Sunday, 9 October 2011

Scillies - 4.10.11

The Least Sandpiper and 1 of the Wrynecks.

A mixed day of weather today with glorious sunshine first thing followed by fog then rain then cloud! Today we went to Tresco to hopefully add some more good birds to the list and also visit the Abbey gardens. The boat went to Bryher first and dropped of some people then it was on to our destination. We were about 1 minute from docking when my pager burst into life, it was a MEGA alert! I looked down expecting it to be for Shetland or worse still Herts but I was amazed to read the following - MEGA Scilly - Least Sand on Tresco!! What timing! The plan to go straight to the abbey was put on hold and a brisk walk to the abbey pool was had instead. But even before reaching the pool a juv dark morph Honey Buzzard flew into view and 10 Little Egrets were on an island in the channel! We arrived and were ushered into place where just beyond some bracken on the muddy edge of the pool just 20ft away was my 2nd ever Least Sandpiper. My first had been in the scorching summer of 2003 at Startops Reservoir in Tring. That one was an adult but this one was a juvenile. It even called a few times before flying off onto the big pool where we left it for a look around the gardens. After a disappointing 45 minutes we started exploring the rest of the island where we bumped into 20 White Wagtails on the heliport grass and another Whinchat and 3 Stonechats on the fence. 2 more Wrynecks put in an appearence 1 flying over and 1 perched in a bush. The final stop was at the NE end of the great pool where from the Swarovski hide another Lesser Yellowlegs was feeding side by side with 3 Pectoral Sandpipers!

We got back to the room and collapsed on the bed only to be brought back to life with news of a Subalpine Warbler on the Garrison! I put my boots back on and made my way up there only to miss it by 5 minutes. It wasn't all bad as my 3rd Wryneck of the day posed in a dead Elder bush about 15 feet away though i'd not bothered to bring my scope or camera with me!

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