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We woke up and were greeted by some pretty poor weather conditions, thick fog/mist and drizzling rain. By the time we finished breakfast the fog remained, the air was very still and it looked like the fog was here to stay.

We were due to fly out around 12 noon so we had a couple of hours left for some last minute birding, we chose to walk out to Peninnis Head to see if we could get better views of a Wryneck. Our bird sightings were few and far between, Meadow Pipits, Linnets, Stonechats and all the common garden birds.

It was 11am when we were picked up outside our guest house and transferred to the airport for a flight that we knew wasn't going to fly! We went through the motions and eventually got transferred down to St Mary's Quay where we loaded our lugggage onto the Scillonian Ship. We walked into town for lunch before we boarded the ship at 3pm for a 4:30pm sailing.

It was still foggy all the way back to Penzance but the sea was flat calm and the birding was tremendous, shearwaters streamed past us or sat in large rafts, the official count was: 300+ Great Sheatwaters, 50+ Cory's Shearwaters, 10 Manx Shearwaters, 5 Sooty Shearwaters, 4 Storm Petrels and 1 Leach's Petrel. We also saw many Common Dolphins, a Portuguese Man-of-War a few Razorbills and Guillemots. Kittiwakes appeared near Penzance.

I said farewell to the group at the quay and we all went our separate ways, the tour was over. We had logged 96 species on the islands with several goodies thrown in. The Parual and the Bobolink were the rarity stars but the group also liked the Buff-breasted and Pectoral Sandpipers, the Common Rosefinch, the Wryneck the Red-backed Shrike, Turtle Dove and the Glossy Ibis.

Northern Parula taken by Phil Naylor


The beauty of the islands and the tranquil atmosphere impressed all of the group and some of them vowed to return for a walking holiday.