look too good with misty fog and light rain.
By the time we finished breakfast the fog had lifted and it brightened up so off we went. Our route took us through Old Town, we walked past Old Town Beach where we saw Curlew, Oystercatcher, Turnstone and Rock Pipit.
We were the first to arrive at the Airport Road and had no idea where the Bobolinks were supposed to be but after five minutes we found both of them sitting on a hedge preening, wow!! A lifer for everyone and showing so well too! After 10 minutes they flew off and landed in some grass and disappeared from sight, a car went past the grass and flushed them.
two pictures of one of the two Bobolinks seen at the airport. This American bird is named after it song which sounds a little like the phrase "Bob'o Lincoln'
We walked further along the airport perimeter road to scan the airfield which is closed on Sundays, so a few birds were out on the grass besides the runways. We saw Northern Wheatear, Stonechat and Meadow Pipits, as we walked back we re-found the Bobolinks, they were much closer we had terrific views of one of them. Eventually they flew off high and landed near the solar panels in a field near the terminal building.
Lots of other birders turned up and a search began to relocate the birds but they never returned whilst we were there, we did find a Whinchat.
Walking back to Old Town we stopped for a well deserved coffee in Old Town café before walking onto Lower Moors. A quick scan in the Standing Stones Field revealed nothing and the hide at the pool produced sightings of Mallard and Teal.
two Chiffchaffs taking a bath at Shooter's Pool
The blind at ‘Shooter’s Pool’ was more productive, we saw our first Blackcap of the trip, also three or four Chiffchaffs, a Kingfisher and the usual common species. We walked up to Carreg Dhu and found Firecrest, Goldcrest and our very first Spotted Flycatcher of the trip.
By this time the group had become a little disjointed with and only five of us proceeded to Holy Vale and Higher Moors. By the time we got the hide we were down to three, the others had decided to stroll back to the guest house or gone off for some solo walking.
the lichen covered trees along Lower Moors' woodland trail
From the hide we saw 3 Common Snipe, 4 Teal, a single Coot and some Mallards, we also noted a Migrant Hawker and Common Darter dragonflies. From the beach at Porth Hellick we added Ringed Plover, Greenshank and Grey Heron to the day list.
the calm waters of the Porth Hellick Pool - a stark contrast to the last time we visited this site
Common Snipe at Porth hellick Pool
Ourt return walk was along Salakee Farm trail but that produced nothing and we were back at the guest house by 5pm. In the meantime Neville had wandered off by himself and ended up at Peninnis Head where he found a Wryneck and a few other species.
Porth Hellick beach during low tide
Tomorrow we say goodbye to the Islands and have only a couple of hours for birding.before we fly off.