HomePerching BirdsBirdwatching on the Isles of Scilly

Birdwatching on the Isles of Scilly

Birdwatching on the Isles of Scilly


Tour Report third to tenth October 2022


Our intrepid group of seven (plus Paul as information) headed off to Scilly for our first week lengthy tour on Monday third October aboard the Scillonian III. We set of from Penzance harbour at 9.10am having already began our tour listing with Kingfisher and Purple Sandpiper! Little did we all know that we might quickly expertise among the finest pelagic crossings to or from Scilly EVER!

Simply after we handed Land’s Finish, issues began to get fascinating with a couple of Balearic Shearwaters and two Arctic Skua. Nevertheless, as we approached the Wolf Rock gentle home we picked up a few giant Shearwaters. ‘”Cory’s” was the shout! Cory’s Shearwaters actually shouldn’t be in our waters right now of 12 months, however right here they had been and displaying nicely! Inside quarter-hour we had been ploughing by means of rafts of fifty or extra Nice Shearwaters, then a protracted line of Cory’s totalling over 60 birds!! In amongst this pelagic spectacle had been three Nice Skua’s, nice to see after they had been hit exhausting this 12 months with Avian Flu, in addition to 60+ Balearic Shearwaters and as many Sooty Shearwaters. This birding bonanza continued for the subsequent 45 or so minutes, really fizzling out solely as we approached the ‘useless sea’ a couple of miles off the Islands. Our group was elated! How would we prime this for the subsequent 7 days!?

As soon as on St Mary’s we known as into the Bell Rock Resort, our wonderful lodging for the week, to drop off a couple of objects of baggage earlier than heading to the allotments on Peninnis Head. After a brief wait we added Widespread Rosefinch to the listing ( a lifer for some) because it confirmed briefly in its favored sycamore tree. A stroll across the headland produced an extra 34 species together with Northern Wheatear, a fly over Tree Pipit and quite a few Med Gulls and Sandwich Terns. After a protracted day with loads of birds, a superb meal and nights sleep had been very welcome.


We stayed on the primary island of St Mary’s for our first full day of the tour, strolling 6.97 miles from Hugh City, by means of Decrease Moors path, Sunnyside Path, Carreg Du gardens, Outdated City cafe for lunch, then to Increased Moors, Porthellick and again by means of Tremelethan to Hugh City. An extended and considerably tiring route gathering 52 species on the way in which. Highlights had been the 2 Yellow-browed Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and 4 Firecrests in Carreg Du gardens and 5 Whinchat at Porthellick.


With beneficial winds it was determined that St Agnes could be our vacation spot for day 3 of the Scilly Tour, so we joined the boat on the marina at 1015am and set off by means of The Roads. The crossing was a bit uneven and a few of us acquired a little bit of a soaking! As soon as on the island it was apparent it was going to be exhausting work in sturdy westerly winds. Even the sheltered spots gave the impression to be void of birds however we managed to discover a Noticed Flycatcher hunkered in hedgerow and what was undoubtedly the Greenish Warbler shot out of a tree, then again in, within the flick of an eye fixed, giving a irritating glimpse of what might have been the day’s star hen. Regardless of the situations we nonetheless managed 32 forms of hen, including a couple of new species to our journey listing.

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Day 4 turned out to be the very best day of the entire week! All however one among our group determined they might be a part of the 5 hour pelagic seabird journey on board The Sapphire that may take us 7 miles south of Scilly, then again by means of the islands searching for sea duck, divers and grebes. This turned out to be a incredible resolution as, after an hour or so crusing, we encountered enormous feeding flocks of Nice, Cory’s and Sooty Shearwaters, with captain Joe Pender maneuvering the boat shut sufficient to even hear the Nice Shearwaters chattering to one another! A magical expertise! A few European Storm Petrels put in very transient appearances across the boat and a Gray Phalarope landed on a tiny piece of floating seaweed permitting for excellent views of this tiny nomadic wader. Different birds of be aware had been 4 Nice Skua’s and three Manx Shearwaters. Nice Shearwater numbers had been someplace round 600 birds! After few hours at sea we began to go east again in direction of the islands. As we steamed in direction of St Martin’s one other birder on board alerted us to a ‘small shearwater’ passing the boat. Solely 6 or 7 birders managed to get on to the hen in query because it flew strongly away from the boat into the solar, however because it did the pictures of the hen taken by the finder had been checked. “Its a [email protected]#$ing Fea’s!!” got here the shout and everybody on board started scanning off the again of the boat. Sadly, the Fea’s Petrel had lengthy disappeared into the afternoon solar.

As the bulk had missed the ‘massive one’ the temper didn’t change a lot on board and our group had been more than pleased with the seabird extravaganza we had simply witnessed and had been quickly even happier when the Lengthy-tailed Duck was relocated off the southern finish of St Martin’s. An actual cracking male too that confirmed nicely in flight earlier than selecting the ocean. We then headed again to St Mary’s, off loaded on the marina and determined we might have a espresso from the cafe on the marina earlier than heading off to search for a Wryneck that had been reported earlier. This turned out to be the second good resolution of the day. Proper place, proper time because the hen Information alerts went off informing our information {that a} Swainson’s Thrush, a uncommon American hen had been discovered on Tresco. Fortunately, a ship from Tresco was simply pulling onto the marina, so we hopped on board with a couple of others and had been quickly heading again throughout The Roads in direction of Tresco. Alighting from the boat, we hurriedly walked/ran in direction of Racket Lane the place the hen had been seen. On arrival we had been knowledgeable that it had not been seen for 45 minutes and while some determined to attend, a couple of of us took the lull in proceedings to nip again to Outdated Grimsby within the hope of seeing the reported Wryneck. We weren’t upset when Paul discovered the hen virtually instantly and displaying down to three toes!! Information then filtered out that the Swainson’s Thrush had been seen once more, information that had us operating again up the hill in direction of Racket Lane Cottage. This time we had been in luck and the tiny thrush carried out fantastically for everybody. A lifer for everybody in our group, together with our information!


The next day we we again on Tresco as per our itinerary. At this time was the one day we noticed any actual rain, with a couple of squally showers that had us diving for canopy in overcrowded hides. The island was busy with birders twitching the Swainson’s Thrush from the opposite Islands in addition to people who had flown over particularly from the mainland. It was good to wander round within the information we had already seen the rarest hen on the islands the day past! We did have one other take a look at it earlier than we left tho. The Nice Pool on Tresco is at all times good place for including to our journey listing and Pintail, Curlew Sandpiper (4), Mute Swan, Bar and Black-tailed Godwits and a Raven had been all new. We completed on the island with a day listing of 42 species. On arrival again at St Mary’s, information broke of a Cattle Egret in a subject with cattle at Trewince. The sphere in query isn’t viewable from any public roads or tracks, however may be seen at distance and we quickly ‘scoped’ the hen, (which was standing on the again of a cow!) from the again of the lifeboat station.

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Saturday’s climate was extra akin to a day in August than early October, with zero wind, clear skies and sunshine. So, we headed again to St Agnes for one more go on the Greenish Warbler. One other good resolution because the gorgeous little warbler carried out nicely, initially excessive up within the elms in The Parsonage backyard, then decrease within the fig and apple timber beneath. One other lifer for many of the group! Regardless of lots of strolling and looking out into bushes, we couldn’t muster anything of curiosity, however settled with the Greenish Warbler as our Hen of the Day.


Our penultimate day was spent on St Mary’s the place we coated simply wanting 9 miles strolling! The morning began with a stroll by means of Decrease Moors, choosing up our first Willow Warbler of the journey at Shooter’s Pool. With no signal of yesterday reported Jack Snipe (two of our group manged to attach the night time earlier than), we had been about to go in direction of Porthellick when the information broke of a Radde’s Warbler in a hedge close by at Outdated City Church. We joined the madding crowd and after a irritating quarter-hour all of us had nice views of the warbler because it fed alongside the churchyard wall. One more tick for many and one other nice hen for our tour. The remainder of the day was spent strolling virtually the complete roadway across the island, visiting the airport, Porthellick, Increased Moors, Holy Vale, fast detour for some lunch at Carn Vean Cafe, Maypole, all the way down to Newford Duck Pond then again to Hugh City through Pungies Lane and Porthloo! One other Yellow-browed Warbler was heard at Newford and our first Siskins of the week had been added to the listing. 46 Species in all for the day.


After finding out the bar payments and baggage choose ups, we headed out early for our final morning on Scilly. A leisurely stroll by means of Decrease Moors once more for starters with a view to ending someplace close to Outdated City cafe for lunch. It turned out to be a incredible final morning, including a Black Redstart at Porth Minnick, that took two makes an attempt to find, a bunch of Home Martins and at last a Widespread Redstart, discovered by two of our group! A good 42 species on our remaining morning earlier than we had lunch, picked up our hand baggage and headed to the marina to board the Scillonian III, homeward certain. Our remaining addition to the tour hen listing and our one centesimal species (until we missed any off the listing beneath?) was the male Eider that flew throughout the again of the boat as we handed Newlyn. 🙂

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A Huge Thankyou!

We wish to say an enormous thanks to Daniel and all of the employees at The Bell Rock Resort. The lodging, meals and repair was top quality and we sit up for seeing you once more similar time subsequent 12 months. Because of Joe and all on the Scilly Boatman’s Affiliation for the pelagic and being so versatile and accommodating with our inter-island twitching! Because of Kriss and Chris for supplying information through the Scilly Whatsapp Teams. Thank You to Richard, Chris and Ness on the Scillonian Membership for being so welcoming and accommodating with our tour group. Lastly, thanks to our fabulous company Ian and Diane, Joyce and Steve, Paul, Daryl and Pat on your firm, tolerance and good humour all through. Hope to see you all once more on one other tour!! Until subsequent time……

Sundown with the Tater Du lighthouse within the foreground. A shocking backdrop to finish our week on Scilly


We’re already penciled in on the resort for this tour subsequent 12 months and already have 5 folks ! If you wish to be a part of us in October 2023, get in contact with Paul now at [email protected] Locations will go quick and we’re restricted to 7/8 areas!


Gannet, Shag, Cormorant, Guillemot, Razorbill, Manx Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater, Cory’s Shearwater, Nice Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, European Storm-petrel, FEA’S PETREL, Nice Skua, Arctic Skua, Gray Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Coot, Moorhen, Water Rail, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Pintail, Lengthy-tailed Duck, Eider, Kittiwake, Herring Gull, Nice Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Sandwich Tern, Gray Phalarope, Curlew, Whimbrel, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Widespread Snipe, Jack Snipe, Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Purple Sandpiper, Sanderling, Redshank, Greenshank, Golden Plover, Ringed Plover, Turnstone, Widespread Sandpiper, Oystercatcher, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Starling, Blackbird, Track Thrush, SWAINSONS THRUSH, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Peregrine, Pheasant, Carrion Crow, Raven, Kingfisher, Nice Tit, Blue Tit, Robin, Stonechat, Wheatear, Whinchat, Black Redstart, Widespread Redstart, WRYNECK, Dunnock, Wren, Home Sparrow, Swallow, Home Martin, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Tree Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Blackcap, Whitethroat, GREENISH WARBLER, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, RADDE’S WARBLER, Yellow-browed Warbler, Firecrest, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, COMMON ROSEFINCH, Linnet, Siskin.

“Good Expertise for anybody all for birds!”

Simply acquired again from the Isles of Scilly hen tour. Good expertise for anybody all for birds. Paul’s information of the islands and the birds that inhabit them was nice! Lodging and journey had been organised nicely and I extremely suggest for anybody trying to go to Scilly for the primary time. (Daryl)




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